When you’re trying to eat more seasonally, it’s helpful to have a short guide to what’s at its best, when! In this produce guide, we’re showcasing 10 fruits and veggies that shine in the springtime. You’ll learn about the health benefits of each and find more than 100 recipes to inspire you to use seasonal spring produce in your own kitchen. Happy shopping, happy eating!

White tray surrounded by produce, with letters

I’ve written before about how I’ve enjoyed paying more attention to what foods are in season, and letting that guide grocery shopping and meal planning for our home. There’s a lot to love about eating seasonally:

  • Eating foods at their peak, when they’re freshest and most flavorful.
  • Saving money. In most major metro areas, it’s possible to buy almost any food, any time, but you pay a premium. When you shop in season, you save.
  • Taking advantage of local farmers markets and CSAs. This is a wonderful way to shop, and really goes hand-in-hand with a more seasonal approach to eating.

Spring is officially underway, and is such a wonderful time to embrace seasonal eating. We persevered through winter on leafy greens and citrus fruits, but in spring most of us have far more locally grown options and a real burst of color and flavor. Just what the doctor ordered!

Read on to discover 10 fruits and veggies that shine in the springtime and more than 100 recipe ideas to help you use them!

Spring Produce Guide: Artichokes

Hot Crab Dip Stuffed Artichokes from Fox and Briar

Artichokes can be intimidating – all those pointy spears! But they’re also delicious and ready vehicles to steam, stuff, braise, or roast to your heart’s content. Plus, they’re packed with antioxidants and fiber, low in calories, and high in protein, as veggies go.

Canned or jarred artichokes are always an option and work beautifully in many recipes, especially dips and spreads. All the same, cooking with fresh artichokes is rewarding and just plain fun, so pick one up at the farmers market or grocery store and give it a try! The peak season for artichokes is March through May. (source, source, source)

Artichoke Recipes

Spring Produce Guide: Asparagus

Skillet filled with lemon asparagus shrimp pasta.
Lemon Asparagus Pasta with Shrimp and Pistachios

Asparagus is one of my absolute favorite spring produce finds! I really came to appreciate it after living for three years in Belgium, where you simply couldn’t buy green asparagus outside of its peak spring season. White asparagus was more widely available, but I personally never got on board with that. 😉

Roast it, grill it, add it to pasta, or mix with a protein to round out a quick skillet meal. Asparagus has essentially no calories, but is rich in fiber, folate, and vitamins A, C, E, and K, with a bevy of other health benefits. (source And you know it’s delicious wrapped in bacon or prosciutto!

Asparagus Recipes

Spring Produce Guide: Avocado

Spicy Tuna Stuffed Avocado from Salt and Lavender

Few of us need much convincing to embrace the avocado! Avocado has been on trend for several years now, and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere soon. Thank goodness!

Fun fact: avocado is a fruit, specifically a berry! An avocado is packed with healthy fats; carotenoids, which can boost eye health as you age; and more than 20 vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. (source, source, source) Avocados are relatively high in calories, but because many of the calories come from those healthy, monounsaturated fats, they keep you feeling full longer – always useful. So make me some avocado toast and pass the guac!!

Avocado Recipes

Spring Produce Guide: Broccoli

Creamy Garlic Parmesan Broccoli and Bacon from Cafe Delites

Broccoli is one of those veggies that is more or less always available, but generally the plants prefer cooler temperatures, so it’s a perfect early spring option. (source) It’s high in fiber, protein, and a whole array of vitamins and minerals, including folic acid. (source) It also happens to be extremely versatile – and always delicious with cheese – so you won’t hear me complaining about its extended availability.

Broccoli Recipes

Spring Produce Guide: Fennel

Shaved fennel and celery salad.
Shaved Fennel and Celery Salad from Platings and Pairings

I must admit that fresh fennel has yet to grace the pages of this blog, and I’ve only cooked with it once or twice! Maybe this is the year I change that? I keep dried fennel seeds in the pantry to flavor Italian sauces and the occasional pork tenderloin, but the fresh stuff generally eludes me.

I can’t say why – it’s not a mystery food by any means. Fennel belongs to the carrot family, and looks a little bit like a cross between an onion and base of celery, where all the stalks come together. It typically adds a light, bright, spring-like flavor to a dish, and could be roasted, braised, or just sliced raw into a salad or slaw. (source) It can have a slight licorice taste, so bear that in mind as you experiment!

Fennel Recipes

Spring Produce Guide: Fresh Herbs

Close-up of pistachio herb salmon with a basil garnish.
Pistachio and Herb-Crusted Pan-Seared Salmon

Using fresh herbs is one of the simplest ways to go from everyday to gourmet. Most of us are probably accustomed to seeing herbs as a garnish, but they can also play a starring role. And, hello – pesto and chimichurri! Herbs are the backbone of these and other amazing sauces that keep well in the fridge and are essentially magic shortcuts to fresh, delicious meals.

Herbs are so fragrant and delicious, it’s easy to forget that they also have health benefits in their own right. For instance, I recently read that oregano has four times the antioxidant power as blueberries! (source) If you’d like to read more about cooking with fresh herbs, you can find a great reference from The Food Network here, and more ideas here at Nutritious Life.

Recipes with Fresh Herbs

Spring Produce Guide: Peas

Spring sugar snap pea salad with arugula, carrots, radishes, mint, basil, and Buffalo mozzarella cheese.
Spring Sugar Snap Pea Salad with Buffalo Mozzarella

Peas come in many varieties, but they’re all good and good for you! OK, admittedly I was a skeptic as a child, but since then I’ve come full circle. Frozen peas are a great staple for a quick and easy weeknight veggie, but come spring time, we have the added bonus of finding sugar snap, garden, and snow peas in the markets, and that just makes a good thing even better.

Peas are a starchy vegetable, and serve as a good source of fiber, protein, and vitamin A. They also have antioxidants as well as iron. (source) Who knew? All reasons I am extra happy that peas are the latest veggie my three-year-old has started to eat. Progress! 🙂

Spring Peas Recipes

Spring Produce Guide: Radishes

Creamy Cucumber Radish Salad from Natasha’s Kitchen

Radishes are another veggie I’ve only cooked with once or twice – although I do love them on a veggie tray with some white bean dip! They’re incredibly pretty, though, and, like so many veggies, delicious when roasted. So I’m setting my mind to try at least one or two new radish recipes this spring.

Radish Recipes

Spring Produce Guide: Rhubarb

Strawberry rhubarb oat crumble bars.
Strawberry Rhubarb Oat Crumble Bars

Rhubarb is quintessentially associated with spring, and while it’s most commonly thought of as a pairing with strawberries in crumbles, pies, or other desserts, it has a multitude of other uses, also. I mean, rhubarb BBQ sauce – hello! I’m craving that on some ribs for Memorial Day weekend!

Rhubarb looks a bit like pink celery, and its stalks are nearly always cooked in some way. You won’t typically see rhubarb sold with its broad, dark green leaves still attached, and for good reason – if eaten in really large quantities, they are toxic! The stalks, in contrast, are nutrient-dense: extremely high in fiber, vitamin K, and calcium – almost as much calcium as spinach and salmon, in fact! (source, source, source)

Rhubarb Recipes

Spring Produce Guide: Strawberries

Detox Strawberry Chicken Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing from Joyful Healthy Eats

Saving the best for last! I doubt many of you need convincing to add strawberries into your diet this spring. But just in case, did you know that strawberries are rich in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants? (source)

While it may be most common to enjoy strawberries as a snack or in desserts, they also make wonderful additions to salads, and can be a fun base for sauces or other components of savory meals. So buy a full flat at your local market if you can, and pick out a new idea to try this year!

Strawberry Recipes

No doubt there is some variety in what foods come into season at what times, depending on exactly where you are located and your produce is sourced. At the end of the day, I simply hope this post gives you – at least the general northern hemisphere-based you – a basic sense of what’s in for spring, and some inspiration to help you cook and eat with the season.

White tray surrounded by produce, with letters

What other foods and recipes do you look forward to enjoying each spring? Let us know in the comments below!