If winter is about comfort food, warm soups, and hearty root vegetables, spring is about fresh veggies. Sure, many plants won’t really come into their own until summer. But some start to bloom in spring. And by the time the weather warms, many of us are so desperate for fresh greenery—for juices, for smoothies, for salads—that we’ll scarf down whatever spring vegetables we can get our hands on. We simply can’t wait any longer for lettuces, or onions, or spinach. If it is even barely in season, we want it—and we want it now.
One of the most beautiful things about spring veggies is that we’re actually excited to eat them. We’re completely unhaunted by childhood memories of finishing our broccoli just so we could move on to dessert, or of getting through mom’s Brussels sprouts lest we be grounded. Instead, we feel blessed that we have the opportunity to load our plates with fresh greens again. Winter vegetables can feel hearty, and warm, and cozy. But when the sun is shining and the flowers begin to bloom, nothing compares to the signature crunch and vibrant flavor that accompanies any spring veggie.
What’s cool? All this spring veggie excitement translates into an array of imaginative recipes. We’ve spent so many months anticipating the return of spring vegetables that we’ve dreamt up tons of recipes that make the most of them. Salads, sandwiches, pastas, tacos—there are so many ways to cook with spring veggies that you could probably eat them for weeks and never grow tired of them. Which is good news, because there’s still plenty of spring left—and plenty of spring veggies to enjoy before summer arrives.
The Recipe: Vibrant Spring Soup
The Hero Ingredient: Potatoes may seem like an odd choice for a veggie-packed soup, but they lend this green chowder its creamy texture—and that counts for a lot.
Pro Tip: If you want to make your soup even creamier, consider adding milk or heavy cream. No, your chowder will no longer be vegan. But if you don’t mind that, you could end up with an even richer, more flavorful dish.
Why We Love It: Soup seems like a strictly fall/winter meal, but this greens-filled recipe proves chowder can taste just as great during the spring.
The Recipe: Fresh Spring Rolls
The Hero Ingredient: Packing this many veggies into one little roll may seem a little intense. But don’t worry—the homemade coconut peanut butter sauce saves the day. (Technically, this sauce is composed of a few different ingredients. But it’s so vital to the recipe that it warranted its own shout-out.)
Pro Tip: This recipe calls for an array of fresh, crunchy veggies that play well together, but that doesn’t mean you have to exclusively use these ingredients. Consider swapping veggies in and out as you see fit. You’re the one who will be eating these spring rolls—so make sure you’ll enjoy them!
Why We Love It: Spring rolls are endlessly delightful. And in this case, they’re an excuse to pack a ton of veggies into your diet in a decidedly tasty way.
The Recipe: Spring Asparagus Frittata
The Hero Ingredient: Gruyere makes a delightful addition to just about any dish, but it adds depth and richness to these frittata—rendering it all the more mouth-watering.
Pro Tip: Asparagus may seem like a dinner veggie, but frittatas are decidedly breakfast-, lunch-, and brunch-friendly. So consider whipping this dish up during any time of day. It’ll taste as great alongside a morning coffee or an afternoon tea as it will with a glass of wine.
Why We Love It: Frittatas are easy to whip up and delicious to devour. And this asparagus-filled beauty tastes as lovely as it looks.
The Recipe: Stacked Side Salmon
The Hero Ingredient: Dill and thyme work together to create a spice blend that elevates every ingredient in this recipe, and the result is all kinds of delicious.
Pro Tip: The thinner you slice your veggies, the more dynamic flavors you’ll be able to load on your salmon. So try to keep those cuts as tight and delicate as possible.
Why We Love It: This recipe calls for salmon to be so thoroughly loaded with veggies that you’d think it was a piece of toast. Instead, it’s a slab of your favorite fish—covered with an almost-decadent dose of spring veggies.
The Recipe: BBQ Grilled Chicken Salad
The Hero Ingredient: Avocado adds a dynamic, creamy texture to any salad it’s added to—leaving this salad tasting less like a bowl of veggies and more like a bona fide dish.
Pro Tip: Not into cilantro-lime dressing? Swap it out for something you’ll like more. You can always opt for a store-bought dressing. And if you’re determined to go the homemade route, consider modifying the dressing recipe provided here—it can act as the foundation for whatever you decide to throw together.
Why We Love It: There are tons of creative recipes worth whipping up with spring veggies. But old favorites are still as classic as they come. Chicken salads have endured for a reason—they’re delicious—and they’re worth keeping in your arsenal.
The Recipe: Spring Pea Pancakes
The Hero Ingredient: Ricotta cheese takes these spring pea pancakes from perplexing to delightful, rendering them a fit for breakfast, lunch, and snack time, alike.
Pro Tip: Ricotta cheese is simultaneously sweet and savory—a dynamic flavor balance that leaves these pancakes tasting incredibly interesting But if you’re not into ricotta, consider swapping it out for a different cheese that you prefer. The base of these pancakes is generally versatile, so any cheese you love should sub in just fine!
Why We Love It: Vegetable pancakes may sound like an oxymoron, but this recipe proves they’re anything but. Pair your favorite spring peas with a little flour, some salt, and a whole lot of ricotta cheese, and you’ll have a savory breakfast worth whipping up for days.
The Recipe: Yogurt Tahini Dip
The Hero Ingredient: Lemon zest adds a fragrant, almost-bitter flavor you wouldn’t necessarily expect in a dip—making the final result taste both dynamic and special.
Pro Tip: This recipe calls for a cheesecloth. And while you can probably skip the straining stage, know it will affect the texture of your final dip.
Why We Love It: Sometimes you won’t want to cook your spring vegetables—you’d rather eat them fresh. When those moments come, consider whipping up this delicious yogurt tahini dip. While the recipe doesn’t technically contain any vegetables, it crafts a dipping sauce sure to complement every veggie in your fridge.
The Recipe: Hearty Herbed Chickpea Pancakes
The Hero Ingredient: Yeast lends these pancakes the texture they need to feel like pancakes. You might not have any on hand, but it’s worth snagging before you go to whip up this dish.
Pro Tip: If you have a sourdough starter going, consider crafting your pancakes from that. You’ll can still add in chickpea flour—just ditch the store-bought yeast in favor of your own.
Why We Love It: The beautiful thing about this recipe? You can sub in any of your favorite spring veggies. The instructions teach you how to make the chickpea pancake—and it makes some recommendations for what to throw on top. But if you’d rather trade the radishes and asparagus for something you already have on hand, you can easily make the swap.
The Recipe: Springtime Pizza
The Hero Ingredient: Eggs make this pizza look and taste incredible—and they make it feel more like the kind of thing you’d get at an artisan restaurant, and less like the kind of thing you’d store in your freezer.
Pro Tip: Most of us are wary of burning any of our dishes (and rightfully so!). But with pizza, a little char is actually a good thing. So don’t be afraid if your pizza is looking a little black and crunchy around the edges—the result will be a slice that’s texture, dynamic, and (surprisingly) not overcooked.
Why We Love It: Pizza is a delightful way to consume just about any food. And this one pairs beautifully with just about every spring veggie on the market—making it a shoo-in for your seasonal repertoire.
The Recipe: Colorful Roasted Spiralized Carrots
The Hero Ingredient: Sesame seeds make a surprising addition to this dish, but they lend it a texture that’s both enticing and delightful.
Pro Tip: It might seem excessive to stock up on a few kinds of carrots. And sure—you could just as easily use one kind. But having a few different vibrant colors in your dish will make it feel even more like a treat, so don’t skip out on this step (especially if you plan to snap a photo of your final product!).
Why We Love It: Spiralized veggies are incredibly versatile, pairing well with just about every sauce you can imagine. No, they won’t replace your favorite pasta. But they can sub in on days when you’re craving something savory and not incredibly heavy.
The Recipe: Mint and Sweet Pea Guacamole
The Hero Ingredient: Mint is rarely called for in guacamole recipes, and it leaves this dip feeling almost as special as the surprising addition of sweet peas does.
Pro Tip: This recipe doesn’t call for garlic, but most guacamole recipes do. So be sure to add some in if you think you’ll miss it!
Why We Love It: It’s hard to imagine a way to improve guacamole, but this recipe has managed it. Here, sweet peas combine with avocado to make a dip that’s textured, veggie-packed, and delightful—and really, what more could you ask for?