Next Week's Meal Plan

A Week of Super-Easy Dinners Packed with Spring Vegetables

published Apr 2, 2022
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Credit: Left to Right, Top to Bottom: Joe Lingeman, Jesse Szewczyk, Amelia Rampe, Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: Pearl Jones/Kitchn, Kelli Foster

I will be the first to admit: I need to incorporate more green vegetables into my diet. For years, I was what some might consider a “picky eater.” In my family, no matter the season, starch-rich foods like white rice in all different forms and proteins of all kinds were always on the table, but fresh in-season vegetables didn’t always make an appearance.

It wasn’t until college that I started learning how to cook fresh vegetables. Now, when spring rolls around, I view it as a great opportunity to make the most of vegetables like broccoli (try these five easy ways to cook broccoli), spinach, asparagus, and more. But there’s definitely still more room for more spring vegetables on my dinner table (or coffee table, in my case!). Embrace the start of spring this week and try the tasty, creative, and vegetable-packed dinners in this Next Week’s Meal Plan.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Monday: Loaded Cheesy Cauliflower Bake

Nothing alleviates the stress of Mondays quite like a dinner baked in a casserole dish. Synonymous with comfort food, casseroles like this one are easy to serve, as you can get all the flavors onto your plate in one fell swoop with a large serving spoon. In the case of this casserole, cauliflower takes the place of the usual potato to make for a dish that is reminiscent of a loaded baked potato.

Credit: Jesse Szewczyk

Tuesday: Spring Minestrone with Caramelized Garlic Broth

Is it really spring if there aren’t peas on the menu? Not only is soup a great avenue for including a wide range of vegetables and grains in a one-pot dinner, but it’s also a good chance to experiment in the kitchen — you can switch up the fresh pea shoots for spinach or other greens, for example, or serve a bowl of soup over crusty garlic toast.

Credit: Amelia Rampe

Wednesday: Crispy Creamy Polenta Cakes with Wilted Ramps

Since ramps are one of those ingredients that are super seasonal, it’s best to use them to their full potential at your earliest convenience. Enter: this delicious-yet-simple dish that brings together crunchy pan-fried polenta cakes with flavorful soft ramp leaves. Seize the moment and hit your local farmers market — the ramps are waiting!

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: Pearl Jones/Kitchn

Thursday: Creamy Mushroom Asparagus Dumpling Skillet

When I was growing up, I was used to seeing asparagus almost always served in bacon-wrapped form. Well, I’m here to tell you that while this will always be a great go-to side dish or appetizer, it’s time to experiment beyond bacon. This dish calls for convenient shortcut ingredients like packaged dumplings and jarred sauce that make it fast and easy to prepare.

Credit: Kelli Foster

Friday: Baked Chicken with Artichokes

If you’re someone who is used to frequently seeing artichokes in a cheesy baked dip and enjoy eating said dip (ahem, like me), you might be interested in trying out more dinner ideas with this hearty spring vegetable. While this chicken dinner isn’t meant to be scooped with tortilla chips (although you could definitely try!), it’s just as easy to make as the staple game-day app.