It’s finally spring around here with daffodils popping up and flowering trees, which means it’s time to start planning some spring dinners and easing out of all those heavy winter dishes. These are the spring dinner recipes that feel a bit lighter and brighter to me — they’re not all about greens or cold soups, but they’re just easy to whip up. And best of all, they’re all crowd-pleasers with the kids.

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Updated for 2024

5 family-friendly spring dinners that please everyone at the table

I put these weekly meals plans together based on recipes I am actually cooking for my family, and with you in mind.  If you have suggestions, tips or recommendations for recipes or other food bloggers we should check out, please comment here, or post in our Recipe Rescue group on Facebook. 

Family-friendly spring dinner recipes that please everyone at the table

1. Tortellini with some spring veggies

Spring and peas go hand in hand, and even if you can’t get your hands on fresh peas just yet, frozen ones will do just fine. This super easy and delicious recipe for Crispy Tortellini with Peas and Prosciutto from Smitten Kitchen is a busy week lifesaver.  It comes together in a snap and there are rarely any leftovers.

Meal Plan Tip: When you make your shopping list, double up on the frozen peas and prosciutto (great tips here for  saving money by cooking in bulk) to save for the pizza later in the week.

2. Easy tomato soup with easier grilled cheese croutons

Yay for affordable tomatoes starting to flood the markets again for spring! My kids have been asking for the Easy Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Croutons from Barefoot Contessa for a few weeks now because it’s a family favorite around here. If you’ve got a decent stock pot for the soup, you’re all set.

If you don’t have a Panini Press, this one from Cuisinart gets exceptionally high marks. You’d be surprised how often you use it once you have one.  Alternatively, use a waffle iron. I do this and it works perfectly..

Related: 10 Easy and Delicious 5 Ingredient Soups

3. Enchiladas and a bright green salad

The Shredded Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas from Living Lou are so delicious and in my experience, will please even the pickiest eaters in your home. Using a good salsa verdie makes a big difference. Of course, you may have to tailor the heat and other ingredients to suit your kids’ tastes; I like to throw some roasted sweet potatoes into the filling mix, but your call.

Serve with a bright green salad, which always feels like spring to me. We have lots of salad topping ideas if you’re looking to change things up in that department too. I think we could even stir up some fun spring mocktails for the family to make dinner more festive, and help break up the monotony of the week.

Meal Plan Tip: You’re going to be using up more chicken tomorrow night, so account for that in your grocery list.

Related: 4 clever dinner ideas that make life easier for families with picky eaters

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4. An easy Tom Yum Chicken with Rice made in the Instant Pot

Chicken again? Absolutely, when the flavor profile is so completely different from the night before. Use up your chicken in this fantastic recipe for Easy Tom Yum Chicken Rice from Marvellina at What to Cook Today. She is one of my favorite Asian food bloggers (or really, food bloggers in general) and this recipe that brings together her own family’s Pan-Asian influences is just plain delicious. Using your Instant Pot simplifies everything and bonus: it keeps you away from the stovetop if things are getting warmer in your neck of the woods. 

5. DIY pizza night with some fresh, seasonal toppings

The end of the week always calls for DIY pizza around here. You can make your own pizza crust, or take it easy on yourself and pick up some from the grocery store or your local pizzeria, which will likely sell you a round or two of dough. The Pea and Prosciutto Pizza from The Modern Proper even looks like spring, and such a delicious easy way to get a spring recipe for dinner onto the table, knowing the kids are into it too.

By the way, if you don’t yet own one this pizza stone from Old Stone Kitchen comes highly recommended, and it’s a great investment in more future DIY pizza nights. As with that panini press, once you have one, you’ll find you’re more inclined to find ways to use it.

Meal Plan Tip: Pizza is a great way to use up any leftover veggies, salad, and other goodies hiding in your fridge, to make the most of your grocery haul. Check out this list of  25 creative pizza toppings and surely you’ll find some new favorite combos for spring.

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Top image:  Brenan Greene on Unsplash