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31 Flexible May Dinner Ideas to Make With What You Have

Normally, we’d tell you to make a beeline to the farmers market for some gorgeous, in-season produce. But hey, we won’t judge if you’d rather lean on whatever’s in your pantry. Either way, you can still enjoy all that spring cooking has to offer this month, whether you’re craving refreshing salads or hearty skillet meals. Presenting 31 easy dinner recipes to make in May that are timely, flexible and foolproof.

70 Spring Dinner Ideas to Celebrate the Season


May 1: Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad Stuffed Peppers

These beauties are usually reserved for picnic season, but we won't tell if you kick it off a little early this year. After all, they'll only take you 30 minutes to put together (hooray for rotisserie chicken).

May 2: One-pot Tomato Basil Pasta

Once you've nailed the one-pot pasta method, you can customize the recipe to your heart's content. Start with veggies that can be simmered, like tomatoes, and add crispy or fresh elements, like leafy greens, just before serving.

May 3: Split Pea Soup With Balsamic Vinegar

'Tis the season for split pea soup, but this one's a far cry from the bland, mushy kind you might be used to. Each bowl is finished with sour cream, balsamic vinegar, lemon-parsley mojo and homemade chili oil.

May 4: 30-minute Breakfast Hash With Kale And Sweet Potatoes

Breakfast for dinner? Don't mind if we do. This healthy hash checks all the right boxes: It's nutritious, satisfying (8 grams of protein per serving, y'all), easy on the eyes and cooks up in one pan.

May 5: Roasted Salmon Tacos

Save the ground beef for another day and celebrate Cinco de Mayo with roasted salmon tacos instead. It's the grilled pineapple salsa (and the cashew-lime crema...) for us.

May 6: Alison Roman’s Swordfish With Crushed Olives And Oregano

Can't find swordfish? Any firm white fish, like Alaskan pollock, halibut or cod, can take its place. You could even use chicken, if you'd prefer.

May 7: Caramelized Mushroom Pasta With Crispy Prosciutto

Sure, mushrooms are divisive. But this savory pasta is tasty enough to convert even the staunchest shroom haters. Crown your plate with crispy shards of prosciutto and all the shaved Parm.

May 8: Skillet Roast Chicken With Shmaltzy Potatoes

Because your mom deserves a gorgeous, buttermilk-brined bird on her special day. Who knew a Mother's Day dinner this fancy could be made with only six ingredients?

May 9: Aran Goyoaga’s Niçoise Salad

Aka an ideal opportunity to clean out the produce that's taken up residence in your crisper drawer. Even the mustardy dressing can be riffed on.

May 10: Whole-wheat Feta Tart With Caramelized Onions And Herbs

The crust is made with whole-wheat flour, but since it's mixed by hand and pressed into the pan, you could really use any type of flour you have. (Psst: The tart is a great opportunity to transform wilted herbs.)

May 11: Joanna Gaines’s Weeknight Salmon With Baby New Potatoes And Dill

We're not sure what we love most about sheet pan dinners: that you can switch up the ingredients as you please, or that there's barely any cleanup.

May 12: Broccoli Margherita Pizza

Broccoli is the new cauliflower. (Of course, if all you have is cauliflower, you could use that instead.)

May 13: 20-minute Burrata Salad With Stone Fruit And Asparagus

Bring on the fresh produce. Think decadent balls of burrata, halved cherries, peaches and plums atop a bed of crisp sugar snap peas and tender asparagus.

May 14: Fusilli With Pesto And Green Beans

Wanna learn to make pesto like Giada De Laurentiis? The sauce calls for pine nuts, fresh basil and a ton of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Even your kids won't mind the extra veggies—trust.

May 15: Camarones Al Mojo De Ajo

What takes 15 minutes to cook and 30 seconds to devour? Shrimp in garlic butter, an old-school Mexican dish that's begging for a spot in your weekly rotation. You're only four ingredients away...

May 16: Squash And Squash Blossom Frittata

Frittatas are an excellent way to use up a farmers market haul or get rid of leftovers. Can't find squash blossoms? No big deal; they're mostly for looks anyway.

May 17: Chicken Pesto Focaccia Sandwiches

Want an excuse to flex your 2020 bread-baking skills? Look no further. (Or, save yourself the work by using store-bought focaccia.)

May 18: Green Goddess Pasta

It's sort of like pesto, but this particular combination of herbs (tarragon! basil! chives!), spinach and garlic make it more reminiscent of the namesake dressing. Pass the ricotta, please.

May 19: Mustardy Pork Tenderloin With Grapes And Red Onions

Give the underrated protein new life with the help of this saucy, balanced recipe. The grapes turn soft, sweet and jammy as they roast, making them the ultimate match for zingy mustard and sharp red onions.

May 20: Cheater’s Tortellini En Brodo

You're only 20 minutes and five ingredients away from this soul-soother. The key to the broth's deep flavor is simmering a Parmesan rind in the chicken stock.

May 21: Easy Green Chicken Enchiladas

Thanks to our all-time favorite shortcut—a store-bought rotisserie chicken—only 40 minutes stand between you and this one-pan stunner. We'll bring the margs.

May 22: Asparagus, Pea And Ricotta Tarts

We piled two of our favorite spring veggies onto a layer of lemony ricotta cheese and a pillow of flaky puff pastry. And yes, we'll indeed be having them for dinner, thank you very much.

May 23: Sheet-pan Chicken Shawarma With Lemon-tahini Drizzle

Shawarma is more about the spices than the veggies, and the good news is you probably have most of them in your cabinet already. The mix of cumin, cinnamon, paprika and cayenne is nothing short of magical.

May 24: Leftovers Frittata

Behold: The most flexible, forgiving recipe of all time. Let this skillet main be a new home for any past-their-prime veggies, leftover proteins, neglected grains and forgotten cheeses in your fridge.

May 25: 15-minute Mezze Plate With Toasted Za’atar Pita Bread

Come spring, we'll jump at any opportunity to nosh on artichokes. And this mélange of snacks and spreads is arguably our favorite way to indulge. All you have to do is toast and season the pita—the rest is as simple as opening a jar.

May 26: Potato-chip Crusted Chicken With Arugula Pesto

There are so many ways to enjoy this dish: on a roll, topped with greens, with or without cheese. But if we’re being honest, we’re in it for the potato chips.

May 27: Balsamic Brown Butter Tortellini With Spinach And Hazelnuts

Chic enough to serve at a dinner party, simple enough to whip up on a weeknight. (We're talking a meal for six in 20 minutes, people.)

May 28: Teriyaki Salmon Bowls

Picky kids (and adults) will have nothing bad to say about the sweet-and-tangy sauce. Lean on store-bought teriyaki if you must, but the homemade version will only take you 30 minutes (and last up to a month in the fridge).

May 29: Sweet-and-sour Pork Skewers With Pineapple

It goes without saying that grilling is a must come Memorial Day weekend. Char skewers of juicy pork tenderloin and cubed pineapple on the grates before topping them with sweet-and-sour sauce and chopped scallions. (Oh, and we've got your back if you need help cutting the pineapple.)

May 30: Black Rice Bowl With Figs, Radicchio, Pickled Radishes And Pepitas

We'd be remiss to forget radishes in this month's spring-inspired lineup. Here, they're served pickled, offering a zippy, acidic foil to the candied pepitas and creamy labneh.

May 31: Vietnamese-style Summer Rolls

Equal parts light, refreshing and filling, these rice noodle-filled rolls boast protein-packed shrimp, veggies, fresh herbs and a tangy dipping sauce.


For even more great recipes, check out our first cookbook, Only the Good Stuff.