When spring arrives, everyone is ready to shrug off those protective winter layers and embrace the season of new beginnings. While this sentiment can apply to many aspects of life (including but not limited to closet organization), the focus here is what’s new on our dinner plates. After enduring late-winter doldrums, there’s just something especially exciting about cooking seasonally come springtime. A lot of what is on offer this time of year is of the green and delicate variety, such as fresh herbs like chives and cilantro, sugar snap peas, and asparagus, which stars with chicken sausage and cheesy grits in the fast dinner shown here. Perhaps another reason why we love seasonal spring recipes is that the influx of lighter, brighter things to eat not only matches the better weather, but our sunnier dispositions, too.
Why do we love quick dinners for spring? Now that the sun is shining and the sky is staying brighter, we all want to spend more time enjoying the good weather and less time feeling beholden to a long and fussy recipe. To ensure your meals come together without sacrificing on flavor or health, we’re highlighting recipes that feature fast-cooking. Asparagus, which takes mere minutes to go from snappy to crisp-tender, is one prime example. There are also a few recipes that feature the heartier produce dug up in early spring, like buttery baby potatoes and sweet, earthy carrots—we’ve just found faster ways to prepare them, like through steaming or slicing them thinly before cooking.
It’s time to spring into a fresh, new season, so press fast-forward with these recipe ideas that trade slow-and-low winter cooking for recipes that are quick, fiery, and take just 30 minutes or less to prepare. Whether you’re in the mood for a stir-fry with beef and asparagus or want to try a one-pot penne with shrimp and feta, set your timer and have your dinner mates set the table because the food will be ready before you know it.