Sure, spring officially starts on the Spring Equinox in March (and believe us, we’re not snubbing that extra hour of daylight that arrives with it), but let’s be real—April is when it feels like spring really begins, right? As we shed our coats, we also start to change over our dinner habits, swapping heavy dishes for lighter ones (but don't worry, we're not giving up the pastas and creamy chicken dishes just yet)—join us! We’ve got 40 recipes to help inspire you to make dinner this April—one for every day of the month, and then some.
One of our favorite parts of spring is all the fresh produce that becomes available, like strawberries, asparagus, and mushrooms. We’ve included a good mix of entirely new recipes featuring the bounty, like our burrata, pea, & prosciutto tortellini, our creamy feta-lemon penne with asparagus, and our strawberry jalapeño chicken, as well as some old classics, like our goddess bowls, our pasta primavera, and our copycat Panera bread strawberry poppyseed salad (new to us, but not to Panera lovers!). Use them all as jumping off points, and sub in whatever you can find at your local farmers' market.
We’re also taking inspiration from the season, and including recipes that are synonymous with April holidays like Passover and Easter. Whether you celebrate religiously or are just into food holidays (us too!), check out our recipes for our vegetarian matzo ball soup, our sheet-pan Easter dinner (seriously genius), our braised lamb shanks, our maple glazed ham steaks, and more to get into a festive holiday mood.
Want more holiday inspiration? Check out our favorite Passover side dishes, Easter treats, Passover desserts, and our Easter appetizers (hot tip: they're wonderful all spring long). Just looking for warm weather inspiration? Check out our favorite spring salads and our best spring soups this April too.
Cabbage Roll Skillet
Cabbage rolls just became a viable weeknight dinner with this quicker to make skillet dinner, which skips the cabbage rolling and gets dinner directly on the table. It’s less work (perfect for an ever-increasingly busy spring), yet the payoff of a comforting home-cooked meal all the same.
Get the Cabbage Roll Skillet recipe.
Strawberry Jalapeño Chicken
Seasoned chicken breast gets pan-seared until golden brown, smothered in a strawberry chipotle sauce, and topped with fresh strawberry-jalapeño salsa to create this playful, bright dish. Sweet-and-spicy lovers, this is bound to become your springtime go-to dinner.
Get the Strawberry Jalapeño Chicken recipe.
Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Salmon & Orzo
The weeknight dinner hall of fame is full of chicken, but we’d argue that salmon deserves a spot too. When you’re in the mood for a one-pan dinner that delivers on the comfort food factor, this recipe with creamy orzo and sun-dried tomatoes is the one to turn to.
Carne Asada Tacos
Sheet-Pan Easter Dinner
Think you don’t have enough time or space to cook Easter dinner? Think again. Featuring cheesy potatoes au gratin, maple-glazed ham, garlicky asparagus, and paprika-spiced carrots, our streamlined version of this notoriously complicated meal is as simple as 2 sheet pans and 30 minutes in the oven.
Get the Sheet-Pan Easter Dinner recipe.
Creamy Balsamic Chicken
If you’re familiar with our chicken piccata, our one-pan chicken & gnocchi, or our creamy Tuscan chicken, you know that for some chicken dishes, it’s ALL about the sauce. This one—with balsamic vinegar, heavy cream, and chicken broth—is a touch sweet, a little tangy, and super-delicious as a full-flavored creamy sauce. It’s so good, we can’t believe we didn’t think of it sooner!
Get the Creamy Balsamic Chicken recipe.
Whatever meatloaf means to you, one thing is for sure: Your go-to recipe should be simple and dependable, but also packed with flavor to keep you (and your family and guests) coming back for more. We tested this recipe again and again to guarantee that this WILL be your new forever go-to, never-fail meatloaf you'll make again and again.
Get the Classic Meatloaf recipe.
Burrata, Pea, & Prosciutto Tortellini
Sliced sugar snap peas are tossed with toasted tortellini, herbs, and plenty of lemon zest, then topped with salty, tender prosciutto and a ball of creamy burrata. Despite all of the rich and decadent ingredients in this dish, the sweet green peas take center stage and make this the ideal springtime pasta to make this April.
Vegetarian Matzo Ball Soup
Cozy and nourishing, we crave matzo ball soup pretty much year-round, though it's a MUST for Passover. Although schmaltz (AKA chicken fat) and chicken broth are typically included in this classic Ashkenazi Jewish soup, it’s not hard to swap in vegetarian-friendly ingredients.
Get the Vegetarian Matzo Ball Soup recipe.
Mexican Chicken Casserole
There’s your average casserole… and then there’s this cheesy, loaded Mexican chicken casserole. While this is certainly not an authentic Mexican dish, it combines lots of flavors and ingredients that will remind you of tacos, enchiladas, and your favorite Mexican/Tex-Mex meals (meaning everyone in your family will LOVE it).
Get the Mexican Chicken Casserole recipe.
Copycat Panera Bread Strawberry Poppyseed Salad
As much fruit salad as it was green salad, Panera's beloved salad featured a juicy orange and onion poppyseed dressing and pops of fresh fruit, like strawberries, blueberries, Mandarin oranges, and pineapple. We’re hoping it’ll one day return to the Panera menu so we can order it alongside other faves, but in the meantime, it’s crazy easy to make at home so you can enjoy it whenever you want.
Fried rice is the ultimate leftover food. Not only is it totally customizable with whatever additional food you have in the fridge, but it’s crazy simple to make. Though we know everyone has a soft spot in their heart for their favorite type of fried rice (we see you shrimp fried rice heads), this recipe is as straightforward and classic as you can get, perfect for a busy April.
Get the Fried Rice recipe.
Blackened Shrimp Bowls
Creamy Asparagus Bacon Gnocchi
One of the greatest pleasures of Mexican street food are sopes: round bundles of masa lightly fried and piled with refried beans, shredded chicken, salsa roja or salsa verde, and cotija cheese. These little antojitos, or snacks, can be eaten throughout the day, and make for a great light dinner too.
Get the Sopes recipe.
When smashing down your burger, really make sure you’re flattening it as much as possible. A helpful tip is to spray your spatula lightly with cooking spray to make sure the meat doesn't stick to it. As far as toppings go, we love a burger with the classics: mayo, pickles, lettuce, and tomato, but you do you!
Get the Smash Burgers recipe.
Camille Lowder is the digital food producer at Delish, otherwise known as our resident queen of recipe galleries. Previously, she attended the Natural Gourmet Institute for culinary school and worked at/managed a number of New York restaurants. She loves anything , foods masquerading as other foods (hello, ), and a well-used Oxford comma.