18 Spring Dinners in Three Steps or Less

Chile-Lemon Shrimp Rolls
Photo: Johnny Autry

Freshen up your dinner rotation with these tasty spring dishes. Each recipe features in-season produce like asparagus, kale, spinach and peas, and with only three steps or less, these evening meals are especially easy to prepare. Recipes like our Creamy One-Pot Orecchiette with Sausage & Peas and Chile-Lemon Shrimp Rolls are satisfying and delicious dinners that are simple to make.

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Creamy One-Pot Orecchiette with Sausage & Peas

One-Pot Orecchiette with Sausage & Peas
Photographer / Brie Passano, Food Stylist / Annie Probst

This easy one-pot pasta recipe earns the title "creamy" thanks to the addition of sour cream and Parmesan, which combine to create a savory cheese sauce that clings to the orecchiette, peas and sausage. The best part about this recipe is that it only requires one vessel to cook everything—pasta included. By using the exact amount of liquid you need to cook the pasta, the starch that usually gets drained off with your pasta water stays in the pot, adding even more creaminess. If you like spicy but not too spicy, use a mix of sweet and hot Italian sausages.

02 of 18

Copycat Chick-fil-A Kale Salad

Copycat Chick-fil-A Kale Salad
Jacob Fox

This copycat Chick-fil-A kale salad has a sweet and tangy dressing coating tender kale and cabbage leaves that have been gently massaged. This salad can sit for an hour or two; just be sure to toss it before serving to redistribute the dressing.

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Chile-Lemon Shrimp Rolls

Chile-Lemon Shrimp Rolls
Johnny Autry

Precooked shrimp gets these lobster-roll-inspired sandwiches on the table in a flash. The shrimp salad travels well—pack it up for a picnic with the buns and lettuce stored separately.

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Lemony Linguine with Spring Vegetables


Instead of cooking pasta in a huge pot of water, here we use just 3 1/2 cups for this one-pot pasta recipe. When the pasta is al dente, most of the water has evaporated and the bit that's left is thickened with the starch that cooks off the pasta. With just a few add-ins like lemon and Parmesan cheese you have a delicious silky sauce. Want to use up your veggie stash in the freezer? Swap in 8 ounces frozen spinach for fresh.

05 of 18

Cheesy Asparagus-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Cheesy Asparagus Stuffed Chicken

These tender and cheesy asparagus-stuffed chicken breasts are perfect for spring when asparagus is at its best. Tarragon blends well with the creamy filling of herby cheese spread and melted havarti.

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One-Pot Lentils & Rice with Spinach


This hearty vegan dish gets its earthy flavor from cumin and brown rice. If you can handle extra heat, try doubling the crushed red pepper for a bigger punch of flavor.

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Lemon Shrimp & Orzo Salad

Lemon Shrimp & Orzo Salad

Consider making a double batch of this easy pasta salad--it's delicious the next day. The orzo will absorb the dressing as it sits, so add a little more olive oil and lemon juice if you'd like.

08 of 18

Turkey Burgers with Spinach, Feta & Tzatziki


Creamy tzatziki and crisp sliced cucumber add a refreshing twist to this easy burger recipe loaded with feta and spinach. No tzatziki? No problem! Make your own at home by combining plain strained yogurt with a squeeze of lemon, dill and finely chopped cucumber.

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Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce

Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Jason Donnelly

These chicken lettuce wraps are crunchy, light and perfect for a flavorful meal. The sweet, anise-like flavor of Thai basil pairs well with the bold taste of the peanut sauce, but regular basil—or even mint or cilantro—works well too.

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Steak, Pepper & Sugar Snap Stir Fry


Turn to this beef stir-fry recipe for a quick and easy dinner. The tender, spicy steak is cooked in the same wok or skillet as the crisp, colorful vegetables and smells divine as the dish is cooking.

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Strawberry Chicken Salad with Mint & Goat Cheese


Fresh mint appears twice here: finely chopped mint in the dressing and whole mint leaves in the strawberry chicken salad, tossed with tender greens.

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Creamed Spinach-Stuffed Salmon


For this easy baked salmon recipe, we've stuffed salmon fillets with a luscious creamed spinach mixture for a main and side in one dish. It all adds up to a healthy dinner that's elegant, simple and delicious--and ready in 30 minutes. Wider fillets work best for this salmon recipe because they're easier to stuff than the skinny ones. You could also serve the creamed spinach on the side if you don't feel like stuffing the salmon.

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Slow-Cooker Bean, Kale & Barley Soup

Slowcooker Bean Kale and Barley Soup in a ladle

Beans and kale are packed into each bite of this hearty slow-cooker soup. Barley adds a chewiness to provide texture, while dried mushrooms lend an earthiness and depth. Finishing with acidic lemon juice brightens the flavors.

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Creamy Lemon-Basil Chicken

a recipe photo of the Creamy Lemon-Basil Chicken served in a skillet
Photographer: Jen Causey, Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn

This ultra-quick creamy lemon-basil chicken is bright and refreshing. Using whole lemon slices in the sauce gathers the essential oils from the rind plus the acidic punch from the flesh and adds more depth of flavor than juice and zest alone.

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Spaghetti with Baked Brie, Mushrooms & Spinach

Spaghetti with Baked Brie, Mushrooms & Spinach
Brie Passano

Melted Brie cheese coats pasta and roasted veggies in this rich vegetarian pasta dish. White balsamic vinegar adds tang and a hint of sweetness in this easy weeknight dinner.

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Shrimp Risotto with Asparagus

Wild Rice Risotto with Shrimp & Spring Vegetables
Dera Burreson

Asparagus, snap peas and a touch of lemon zest bring fresh spring flavor to this riff on classic risotto made with a whole-grain rice blend.

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Chicken & Broccoli Curry with Turmeric Brown Rice


When students in Georgia were challenged to use local ingredients to come up with a creative dish that could be easily made in cafeterias, this recipe was a finalist. The kids wanted to cook their rice in milk with turmeric to give it a creamy texture and golden color, but they swapped in rice milk to keep the dish dairy-free. Regular milk works just as well. Adapted from Georgia Farm to School.

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Grilled Salmon with Kale Sauté


In this healthy dinner recipe, salmon fillets are seasoned with a zesty dry rub, grilled and served with a simple side--lemon-seasoned sautéed kale and shallots. Sometimes simple is best!

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