With a new month nearly here, you may be wondering “What to Cook in May.” The greens are growing and it’s rather exciting to consider the possibilities of what we can cook this month.
May’s fresh produce is always exciting. Not yet summer, but everything is beginning to grow profusely. And delicious vegetables are beginning to arrive from farms across the country. Even berries are beginning to make an appearance.
The May growing and harvest seasons vary from region to region. Check your farmers’ markets to see what’s available in your neck of the woods.
In fact, if you’re wondering which farmers’ markets rank top in the U.S. — check out this guide. Yay for Portland, Oregon!
Healthy meals are so much more fun when you can prepare fresh, seasonal dishes. And knowing what to cook in May helps jumpstart meal planning!
Here are some seasonal and fresh ideas —
What to Cook in May
While the May season varies by region, there are some constants. These are the most common vegetables and fruit available across the country.
- Bitter greens: Collards, kale, mustard, turnip
- Leafy greens and lettuce
What to Cook in May: Asparagus
Asparagus is wonderful simply roasted with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and perhaps a bit of lemon. Asparagus is an excellent source of vitamin K, folate, copper, selenium, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin C, and vitamin E. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, manganese, phosphorus, vitamin B3, potassium, choline, vitamin A, zinc, iron, protein, vitamin B6, and pantothenic acid.
- Shrimp Scampi Pasta with Asparagus by Natasha’s Kitchen
- Sesame & Almond Asparagus Salad by Love and Lemons
- Pesto Asparagus Noodles by Pinch of Yum
What to Cook: Broccoli
Endlessly delicious, especially when you add olive oil and sea salt. Try roasting it to bring out its best flavor. Add it to pasta, soups, and even salads. Broccoli is a good source of dietary fiber, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin E, manganese, phosphorus, choline, vitamin B1, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), potassium and copper. Broccoli is also a good source of vitamin B1, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, zinc, calcium, iron, niacin and selenium.
- Caramelized Broccoli with Garlic by Food & Wine
- Simply, Salted, Sweet + Nutty Broccoli Soba by The First Mess
- Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad by Southern Living
Spring is the season for cabbage, big leafy globes appearing in the garden. Fresh and delicious, just like May.
Cabbage has been grown around the world for centuries. And while often overlooked nutritionally, it is packed with antioxidants and fiber. Here are a few ways to cook this versatile and delicious vegetable this month:
What to Cook in May: Cauliflower
Roasting cauliflower with olive oil and sea salt absolutely transforms this beautiful veggie. By running it through a food processor until it is a rice-like texture gives it even more possibilities. Try a cauliflower crust pizza or cauliflower rice. Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. It is a very good source of choline, dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, phosphorus, and biotin.
- How to Make Cauliflower Rice by Kitchn
- How to Make Cauliflower Grilled Cheese by delish
- Shrimp Curry with Cauliflower by The Splendid Table
What to Cook in May: Kale
Kale is one of my favorite ingredients to add to salads, soups… almost anything. Incredibly healthy, it’s a good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.
- Sauteed Kale by The New York Times
- Kale Spinach and Pear Smoothie by Joy the Baker
- Spicy Clam & Kale Linguini by BBC GoodFood
What to Cook: Mushrooms
Mushrooms are a powerhouse food. Delicious in so many recipes, we sometimes overlook their amazing nutritional value too. Mushrooms are a good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin C, Folate, Iron, Zinc and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin D, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Selenium. High in antioxidants, research shows health benefits and protection from cancer, heart, builds immunity, and weight management.
- Chicken Noodle Soup with Mushrooms by Boost Immunity
- Mushroom Barley Soup Recipe
- 15 Minute Lo Mein by Pinch of Yum
- Roasted Oyster Mushroom and Watercress Salad by Serious Eats
- Creamy Garlic Parmesan Mushrooms by The Recipe Critic
What to Cook in May: Green Peas
I know sometimes peas are not highly favored. But truly, they are the embodiment of spring. Sweet and delicious straight out of the spring garden. Green peas are a very good source of vitamin K, manganese, dietary fiber, vitamin B1, copper, vitamin C, phosphorus and folate. They are also a good source of vitamin B6, niacin, vitamin B2, molybdenum, zinc, protein, magnesium, iron, potassium and choline.
- Braised Spring Peas with Lettuce and Mint
- Instant Pot Split Soup with Ham
- Spring Vegetable Stew by Saveur
- Green Pea and Chickpea Falafel by kitchn
What to Cook: Rhubarb
Rhubarb almost seems like spring rite of passage. When rhubarb shows up in my market, I know warmer days are ahead. While we most often think of rhubarb as a sweet dish, it is delicious in savory dishes as well. Rhubarb is packed with minerals, vitamins, organic compounds, and other nutrients that make it ideal for keeping our bodies healthy. Some of these precious components are dietary fiber, protein, vitamin C, vitamin K, B-complex vitamins, calcium, potassium, manganese, and magnesium.
- Strawberry Rhubarb Cake
- Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler by Simply Recipes
- Almond Rhubarb Picnic Bars by Smitten Kitchen
- Strawberry Rhubarb Scones by Heather Cristo
What to Cook: Spinach
As soon as the baby spinach leaves begin emerging in my garden, I’m concocting all kinds of ways to eat it and cook with it!
“Eating spinach may benefit eye health, reduce oxidative stress, help prevent cancer, and reduce blood pressure levels.”
- Strawberry Spinach Salad
- Easy Spinach, Bacon and Cheese Quiche
- Spinach, Ham and Asparagus Strata
- 15 White Bean and Spinach Soup
What to Cook in May: Strawberries
You know the grips of cool weather is coming to an end when the bright red strawberries begin to ripen in the fields. It’s the gateway to summer! And this month has plenty of opportunities to indulge in summer’s sweetest fruit.
Strawberries “are very rich in antioxidants and plant compounds, which may have benefits for heart health and blood sugar control.”
- Classic Strawberry Shortcake
- Buttermilk Strawberry Scones
- Strawberry Muffins
- Small Batch Strawberry Refrigerator Jam