ThePrep: 20-Minute Flavor-Packed Dinners for Spring

These delicious recipes and easy recipes will help you to have dinner ready in no time.

Asparagus, Leek & Ricotta Frittata
Photo: Photographer / Jacob Fox, Food styling / Sue Mitchell, Food Styling / Kelsey Bulat

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While spring hasn't officially arrived, we're definitely experiencing slight temperature increases here in Seattle. Plus, with daylight savings coming up on Sunday this week, I can't wait to make the most out of my after-work time, such as hanging out with friends or long walks with my husband. That's why this week, I'll turn to recipes that are ready in 20 minutes or less and packed with delicious flavors to bring in spring.

Your Meal Plan


The key to keeping these dinners at 20 minutes or less is a combination of quick-cooking ingredients (like chicken cutlets and fresh pasta) plus ready-to-use items (like naan bread and precooked packets of brown rice). Friday's Salmon with Curried Yogurt & Cucumber Salad is a delicious example of how these items come together quickly to create an impressive yet easy dinner.

Salmon is my husband's and my favorite fish, and we usually enjoy it once a week. Salmon naturally has lots of flavor, thanks to its fat content, so it doesn't take much to turn it into a yummy main dish—simple preparations always work. This recipe pairs salmon with a savory curried yogurt and cucumber salad with cilantro. This salad reminds me of a similar one my grandma frequently made, especially during spring and summer, though hers used mint, onion and ground garlic. The flavor combinations are endless! For a well-rounded meal, I'll serve this dish with precooked brown rice that only needs a quick reheat in the microwave before it's ready to eat—which is much faster than the 40 minutes brown rice would otherwise take to cook on the stovetop.

Sunday: Beef & Bean Sloppy Joes paired with mixed greens drizzled with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Monday: Frittata with Asparagus, Leek & Ricotta
Tuesday: Spinach, Lima Bean & Crispy Pancetta Pasta
Wednesday: 20-Minute Chicken Cutlets with Garlic Tomato Sauce with a side of whole-wheat baguette
Thursday: Garlic, Sausage & Kale Naan Pizzas
Friday: Salmon with Curried Yogurt & Cucumber Salad with a side of brown rice

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Something Sweet

a recipe photo of the Mini air fryer cheesecakes
Photographer: Brie Passano Food Stylist: Greg Luna Art Director: Stephanie Hunter

We're invited to a friend's house for late lunch (the Mexican way) this weekend, and I'm on dessert duty. These Air-Fryer Mini Cheesecakes bring together spring flavors I love, like lemon zest and fresh fruit like strawberries. I don't know about you, but I wasn't aware that you could make cheesecake in an air-fryer. So I'm definitely excited to try this recipe out. Cheesecake is the perfect spring dessert, plus bite-size desserts are always fun—especially for gatherings.

Get the Recipe: Air-Fryer Mini Cheesecakes

What's Inspiring Me This Week

a photo of a woman walking outside with her dog
Getty Images

I find walking to be one of the most enjoyable movement activities; I could spend hours walking. And that's one of the things that has me most excited about daylight savings—there will be plenty of daylight left to take long walks to the lake near my home after work. Plus, recently published research on the health benefits of walking has got me even more motivated. According to a large meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, engaging in physical activity such as brisk walking for even just 11 minutes per day can reduce your risk of premature death by 23%. So put on your favorite walking shoes and join me (long-distance) for a daily walk this week.

Find Out More: Walking for 11 Minutes a Day May Add Years to Your Life, New Study Says

I wish you all a great week, and if you have any questions or requests for future newsletters, please let me know by emailing! Don't forget to add a recipe review if you try one.

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