The 31 Best Recipes to Cook This May

published May 1, 2023
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stack of stuffed French toast with berries having syrup drizzled
Credit: Photo: Andrew Bui; Food Styling: Nicole Rufus

Every year I have to remind myself that May is one of the most underrated months on the calendar food-wise. Don’t you agree? May puts our brains on overdrive, thinking about all the month’s celebrations, making the most of all the irresistible seasonal produce, and the start of summer. I say this with love, but my oh my, this month can be a lot! 

Strawberries and rhubarb are back, and there’s no better time to tuck them into anything your spring-produce-loving heart desires. (Might we suggest making strawberry pound cake or strawberry-rhubarb Orange Julius, or macerating a handful of strawberries and spoon them on lemon posset?)

If you’re in charge of Mother’s Day brunch or dinner, options like a colossal stack of lemon ricotta-stuffed French toast, a tender hanger steak with melted leeks, a tickled-pink beet pesto pasta, and a warm spinach-artichoke salad with quinoa crunchies have got your back. Have a new grad to celebrate? Consider make-ahead and big-batch cooking strategies like prepping components of a snackable platter the night before the party or making burgers in the oven

Memorial Day will come in the blink of an eye. We have our sights on sweet and saucy baby-back ribs, brined chicken wings, and dilly potatoes. For more inspiration on what else to fire up, turn to our most essential Memorial Day cookout recipes

And of course, we’ve got you covered with a fresh new batch of speedy weeknight meals (looking at you, pesto cream tteokbokki)! 

Here, now, are 31 of our favorite recipe ideas to inspire your cooking, baking, grilling, and drinking this May — because we care about you, and want you to enjoy this month down to the last bite. 

1 / 31
Brined Chicken Wings
Brining is a foolproof way to give chicken wings an internal basting and moisture shield that there’s really no substitute for.
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2 / 31
Fruit Dip

Her neighborhood pool opens at the end of the month, so Staff Writer, Patty, is keeping her family's cooler stocked with fresh fruit and this sweet, creamy dip. Fluffy marshmallow and cream cheese dip makes every slice of fruit special.

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3 / 31
Feta Stuffed Lamb Meatballs

Senior Food Editor, Kristina, has picked her next weeknight family dinner recipe. "My kids love any and all meatballs. Kelli's juicy lamb meatballs with feta are right up our alley!"

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4 / 31
Chickpea Caesar Salad Wraps

When you need a vegetarian lunch with a one-two punch of protein and vegetables, go for this spin on the chicken Caesar salad wrap. With crunchy spiced chickpeas, sourdough croutons, and a creamy tahini-based caesar dressing, it's sure to be your new favorite lunch.

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5 / 31
French Onion Sheet Pan Chicken

This sheet pan chicken thigh recipe from Jocelyn Delk Adams is inspired by French onion soup.

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6 / 31
Lemon Ricotta Stuffed French Toast

Nothing says "I love you" like a thick stack of fluffy brioche or challah filled with creamy ricotta cheese flavored with fresh lemon juice and zest and cooked until golden-brown.

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7 / 31
Greek-Style Lamb Burgers with Tzatziki

Culinary Producer Kelli has been cooking with ground lamb a bit more recently. With outdoor cooking season imminent, she is really excited to fire up the grill for these lamb burgers. To minimize the prep, she plans to stick with a tub of store-bought tzatziki.

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8 / 31
Pesto Cream Tteokbokki

How do you springify chewy Korean rice cakes? Pesto cream sauce, cherry tomatoes, and jalapeño! Recipe Production Coordinator, Justine, is excited to make this Italian riff on a Korean classic all month long.

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9 / 31
Kale and Salmon Coconut Curry

This creamy ginger and turmeric-spiked coconut sauce is packed to the gills with salmon and kale. Serve over quinoa or rice for a simple and delicious dinner.

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10 / 31
Strawberry Dutch Baby
Butter-roasted strawberries and sugar rubbed with lemon sweeten a classic puffed-up Dutch baby.
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11 / 31
Slow Roasted Green Goddess Salmon

This low-effort, high-reward salmon dinner hinges on Trader Joe’s Green Goddess Seasoning blend.

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12 / 31
Lemon Posset

Senior Food Editor, Kristina, is looking forward to serving this creamy, no-bake dessert the next time she has people over for dinner.

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13 / 31
Ukrainian Dill Potatoes

Staff Writer, Patty, is excited to make this 4-ingredient Ukranian Dill Potato Salad with the fresh dill from her garden.

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14 / 31
Mixed Berry Shortcake Trifle

Memorial Day, often referred to as the unofficial start to summer, deserves an impressive dessert. You won't regret making this bowl of buttery shortcakes, berries in berry syrup, and whipped mascarpone cream.

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15 / 31
Beet Pesto Pasta

A gorgeous and vegetal pasta dish that's easy to make.

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16 / 31
Avocado Salsa

A chunky salsa full of avocado and tomatoes that's as great at home on a tortilla chip as it is next to grilled chicken or fish.

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17 / 31
Cold Ramen with Quick-Pickled Mushrooms, Celery, and Ginger
Pickled vegetables and chewy ramen noodles combine for a mighty yet simple cold noodle salad.
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18 / 31
Baby-Back Ribs on the Grill

These meaty and lean baby-back ribs are delightfully tender and can do no wrong on Memorial Day.

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19 / 31
Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

Groceries Editor, Mara, is eyeing this beautiful poundcake for Mother's Day. "Lemon + Bluberry + Poundcake is edible LOVE," she says.

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20 / 31
Warm Spinach-Artichoke Salad with Quinoa Crunchies

Senior Contributing Editor, Sheela, loves a good spinach-artichoke moment. So much so that it made its way onto the pages of her new cookbook, Salad Seasons, in the form of this salad. It’s light and fresh, with still plenty of comfort, and perfect to serve for a Mother's Day meal.

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21 / 31
Cream Cheese Brownies
These fudgy chocolate brownies feature a decadent cream cheese swirl.
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22 / 31
Pretzel Pillows with Bird's Eye Chili Cheese Dip

Bookmark these cute and extremely snackable mini pretzel bites for your upcoming graduation party. Bonus: The nubbins come complete with a hot, cheesy dip.

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23 / 31
Vodka Sauce

This simple homemade vodka sauce is creamy and intensely tomato-forward, but not too heavy to enjoy even as it gets warmer.

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24 / 31
Strawberry Pound Cake
This rich and buttery pound cake boasts streaks of perfectly tart strawberries and a simple lemony glaze.
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25 / 31
Easy Chocolate Mousse

This two-ingredient version of this classic chocolate mousse might be the only dessert recipe you need for the rest of your life. Associate Food Editor, Cory, has it at the top of his to-make list.

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26 / 31
Steak with Melted Leeks

A crusty, seared steak is paired with meltingly tender leeks for an easy yet celebratory dinner.

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27 / 31
Marinated White Beans

These marinated white beans have been added into the lunch rotation for Culinary Producer Kelli. "My toddler loves them, I love them, and they can be made ahead of time (in fact, they're better for it!) — so, basically a triple win."

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28 / 31
Burgers in the Oven Recipe

For a perfectly juicy burger without the burden of standing over a smoky grill, take it to the oven.

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29 / 31
Scallion Cream Cheese Scones

A tender cream cheese scone speckled with bits of scallions.

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30 / 31
Strawberry-Rhubarb Orange Julius

Orange Julius walked so strawberry-rhubarb Orange Julius could run. In this spring version, we start with thick Greek yogurt, then add in orange juice, fresh strawberries, and fresh rhubarb.

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31 / 31
Make-Ahead Bacon & Leek Casserole

If you love to host brunch but hate getting up early to cook, you'll want to pay attention to this spring treat. The cheesy bacon and leek egg casserole can be prepared ahead of time and doles out plenty of servings.

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