ThePrep: 20-Minute Mediterranean Meals for Spring

20 minutes is all that's needed each night to get these delicious, Mediterranean dinners for spring on the table.


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It's the time of the year when I find myself constantly checking the five-day weather forecast—and this upcoming week's weather is exactly what I've been waiting for! I want to say that we've finally made it to "real" spring here in Vermont but I also don't want to jinx myself. But what I do know is that I'll be spending as much time as I can outside in the garden and on walks around the neighborhood, which means dinner needs to be quick and simple. That's where these 20-minute Mediterranean meals for spring come in handy.

With fresh spring ingredients, like pesto, peas and lemon, and the principles of the Mediterranean diet woven in (think lots of veggies, lean protein and healthy whole grains) you really can't go wrong with this week's recipes.

Your Meal Plan

overhead shot of brown bowl filled with rotini pasta, broccoli, parmesan and lemon slices

The quick-cooking chicken in Sunday's 20-Minute Chicken Cutlets with Creamy Pesto Sauce starts things off right and the simple sauce that coats the chicken is one I would pair with just about anything (it'd be especially good with shrimp or salmon). It's super tasty and easy to make with a little store-bought pesto, white wine and cream. As if it couldn't get any better, this dinner can be made in a single skillet, so cleanup is just as easy.

Monday's One-Pot Lemon-Broccoli Pasta with Parmesan is another one-dish dinner where the pasta gets cooked in a skillet along with broccoli, shallots and garlic. By using the exact amount of water you need to cook the pasta, the starch that usually gets drained off stays in the pot, and with the addition of grated Parmesan cheese, you get a nice creamy sauce.

Jumping ahead to Wednesday's dinner, the Mozzarella, Basil & Zucchini Frittata is exactly the type of simple recipe I need to get over that midweek hump. I like pairing it with a simple salad, like the Herb & Arugula Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette. And to finish off this week of extra-easy 20-minute meals we have the Salmon with Curried Yogurt & Cucumber Salad and Cherry Tomato & Garlic Pasta—yum!

Sunday: 20-Minute Chicken Cutlets with Creamy Pesto Sauce over zucchini noodles

Monday: One-Pot Lemon-Broccoli Pasta with Parmesan

Tuesday: Panko- & Parmesan-Crusted Baked Scallops with Whole-Wheat Couscous with Parmesan & Peas

Wednesday: Mozzarella, Basil & Zucchini Frittata with Herb & Arugula Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Thursday: Salmon with Curried Yogurt & Cucumber Salad

Friday: Cherry Tomato & Garlic Pasta

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Big-Batch Snack

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Energy Bars

As much as I love having a batch of energy balls for the week, I don't always have the patience to roll each individual ball up. Enter these Chocolate-Peanut Butter Energy Bars, which have all the flavors I love from a good energy ball, but in bar form. Basically, you make the mixture in a food processor, spread it all out in a baking dish, top with chocolate then cut into squares. Easy and delicious!

Get the Recipe: Chocolate-Peanut Butter Energy Bars

Treat Yourself


With the warm weather this weekend, my plan is to do a little backyard cleanup while it's so nice out. Or, maybe I'll just pull out a beach chair and soak that glorious sun in. Either way, my day will end with this Honeybee Gin & Tea Cocktail in hand. This easy yet sophisticated drink combines tea, honey and gin for an herbaceous cocktail that tastes especially great on a warm afternoon. For this "G & Tea" I use Earl Grey tea (my favorite kind), which adds an extra floral kick, but really any type of tea would work nicely here.

Get the Recipe: Honeybee Gin & Tea Cocktail

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