5 Simple Spring Dinners

Make weeknight meals easy with quick, delicious recipes.
By Sara Quessenberry

One-Pot: Braised Chicken and Spring Vegetables
Serves 4| Hands-On Time: 15m | Total Time: 40m

Marcus NilssonMarcus NilssonIngredients
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-8 small bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 1⁄2 pounds)
-kosher salt and black pepper
-1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
-12 medium radishes, halved
-3/4 pound carrots (about 4), cut into sticks
-1 teaspoon sugar
-2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
2. Season the chicken with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook until browned, 6 to 7 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
3. Spoon off and discard the fat. Return the pot to medium-high heat. Add the broth and scrape up any brown bits.
4. Stir in the radishes, carrots, and sugar.
5. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables and gently simmer, partly covered, until it is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the chives.

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Leftovers for Lunch: Apricot-Glazed Ham With Potatoes and Asparagus
Serves 4 (with leftover ham)| Hands-On Time: 15m | Total Time: 1hr 00m

Marcus NilssonMarcus NilssonIngredients
-1 3-pound boneless ham
-1/4 cup apricot preserves
-1 pound fingerling or some other small potatoes
kosher salt and black pepper
-1 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
-3 tablespoons olive oil
-1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
-1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
-1/4 cup fresh dill sprigs

1. Heat oven to 350° F. Place the ham on a foil-lined baking sheet and cook until heated through, 50 to 60 minutes, spreading the ham with the preserves after 20 minutes of cooking.
2. Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a medium saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover and bring to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, 15 to 18 minutes.
3. With a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to a colander; run under cold water until cool. Add the asparagus to the boiling water and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes; drain and run under cold water to cool. Cut the potatoes into quarters.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, horseradish, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add the vegetables and toss to combine; fold in the dill. Thinly slice the ham and serve with the vegetables.

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Vegetarian: Spinach and Ricotta-Stuffed Shells
Serves 4| Hands-On Time: 20m | Total Time: 40m

Marcus NilssonMarcus NilssonIngredients
-20 jumbo pasta shells (about half a 12-ounce box)
-1 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
-2 15-ounce containers ricotta
-2 cups baby spinach, chopped
-1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces)
-kosher salt and black pepper
-1/2 cup grated mozzarella (4 ounces)
-green salad (optional)

1. Set an oven rack to the highest position and heat oven to 400° F. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and run under cold water to cool.
2. Spread the marinara sauce in the bottom of a large broilerproof baking dish.
3. In a bowl, combine the ricotta, spinach, Parmesan, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Spoon the mixture into the shells and place them on top of the sauce.
4. Sprinkle the shells with the mozzarella and bake until heated through, 10 to 12 minutes.
5. Increase heat to broil. Broil the shells until cheese begins to brown, 2 to 5 minutes. Serve with the salad, if desired.

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