Spring Recipes: Make the Most of Food in Season!

Our Favorite Recipes Using Fresh Spring Produce

March 2, 2021
Dandelion Pesto

Dandelion Pesto


Celebrate spring! Look for these seasonal ingredients showing up in your local market or garden—asparagus, peas, rhubarb, and even fiddleheads and dandelion blossoms. Make these recipes to greet spring in a delightful and delicious way.

The first day of spring arrives with the vernal equinox! Finally, green things are growing and there is truly fresh produce to enjoy. Below are recipes based on harvest dates of crops across North America.

Why eat fresh? Eating food at its peak means: better flavor, more nutrition, lower costs, safer food, and a better Earth!  Put spring produce on your grocery list!

    Asparagus Recipes

    Asparagus IS spring to many of us. To keep that bright green color, don’t overcook asparagus; pull the stalks out of the cooking water straight into an ice bath. See how to grow asparagus.

    Asparagus Tart

    Credit: Sam Jones/Quinn Brein

    Spring Risotto With Scallops and Asparagus

    Credit: Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Asparagus Soup


    Asparagus Frittata

    Credit: zi3000/Shutterstock

    Asparagus Hummus With Pita Chips

    Credit: Nataliya Arzamasova Shutterstock

    Asparagus Vinaigrette Salad

    Credit: Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Fiddlehead Recipes

    Fiddleheads are the first wild edible of spring but only last a few weeks. They are the furled fronds of the young ostrich fern, harvested for use as a vegetable. They make great pickles and a delicious vegetable side dish. 

    Look for fiddleheads in local farmers’ markets. If you forage, fiddleheads are the very top of a young ostrich fern and must be picked before unfurling. Forage with an expert and know exactly what you’re looking for; fiddleheads of most other ferns are toxic and there are a few species that look similar to the ostrich fern when young.

    Dijon Fiddleheads

    Credit: Elena Elisseeva Shutterstock

    Risotto With Fiddleheads and Morels

    Credit: Brian Douglas/ChefSteps

    Cream of Fiddleheads Soup

    Credit: bangordailynews.com

    Pea Recipes

    Fresh peas at the market herald spring’s arrival. Peas add a beautuiful green color and delicate taste to any dish, plus they’re packed with nutrients. If you’ve ever had peas raw in the garden, there’s nothing like peas right after they’ve been picked before they turn to starch. Nature’s candy! See more about growing peas.

    Gingered Beef, Snow Peas, and Carrots


    Green Pea Walnut Pesto

    Credit: Lori Pedrick

    Peas and Egg Fried Rice


    Cream of Green Pea Soup

    Credit: Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Papa’s Sugar Pea and Veggie Medley

    Credit: Lori Pedrick

    Lemony Asparagus and Spring Pea Salad


    Broccoli Recipes

    By any conventional standards, broccoli is a nutritional superhero. It’s not just low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals. See how healthy broccoli is! Cook lightly to retain nutrients and maximum flavor. Broccoli can also be grown at home. See our broccoli growing guide.

    Creamy Broccoli Carrot Salad


    Broccoli and Cheddar Strata


    Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo


    Cream of Broccoli Soup

    Credit: Sam Jones

    Cooking Greens (Chard, Kale, Mustard, Collards, Dandelions)

    Spring Tonic, using the early greens of spring, may be just the thing you need to get through this month! The trick to enjoying dandelion greens? Harvest them young with their underground crowns attached, and clean them well. Use them as you would spinach, in salads or soups. One thing to know about dandelions is that they are an important spring flower for bees, so you should only take a small amount from multiple areas. Learn more about cooking with dandelions as well as foraging dandelions.

    Fried Dandelion Blossoms

    Credit: Lyudmila Mikhailovskaya/shutterstock

    Dandelion Pesto

    Credit: Quanthem Shutterstock

    Dandelion Jelly

    Credit: minadezhda/shutterstock

    Rhubarb Recipes

    Ah, rhubarb! Sign of spring. We love their bright, tart flavor! Some folks like to sweeten rhubarb with strawberries. Pick rhubarb when the stalks are about 12 to 18 inches long. Don’t eat the leaves, which contain oxalic acid (an irritant). See how to grow rhubarb.

    Rhubarb Muffins


    Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie


    Easy Rhubarb Sauce


    See more Rhubarb Recipes!

    Salad Greens Recipes

    After a long winter, don’t we all live for fresh, tender salad greens! Whether you love romaine or arugula, enjoy these cool-season young leaves when they’re at their freshest. Lettuce is very easy to grow from seed; stagger your plantings every few weeks for a continual harvest. See how to grow lettuce

    Kale Salad With Cranberries


    Pasta With Greens and Feta


    Confetti Salad

    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Beet Salad With Beet Greens

    Credit: Sam Jones/Quinn Brein

    Spinach Recipes

    Spinach is an iron-rich superfood that must be part of your repertoire. In the spring, spinach appears brighter and greener, and we think the tender leaves are more tasty in the springtime. Baby spinach, which is harvested before it’s mature, is especially delicate. See how to grow spinach.

    Spinach Pie

    Credit: Sam Jones/Quinn Brein

    Spinach-Stuffed Tomatoes

    Credit: Sam Jones/Quinn Brein

    Chicken Spinach Salad 

    Credit: Sam Jones/Quinn Brein

    Rosemary Chicken With Spinach

    Credit: Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Browse the Recipe Search on our cooking page for more recipe ingredients!


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    Another article without the

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    I use my canoe to go to my

    I use my canoe to go to my favorite fiddlehead spot. I hate cleaning the brown covering off the green gems so I made my own cleaning devise. I took a 5 gallon pickle bucket with a lid and drilled as many holes (1/2 inch wood bit) in the top, bottom, and sides as I could. I Attached a short rope to the closed bucket full of fiddleheads and dragged behind the canoe on my way back from my harvest. All cleaned. If you don't have a boat or canoe find a waterfall to clean your fiddleheads. Enjoy!

    My Mom used to love them as a

    My Mom used to love them as a snack, steamed and with butter on them... yummy.

    I tried fiddleheads last

    I tried fiddleheads last year. They take a little work to clean and blanche, but they were an interesting side to a brunch of egg nests and smoked salmon.