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15 fresh recipe ideas to celebrate spring

Getting through winter calls for a culinary celebration.
Celebrate the start of spring with a vegetable-forward risotto with peas. TODAY illustration / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Spring has sprung and the new season brings with it more sunshine, more opportunities to spend time outdoors and of course plenty of bountiful produce. Whether you're an expert home chef or more of a dabbler, spring is the perfect time to visit a farmers market and try out a new recipe that incorporates healthy and colorful food into your menu. After a winter of comfort foods (which we needed a lot of!) and hearty stews it's time to start thinking fresh and light when it comes to home cooking. Here are 15 recipes that will help you celebrate the start of spring — pair them with a beautiful glass of rosé or some fresh limeade to toast to a happy and healthy season.

Grilled Asparagus

Grilled Asparagus

Asparagus is one of those healthy greens that's so easy to cook with just a little EVOO, salt and pepper. This recipe is perfect with a zest of lemon over the top.

Spring Frittata with Asparagus and Artichokes

Get cracking on this flavorful frittata, which practically screams spring! It highlights some of April's A+ offerings — asparagus and artichokes — which pack in fiber and a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Sheet-Pan Greek Shrimp with Asparagus, Tomatoes and Olives

Oregano, mint and asparagus round bring a spring vibe to salty feta, Greek olives and shrimp — and it all comes together on the same sheet pan!

Spaghetti with Pea Pods and Lemon

Spaghetti with Pea Pods and Lemon

This light pasta dish is the perfect springtime dinner — you can use fresh or frozen peas and sub out any shape of pasta you prefer. Some crushed red pepper flakes give it a little kick and you can season it with chopped mint leaves for a fresh taste.

Springtime Pasta Bake

Springtime Pasta Bake

Springtime Pasta Bake

Alex Guarnaschelli

Chef Alex Guarnaschelli says this easy dish has "springtime vibes galore." Sub out the asparagus and zucchini for any quick-cooking spring vegetable, such as snow peas, snap peas and green beans.

Sheet-Pan Chicken with Ramps, Lemon and Smashed Garlic

This super simple sheet-pan chicken utilizes the garlicky, onion flavor of ramps, smashed garlic and lemon slices to infuse the chicken with these flavors, while the chicken drippings, in turn, season the rest of the dish. The lemon rinds will become soft and edible and the garlic soft and spreadable.

Sautéed Baby Artichokes with Buttery Pan Sauce

Fresh artichokes are a staple of spring and once you get the hang of trimming them you'll be a star in the kitchen with this delectable dish. This recipe calls for buttery sauce but artichokes are also delightful with aioli, garlic butter or hollandaise.

Valerie Bertinelli's Sheet-Pan Baked Salmon

Spring has us thinking about lighter meals (and lighter clothes) and this recipe delivers with lots of flavor. Although using fresh herbs makes it feel fancy, the clean-up is so quick with this one pan dish that you'll definitely put it into your weekly rotation.

Chicken Thighs with Ramps, Peas and Mushrooms

If you've never cooked with ramps you're in for a treat — these babies grow during spring and taste like a perfect mix of garlic and onion. This dish has juicy chicken thighs that provide balance to the light spring veggies. Hot tip: for a great sear on the chicken thighs, cook them without moving them around too much.

Faker Spring Pea Risotto

Faker Spring Pea Risotto

Instead of fresh peas, this recipe calls for a puree of thawed frozen peas to infuse their flavor throughout the rice. Garnish with fresh pea shoots for the perfect presentation.

Roast Chicken with Fava Bean and English Pea Salad

Fava beans and peas scream spring and this lovely dish is just the thing to celebrate the vernal equinox. Make two of these chickens at once so you'll have leftovers.

Herby Rigatoni with Toasted Pine Nuts and Dates

Nothing says spring like bright, flavorful herbs. This recipe is a fun change of pace to traditional pasta recipes. It is the perfect combination of herby, nutty, sweet and salty and it is sure to be on rotation in your household.

Easy Ricotta Gnocchi with Peas, Parmesan and Mint

This easy gnocchi recipes is served with a lemon-butter sauce, peas, parmesan and mint, embracing the bright flavors of spring.

This recipe is a fun take on a classic carbonara that celebrates the fresh flavors of spring. This is a fabulous weeknight dinner using pantry staples that comes together quickly while still feeling special.

Black Pepper Shrimp Lettuce Wraps

Tender, baby lettuces are a springtime treat — and there's nothing fresher and simpler than using lettuce wraps for easy weeknight meals. With just enough kick to make it interesting, these shrimp are incredibly easy and can then be added into so many other dishes.