The 31 Best Recipes to Cook This May

published May 1, 2022
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Credit: Faith Durand

The greatest thing about cooking and eating in May (at least here in the Northeast) is simply getting outdoors. The weather has warmed up and we’re finally back to cooking on the grill, picnicking, and simple eating as many meals outside as possible. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have foil-packet dinners, pasta salad, and picnic-ready sandwiches back in my meal plan roster. It’s also a month to take advantage of the abundance of peak-season fruits, vegetables, and herbs popping up at the market right now (bring on all the salad recipes!).

Between Eid, Mother’s Day, graduations, showers, and birthdays, there’s also a lot of celebrating to be done this month. If you’re cooking Mother’s Day brunch, grab your cast iron skillet for a strawberry Dutch baby pancake, or try a breakfast burrito egg casserole or perhaps a batch of cruffins. Just don’t forget the oven-cooked bacon or the coffee. If your celebration involves dinner, salmon piccata, smashed carrot salad, or a veggie goat cheese tart are sure to delight.

Rhubarb happens to be at its peak and we’ll be sliding into strawberry season very soon (and since it’s been a while, here’s your refresher on the best way to store strawberries), which means one thing to me: strawberry rhubarb shortcakes! Consider it a must-make spring dessert. A couple of other easy-yet-impressive desserts perfect for just about any occasion this month are rhubarb upside-down cake and a no-bake lemon tart (this one is big enough to feed a crowd and beloved by everyone at Kitchn).

May is a time to embrace warm-weather cooking, time spent outside, and the abundance of fresh produce coming into season. Don’t let the month pass you by without a stack of fluffy lemon-ricotta pancakes, a hearty (yet bright) herbed-packed vegetarian stew, Greek yogurt panna cotta (preferably topped with macerated berries!), and a batch of crispy sheet pan potato salad. Here are 31 of our favorite ideas to inspire your cooking (and baking!) all month long, because we want you to have a positively delicious May.

1 / 31
The Best Grilled Chicken Salad
Packed with bright, fresh, bold flavors and juicy strips of chicken breast, this is the grilled chicken salad you'll eat on repeat all summer long.
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2 / 31
Eid Grazing Board
This grazing board combines sweet and halal savory elements that are perfect for an Eid celebration.
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3 / 31
Lemon, Chickpea and Green Herb Stew
Senior Food Editor, Megan, is keeping this vibrant spring meal in heavy rotation this month. "I almost always have chickpeas and coconut milk on hand, and this time of year I can get lovely herbs from my local farmers market, all of which makes this the perfect quick and easy spring dinner."
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4 / 31
Starbucks-Style Cold Brew Coffee at Home
Welcome back, iced coffee season! In case you need a refresh, here's everything you need to know about making excellent cold brew at home.
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5 / 31
Juicy Burger Patties
Just one ingredient will make your burgers infinitely juicier this summer, and it's already in your kitchen: butter!
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6 / 31
No-Bake Sheet Pan Lemon Yogurt Tart
This tart is a total crowd-pleaser, and has become a go-to dessert for most of the Kitchn team. It also happens to be Executive Lifestyle Director, Lisa's, favorite thing to make in May for picnics and cookouts.
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7 / 31
Strawberry Dutch Baby
Butter-roasted strawberries and sugar rubbed with lemon sweeten a classic puffed-up Dutch baby.
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8 / 31
Red Wine Sangria
Red wine sangria is one of the easiest big-batch pitcher cocktails you can make. Here's how to do it.
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9 / 31
The Best Pasta Salad
This easy-to-make pasta salad has a creamy flavor, but ditches the mayo in favor of a rich vinaigrette and soft cheese.
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10 / 31
Easy Roasted Strawberry-Rhubarb Shortcakes with Cardamom Whipped Cream
Strawberry shortcake is a tradition for Senior Contributing Food Editor Sheela's May birthday. "The classic version never fails, but I usually am torn between it and this rhubarb iteration, because I can never get enough of the sweet and sour stalk this month."
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11 / 31
Crispy Sheet Pan Potato Salad
Senior Contributing Food Editor Kelli loves a good potato salad, and plans to make this version as much as possible this month before it's too hot to turn on her oven.
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12 / 31
Perfect Bacon in the Oven
No matter what you're cooking for Mother's Day breakfast or bunch, it should definitely include a tray of super-crispy bacon.
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13 / 31
Lemon-Garlic Chicken Foil Packets
If you're back to grilling, be sure to keep this five-ingredient recipe in your back pocket for quick and easy weeknight dinners.
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14 / 31
Classic Italian Sub Sandwich
Contributor Patty relies on hearty sub sandwiches as a super-easy dinner option during busy weeks. "May is packed with end-of-year school activities, sports, and picnics. This recipe for classic Italian subs is the perfect, quick dinner that we can eat anywhere."
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15 / 31
Breakfast Burrito Egg Casserole
It's everything you love about a classic breakfast burrito layered into an egg casserole.
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16 / 31
Smashed Carrot Salad Recipe
The carrots may be the star of the show here, but don’t underestimate the supporting cast.
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17 / 31
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
This easy, make-ahead recipe for quinoa salad filled with fresh vegetables, herbs, and cheese is perfect for a packable lunch.
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18 / 31
Instant Pot Chicken Tacos
Meet this easiest chicken tacos we know how to make.
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19 / 31
Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake
Don't forget that rhubarb is in season! And if you make just one thing with rhubarb this month, it should definitely be this oh-so-tender cake. It's a total breeze to make (seriously!) and looks so impressive.
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20 / 31
Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan
Yes, you can even use your air fryer to make chicken Parm — and it's just as amazing as it sounds.
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21 / 31
Sheldon Simeon's Kamaboko Dip
The charm of this dip, which is similar in a way to crab salad, lies in the pops of umami provided by oyster sauce, sweet chili sauce, and powdered dashi, plus a showering of chopped scallion on top.
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22 / 31
Associate Food Editor Nicole has her sights set on making cruffins this month (she totally has the right idea!). It's part croissant, part muffin, and has a cinnamon-sugar ripple through the center.
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23 / 31
Sheet Pan Honey-Dijon Chicken and Vegetables
This one-pan dinner perfection is a dream for busy weeknights, or nights when you just don’t want to cause much of a stir in the kitchen.
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24 / 31
Spaghetti with Mascarpone, Meyer Lemon, Spinach, and Hazelnuts
Tossed with mascarpone, Meyer lemon, wilted wisps of spinach, and toasted hazelnuts, this springy pasta is a must-make this month.
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25 / 31
Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta
PSA: This is the ultimate low-effort, highly impressive dessert. It's perfect for just about any occasion.
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26 / 31
Easy, Fluffy Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
Whipped egg white is the secret to getting this lemon-kissed stack incredibly light and fluffy.
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27 / 31
Caramelized Leek, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Tart
If you love Boursin, this veggie tart will be right up your alley!
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28 / 31
Lemon-Poppy Seed Sweet Rolls
These fluffy sweet rolls boast lemon-poppyseed flavor three ways: in the dough, in the filling, and in the tangy cream cheese glaze.
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29 / 31
Almond Buttermilk Cake With Cherries
California's cherry season is just starting, and Food Editor-at-Large, Christine, is seriously eyeing this cake!
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30 / 31
Grilled Romaine
The best way to take a few basic hearts of romaine and turn them into an impressive, hearty salad? Grill them.
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31 / 31
Salmon Piccata
Salmon fillets are cooked in a butter lemon-caper sauce in this easy-yet-elevated skillet dinner. It's perfect for Mother's Day, or any Wednesday night.
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