Our Best-Ever Spring Recipes from Better Homes & Gardens

Dark Chocolate-Caramel Panna Cotta
There's always something new in the Better Homes and Gardens® Test Kitchen. Every year, our editors and Test Kitchen staff taste hundreds of recipes, and we've collected their spring favorites for you to try, including sweet desserts, fresh salads, and dinner ideas.

Sicilian Potato and Green Bean Salad

According to one Test Kitchen chef, this easy potluck recipe is "a wonderful fresh-flavor potato salad filled with green beans, tomatoes, olives, hard-cooked eggs, and fresh basil." We love that it's a new take on an old standby.

Raspberry Bars

Sweet fresh raspberries pair with creamy goat cheese for a melt-in-your-mouth spring treat you'll love. One of our Test Kitchen chefs sums it up best: "These easy-to-make bars take the cake."

Corned Beef and Cabbage Calzone

Our testers couldn’t get enough of this quick and easy twist on classic corned beef and cabbage. A crimped crust made with refrigerated pizza dough puts the finishing touch on each tender calzone. Complete your meal with creamy Thousand Island-style dressing for dipping.

Pink Lemonade Cake

We couldn’t resist sharing a cake this delicious. Its pretty pink layers of lemon cake, decadent lemonade-buttercream frosting, and sugared lemon slice garnish make it a stunning addition to any spring get-together.

All-Purpose Pizza Sauce

Our homemade pizza sauce earned high marks for its simplicity, classic Italian taste, and speedy five-minute prep time.

The secret to sauce success is using your favorite brand of canned tomatoes, one editor says: "People may not realize how easy it is to make fresh sauce, and how good it is. Resist the urge to use too much. The sauce should just kiss the dough."

Skinny Guacamole

We’ve cut the carbs and calories so you can enjoy your guacamole guilt-free. The key is plenty of fresh vegetables and better-for-you ingredients, such as olive oil and lemon juice. At only 29 calories per serving, our testers were big fans—they recommend making a double batch.

Opera Cake

Our panel raved about this cake’s rich chocolate ganache frosting, well-balanced flavors, and pitch-perfect presentation. Coffee-infused frosting rests between two layers of sweet almond cake for an irresistible, companyworthy dessert.

Egg Salad Wraps

Classic egg salad goes mobile in crisp bibb lettuce wraps. Our taste panel loved the speedy prep time, high protein, and low fat in this quick and easy recipe.

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Mini Cornmeal Sopes with Chicken Salad

We've captured the robust flavor and color of traditional Mexican sopes—small, meat- and veggie-topped tortillas—without all the fat and calories. Baked, soft-centered polenta squares form the base and our spicy chicken salad adds the delicious finishing touch.

Ranchero Eggs over Polenta

"Love this! This is a great breakfast: Very hearty with a nice mix of flavors. Everything was wonderful,” says one Test Kitchen chef. To add to its glowing review, this Mexican-inspired dish is a high-fiber, high-protein breakfast option that’s loaded with eggs, polenta, and a fresh tomato salsa.

Classic Vanilla Cake

We've dubbed this cake a classic, and we mean it. Its simple ingredients, elegant layers, and smooth vanilla-sour cream frosting make it the perfect fit for any celebration. One reviewer's response: "This cake was great! Perfect texture … did not crumble at all when frosting it and everyone loved it!"

Broccoli and Grape Salad

"We've varied the very popular potluck salad by roasting the grapes and broccoli and using toasted almonds. Awesome flavor, sure to be a big hit," one editor says. Fresh ingredients such as broccoli, red grapes, and bacon combine for a stunning and savory salad that earned a five-star rating with our testers.

Torta Rustica

One Test Kitchen chef called this Italian-inspired main dish "simply gorgeous." She loved the combination of the basil pesto, savory vegetables, tender pastry crust, and three kinds of cheese.

Banana-Coconut Bread

We’ve crafted a brunch bread you can feel good about indulging in, even on a diabetic diet. Whole wheat flour and light coconut milk help cut calories without sacrificing that classic banana bread flavor. Our taste panel raved about its crunchy coconut-macadamia nut topper.

Coconut, Cherry, and Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Oatmeal, dried cherries, and toasted walnuts make fun add-ins to traditional chocolate chip cookies. The best part? You can customize each batch with your favorite ingredients: “The stir-ins can really be whatever you want—any kind of nuts or dried fruit, another kind of chocolate, or even chocolate candies,” one editor says.

Tamale Pies

Typically time-consuming tamales get a quick and easy makeover in our seven-ingredient take on the Mexican classic. Packaged corn muffin mix makes a sweet topping for this savory casserole that's filled with ground beef, tomatoes, and olives. 

Tomatillo-Pineapple Salsa Topper for Fish

"This is a beautiful dish. The colorful salsa is fresh and tasty, and we love the smoky flavor—just the right amount of heat," our tasting panel says. Its healthy and low-carb, and its complex blend of flavors made it an instant editor favorite.

Beef and Asparagus with Caramelized Onion Aioli

Tare sauce, a Japanese basting marinade, lends bold, tangy flavor to tender flank steak kabobs and crunchy asparagus. The unique, ethnic-inspired flavors helped this grilling staple earn its stars—four to be exact.

Classic New York-Style Cheesecake

Indulge in ultra-creamy cheesecake at your next dinner party. Our New York-style recipe features a classic cream cheese base and a lighter layer of sour cream topping. “Luscious! So creamy and good…love the zing from the sour cream,” one editor says. 

Dark Chocolate Caramel Panna Cotta

One editor called these mini treats "small little bites of wonderful—just enough, since it is so rich and good." We love their dark chocolate layers and hints of caramel in the middle. Top each one with whipped cream for delicious contrast.

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