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Spring Produce Guide and Favorite Spring Recipes

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.

collage of spring recipes

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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.

Spring Crops

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?

a basket of spring vegetables
  • Artichokes
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Lettuces
  • Mushrooms
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Rhubarb
  • Spinach

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?

strawberries and lemons on a counter
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons
  • Strawberries
  • Apricots
  • Cherries

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.

It was really eye opening, especially once I started growing my first garden!

Favorite Spring Recipes

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.

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.

To browse all of the arugula recipes, head over to search the Arugula Recipe Category Category.

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.

To browse all of the asparagus recipes, head over to search the Asparagus Recipe Category.

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.

To browse all of the beet recipes, head over to search the Beet Recipe Category.

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.

To browse all of the carrot recipes, head over to search the Carrot Recipes Category.

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!

To browse all of the grapefruit recipes, head over to search the Grapefruit Recipes Category.

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.

To browse all of the leek recipes, head over to search the Leek Recipes Category.

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!

Having a hard time juicing your lemons? Check out these tips how to squeeze the most juice from limes, the same will apply to your lemons!

To browse all of the lemon recipes, head over to search the Lemon, Lemon Juice, or Lemon Zest recipe categories.

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.

To browse all of the lettuce recipes, head over to search the Lettuce Recipe Category.

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.

To browse all of the mushroom recipes, head over to search the Mushrooms Recipe Category.

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.

To browse all of the pea recipes, head over to search the Peas Recipe Category.

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.

To browse all of the radish recipes, head over to search the Radish Recipe Category.

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.

To browse all of the rhubarb recipes, head over to search the Rhubarb Recipe Category.

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!

To browse all of the spinach recipes, head over to search the Spinach Recipe Category.

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.

To browse all of the strawberry recipes, head over to search the Strawberry Recipe Category.

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Tuesday 24th of April 2012

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, 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.