Tell the U.S. Department of Labor to Close the Retirement Loophole! Learn more

Make the Most of Spring Vegetables

9 recipes that use the season's best — fresh peas, scallions and asparagus

measuring tape in shape of waist

Want to Lose Weight? Follow these 12 tips to shed pounds and stay healthy.

Make the most of spring vegetables.

Adding asparagus to cured meats can pleasure your palate. — Getty Images

As the weather warms, asparagus, green onions and peas are ready for the picking — and the cooking.

These veggies can add flavor and freshness to all kinds of foods, including pasta, soup and fish dishes, and are a delicious taste of spring.

Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter

Asparagus: Store fresh asparagus wrapped in a damp cloth in a plastic bag with holes for air.

1. Pickled Asparagus

by Liana Krissoff

Try your hand at home preserving with this recipe for tender, tart pickled asparagus. Garlic and rice vinegar add a welcome kick. These are delicious served with cured meats.

Per serving: 13 calories, 0g saturated fat, 2g carbohydrates, 1g protein, 1g fiber, 54mg sodium

2. Swordfish With Thyme-Scented Asparagus

by Anya Von Bremzen

Floral honey and tart citrus juices complement the richly flavored fish and bright asparagus. 

Per serving: 296 calories, 2g saturated fat, 16g carbohydrates, 38g protein, 4g fiber, 492mg sodium

3. Spring Paella

by Jeff Koehler

In Valencia, snails are added to this dish, but you can add a sprig of rosemary instead. This paella also features warm-weather artichokes, garlic shoots and tomatoes.

Per serving: 579 calories, 2g saturated fat, 103g carbohydrates, 20g protein, 13g fiber, 448mg sodium

Peas: The best pods will be bright green and full of peas, and shouldn't rattle when shaken. Fresh peas have a wonderful, sweet taste.

4. Spring Pea Soup

by Laura Pensiero

Potato makes this soup creamy without the addition of any dairy, but you can add 1/3 cup cream or 1/2 cup whole milk during the last 2 minutes of cooking for a more traditionally creamy texture.

Per serving: 214 calories, 1g saturated fat, 28g carbohydrates, 8g protein, 6g fiber, 302mg sodium

5. Green Peas With Allspice and Mushrooms

by Jennifer Abadi

This Syrian-influenced recipe can be made with fresh or frozen green peas. Serve with long-grain white rice for a light and flavorful side or main dish. 

Per serving: 165 calories, 1g saturated fat, 21g carbohydrates, 8g protein, 7g fiber, 126mg sodium

6. Simple Spring Vegetables With Pasta

by Barbara Kafka

Try gluten-free pastas made of quinoa or other nonwheat varieties in this dish. Sugar snap peas served whole make a beautiful presentation. 

Per serving: 503 calories, 3g saturated fat, 70g carbohydrates, 14g protein, 6g fiber, 223mg sodium

Scallions: Look for scallions with crisp green tops and slender white bottoms — they tend to have a sweeter taste.

7. Shrimp Spring Rolls

by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Brigitte Hafner

In China these rolls were traditionally brought out to celebrate the Chinese calendar's first day of spring. Chicken, shrimp and shiitake mushrooms make them a hearty appetizer. 

Per serving: 188 calories, 1g saturated fat, 21g carbohydrates. 11g protein, 1g fiber, 308mg sodium

8. German Potato Salad

by Robin Miller

This recipe calls for turkey bacon, but leaving out the mayonnaise makes it lower in fat than some traditional potato salads. It's an easy dish to bring along to a picnic or party. 

Per serving: 273 calories, 1g saturated fat, 47g carbohydrates, 8g protein, 4g fiber, 476mg sodium

9. Mediterranean Carrot Mezza

by Antony Worrall Thompson

This inventive vegetarian option fashions veggie burger-style cakes out of carrots, bread crumbs, dried fruits, pine nuts, herbs and scallions. Serve it with yogurt for a light meal. 

Per serving: 264 calories, 1.2g saturated fat, 40g carbohydrates, 39g sodium

You May Also Like

Go to the AARP home page for latest news on food and nutrition

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Enter an ingredient, course or keyword and get cooking!

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

denny's restaurant member discount membership

Members save 15% all day, every day when dining at participating Denny’s restaurants.

Member Benefit Discount Dunkin Donuts Cream

Members get a FREE Donut with purchase of a L or XL beverage at Dunkin' Donuts.

Outback membership benefit aarp festive steak dinner

Members save 15% on lunch and dinner every day at Outback Steakhouse.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.




Love to Cook

Share your favorite family recipes, cooking tips and ideas. Discuss

Health Nuts - AARP community group

Health Nuts

Get into a healthy state of mind with heart-smart recipes, fitness tips, stress relievers, and more. Discuss