Welcome spring with the Ultimate Spring Produce Guide – it will tell you everything you need to know about what is in season this during the spring, cooking with spring ingredients, and plenty of spring recipes to try.
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Spring is almost here! Officially, the first day of spring is March 20th. However, in typical Colorado fashion we have already had several spring like days, followed by a massive snowstorm with blizzard conditions last weekend.
Like every year, we’ll continue to enjoy the beautiful spring days as they come and look forward to them returning during our spring snows, usually until around Mother’s Day.
I have very much been enjoying the changes in the food served on our table these last few weeks and that I’ve started my spring gardening. And who could say no to the light lasting longer in the evening?
Is anyone else ready to bid farewell to root vegetables and hearty meals in favor of lighter, fresher-tasting fruits and vegetables? Me! Me! I always love and truly appreciate spring produce and eating my favorite recipes after month of winter vegetables.
While these spring crops are a general list of the produce that’s in season during the spring months, many crop’s harvest dates depend on your state or region’s weather. So, be sure to check your state’s specific seasonality if you plan to shop local.
What Vegetables are in Season in Spring?
In spring, you’ll find the early vegetables that can tolerate a colder climate when growing like asparagus, rhubarb, peas, onions, and a variety of greens.
What Fruits are in Season in Spring?
Spring can be a tricky time for fruits as many of them don’t start to come in season until the end of the season. But, you’ll find that many of the winter fruits, like citrus, are still in season in the earlier parts of spring when the weather is cold.
Later in spring, you’ll see strawberries popping up in season and plenty of deals at the grocery store. Late spring/early summer will start bringing fruits like apricots and cherries.
Cooking with Spring Ingredients
Years ago when my children were really young, I was among the crowd that thought if it’s in the grocery store, then I can buy it, eat it, and cook with it.
Seasonal ingredients weren’t really something I concerned myself with. I figured that seeing the produce I wanted mostly available year round was just one of our wonderful modern conveniences.
But then I started to pay more attention to the food I was eating and the price the stores were charging. I found that not only do the season’s finest fruits and vegetables offer the best taste, they also cost less.
Taking care to add fresh, in-season produce to my diet maximized my nutrients and added diversity to my meals. It doesn’t take much to make fresh seasonal produce taste great.
As I paid more attention to the variety of produce available each season I realized that spring was not just peas and spinach, but a whole host of other items and many of which I had given nary a though to in the past.
No matter where you get your produce from – the local farmer’s market, your backyard garden, or the grocery store – take advantage of spring’s delicious offerings and fresh flavors.
This is obviously not a a full listing of produce that is available in season during spring, but rather a selection of some of my favorite fruits and vegetables to provide you with a starting point.
Keep reading for TONS of our favorite spring recipes featuring delicious, in season spring produce.
What are your favorite spring fruits and vegetables?
The Ultimate Spring Produce Guide - The Best Seasonal Recipes to Make this Spring
Come check out what's in season during Spring with this Spring Produce Guide, plus learn what to make with all that great seasonal produce!
Favorite Artichoke Recipes for Spring
Did you know that an artichoke is the edible bud from a thistle flower? Artichokes require a lot of prep work, unless you're buying frozen or canned, but they're worth it!
One of my favorite ways to eat them is steamed whole and leaves dipped in aioli. Then, after eating all of the "meat" off the leaves you get to the center - the heart - which is the best part! Artichokes are great in pastas, pizzas, and other dishes, too!
For an easier to prep fresh artichoke, try baby artichokes, They don't have a choke so you won't have to remove that
To browse all of the artichoke recipes, head over to search the Artichoke Recipe Category.
For a fun new lasagna recipe try these Chicken, Artichoke, and Mushroom Lasagna Rolls. Lasagna rolls are attractive, simple to prepare, and so much easier to dish up and serve than a massive layer of lasagna that requires cutting into.
Rosemary White Bean Artichoke Spinach Dip is a remake of the classic recipe so many know and love. In this recipe creamy white cannellini beans and rosemary pair perfectly with artichokes, fresh spinach, and cheese.
Shrimp Scampi with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Artichokes is a great way to feature spring artichokes!
Favorite Arugula Recipes for Spring
Arugula is a peppery green, sometimes referred to as "rocket." When I buy arugula, I usually look for arugula labeled as "baby arugula," because I like the smaller leaves and slightly milder in taste.
Purchase arugula that has dark, crisp green leaves. Brown or yellowing leaves are on their way to spoiling. Also pass on any arugula that looks wilted or has excessive amounts of moisture.
One of the things I love about this green is that it is great served raw, like in a salad, but it also works well in many cooked dishes or in pestos, and even on pizzas. My favorite pizza to make at home lately is sauce, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and prosciutto. When it comes out of the oven, I drizzle it with balsamic and top it with fresh arugula.
Arugula and Chive Baked Egg Cups are great for a springtime breakfast. These particular eggs are baked in a bed of fresh arugula with a bit of olive oil to soften it. Topped them with parmesan and fresh chives.
This Warm Arugula Salad with Quinoa & Goat Cheese is a bright salad that is perfect for lunch or dinner and is loaded with healthy ingredients. Naturally gluten-free and simply delicious, this salad will sure to please your whole family!
I love this recipe for Grilled Cheese with Tomato, Avocado, Bacon, and Arugula! Because sandwiches are very much about personal preference, feel free to use this recipe more as a guideline. If you prefer more cheese or arugula, for example, go ahead and adapt the recipe according to your personal tastes.
It seems like no matter what food we have in the house as long as I have beans and pasta in the pantry I can come up with something tasty and healthy to serve for dinner. Pasta with Arugula, White Beans, Tomatoes, and Sausage is a quick and easy meal for when life gets hectic.
This is the perfect salad to pair with homemade pizza night! A mix of arugula, radicchio and baby kale is tossed with a simple lemon Dijon vinaigrette and topped with crispy prosciutto and fresh shaved parmesan.
Favorite Asparagus Recipes for Spring
Look for medium sized asparagus as the thicker varieties can be tough and woody. Select asparagus spears that are brightly colored, straight, round, and without strong odor. Colors may vary: green, white, or purple. The tips of the asparagus should be tightly closed. Look for asparagus that is uniform in thickness. This will allow for even cooking.
Asparagus is best stored in a jar or vase in the refrigerator with the roots in couple inches of water. Another way to store it that works well, especially if you plan to use it in the next couple of days, is wrapped in a paper towel and in a bag in your crisper drawer. Leave the top of the bag open so excessive moisture doesn't develop as this will spoil the asparagus quickly.
I love a simple roasted asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper, but it tastes great in many other dishes, too.
Roasted Asparagus is drizzled with a tasty lemon walnut dressing for simple, delicious and heart-healthy side dish. With spring getting closer, this Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Walnut Dressing is the perfect addition to your dinner table.
I love this really versatile side dish of Orzo with Peppers and Asparagus, You can serve it hot when it's ready and you can bet the leftovers are exceptional, whether they are served cold or room temp.
Favorite Beet Recipes for Spring
Beets are usually sold with their greens attached. I learned from a friend who grew them last summer that you can eat the greens. She recommend that you wash them, then chop and saute with olive oil, plenty of fresh garlic, and salt and pepper.
If you typically don't like beets, you might like golden beets as they're much milder in flavor. Give them a try! You might be surprised to find you like them.
Dinner just got super quick and easy thanks to this sheet pan meal featuring roasted pork, carrots, golden beets, red onion, Brussels Sprouts, and parsnips.
Favorite Carrot Recipes for Spring
Carrots are probably one of the most versatile and common vegetables. They work well in soups and casseroles, eaten raw for a snack, in salads (shaved, chopped, or grated), cooked by themselves, and in a variety of pickled recipes.
Choose carrots that are firm and deep colored. If the greens are attached, I prefer to remove them for storage because they take up less room that way. Avoid soft spots, cracks, or other typical signs of spoilage.
This recipe for Honey Roasted Carrots with Balsamic is a super simple way to make oven roasted carrots with lots of flavor! Keeping the carrots whole gives this side dish of whole roasted carrots a great presentation on the table! Learn all you need to know about how to roast carrots.
Rather than a traditional Chicken Noodle Soup recipe I decided to make a Lemon Chicken and Orzo Soup because it felt a little more spring-like and perfect for those darn springtime sniffles. You'll enjoy this one no matter the weather.
Carrot Cake Pancakes with White Chocolate Pecan Butter are a fun way to enjoy your breakfast at Easter!
Favorite Grapefruit Recipes for Spring
The whole family loves fresh grapefruit, so I can’t go wrong there. Grapefruit typically comes into season in January and stays seasonal until early summer. For the sweetest grapefruits, look for the Ruby Red variety. Their fruit is a dark pink and much sweeter than white grapefruit, though it still has plenty of tang!
Grapefruit curd is a great basic condiment to have on hand for sweet cravings or the need for a last minute, simple dessert. Or just to add a little brightness to the doldrums of cold spring days. It's also the perfect thing to make when you need to use up leftover egg yolks.
The Poppy Seed Dressing compliments the tangy sweetness of the fruits (including grapefruit), and the nuts add both protein and crunch, making this a really flavorful dish to add to any healthy menu this year.
Buttermilk Poppy Seed Citrus Scones make a tasty springtime scone thanks to the addition of grapefruit zest and a serving of grapefruit curd on top.
Favorite Leek Recipes for Spring
I love substituting leeks for onions in certain recipes. If you haven’t ever tasted a leek before, they are related to the onion and garlic. Leeks look like giant green onions and have a mild onion flavor.
Rather than forming a bulb, like an onion, the leek resembles a stalk or stem. They are composed of many delicate layers that are often full of dirt and sand, so you have to clean them before use. So, check out my Kitchen Tips post on How To Clean Leeks.
When purchasing leeks, look for leeks that have a white stem and are crisp. Leeks that have withered tops, yellowing, or discolored leaves are less fresh and not ideal for using. Pass on any leeks that have mushy areas or look overly mangled.
Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish created mostly from mashed potatoes and cabbage or kale. If you’re looking for a new side dish recipe try, you should give this Colcannon with Leeks and Kale a try.
These Roasted Cauliflower, Bacon, Leek, Mushroom Twice Baked Potatoes are a riff on the traditional twice baked potato. They're loaded with pureed roasted cauliflower, sautéed leeks and crimini mushrooms, bacon crumbles, and sharp cheddar cheese.
A wonderful twist on a potato casserole where the artichokes and leeks are the stars. This is a great little side dish for steak or grilled chicken or even as a vegetarian main dish for Meatless Monday, pair it with a salad or soup.
Spinach and Artichokes are an obviously match in this pizza and both great, spring produce ideas. When I created this recipe, I also I had leeks in the fridge and I like their milder flavor compared to onions, so I threw some of those on for good measure.
This easy Quiche Lorraine recipe features leeks, bacon, and shredded gruyere cheese. A showstopper for any breakfast or brunch and is a classic on many spring menus.
Favorite Lemon Recipes for Spring
You'll find the juiciest lemons from winter and through early summer. When zesting lemons, make sure you wash the exterior first as lemons often have a waxy coating on the outside.
Make sure to look for Meyer Lemons in the grocery store. They're a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange and so are a little sweeter than a traditional lemon. Meyer Lemons are available for a short time and are such a treat!
This Lemon Curd Pavlova is topped with fresh raspberries and is a beautiful springtime dessert. You can make lots of mini pavlovas and serve them individually, or make one large pavlova as a dessert centerpiece.
Chicken is marinated in a tasty honey lemon garlic marinade and then skewered with vegetables before grilling. In this recipe I used peppers, onions, and zucchini, but you can use whatever you have on hand - or just grill the chicken by itself and serve it with another favorite spring dish on the side.
This Greek-Style Chicken Skillet Dinner is a great recipe if you’re going for that lemony roast chicken taste in a fraction of the time. Plus, it is the perfect recipe to illustrate the benefits of using cast iron. You can brown things to your liking on the stovetop and then put that same pan into the oven to finish cooking. Serve it with a side salad and you’re ready to go!
For a super simple dessert, I love this Cheesecake Mousse. Topped with tangy, fresh lemon curd and spring's strawberries, you'll never guess how easy it is to make - and no oven required!
Favorite Lettuce Recipes for Spring
All kinds of lettuce are in season during spring. If you want to grow your own produce, lettuce is a great way to start. I especially like to grow a pot of mixed baby romaine and just cut off what I plan to use as I need it. The lettuce will often keep growing new leaves as I harvest throughout the spring months.
Buffalo Chicken Cobb Salad is a fun twist on the classic Cobb salad. This recipe features buffalo grilled chicken, celery, blue cheese and blue cheese dressing paired with classic ingredients like lettuce, egg, and avocado.
Enjoy that spring lettuce with a good salad dressing! Learn how to make three of my favorite Simple Salad Dressing Recipes: Creamy Balsamic, Honey Mustard, and Lemon Garlic. Each takes less than five minutes to make and is full of flavor! Each dressing recipe serves about 8 (2 tablespoon servings).
These Balsamic Berry Salad Lettuce Cups are the perfect light salad for warmer months. They would also be great served as a healthy a snack or appetizer. If you’d like a light dinner or lunch, try adding a few strips of grilled chicken to the berry mixture.
Favorite Mushroom Recipes for Spring
Mushrooms come in so many varieties. For basic use, you can rely on the standard button mushroom, but don’t forget about baby bella, portabella, crimini, and shiitake mushrooms.
When cleaning mushrooms, don't wash them under the faucet. Instead, wipe any dirt from them with a damp cloth before cooking.
Italian Chicken, Mushroom, and Zucchini Skillet is a super easy dinner recipe for busy school nights. It features pan seared chicken tenderloins, zucchini and sliced mushrooms in garlicky herbed tomato sauce. Such an easy Chicken Skillet Recipe!
Balsamic Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Loaded Baked Potato is a great lighter alternative to the traditional cheese, sour cream, and bacon stuffed spuds. I love the deep flavors of rich caramelized onion and balsamic vinegar.
This Pasta Alfredo with Broccoli and Mushrooms doesn’t contain any fancy ingredients, just good quality basics. It’s not health food, but this Pasta Alfredo with Broccoli and Mushrooms is a lightened version of a favorite and with the added vegetables and whole wheat pasta it feels a little less indulgent.
Switch up your traditional fajita recipe for a meatless version using nutrient-rich portabella mushrooms. Your Taco Tuesday or Cinco de Mayo celebration won't be missing out when it comes to these Vegetarian Fajitas.
One of my favorite, easy ways to prepare mushrooms is this recipe for Balsamic and Thyme Roasted Portabella Mushrooms. These Balsamic and Thyme Roasted Portabella Mushrooms makes a delicious, simple appetizer or side to go with any holiday meal or dinner party.
Favorite Pea Recipes for Spring
Peas are another spring favorite. I especially like sugar snap peas and snow peas. In the last I've grown sugar snap peas - they're really easy and the kids loved pulling them right off the vine when they were little. Sugar Snap Peas are great for snacking!
Fresh peas are best eaten within a couple of days of purchase because they loose sweetness over time.
Tender beef and lots of vegetables (carrots, potatoes, peas, celery, and onion) topped with a delicious soft rosemary potato buttermilk biscuit crust. This dish is perfect for those still cold spring evenings.
This recipe for Slow Cooker Italian Chicken and Noodles is completely perfect for a busy, chilly evening. It takes no time at all to prepare and it absolutely hit the spot as simple comfort food.
Favorite Radish Recipes for Spring
We always plant radishes first in our spring garden because they can handle the cooler temps and they grow quickly, giving you some quick gratification after our sleeping winter yard.
They're great for snacking on - we love them salted or with dips, but they're also great in a variety of recipes. Don't underestimate the power of this tiny, yet mighty, vegetable. It's flavor packs a punch!
While you'll typically see a standard red radish in the grocery store, radishes come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. We love Daikon Radishes (often used in Asian cuisine) and Watermelon Radishes (when sliced, they look like watermelon).
Look for firm radishes free of cracks with bright green tops for freshest results. Radishes are best stored with the tops removed in a container or bag that is perforated.
These cucumber watercress sandwiches are the perfect finger food recipe for a springtime party. Radishes make a nice accent to the sliced cucumbers. I love that this tea sandwich recipe couldn’t be easier to make!
This quick pickled vegetables recipe is so easy – no cooking required! These Vietnamese Bahn Mi inspired vegetables are a great addition to sandwiches, lettuce wraps, and more.
This recipe has daikon, which is a member of the radish family and commonly used in Asian cuisine. Daikon doesn't quite look like your typical radish, however. These are shaped like large white carrots.
Come learn how simple it is to make these quick and easy Asian pickles.
This Bahn Mi Lettuce Wrap Recipe is a healthier, low-carb, gluten-free version of the classic Bahn Mi Sandwich Recipe. Seared Bahn Mi Pork is served in lettuce leaves with plenty of Vietnamese Pickled Veggies (including Daikon Radishes!) and Cilantro Rice for a light and refreshing meal.
This can easily be adapted to be a Pork-Free or Vegetarian Bahn Mi Lettuce Wrap.
Favorite Rhubarb Recipes for Spring
Rhubarb grows in stalks, almost similar in appearance to celery - except that it ranges in color from pale green, to pinkish, to dark red.
It has a tart taste that pairs incredibly well with sweeter fruits, like strawberries. I look forward to spring rhubarb every year! Strawberry Rhubarb Pie is hands down my favorite fruit pie!
When purchasing rhubarb, look for stalks that have a dark red, bright pink or light green color. The stalks should be both shiny and firm. Rhubarb is best stored in your crisper drawer.
Interesting Facts About Rhubarb:
Did you know that redder rhubarb stalks have a slightly sweeter flavor than those that aren't as red?
Rhubarb leaves are poisonous, so you'll always want to discard them, and be careful if you are growing rhubarb and have pets.
When planning for recipes, keep in mind that 1 pound of fresh, uncooked rhubarb equals approximately 3 cups of uncooked rhubarb.
Panna Cotta is a fabulously simple, yet seemingly fancy, dessert recipe. Essentially, it is just gelled sweetened cream, but it tastes so much more than that. Add this delicious strawberry rhubarb compote on top and you have a beautiful and impressive looking springtime dessert.
Years ago when I grew rhubarb I found that it is one of those "garden takeover" plants, so I loved coming up with a new recipe to use it! This lemon cloud tart with strawberry rhubarb compote is the perfect dessert when you need something special, and was great for using up my garden fresh rhubarb.
This Rhubarb Crumb Coffee Cake is a delicious, seasonal spring coffee cake that would be welcome at any brunch gathering. The sweetness of the cake and the tartness of the rhubarb compliment each other perfectly!
Favorite Spinach Recipes for Spring
Like many items in our modern produce departments, spinach is easily available year round, but it's actually in season during spring.
Spinach is really easy to grow and does super well during the spring (and early fall depending on where you live), but it bolts (or goes to seed) really quickly during the hotter summer months.
Spinach tastes great served raw in a variety of salads and has a very mild taste. It offers a lot of nutrients in its vibrant, green leaves and is a great plant-based source of iron.
When cooked, you might find that spinach can take on a sweet and mildly bitter taste. Add spinach to soups or casseroles, egg dishes, and so many more recipes. Spinach is truly an incredibly versatile green thanks to its mild taste.
Purchase spinach that has dark, crisp green leaves. Yellowing leaves are on their way to spoiling.
Pre-packaged spinach is incredibly convenient as it is often pre-washed, but be careful to look for crushed or wilting leaves and always choose the expiration date that is farthest in the future. I find that pre-packaged spinach lasts longer when I transfer it to a container with a folded paper towel to absorb any excess moisture.
Did you know you can freeze spinach? Freezing spinach is really simple, and handy if you would like to have extra vegetables stored in your freezer. Head to my post about How to Freeze Spinach to read about the 4 different ways I like to freeze spinach and several ideas for what to make using your frozen spinach!
This Chorizo Spinach Egg Scramble is a fun way to mix things up for breakfast. Traditional scrambled eggs are combined with fresh spinach, cilantro, and spicy chorizo sausage.
Favorite Strawberry Recipes for Spring
Does spring have you looking forward to sweet, juicy strawberries? It feels like that when strawberries start coming into season you know that the warm weather is on its way to stay.
In season strawberries will be a deep, shiny red color. Look for berries that are plump without blemishes (though you can always cut those out if you need to). Ripe strawberries will have a strawberry scent and be medium in firmness. Hard berries that are partially white are not ripe yet - and berries do not continue to ripen like other fruits once picked.
Because strawberries are so fragile, be careful when storing so they don't bruise, which will only cause them to spoil faster. They're best stored dry and in a container with airflow. Wash just before using so they stay fresher longer as the excess moisture will cause spoiling and mold.
One of the very best ways to enjoy this strawberries this spring is in the form of these Whole Grain Strawberry Oatmeal Muffins. When baked into a muffin, the strawberries become jammy, and gooey, and perfectly delicious!
Popsicles are a great way to beat the heat this summer. They're a fun and easy snack for kids to prepare that doesn't heat up the kitchen or make a lot of mess. Try these Creamy Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles for a fun take on some favorite summer flavors.
Here in Mexico City the concept of cooking with seasonal ingredients is very new. But one only needs to leave the city to get back in time to a place where people eat locally, naturally and in season. What an amazing array of recipes!
Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen
Tuesday 24th of April 2012
This is why I love spring so much, so much great produce!
Rachel @The Henway
Monday 23rd of April 2012
I like asparagus and morel mushrooms in the spring.
2 Sisters 2 Cities
Monday 23rd of April 2012
Just wanted to share a few more spring recipe ideas. Each week at 2sisters2cities.com, we feature our Fresh Produce Tuesday series. Anyone can submit a recipe featuring that week's produce pick. Here is our the current schedule:
Week #1- March 27th: Asparagus
Week #2- April 3rd: Artichokes
Week #3- April 10th: Spring Onions
Week #4- April 17th: Peas
Week #5- April 24th: Garlic Scapes
Week #6- May 1st: Rhubarb
Week #7- May 8th: Fava Beans
Week #8- May 15th: Radishes
Jamie | My Baking Addiction
Monday 23rd of April 2012
Love this round-up, Katie. Now I just wish the Mother Nature would realize it's Spring! It's so darn cold here still.
I'm Katie, author of GoodLife Eats. Great recipes, family memories, adventures, good reads, and anything else I love is what you will discover here.