9 Spring Recipes To Get You Through The Rest Of Winter

Mar 10, 2021 | Fish and Seafood, Recipes, Soups

Spring is officially nine days away. What better way to say goodbye to winter than with nine spring recipes. These are a collection of recipes from the Chef’s Notes archives that I think you will love and that are perfect for ushering in spring. If I can promise you anything, it’s that when you have finished reading this post, spring will be closer than it is right now. It’s true. Let’s get to it.

1. Cajun Salmon and Citrus Salad

Nothing says goodbye to cold weather, hello sunshine like throwing a piece of fish on the grill. In the case of this Cajun Salmon and Citrus Salad, the fish (salmon) is flavoured with olive oil and cajun seasoning, grilled and put on a salad of arugula, orange, and lime. This dish has the flavour of spring and summer in every bite.

Cajun Grilled Salmon and Citrus Salad

Cajun Grilled Salmon, On Top Of Arugula With Citrus Vinaigrette.
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Keyword: Barbecue, Best Pasta Salad, Citrus, Salmon, Summer Barbecue, Summer food
Servings: 2 Servings
Author: Chef Ben Kelly


Cajun Salmon

  • 2 fillets Salmon
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Cajun Seasoning

Citrus Salad

  • 1 lg Orange, Cut into Segments
  • 1 Lime, Zested and Cut into Segments
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 1 tsp Mustard
  • 4 cups Arugula
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste



  • Combine the olive oil and Cajun seasoning in a medium bowl.
  • Roll the salmon in the Cajun Seasoning Mixture to coat it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to marinate for 2 hours.
  • Preheat your grill to 400°f for about 15 minutes.
  • Depending on how thick your salmon is, cook it 3-6 minutes per side over medium heat with the lid down.
  • Once the salmon has reached your desired level of doneness remove it from the grill and place it on the salad.

Citrus and Arugula Salad

  • Peel a large orange and using a small sharp knife cut between the membrane of each segment so that each segment comes away freely leaving the fibrous membrane behind. Once all of the orange segments have been cut free, squeeze the juice out of the remaining bit of orange into a bowl with the segments.
  • Using a microplane, grate the zest of the lime into the bowl with the orange. Once zested, peel the lime and segment it as you did with the orange, then squeeze any juice out of the bit that is left behind.
  • To the bowl with the orange and lime segments and juice add the honey, and mustard then gently whisk to combine.
  • Slowly whisk in the olive oil, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Toss the arugula with the dressing divide it among two bowls and top with the Cajun Grilled Salmon. Finish the salad by spooning the citrus segments and dressing over the salmon.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

2. Creamy Chicken Pesto

When we think of spring recipes we don’t often think of cream sauces. They seem like more of a fall/winter dish. But when the cream sauce in question is flavoured with homemade pesto and tossed with chicken, red pepper, and spinach, it’s a bit of spring in a bowl.

Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta

What more is there to say? It's creamy, it's chicken, and it's pesto. Delicious!
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: 30 minute meals, Chicken Pasta, Quick Meals
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Chef Ben Kelly


  • 2 Chicken Breasts, Sliced
  • 1/2 Small Onion, Sliced
  • 1 tsp Chopped Garlic
  • 1/2 cup Sliced Roasted Red Peppers
  • 2 cups loosley packed Spinach
  • 1/4 cup Pesto
  • 3/4 cup Cream
  • 1-2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan
  • 4 portions Cooked Pasta


  • Heat large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add the olive oil and sliced chicken into the pan.
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook until cooked through it will take about 6 minutes.
  • Add in the onions and garlic, cook for 2 minutes, then add in the roasted red peppers and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Next up, add in the pesto, cook for about a minute then add in the cream and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Add in the spinach and cook for 2 minutes before adding in the cooked pasta.
  • Add in the parmesan, toss the pasta to coat, taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

3. Sweet and Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce wraps are a great light meal, and this spring recipe for Sweet and Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps is going to put a spring in your step. Bad puns aside, this recipe is a little sweet, a little spicy, and a lot delicious.

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps

A new year a new you! What better way to kick off that new years diet than with some deliciously sweet and spicy chicken lettuce wraps?
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: 30 minute meals, 30 Minutes or less, Asian Food, Butter Chicken, Chicken, chicken recipes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Chef Ben Kelly


  • 1 lb Ground Chicken
  • 1/2 lg White Onion, Minced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1/2 Red Bell Pepper, Minced
  • 4 ea Green Onions whites and greens separate and diced
  • 1 tbsp Grated Ginger
  • 2 tsp Chinese 5 Spice
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chilli Flakes
  • 2 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 3 tbsp Soy Sauce or GF Tamari
  • 2 tsp Rice Vinegar or white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 head Bibb Lettuce aka Boston Bibb Lettuce
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp Sesame Seeds


  • Heat a wok over medium-high heat.
  • Add the sesame oil along with the chicken and cook until the chicken is browned, stirring occasionally.
  • Once the chicken is browned and cooked through add in the onion, green onion (whites), and the garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the onions start to soften.
  • Next up add in the red bell pepper and red chilli flakes, cook for 1 minute then add in the Chinese 5 spice.
  • cook the spices for 1-2 minutes before adding in 1/4 cup of water along with the honey, soy sauce, and vinegar.
  • Turn the heat down and simmer for 4-5 minutes.
  • Add in the sesame seeds and the tops (greens) of the green onions.
  • Season to taste with salt.
  • Wash and pat dry the lettuce and serve with sticky rice.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

4. Cuban Sandwich

It may seem odd to include a sandwich on this list (that isn’t a BLT), but this Cuban Sandwich has a surprisingly fresh flavour that really invokes spring. It’s roasted pork that has been marinated in orange juice, thyme and some other stuff. The pork is sliced thin and put on a Cuban roll (I’m using a gluten-free burger bun) with yellow mustard, dill pickle, cheese, and ham. The sandwich is grilled and is perfect in every way.

Cuban Sandwich

A delicious and flavourful sandwich made with roasted pork, ham, cheese, mustard, and pickles.
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Course: Sandwich
Cuisine: American, Cuban
Keyword: Cuban Sandwich, Gourmet Sandwich, Roast Pork Sandwich
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Chef’s Notes


  • 4 Sandwich Rolls
  • 1/2 cup Yellow Mustard diveded
  • 8 slices Dill Pickles
  • 8 slices Ham
  • 4 Slices Swiss Cheese
  • 1 lb Thinly Sliced Roasted Pork divided
  • 1/4 cup Butter


  • Slice the rolls and lightly toast the inside.
  • Brush the inside of the rolls with mustard then tops with pickles, ham, Swiss cheese, and the pork.
  • Heat a large frying pan on medium heat. Brush the outside of the rolls with butter and put them in the pan. Toast on one side for 2-3 minutes then flip. Press the sandwiches with a spatula to flatten slightly. Cook the sandwiches until the cheese starts to melt then serve.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

5. The Ultimate Roasted Cherry Tomato Soup

This spring recipe is Roasted Cherry Tomato Soup. It’s a little twist on the classic tomato soup becasue the tomatoes are roasted, and the recipe uses cherry tomatoes instead of roma tomatoes or something like that. Whenever you pair tomato and basil, it’s going to taste like sunshine, and this soup is no exception. Like all tomato soups, it is best served with a grilled cheese sandwich.

The Ultimate Roasted Cherry Tomato Soup

A delicious homemade tomato soup using up all the extra cherry tomatoes from the garden.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: autumn soup, Roasted Tomatoes, Summer Soup, Tomato Basil, Tomato Soup
Servings: 1 Litre
Author: Chef’s Notes


  • 4 cups Cherry Tomatoes
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 cup Diced Onion
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Basil
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 cups Whole Milk
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Pinch of Sugar if needed


  • Toss the tomatoes, onion and garlic with the olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Roast the tomatoes, onion and garlic on a parchment-lined sheet pan for 40-50 minutes on 400°f or until the tomatoes start to shrivel and the onions and garlic are slightly browned.
  • Put the roasted vegetables in a medium pot over medium heat and add in the milk.
  • Cook the soup only until the milk is hot then add in the basil and purée.
  • Taste the soup and season with salt, pepper, and sugar as needed.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

6. White Wine Poached Cod with Parsleyed Potatoes

White wine poached cod with parsleyed potatoes to me is kind of the ultimate spring recipe. It has tomato and basil in it, lots of fresh flavours, and a light flakey fish. What more good you want on a warm spring day? As a side note, the potatoes are boiled new potatoes tossed in butter, salt, pepper, and fresh parsley, and they are one of my all-time favourite potato dishes. Seriously, they are so simple and so delicious. They are a definite must make.

White Wine Poached Cod with Parsleyed Potatoes

A quick and delicious cod dish that will knock the socks off any one you serve it to.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Keyword: 30 minute meals, Bistro Recipes, Cod, Delicious, Fish Recipes
Servings: 4
Author: Chef Ben Kelly


  • 1 pot with lid
  • 1 large frying pan


  • 4 pieces Cod or other white fish
  • 2 ea Shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, thinly sliced
  • 8-12 ea New Potatoes
  • 1/2 ea An Heirloom tomato, diced or 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 3 sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 5-6 leaves Basil, Sliced
  • 1 lg handful Spinach, stems removed, and leaves roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup` Chopped Parsley
  • 2-3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 cup White Wine
  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • Salt and Pepper



  • Put the potatoes in a pot and cover with very hot tap water.
  • Season the water well with salt.
  • Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Once the potatoes start to boil, remove the lid from the pot and cook them the rest of the way uncovered.
  • One the potatoes are cooked (a fork easily passes through them) drain them well.
  • Add 2 tbsp of parsley, 2 tbsp of butter, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Gently toss the potatoes to coat with the seasoning and serve.


  • Heat the skillet over medium high.
  • Add the olive oil along with the shallots, garlic and a bit of salt and pepper.
  • Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until the shallots are soft.
  • Add the diced tomato along with 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the fish into the pan presentation (white side) down.
  • Cook for 1-2 minutes then add the wine.
  • Once the wine starts to boil flip the fish and cook for another 1-3 minutes.
  • Smaller pieces of fish will be cooked quicker while larger pieces may take a little longer.
  • Remove the fish from the pan to a warmed serving tray as the fish pieces are cooked.
  • Once all the fish is out of the pan add in the spinach, basil, and 2 tbsp of butter.
  • Turn off the heat and mix the butter in to sauce to thicken it.
  • Finish the sauce with the remaining parsley and pour over the fish.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

7. Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Greek Salad, by its nature, screams spring and summer. The balance of sweetness from the vegetables, saltiness from the cheese, and acidity from the dressing is everything you could want in a salad. When you replace the lettuce with chickpeas, you a more substantial meal with the same great taste.

Mediterranean chickpea salad

Mediterranean chickpea salad

A quick, delicious and healthy salad that works just as well as a side dish as it does a lunch. 
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: Mediterranean chickpea salad
Servings: 4 people
Author: Chef Ben Kelly


  • 1 can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 baseball sized Red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 ea Cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 pint Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata Olives
  • 1/2 cup Crumbled Feta (or more)
  • 1 tbsp Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • 4 ea Mint leaves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp Red Wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Powder
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • to taste Salt and Pepper


  • In a small bowl combine the vinegar, honey, garlic, mustard powder, and oregano. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until fully incorporated. 
  • In a separate bowl combine all the other ingredients.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. 
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

8. Chicken Quinoa Greek Salad

Salad bowls are a great spring food. That’s why I’m doing a whole series of them every Friday. This chicken quinoa Greek salad is great for all the reasons the chickpea greek salad is great. Plus, it has chicken for protein and quinoa, which is really good for you. So, you’ve got lots of fresh flavours, and it’s good for you. Sound like a great spring recipe to me.

Chicken Quinoa Greek Salad

A delicious and filling salad. The perfect meal for a hot summer day.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Greek-ish
Keyword: 30 minute meals, Chicken, Delicious, Greek salad, Healthy Meals, Quinoa
Servings: 4
Author: Chef Ben Kelly


  • 2 ea Chicken Breasts
  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 2 heads Romaine Hearts or one full head of romaine
  • 1 cup Quartered Cherry and Grape Tomates
  • 1 cup Diced Cucumber
  • 1/4 large Red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 ea Green pepper thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Good Quality Olive Oil half for dressing half for the chicken
  • 2 tbsp Dried oregano half for dressing half for the chicken
  • 1 tbsp Red Wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves Minced Garlic
  • 1 lemon Juiced
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Parsley
  • 1 tsp Dried Dill
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Plain Greek Yogurt



  • Combine the quinoa with two cups of water and a pinch of salt in a medium pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Once the pot begins to boil, cover it with a tight fitting lid and reduce the heat to low.
  • Let the quinoa simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and let rest, covered for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Fluff with a fork and serve.


  • Cut the two chicken breasts in half horizontally.
  • Lay flat on the cutting board and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and dried oregano on both sides.
  • Heat a large skillet on medium heat.
  • Sear the chicken on one side. Flip the chicken and cover. Reduce the heat slightly and cooked covered, flipping once or twice until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Let the chicken rest, then slice and serve.


  • Cut, wash, and spin dry the lettuce.
  • Combine all the vegetables in a large mixing bowl, except the lettuce.
  • Add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, dill, garlic, parsley, and salt and pepper into the bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Mix the warm quinoa into the vegetables along with 1/4 cup of crumbled feta cheese. Mix well.
  • Add the lettuce and mix.
  • Serve the salad in a large bowl, top with sliced chicken, the remaining feta, and a spoon full of yogurt.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

9. Nicoise Pasta Salad

The last spring recipe on the list is my Nicoise Pasta Salad. It is everything you love about a Nicoise Salad but with pasta in it. The salad starts with a basic red wine vinaigrette to which tuna, olives, blanched green beans, tomatoes and pasta are added. The salad is finished with slices of hard-boiled egg. It is even better than it sounds.

Nicoise Pasta Salad

Nicoise salad is often considered by Chefs to be one of the best salads ever created. Now, you can have it in pasta salad form.
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Best Pasta Salad, Nicoise Pasta Salad, Salad, summer cooking, Summer food
Servings: 4 cups
Author: Chef Ben Kelly


  • 1 can Tuna in water, drained
  • 2 Hardboiled eggs, cut into eights
  • 1/4 cup Pitted Olives Nicoise Olives if you can find them.
  • 1 handful French Green Beans, Cooked in boiling water for 3 minutes then cooled. about 40 total
  • 2 cups Rotini Pasta, cooked
  • 12 Grape Tomatoes cut in half


  • 2 tbsp Redwine Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Grainy Mustard
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 1 tsp Minced Garlic
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Chopped Parsley
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  • In a medium mixing bowl combine all the dressing ingredients except the olive oil and whisk.
  • Slolwy whisk in the olive oil until it has been fully incorporated.
  • Add all of the remaining ingredients except the eggs to the dressing and toss or gently stir to combine.
  • Garnish the salad with a few sprigs of parsley and the eggs.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

The Wrap Up

If these nine spring recipes can’t get you through the last few days of winter, nothing will. They are all packed with loads of fresh ingredients and flavours and are simple enough that anyone can make them. What are some of your favourite spring recipes? Tell me in the comments below or on Facebook.

Did you know that I wrote a cookbook? It’s called the 5-Ingredient Cookbook for men (of course, it is for everyone). The kindle version is officially on sale now and the physical version goes on sale March 16th, but you can preorder it now from Amazon in Canada here, and Amazon in the US here.

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