What's for Dinner? 21 Weeknight Recipes That Are Perfect for April

lemony leek and-asparagus crispy rice
Ren Fuller

April is Earth Month, and while we believe in taking care of and celebrating the planet every day of the year, it never hurts to have a reason to go above and beyond. If you've followed our monthly meal plans before, you know that our Mondays are always meatless; this month, however, we've included even more of our favorite plant-based dinner recipes featuring seasonal vegetables, lots of greens and grains, and less animal products, all in the spirit of treating our planet a little better this month.

From the egg-topped, spring vegetable-studded rice dish pictured here (you'll find the full recipe in week three!) to lettuce cups filled with an umami-forward mix of spicy tofu and sautéed shiitakes, to the prettiest of pastas that's packed with peas, there's no shortage of delicious dinner ideas to get you through the month. And whether you eat a vegetarian or vegan meal once a week or once a day, our hope is that these evening recipes inspire you to incorporate more produce and plant-based ingredients into your meals all year long.

We're sure that, like us, you're always on the lookout for quick and easy meals that are also family-friendly. There are plenty of them in our selection for April, including crowd-pleasing chicken kebabs (ours are roasted not grilled, making them a winner for April's rainy weather) and panko-crusted schnitzel-style breasts we think are somehow even better than fried chicken. We've also included fast and flavorful beef tacos and plenty of fish dishes, from crispy oven-baked fish wraps to colorful salmon kedgeree.

The one-pot approach to dinner is, of course, our go-to way to get a meal on the table without creating a huge pile of dishes, but it can also be fast; ahead, you'll find weeknight dinner recipes that come together in less than an hour and use only one pan, skillet, or sheet pan. In fact, we start April with one-pot pork meatballs with orzo, a fabulous dish that's comforting, simple to put together, and light enough for spring.

Enjoy these quick and easy dinner recipes with your family all month long.

01 of 21

Brothy Orzo and Pork Meatballs

Brothy Orzo and Pork Meatballs
Ryan Liebe

Embrace spring with this lighter take on meatballs that takes only 35 minutes to make. Another thing to love about this fast weeknight dinner? It's a rich and comforting one-pot meal.

02 of 21

Spaghettini with Charred Scallions and Peas

spaghettini with charred scallions and peas
Nico Schinco

We're starting the week with a bright spring pasta with asparagus, peas, and scallions. It's vegetarian and comes together in just 20 minutes.

03 of 21

Salmon-Shiitake Rice Bowls

salmon-shiitake rice bowls served with cucumber
Nico Schinco

Here's a surefire way to up your rice bowl game for an easy weeknight dinner. This meal is packed with umami from both the sautéed shiitake mushrooms and the miso paste that is used in the glaze on the buttery salmon.

04 of 21

One-Pan Chicken and Mushrooms with Egg Noodles

Sharon Radisch

A few cold days always manage to sneak their way into the first full month of spring. Make this comforting and creamy one-pot dinner on such a night. Chicken, mushrooms, and shallots brown in a pan, then simmer with egg noodles, chicken broth, and cream until everything is cooked through.

05 of 21

Beef and Cabbage Tacos

Yuki Sugiura

Fast for dinner on a Friday sounds really good. These tacos take just 20 minutes, and who doesn't love tacos? The addition of cabbage is unexpected but totally genius. Give cabbage a try in your tacos and you won't regret it.

06 of 21

Pinto-Bean Burgers

pinto bean burgers
Armando Rafael

Use pinto or whatever kind of canned beans you have to make these veggie burgers. We serve them California-style, topped with sliced avocado and sprouts, but they also taste great in a bun.

07 of 21

Cauliflower-and-Lentil Stew with Onion Relish

cauliflower-and-lentil stew with onion relish
Nico Schinco

Light and bright, but still comforting, that's this vegetable and lentil stew that takes just 45 minutes to make. Serve it in bowls with plenty of crusty bread. It's the perfect antidote to those rainy April evenings.

08 of 21

Creamy Asparagus Chicken

creamy asparagus chicken
Armando Rafael

If your go-to dinner is a protein and two easy vegetable sides, this recipe is for you. We've upgraded basic chicken breasts by cooking them with leeks, red potatoes, and asparagus, plus a rich and delicious sauce made with butter, white wine, chicken broth, and heavy cream.

09 of 21

Crispy Oven-Baked-Fish Wraps

Crispy Oven-Baked-Fish Wraps
Chris Simpson

Here's an easy dinner for hump day. Baked not fried, the panko-crusted cod fillets cook hands off in the oven. Use that time to put together an easy salad with store-bought coleslaw mix and apple that also goes into the tortillas along with the fish.

10 of 21

Leek-and-Asparagus Crispy Rice

Leek-and-Asparagus Crispy Rice
Ren Fuller

Giving the rice for this spring dinner a few minutes in a hot skillet helps it form a crackly crust, creating little nuggets of crunch to disperse throughout the bowl. Cooked leeks take on a buttery quality and melt into fluffy rice along with crisp-tender asparagus. Lastly, eggs—fried just until the yolk can be used as a silky sauce—become the crown on top of each portion of a most excellent vegetarian meal.

11 of 21

Tricolor-Salad Pizza

Tricolor-Salad Pizza
Lennart Weibull

We're celebrating Friday with pizza—and it's a healthy pizza, too. This vegetarian pie is topped with thinly sliced fennel, radicchio, and baby arugula. It's colorful, flavorful, and totally unexpected—the best kind of dinner.

12 of 21

Crumbled-Tofu-and-Shiitake Lettuce Cups

crumbled-tofu-and-shiitake lettuce cups
Nico Schinco

Looking for something different and delicious for dinner tonight? We've got you covered with these vegan lettuce cups. Sautéed shiitake mushrooms are paired with crumbled tofu that's cooked with a lively hoisin and chili-garlic sauce combo, then piled into lettuce leaves with rice, a topping of peanuts adds crunch.

13 of 21

Spiced Chicken Kebabs with Pita

Spiced Chicken Kebabs with Pita
Con Poulos

Grilling season is just around the corner. These roasted kebabs will get you in the mood for grilling to come. They're made with za'atar-spiced chicken, orange bell pepper, and red onion. Serving them with pita pockets makes them a full meal for your family.

14 of 21

Pea-Pesto Handkerchiefs

pea pesto handkerchiefs pasta in bowl with spoon
Chris Simpson

And the prize for prettiest dinner of the month goes to...this ode to spring that's made with frozen peas and torn sheets of lasagna! We call them pasta handkerchiefs, but you can call them anything you'd like so long as you remind your family how delicious dinner is going to be.

15 of 21

Farro Risotto with Shrimp

Farro Risotto with Shrimp
Bryan Gardner

Did you know risotto can be made with grains other than rice? Farro, as used in this healthy springtime meal, is the Italian name for emmer wheat. It has a nutty taste, and the pearled version has some of the bran removed so is quicker to cook than regular farro—plus, it's a great pairing for shrimp.

16 of 21

Curried Steak with Scallion Rice and Peas

Curried Steak with Scallion Rice and Peas
Ren Fuller

This streamlined recipe has just five ingredients. Store-bought Massaman curry paste is used to marinate the flank steak with delicious results.

17 of 21

Hummus, Avocado, and Spring-Vegetable Flatbreads

hummus avocado and spring-vegetable flatbreads
Nico Schinco

For a fast and healthy start to the week, pick up flatbreads and hummus at the store. While quinoa simmers on the stovetop, assemble the rest of the ingredients for these plant-based pizzas featuring crunchy spring vegetables and creamy avocados.

18 of 21

Wild-Salmon Kedgeree

Wild-Salmon Kedgeree
Chris Simpson

This easy curried rice bowl is a riff on the Anglo-Indian dish kedgeree with salmon replacing the usual smoked haddock. The fish cooks along with the rice in a straight-sided skillet.

19 of 21

Chicken Schnitzel with Dill and Sesame

Chicken Schnitzel with Dill and Sesame
David Malosh

Like fried chicken but better and easier. That's a controversial statement, we know, but if you give these panko-crusted beauties a try, we think you'll agree—and you'll be making this recipe on the regular.

20 of 21

Sweet-and-Spicy Pork Salad


Prepare this light and bright salad made with sautéed pork chops on an extra-busy weeknight. The meat is piled high atop a salad made with a combination of raw and sautéed cabbage and cucumbers, which are tossed in a dressing featuring lime juice, fish sauce, chile peppers, and brown sugar.

21 of 21

Cheese-Stuffed Tostadas

Cheese-Stuffed Tostadas
Ren Fuller

Calling both carnivores and omnivores! Everyone at the table will love these cheesy black-bean-based tacos. They come together in just half an hour, so they're a breeze to make after a busy work day.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles