Our 31 Best Recipes to Cook This May

published May 1, 2024
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An overhead shot of chicken garlic parmesan bites in a cast iron skillet on a marble surface
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Rachel Perlmutter

May is quite possibly my favorite month for cooking (both indoors and outdoors!). I always look forward to the perfect spring weather for barbecuing and grilling in my backyard, picking out the best seasonal produce at farmers markets, and spending time with friends and family on Mother’s Day and Memorial Day (plus having pitcher margaritas, chips, and classic guacamole for Cinco de Mayo!).

Mother’s Day is an all-day celebration, so it’s a good idea to start planning your menu. These delicious make-ahead brunch recipes are the best way to start the day, along with a fresh fruit salad and bubbly mimosas. If a big brunch isn’t your thing, small bites are a fun way to have a little bit of everything with these tasty brunch appetizers. Looking beyond brunch, we have Mother’s Day lunch ideas and Mother’s Day dinner ideas that are impressive, yet easy to make.

May is also Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and we’re showcasing some of our favorite AAPI recipes, including mom-approved Filipino chicken adobo, the ultimate bibimbap (Korean mixed rice bowl), the best Pad Thai, and sweet Hawaiian butter mochi.

Here are 31 delicious recipes to cook throughout the month.

1 / 31
Garlic Parmesan Chicken Bites

This is one of our most popular recipes so far this year! It features tender, bite-size pieces of chicken flavored with garlic and a generous shower of nutty Parmesan. Serve with roasted broccoli or lemony tortellini for a dinner the whole family will love.

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2 / 31
Cucumber Salad

This is the side you’re going to want at every barbecue and picnic.

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3 / 31
Creamy Lemon-Dill Salmon

Seared salmon fillets take on maximum flavor with this creamy lemon and fresh dill sauce.

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4 / 31
Ranch Roasted Potatoes

These super-crispy roasted potatoes have a magical sauce of butter, mayonnaise, and ranch seasoning mix.

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5 / 31
Classic Quiche

Food Editor, Patty Catalano, is celebrating Mother's Day with this classic quiche. "I'm going to make Kelli's perfect quiche for Mother's Day. I've tried other recipes before, but this recipe has the perfect texture and I love swapping the mix-ins for whatever is in-season." With its savory custard and flaky crust, this brunch classic feels fancy, and it's surprisingly easy to make.

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6 / 31
No-Bake Strawberry Dream Bars

Food Editor, Patty Catalano's, family can't get enough of this dessert! "I developed this recipe in March and my daughter asks me every week to make it again." We definitely agree – this creamy strawberry and lemon no-bake dessert taste like a dream.

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7 / 31
Crispy Honey-Garlic Beef Stir-Fry

When tossed in a seasoned wok or pan with the crispy beef and stir-fried green beans, this sticky, sweet-savory sauce soaks into the beef, thickens into a glaze, and completes a stir-fry that is absolutely delicious served atop fluffy white rice.

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8 / 31
Harissa Orange Glazed Salmon

You only need four key ingredients to make this 20-minute weeknight dinner! A mix of orange zest, harissa paste, and honey make this glazed salmon super flavorful.

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9 / 31
Easy Chicken Shawarma Salad

It’s fast, flavorful, and easy to make — the trifecta of a staple recipe! What sets this apart from all other salads? A trick using rotisserie chicken that delivers the fastest shawarma.

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10 / 31
Blueberry-Lemon Mousse

This light and creamy mousse is bursting with blueberry flavor. These single-serving cups layered with buttery cookie crumbs, fruity whipped blueberry-lemon mousse, and store-bought preserves come together in less than 15 minutes!

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11 / 31
Pad Thai

Dish up these tasty noodles for lunch, dinner, or as a late-night restorative. Pad Thai is usually served accompanied by a few garnishes, such as sugar, lime wedges, crushed peanuts, and red pepper flakes. Fresh vegetables — typically fresh bean sprouts, whole scallions, or garlic chives — are served on the side (to be nibbled on) for textural contrast.

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12 / 31
Tostones

Caution: These crispy fried plantains are extremely delicious. If you want to feel like you’re enjoying a snack somewhere in Puerto Rico, then you have to make these tostones. The fried green plantains are a staple in Puerto Rican cuisine.

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13 / 31
Chicken Salad

Rachel's chicken salad has grapes, a combination of mayo and Greek yogurt as the base, and celery seed. There's something about celery seed that really amps up the flavor!

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14 / 31
Bee Sting Cocktail

A spicy twist on the classic gin cocktail, made with honey, fresh lemons, and jalapeño peppers.

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15 / 31
Bibimbap (Korean Mixed Rice Bowl)

Video Producer, James Park's, secret to this traditional Korean rice bowl: The most delicious, spicy gochujang sauce. Bibimbap is one of the most traditional dishes in Korean cuisine. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but all the different veggies also add a different flavor and texture to make each bite absolutely perfect.

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16 / 31
Mexican Margarita

Kick off Cinco de Mayo with this easy margarita! A perfect margarita has a balance of sweet and tart, and this version just has three ingredients: 100% agave tequila, freshly squeezed lime juice, and agave nectar.

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17 / 31
Classic Guacamole

This classic guacamole is so good, it will become your signature “house” recipe. Enjoy it over your favorite tacos, on top of grilled meats, or as a dip with tortilla chips.

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18 / 31
Ranchero Sauce

Drizzle this endlessly versatile sauce over huevos rancheros, slather it on your favorite burrito, or enjoy it as a dip with chips.

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19 / 31
No-Bake Lemon Fluff Bars

Do you go wild for lemon bars? Are mile-high lemon meringue pies your absolute favorite? If the answer is yes, we’ve got a new dessert for you. These sweet, light, and fluffy lemon bars live up to their name.

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20 / 31
Filipino Chicken Adobo

Growing up in a Filipino household meant that Kristina Razon ate classic Filipino recipes like adobo, the national dish of the Philippines, on a weekly basis. Sometimes it had chicken, other times it had pork. But regardless of the protein, her mom’s version was always the best.

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21 / 31
One-Pot Creamy Tuscan Shrimp and Orzo

The orzo and shrimp cook right in the creamy sun-dried tomato and Parmesan sauce for a comforting and quick one-pot meal.

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22 / 31
Coffee Cake

The keys to the best coffee cake? An extra layer of crumbly topping in the middle and an easy icing drizzled over the top. This coffee cake is perfect for Mother's Day brunch!

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24 / 31
Old-Fashioned Strawberry Spoon Cake

Juicy, jammy strawberries are strewn across the top of an easy-to-make cake that relies on basic pantry staples. It’s a lightly sweetened, tender dessert that’s especially great when served warm, nestled besides a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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25 / 31
Stuffed Bell Peppers

Editorial Assistant, Alex Foster, bookmarked these stuffed peppers for this month. "I've been wanting to make these stuffed bell peppers for dinner!" Patty Catalano's recipe is versatile enough that you can mix and match with your favorite flavors.

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26 / 31
One-Pot Lemon Pasta with Asparagus and Chicken

The creamy lemon sauce makes this one-pot pasta dinner taste like spring.

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27 / 31
Watergate Salad

This cool and creamy retro dessert is sure to surprise and delight you.

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28 / 31
Arroz Rojo (Mexican Rice)

If you’re going to cook a homestyle Mexican meal, Mexican red rice (also known as arroz rojo) is a staple to master. Paired with most entrées, this tomato-based rice is a go-to grain that’s served as a side with refried beans.

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29 / 31
Pork Carnitas

Good things take time, and I promise these pork carnitas are definitely worth the wait. When served in Quiroga, Michoacan, the carnitas capital, it’s traditional to serve the bowl with carnitas and a basket on the side with corn tortillas loosely wrapped in a white cloth. On the side, there are small salsa and condiment bowls that include onion, cilantro, lemon, and different salsas. And, of course, some guacamole.

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30 / 31
Hawaiian Butter Mochi

Butter mochi is a staple at almost any party in Hawaii, and it’s easy to see why. The coconut custard glutinous rice cake is perfectly chewy, slightly sticky, and just dense enough, with a hint of vanilla and salt.

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31 / 31
Hawaiian-Style Ahi Poke

Sheldon Simeon's poke is made using ogo seaweed and ‘inamona, and takes cues from how the dish was traditionally prepared by native Hawaiians. Senior Recipe Editor, Christine Gallary, is excited to make it this month. "As the weather finally warms up, I can't wait to try making Hawaiian poke bowls for dinner!"

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