Our Top 50 Recipes for Spring
Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Creamy Chive Sauce
Here's a sauce so delicious, it's missing only one thing: a little crunchy bread to dip in it. Make It a Meal: Serve with steamed asparagus or cauliflower, mashed potatoes or orzo pasta, and a glass of Vinho Verde.
Garden Pasta Salad
This lightly dressed pasta salad gets lots of flavor from Kalamata olives and basil. A colorful mix of diced bell pepper, shredded carrot and tomatoes adds vitamins and minerals. Serve on a crisp bed of greens. Toss in canned chunk light tuna, cooked chicken or flavored baked tofu to add protein and make it more substantial.
Chopped Greek Salad with Chicken
Chicken turns this Greek-inspired salad into a substantial main course. Feel free to substitute other chopped fresh vegetables, such as broccoli or bell peppers, for the tomatoes or cucumber. Use leftover chicken, store-roasted chicken or quickly poach a couple boneless, skinless chicken breasts while you prepare the rest of the salad. Serve with pita bread and hummus.
Deviled Eggs with Relish
Deviled eggs are a perennial potluck favorite. Our recipe replaces some of the egg yolks with nonfat cottage cheese--keeping the filling velvety and rich while reducing some of the fat. No one will know the difference.
Baked Mac & Cheese
Mac & cheese can be a true comfort on a gloomy day, and our healthy update takes advantage of extra-sharp Cheddar balanced with creamy low-fat cottage cheese and tucks a layer of spinach into the middle, which may help picky eaters down their vegetables. Whole-wheat pasta adds robust flavor and extra fiber.
Chicken & Asparagus with Melted Gruyere
For this elegant dish, boneless chicken breast and asparagus are smothered in a luxurious white-wine sauce with just the right amount of melted Gruyère cheese. Tarragon and lemon add a delicious light flavor that is perfect with asparagus.
Barbecue Pulled Chicken
This BBQ pulled chicken recipe is a fanciful reinterpretation of pulled pork that slow-cooks chicken in lots of tangy tomato sauce. Have sliced jalapenos, sliced red onions and some sour cream on hand to top this barbecue pulled chicken, which makes a hearty main course. You can turn it into an unbelievable sandwich or serve it on mashed potatoes or even whole-grain spaghetti. Serve with shredded napa cabbage tossed with low-fat mayonnaise, cider vinegar, celery seed and honey to taste.
Country Potato Salad
This updated picnic potato salad gets subtle flavor from smoked ham. If you can find them, small, thin-skinned early potatoes are best in this salad.
Vegetarian Taco Salad
Nobody will miss the meat in this colorful, zesty vegetarian taco salad. The rice and bean mixture can be made ahead and the salad quickly assembled at mealtime. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
Originally made in restaurants with a rich Mornay sauce, chicken divan often featured canned cream of mushroom soup, mayonnaise, sour cream and cheese--tasty, yes, but also loaded with fat and salt. Our revised version has all the flavor of the original with only half the calories and a fraction of the sodium. Use leftover cooked chicken breasts, if you have them on hand, for an even faster dinner.
Garden-Fresh Asparagus Soup
This lemony asparagus soup is spiced with a touch of curry and gets added richness from “lite” coconut milk and creamy red potatoes. Top it with a dollop of crème fraîche or plain yogurt and serve warm or chilled.
Beer-Battered Fish Tacos with Tomato & Avocado Salsa
Lovers of fried fish get the taste without all the calories, and the salsa adds a fresh, clean note. To complete the Baja theme, serve with black beans, some diced mango and a bit of light sour cream.
Chicken with Sugar Snap Peas & Spring Herbs
Quick-cooking chicken cutlets are paired with an elegant but easy light sauce of sugar snap peas and artichoke hearts. This dish can be made without the sprouted beans, but is especially delicious with them--if you have extras, try them on a salad.
Asparagus Salad Topped with Poached Eggs
This asparagus salad topped with poached eggs is satisfying yet light, making it a nice option for lunch, brunch or even dinner with some crusty bread. Roasting brings out a toasty flavor in the asparagus. We like this salad with medium-set poached eggs so the yolks are still a little runny, but poach your eggs for the full 8 minutes if you prefer hard-set yolks.
Enjoy this crunchy, refreshing alternative to mayonnaise-based coleslaw on a taco or on the side.
Perk up your morning oatmeal with the addition of tangy rhubarb. Using milk for this oatmeal gives it a calcium boost, but the recipe also works well with water--and you'll save about 60 calories.
Five-Spice Turkey & Lettuce Wraps
Based on a popular Chinese dish, these fun wraps also make appealing appetizers for entertaining. Make it a meal: Serve with chile-garlic sauce and rice vinegar for extra zip; toss diced mango and strawberries with lime juice for a quick dessert.
Bacon, Egg & Asparagus Pizza
This pizza, topped with bacon, eggs and asparagus, was inspired by a wood-fired-oven pizza served at the Montpelier, Vermont, farmers' market. Serve with: Mixed green salad.
Spring Chicken & Blue Cheese Salad
This main-dish chicken salad has bright flavors of tarragon in a creamy blue cheese dressing with just a touch of sweetness from honey.
Spring Turnip Frittata
Broccoli rabe and turnips are a fantastic pair in this frittata. If you're shy about the broccoli rabe's strong flavor, try this frittata with milder broccolini instead.
Roasted Rhubarb Salad
Rhubarb roasted for just a few minutes is a tart topping for a mixed green salad with raisins, walnuts and goat cheese.
Ham & Cheese Breakfast Casserole
This healthy update of a traditionally rich ham-and-cheese breakfast strata is made lighter primarily by losing a few egg yolks and using nonfat milk. Gruyère cheese has a delicious, nutty aroma and flavor, which means that with the relatively small amount in this recipe you still get a big impact. To finish the makeover use nutritious, fiber-rich, whole-grain bread instead of white. The results: plenty of flavor, half the calories and one-third the fat of the original.
Loaded Spinach Salad
Like many spinach salads, this one features lots of chopped-up hard-boiled egg. But since most of the calories in an egg are in the yolk, this recipe uses just two whole eggs, plus the whites from six additional eggs, for a satisfying spinach salad that keeps the calories in check.
Asparagus, chives and fontina cheese top this easy pizza recipe. Serve with baby greens tossed with vinaigrette and pecans.
Spring Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette
A bold, layered salad that showcases sardines and asparagus, this beautiful dish adds variety to your weekday dining. If you prefer tuna to sardines or have fish from the night before, go ahead and use that instead.
Southwestern Beef & Bean Burger Wraps
Kids and adults alike will love these quick, zippy burgers. The beans make the burgers a little fragile, so be careful when taking them off the broiler pan. Make it a meal: serve a green salad and frozen mango slices for dessert.
This makeover of a Midwestern classic tops layers of lettuce, peas, bell pepper and tomatoes with a creamy, tangy dressing. The salad stays fresh underneath until it's served and gets even better when held overnight.
Chicken & White Bean Salad
Zucchini and celery give this chicken-and-bean salad a nice crunch. We like serving it over a bed of slightly bitter escarole and radicchio, but any type of salad greens will work. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
Grilled Fish Tacos
Instead of deep-frying the fish for these fish tacos, we coat the fish with a flavor-packed chile rub and grill it instead. Make sure the fillets are no more than 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick so they cook quickly. Sometimes flipping fish on the grill can be tricky since the fish can stick to the grill or fall apart. The solution is to invest in a grill basket that easily holds 4 to 6 fish fillets and secures the fish in the basket for easy flipping. If you don't have a grilling basket, make sure the grill is hot and well oiled before adding the fish.
Sun-Dried Tomato & Feta Stuffed Artichokes
Flavorful sun-dried tomatoes and tangy feta add depth to the stuffing for these artichokes.
Great news--crunchy, flavorful fried chicken can be healthy with this oven-fried chicken recipe. We marinate skinless chicken in buttermilk to keep it juicy. A light coating of flour, sesame seeds and spices, misted with olive oil, forms an appealing crust during baking. And with only 7 grams of fat per serving in this oven-fried chicken recipe--rather than the 20 in typical fried chicken--that is good news.
This creamy tortellini and vegetable pasta is a real crowd pleaser. To make it even quicker, use frozen chopped vegetables instead of fresh. Serve with: A green salad and whole-grain baguette.
We've lightened this popular potluck classic with a dressing of reduced-fat mayo and yogurt. To speed preparation, use shredded broccoli slaw from the produce aisle.
Asparagus-Goat Cheese Soufflés
Puffy and warm, these asparagus-goat cheese soufflés are the essence of spring. Serve them alongside a big salad with a tangy vinaigrette for a light supper or a special brunch. Though these are wonderful either way, the addition of truffle oil is spectacular and decadent-tasting.
Spring Chicken & Barley Soup
You might think of barley as an addition to hearty, wintery soups, such as mushroom-barley or beef-barley soup, but it also works well in lighter soups like this one with chicken, asparagus and peas.
Salmon Burgers with Green Goddess Sauce
In this easy salmon burger recipe, ditch the bun and serve the burger over a bed of salad greens topped with a creamy green goddess dressing. The secret to this perfect salmon burger? Handling the fish delicately, seasoning lightly and not overcooking the salmon.
Chilled Strawberry-Rhubarb Soup
Sweet strawberries and tart rhubarb are whirled together in this chilled soup. Serve it as a starter for an early-summer supper.
These raspberry-lemon cupcakes are topped with an easy cream cheese frosting tinted pink with a little raspberry puree. For those unaccustomed to the mildly nutty flavor of whole-wheat flour (used in these cupcakes), the flavor of the raspberry puree swirled into the lemony cake makes the wheat flavor undetectable.
A picnic favorite, this salad combines broccoli, water chestnuts, cranberries and just a little bacon for delicious results. Our version has plenty of creaminess without all the fat. Make it once and it will become a regular on your backyard barbecue menu.
Broccoli, Ham & Pasta Salad
A great make-ahead entree, this lightened-up pasta salad is loaded with broccoli and peppers. Smoky ham and sweet raisins give it plenty of punch. Enjoy the leftovers for a fuss-free lunch. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
Penne alla Primavera
Penne tossed with spring vegetables, such as carrots, morel mushrooms, asparagus, peas and fava beans, along with loads of fresh herbs is a perfect example of Mario Batali's rustic approach to great-tasting Italian food. When both fava beans and morel mushrooms are in season, by all means use them in this recipe. But if you can't find either of those, substitute what looks best. Basic cremini mushrooms will work and frozen lima beans are a good option. Recipe adapted from Molto Gusto by Mario Batali and Mark Ladner (Ecco/HarperCollins Publishers, 2010).
Asparagus & Salmon Spring Rolls
These spring rolls are filled with smoked salmon, tender-crisp asparagus and plenty of fresh herbs. Spring rolls look impressive when you put them out for a party, but they are actually easy to make. To simplify the process, lay out all the ingredients you need to make the rolls near your work surface before you begin.
Roasted Spring Vegetables with Arugula Pesto
These roasted vegetables tossed with arugula pesto are an easy side for a dinner party. Try serving them with a roasted leg of lamb. If you can find beautiful, freshly harvested small carrots, they'll look and taste the best in this dish.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Rhubarb and strawberries go hand in hand, and what better way to honor the combination than in this classic summer pie. The lattice top looks fancy but the technique is super-easy to master.
Lemony Asparagus Pasta
Penne and asparagus are bathed in a rich sauce with a slight bite of mustard, lemon and Parmesan. This dish is lovely in early spring, when asparagus is at its peak and nights are still cool enough to inspire a craving for something rich and warm.
Pulled Pork with Caramelized Onions
Traditional pulled pork is barbecued, which gives it a smoky flavor. But the slow cooker happens to be the absolute easiest way to cook pulled pork--and you can get a hint of smoke by adding chipotle chile. Serve the pulled pork with potato salad, collard greens and grits. Or make it into a sandwich and serve it on a bun with coleslaw.
Spring Salad with Beets, Prosciutto & Creamy Onion Dressing
Tender mixed salad greens (mesclun) from the garden or farmers' market along with baby beets, crispy and salty prosciutto and a creamy dressing make a fabulous salad.
Besides succulent fresh, ripe strawberries, the key to a great strawberry shortcake lies in the quality of the biscuit. And this one is top-notch. These tender, sweet buttermilk biscuits are made with a blend of cake flour and whole-wheat flour and lightened by substituting reduced-fat cream cheese for some of the butter. As a delicately tangy alternative to whipped cream, we use a blend of cream and reduced-fat sour cream.
Claire's Mixed Green Salad with Feta Vinaigrette
This salad was inspired by one served during the peak of summer at Claire's Restaurant & Bar in Hardwick. Chef Steven Obranovich of Claire's likes the soft crumbly sheep's-milk feta for this recipe. He cautions that the subtle briny notes of feta can sometimes be overpowered by too much lemon or an olive oil that's too fruity. Saltiness varies from feta to feta too. Add the ingredients a little at a time and taste as you go.
Asparagus-Mushroom Mini Lasagnas
Although not conventional, wonton wrappers are the perfect stand-in for noodles in this muffin-tin mini lasagna recipe. Once you get the hang of making this healthy vegetarian lasagna recipe in your muffin tin, experiment with different fillings to suit your fancy.