30 Recipes to Make in April
Although spring technically starts in March, April is when that warmer, brighter weather really starts to hit. We like to celebrate with vibrant dishes, from lamb chops with a fresh salsa verde to an asparagus and fava bean tart with herbed ricotta—and in this roundup, you’ll find both of them, plus 28 other recipes to cook through this month. Whether you’re looking for a dessert (how does strawberry-buttermilk cobbler sound?) or a bright salad, we’ve got you covered. Read on for all 30 recipes we’re making in April.
Pastrami Pad Kee Mao (Drunken Noodles)
Scrambled Eggs Florentine
Here, we fold spinach and mascarpone into soft scrambled eggs and spoon it over crostini for an easy appetizer.
Fennel and Arugula Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
Meyer lemon has a tartness that’s more tamed than lemon, which is why we love it with peppery arugula and crisp shaved fennel in this simple salad. Soaking the shaved fennel in ice water helps the thin slices retain their crisp.
Roasted Asparagus and Mushrooms
Roasted asparagus and hen-of-the-woods mushrooms go with any Easter dish, from glazed ham to a spring quiche. The vegetables roast first in olive oil then finish in butter for an extra dimension of flavor and a nice sheen.
Sautéed Chicories with Chile Oil
Chilled English Pea Soup with Crab and Meyer Lemon
This refreshing, verdant English pea and watercress soup is the perfect base for a zesty crab salad. Chef Sarah Heller folds sweet Dungeness crab with Meyer lemon, crème fraîche, and a host of delicate spring herbs before mounding atop each serving of the soup. Any lump crabmeat or cooked, chilled shrimp would also work.
Chef Hillary Sterling does a special Italian-influenced Passover menu that includes this riff on the requisite brisket, which appears as brisket meatballs. “Everyone makes brisket [for Passover], and the Italians make polpette, so why not bring them together?” says Sterling. The meatballs are sauced in Sterling’s riff on traditionally uncooked passata, which gets a quick simmer and a flavor update with orange, oregano, and chile flakes.
Saba-and-Dijon-Glazed Easter Ham
We’re switching up the traditional sugar-crusted holiday ham by using saba, a sweet and slightly acidic syrup made from cooked-down grape must (similar to aged balsamic). We bake the ham on a bed of carrots and shallots so the drippings flavor the vegetables in the oven.
Garganelli with Speck, Peas, and Scallion Cream
Sweet spring peas and garlicky sauce flood the tubular garganelli pasta, making each bite a surprise. Substitute penne if you can’t find garganelli, and don’t skip the lemon and mint at the end, which bring balance to the dish.
The delicate, milky flavor of fresh ricotta pairs with the grassy, lightly sweet taste of fava beans. Use best-quality cheese, produce, and bread here for a toast that’s more than the sum of its parts.
Skirt Steak and Asparagus with Salsa de Semillas
Loaded with pumpkin seed kernels, cashews, and sesame seeds, salsa de semillas is a lesser-known but beloved Mexican nut-based salsa.
Crispy Potatoes with Avocado Salsa
Papas are traditionally deep-fried, but roasting smashed potatoes at a high temperature (with plenty of olive oil) yields a similar result with a fraction of the mess. Make the avocado salsa while the potatoes are roasting; it’s the perfect creamy, cooling complement to the salty, crispy potatoes and bright, spicy jalapeños.
Broccoli Rabe and Avocado Salad with Lemon Dressing and Herby Molten Eggs
“Spring is the season when warm and cold ingredients ought to mingle on one plate, and this salad brings all that to life,” Andrea Slonecker writes. “To serve, keep the soft-cooked eggs and the roasted rabe on the warm side, rather than cold, and compose the salad on plates with a bit of artistic flare. Then I would tell you to pour a glass of Chablis and enjoy this spring situation for lunch or dinner, whatever suits your fancy.”
A mixture of spelt and almond flours, gently combined with cold butter and creamy buttermilk, creates tender, fluffy biscuits that cover this juicy strawberry cobbler filling. Use the sweetest, best-quality berries from the market; their flavor is the foundation of this seasonal dessert.
Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Strawberry–Merlot Sauce
Chef Alex Hrabovsky leans on savory pork drippings and lush Merlot to balance the sweet-tart strawberries in this rich sauce for pork tenderloin. A gentle finish in the oven keeps the pan drippings from over-reducing.
California Wappa Rice Bowls
Snow crab, especially the legs of the crab, yields tender, clean chunks of meat, perfect for topping these steamed savory rice bowls. To gently cook the crabs, steam them for 20 to 25 minutes over high heat, let cool slightly, and remove the meat.
Chicken-Carrot Kade Paan
Samantha Fore’s favorite Sri Lankan grab-and-go snack, maalu paan, a yeasty roll stuffed with spiced fish and potato, inspired this rendition, filled with curry-spiced chicken, leek, and carrot. Typically made with homemade dough, these get a speedy upgrade thanks to store-bought frozen rolls.
Asparagus and Fava Bean Tart with Herbed Ricotta
Lemon zest and thyme add subtle fragrance to this showstopping tart’s ricotta filling, balancing the savory Parmesan and prosciutto.
Spicy Cashew-Lemongrass Snack Mix
This sweet and savory snack mix by Kris Yenbamroong of Night + Market is seriously delicious. Makrut lime leaves and lemongrass bring citrusy flavor to the buttery cashews, toasted coconut, and crispy garlic. Frying each element individually ensures crunchy—not burned—components. Use a food processor to make quick work of the garlic.
Double-Cut Lamb Chops with Garlic-Caper Rub
Punchy anchovies and garlic mellow during their short cook time, adding umami to double-cut lamb chops.
Grilled Chicken Wings with Jaew
Shallow-Poached Salmon with Leek Beurre Blanc
Shallow poaching under a cartouche, a circle of parchment paper, yields tender fish in minutes. This method works with any mild fish, such as flounder, rockfish, or grouper. If any fillets are of uneven thickness (such as tapered portions near the tail), fold the thin portion underneath to achieve an even 3/4-inch thickness.
Smoked Trout with Roasted Radishes and Fennel–Stone Fruit Salad
At Racines in New York City, Diego Moya served confit trout with an almond oil, apricot kernel vinegar, and honey vinaigrette with tart underripe peaches. This homage leans on store-bought smoked trout and aged sherry vinegar for a weeknight-friendly dish.
Fig and Caramel Nut Tart
Rich, barely bitter caramel, deeply toasted nuts, and chewy figs combine in a buttery crust for a dessert designed for pairing with Madeira. A pinch of flaky sea salt makes it the perfect end to a long lunch.
Bucatini with Mushroom Ragù, Dandelion Greens, and Tarragon
This meatless ragù gets rich flavor from dried morel mushrooms in this first-course pasta that's hearty without being filling. Save time by chopping the vegetables in a food processor; take care to not puree them.
Thai-Style Shrimp Cocktail
Kris Yenbamroong of Night + Market invites a quick garlic aioli and super spicy fish sauce–based dipping sauce to the shrimp cocktail party. Serve the shrimp alongside ramekins of aioli and nam jim seafood sauce for dipping, or arrange the shrimp around the rim of a coupe glass filled with nam jim for more intense flavor.
Quick Skillet-Roasted Chicken with Spring Vegetables
Tender vegetables simmer in a mixture of chicken drippings and butter in this simple, speedy dish. The attached drumette gives these airline chicken breasts more flavor; bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs make a good substitute. Andrew Fortgang of Canard in Portland, Oregon, recommends pairing this dish with floral, spicy Gourgonnier.
These irresistibly crispy bites transform a grazing board into a hearty supper; a drizzle of honey takes them over the top.