Spring is finally here! We would like to welcome this gorgeous season with a brand new Instant Pot Meal Plan for spring. It’s full of fresh, seasonal ingredients and delicious flavors. It’s balanced and nutritious and features 5 wholesome dinners, 2 lunch-friendly dishes, and 1 dessert.
WHAT’S IN SEASON IN SPRING?
The specific foods that are in season in during spring can vary depending on the region and climate, but generally speaking, some common foods that are typically in season during this time include:
- Fava beans
- Green onions
- Lettuce and other leafy greens
Additionally, some fruits such as apricots, cherries, and plums may start to become available towards the end of spring in some parts of the country. It’s also worth noting that some foods, such as mushrooms, are available year-round but have different growing seasons depending on the variety.
More on what to cook in spring in your Instant Pot here.
Instant Pot Spring Meal Plan
Looking for some fresh and delicious meal ideas to enjoy this spring season? Look no further than this Instant Pot Spring Meal Plan, featuring easy and flavorful recipes that make use of seasonal ingredients and the convenience of the Instant Pot.
Instant Pot Pasta Primavera
A classic, veggie-packed pasta dish that is finished in a lemony, cream sauce. Vegetarian-friendly! Get the recipe here.
Shopping list: 2 cups broccoli florets, 1 zucchini, 10 asparagus spears, 1 bell pepper, 1.5 cup cherry tomatoes, 1 cup frozen peas, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 red onion or shallot, 3 garlic cloves, 1 tsp of lemon zest, 4-5 slices of red chili or 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 cup vegetable stock, 12 oz (340 g) penne pasta, 2/3 cup heavy cream, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, 2 tbsp butter, 6 basil leaves, 3 cups water, and 1.25 tsp salt.
Variations: You can make other primavera variations by adding or subtacting ingredients: vegan, shrimp , chicken, sausage, red sauce, pesto sauce, white bean, and baked.
Instant Pot Shrimp Risotto With Peas
Fresh or frozen peas or other seasonal vegetables like leeks and asparagus can be added to make this a well-balanced meal. Get the recipe here.
Shopping list: 14 oz – 1 lb (400 – 500g ) frozen shrimp, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp butter, 1 onion,1 celery rib, ½ tsp salt, 4 garlic cloves, 1 tsp lemon zest, 1.5 cups uncooked Arborio rice, 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock, 2 tbsp butter, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, 2 tbsp lemon juice, ½ tsp black pepper, 1 cup frozen peas, and ⅓ cup chopped chives or scallions (garnish).
Sides: Lovely salad with seasonal leafy greens and a tangy dressing would go fabulously with this risotto
Golden Lentil & Spinach Soup
Thick, hearty, flavorful, and golden. This is another plant-based recipe to add to your menu. Get this recipe here.
Shopping list: 2 tsp olive oil, 1/2 medium yellow onion, 2 medium carrots, 1 stalk celery, 4 garlic cloves, 2 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground turmeric, 1 tsp dried thyme, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, 1 cup dry brown lentils, 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, and 6 cups of baby spinach.
Tips: After you have sautéd your veggies add your spices – cumin, turmeric, and thyme – to really amp up the flavors. If you aren’t a fan of salt, reduced the initial salt amount from 1 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon. Adjust at the end until it’s perfect for you!
Sides: Rice, quinoa, or naan bread
French Onion Chicken
In this recipe, a French onion soup meets melt-in-your-mouth shredded chicken and creamy mushroom sauce to make a glorious one-pot dinner meal. Serve with seasonal sides and plenty of spring onion on top. Get the chicken recipe here.
Shopping list: 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock, 2 cloves garlic, 1 x packet of French Onion Mix, 2 chicken breasts, 5 oz/ 150g Swiss brown mushrooms, 8 oz / 250 g cream cheese, and 2 green onions.
Recommended sides: Mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta noodles. Salad of radishes, peas and lemon mustard vinaigrette would be lovely here. Like this: Sweet Pea and Radish Salad | Vanilla And Bean.
Note: As French onion chicken contains cream cheese, it might not freeze as well as stews without dairy. You can absolutely freeze it but beware that the texture may change and become noticeably grainier.
Swiss Steak With Carrots
Great dish to use up those carrots and you can throw in leek instead of onions. Get the recipe here.
Shopping list: 2 lb chuck steaks or bottom round roast/steak cut into 1/2″ thick slices, ½ cup all-purpose flour, 1.5 cup beef stock or broth, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 yellow onion sliced or chopped, 2 celery stalks, 1 carrot, 4 cloves garlic, 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp dried rosemary, 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5-ounce), 1 tbsp tomato paste, 2 tbsp fresh parsley, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper.
Tips: Be sure to tenderize the meat. This is a key step in making Swiss steak and getting that super tender meat texture. It also allows the sauce to penetrate into the meat. If you don’t have a tenderizing mullet tool, you can pound the meat with a rolling pin or a heavy can, then use a paring knife to poke a few holes in the steak.
Dusting the steaks with flour will help to thicken the sauce and the searing helps to lock in the juices. You could use gluten-free flour or something like tapioca or cassava flour for a grain-free version.
Recommended sides: Serve with mashed potatoes, rice, pasta noodles, or with some crusty bread or dinner rolls. A side of sauteed or steamed asparagus or spinach would be great here.
GOOD FOR LUNCH
Classic Chicken Salad
Spring vegetables can be added like diced radishes, baby peas, crunchy leek, asparagus, and sweet fruit like cherries or apricots instead of grapes. It’s a great salad to turn into a spring variation. Get the recipe here.
Shopping list: 2 large chicken breasts (boneless, skinless), 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1 cup chicken stock, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tsp dried thyme, 1 large celery stalk, 1 cup diced red grapes, 3 green onions, 1/3 cup almonds, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/3 cup sour cream or Greek yoghurt, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp onion powder, and 1/4 tsp salt & pepper.
Prep tips/make-ahead: Save the broth to make a soup or stew with later on, you can freeze it.
Serving suggestions: Serve over lettuce or as a sandwich.
Teriyaki Salmon Bowls
Although it’s published as a dinner recipe, this would be great for lunch and meal prep. Use those seasonal veggies like cucumber, carrots, radishes and green beans for toppings. Get the recipe here.
Shopping list: 4 (5-6 ounce) salmon filets, 3 cups cooked brown or white rice, 1 cup shelled edamame, carrots, cucumber, avocado, 2 green onions, ½ cup coconut aminos, ¼ cup honey, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil, 3 garlic cloves, 1 tsp grated fresh ginger (or ½ tsp dried ginger), 1 ½ tbsp cornstarch, and sesame seeds (optional).
Tips: Look for shelled edamame in the freezer section. It’s easier to prepare following the package directions. You may use white rice or brown rice or substitute cooked quinoa or cauliflower rice. Frozen rice is a great shortcut to cut down on preparation time. You can also substitute gluten-free tamari or low-sodium soy sauce for coconut aminos.
Serving suggestions: Place ¾ cup rice in each of 4 shallow bowls or plates. Top with salmon and divide the cucumbers (½ cup), carrots (¼ cup), edamame (¼ cup), and avocado among the bowls. Drizzle each bowl with 2 tbsp of teriyaki sauce and sprinkle with sliced green onions and sesame seeds, if using.
Vanilla Cheesecake With Strawberry Cream
This is simple cheesecake with vanilla cream cheese filling and strawberry jam whipped cream topping is a delicious beginner-friendly recipe to treat yourself. Get the recipe here.
Shopping list: 1 cup graham cracker crumbs, 2 tsp brown sugar, 4 tbsp unsalted butter, 16 oz. cream cheese, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup sour cream or heavy whipping cream, 2 eggs, 2 tsp pure vanilla extract, 3 tbsp all-purpose flour, ¼ cup strawberry jam, 1/2 cup sour cream or heavy cream (or whipped cream), and fresh strawberries.
Tips: Let the cheesecake cool completely. In the meantime, whip the sour cream or cream and stir in the jam. Spread the strawberry cream on top of the cheesecake as a thin layer. You could also spread the cream first and then add the jam and swirl it around for a pretty pattern. Then cover and place in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours, to overnight.
Serving suggestions: Top cheesecake with fresh strawberries before serving. To cut perfect slices, clean the knife after each cut (you can keep a glass of warm water for that).
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