The Best Spring Recipes To Make For Dinner

Spring has arrived, and with it comes a host of fresh, verdant produce options on both our market stalls and in our kitchens. As the weather gets warmer and summer draws ever nearer, it's time to get inspired by the bounty of the season and serve up dishes that will put a spring in your step.

Springtime announces the arrival of a host of seasonal veggies like asparagus, fresh green peas, and artichokes, all of which play well with one another and are equally happy grilled, roasted, or simply steamed. The first of the year's radishes can be enjoyed simply dipped in butter and salt or sliced and tossed into your favorite spring salads. Seasonal fresh goat cheese, meanwhile, is delightful with homemade bread or stirred into pasta with fresh herbs. Lamb chops can be thrown on the grill and served with your favorite seasonal sides. And for dessert? Spring's most welcome new arrivals: strawberries, either folded into your favorite dessert or served simply with whipped cream.

Whatever strikes your fancy here is sure to bring a bit of spring into your home. These are the best spring recipes to make for dinner

The tastiest asparagus ever

The second the first spring asparagus appear on our local market stalls, we grab a bunch or two and make this roasted asparagus recipe so simple yet so delicious it's a harbinger of spring in and of itself. In this recipe, skinny green asparagus are tossed with salt and olive oil and then roasted until they are nutty and concentrated in flavor. Serve them as a side dish to your favorite steak or fish recipes.

A simple asparagus tart to celebrate spring

Still can't get enough of this bright green veggie? This roasted asparagus tart shows its centerpiece vegetable off at its very best with an indulgent edge. To make it, green asparagus is layered on buttery puff pastry that's been spread with garlic-and-herb-infused Boursin cheese. After a quick trip through the oven, the tart emerges golden brown and ready to dive into. 

While fatter asparagus can certainly be used in this tart, the skinny ones cook up nutty and crispy. In our humble opinion, they truly take this dish to the next level, so be sure to carefully consider the exact bunch of asparagus you're eyeing for this particular recipe.

Spring greens make a fresh, delicious salad

What says you have to make salads with romaine lettuce or kale all the time? Spring mesclun greens are delicate and flavorful, the perfect base with which to play in concocting a bright, fresh salad like this cranberry salad recipe. When it comes to the greens in this recipe, you can truly use whatever you like. Baby spinach and arugula are stalwarts, but baby frisée adds a welcome bitter note that plays wonderfully with the sweet cranberries. This is a perfect opportunity to branch out and try something new this spring.

In this recipe, your choice of baby greens are tossed with crisp walnuts and sweet dried cranberries. A simple vinaigrette and a smattering of feta cheese completes the dish. Or you might pick a protein-rich goat cheese — call it chèvre for extra points — for a nod to this seasonal French favorite.

This pasta is so evocative of spring, it's in the name

Pasta primavera is the perfect dish to serve in the spring, in no small part because it's named after it! Primavera, the Italian word for the season, references the jumble of veggies that are tossed with the pasta. In this pasta primavera recipe, those include seasonal asparagus and nutty zucchini. Serve this pasta with an extra grating of Parmesan cheese and wait for the applause from your fans!

Simple lemon chicken with light, bright flavors

Now, to be totally clear, we know that lemons are very often a wintertime fruit, according to The Spruce Eats. But this light, bright lemon chicken is actually the perfect recipe for early spring when you can often still find fresh lemons, too. 

To make this lemon chicken recipe, you will first coat the chicken in a light batter and then pan-sear the meat. The drippings become the base for a delicious sauce made with white wine, lemon juice, and thyme. A touch of Parmesan brings things together nicely with its uniquely savory umami flavor. The result is a dish with just the right amount of richness but that's nevertheless fresh enough to blast us out of winter and firmly into the warmth and sunlight of a new season.

Spanakopita for your springtime picnic

As you start thinking about picnics and dining al fresco, be sure to bookmark this Greek spanakopita recipe for your first outdoor dining experience of the year. This tasty vegetarian pie of sorts is made by layering flaky, rich phyllo and butter with a savory filling of spinach and feta cheese. Baked until crispy and golden brown, this spanakopita is just as delicious served hot or cold. Ultimately, it's the perfect dish to pack in your picnic basket and take to the park or to your favorite hiking trail!

A no-cook aguachile that'll knock your socks off

When the very first days of "fool's spring" arrive, we always find ourselves seeking out a dish that evokes the summer days to come, even if we know that there are few more cold days ahead. While seeking out that dish, we're often looking for something cool, refreshing, and filled with flavor. And this aguachile is one of our stalwarts. 

This recipe relies on all-season avocados and spring radishes to garnish a plate of shrimp marinated in a spicy, flavorful chile-cilantro sauce. Pickled onions add even more flavor and texture to the finished dish, which can best be summed up as a Mexican play on ceviche. This aguachile is delightful on its own or served with tortilla chips!

Seasonal strawberry salad is sweet and savory

Strawberries are one of the first summer fruits to come into season, appearing in some places as early as April, though Epicurious notes that you're more likely to find really beautiful strawberries deeper into spring and summer. When you see good ones, pounce — and then put this strawberry salad on the dinner table. 

This recipe exquisitely pairs the natural sweetness of strawberries, honey, and balsamic vinegar with the savory notes of shallots, sunflower seeds, and a good dose of funky feta cheese. This salad a phenomenal appetizer or side dish with grilled steak, and it's also lovely all on its own for a simple, delicious springtime lunch.

Panna cotta is a creamy delight

For a seasonal dessert that's light yet rich, this recipe for panna cotta is the ideal choice. This rich Italian cream is set with gelatin and scented with aromatic vanilla for a dessert that's positively divine in its utter simplicity. Be sure to get the nicest ingredients you can to really ensure that this panna cotta is the best experience possible. Because it can be made in advance, it's perfect for a dinner party or cookout. We love topping the individual portions with sliced seasonal fruit for a finishing touch as beautiful as it is delicious.