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15 Spring Dinners That Will Make You Want To Eat Outside

Spring is in the air, and what better way to enjoy the fresh, breezy evenings than by taking your dinner plans outside? There’s something special about dining al fresco that makes the food taste better. We’ve rounded up 15 easy and fun dinner ideas perfect for those longer, warmer evenings. From quick fixes to family favorites, these meals will make you want to set up the patio table tonight.

As the days get longer and the weather warms up, it’s the perfect time to shake up your dinner routine. Think less about the oven and more about enjoying the sunset while you eat. We’re talking meals that are simple to whip up and incredibly enjoyable under the open sky. Whether you’re cooking for two or a whole crew, these ideas are here to make your outdoor dining a hit.

Why settle for the same old indoor settings when nature invites you to dine under the stars? These dinner picks are about making the most of the season’s charm. They’re ideal for those nights when the kitchen feels too stuffy, and the backyard is just calling your name. Grab your favorite dishes, and let’s make the most of these blissful spring evenings with food that brings everyone together outside.

Shirazi Salad in a white serving bowl.
Shirazi Salad. Photo credit: Cook What You Love.

Cream of Onion Soup

Cream of Onion Soup is a smooth, comforting blend transitioning well from indoor delicacy to an outdoor evening staple. It allows for an elegant starter or a simple, singular focus of your spring meal. With a velvety constitution, it holds its own against the playful unpredictability of spring weather. Gather around a table, soup bowls cradled in hand, as conversations flow into the twilight.
Get the Recipe: Cream of Onion Soup

Chicken Salad with Cranberries & Walnuts

Combining crunchy textures and sweet undertones, this salad is a nod to simplicity and freshness, ideal for a springtime meal outdoors. Chicken Salad with Cranberries & Walnuts becomes a go-to for a breezy evening as the sun dips lower and the temperature becomes just perfect. With elements that bring in a hint of sweetness and a satisfying crunch, it invites an ambiance of relaxation. It’s a dish that seamlessly fits into the tranquil dining al fresco vibe.
Get the Recipe: Chicken Salad with Cranberries & Walnuts

Brisket fried rice in black serving dish on white background.
Brisket Fried Rice. Photo credit: Cook What You Love.

Brisket Fried Rice

When the warmth of spring beckons you outdoors, a hearty yet easy-to-serve option like Brisket Fried Rice answers the call. It is an infusion of hearty essence and sprightly spring airs. This dish is as versatile as it is filling, making it a suitable companion for a gathering at dusk. The fusion of flavors it brings promises comfort in every bite, matched only by the comfort of good company.
Get the Recipe: Brisket Fried Rice

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Cream of Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Soup

The rich, blended character of Cream of Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Soup makes it an inviting dish for the transitional spring climate. It’s a subtle nod to the winter past and a warm embrace of the burgeoning spring. As an addition to your outdoor dining, it is a smooth counterpoint to crisp evenings. Welcome your guests to a meal that feels like a cozy blanket as the day cools into night.
Get the Recipe: Cream of Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Soup

Air fried chicken fries with dipping sauce on a wooden cutting board.
Air Fryer Chicken Fries. Photo credit: Cook What You Love.

Air Fryer Chicken Fries

Embrace a casual outdoor dining experience with a favorite dish among those who prefer a hands-on approach to their meal. Air Fryer Chicken Fries emerge as a prime candidate for picnic tables and open skies. They are effortless to share and easy to enjoy amidst laughter and conversation. Consider these a fitting centerpiece for a laid-back spring dinner that requires minimal fuss.
Get the Recipe: Air Fryer Chicken Fries

Steak & Pasta Salad

The fusion of robust and light fare often allows Steak & Pasta Salad to bridge the gap between varied palates. As a dish that stands tall in both flavor and substance, it becomes a celebratory meal under the open sky. Those looking for a balance of hearty and refreshing notes will find this salad a keen choice for outdoor dining. Engage in the springtime splendor with a meal that captures the spirit of seasonality.
Get the Recipe: Steak & Pasta Salad

Kale and tortellini soup in a bowl on a wooden table.
Tortellini Soup with Kale & Chicken. Photo credit: Cook What You Love.

Tortellini Soup with Kale & Chicken

Spring’s unpredictable breeze pairs well with a comforting bowl of Tortellini Soup with Kale & Chicken, offering warmth and a whiff of freshness. Its ability to be simultaneously comforting and bright makes it a dual-season staple. Gather around with friends as this soup brings an essence of coziness to your outdoor soirée. It is a reminder that simple ingredients can create a memorable meal under the stars.
Get the Recipe: Tortellini Soup with Kale & Chicken

Pastrami Reuben Sandwich

For those evenings when the outdoor air still holds a nip, the hearty embrace of a Pastrami Reuben Sandwich is an inviting reprieve. This sandwich doubles as a conversation starter, loaded with textures as engaging as spring’s unfolding drama. It’s a hands-on meal requiring only your fingers and a pile of napkins. Sidle up to a bench, sandwich in hand, and watch as the spring sunset paints the sky.
Get the Recipe: Pastrami Reuben Sandwich

Two slices of Cottage Cheese Toast with Eggs & Bacon on a black platter.
Cottage Cheese Toast with Bacon & Poached Egg. Photo credit: Cook What You Love.

Cottage Cheese Toast with Bacon & Poached Egg

For a morning start or a light evening bite, Cottage Cheese Toast with Bacon & Poached Egg is a clear pick. It nods to minimalism with its straightforward assembly and unassuming appearance, perfect for a quaint patio meal. This offering brings a sense of freshness to the table, ideal for those sun-kissed spring mornings or twilight hours. It’s about finding joy in the simple things, like a well-assembled toast under a clear sky.
Get the Recipe: Cottage Cheese Toast with Bacon & Poached Egg

Cuban Sandwich Casserole

Imagine layers upon layers of flavor packed into every slice with Cuban Sandwich Casserole, a reinvention of a classic that’s made for sharing. Its vibrant spirit is akin to spring—full of life and ripe for enjoyment in the outdoors. This dish is a convivial centerpiece, inviting friends and family to dig in amidst the fresh air. It’s a communal meal that simplifies serving yet amplifies taste.
Get the Recipe: Cuban Sandwich Casserole

Carnitas in a round black dish.
Dutch oven Carnitas. Photo credit: Cook What You Love.

Dutch oven Carnitas

As the name suggests, Dutch oven Carnitas is slow-cooked perfection that provides a hands-off approach to a communal outdoor feast. It represents the slow-release joy of spring, mirroring the ease of longer days and warmer nights. Invite friends to build their plates and their stories around a pot of these tender, flavorful bites. Every forkful is a tribute to the season’s leisurely pace.
Get the Recipe: Dutch oven Carnitas

Mexican Street Corn Soup

Enliven your outdoor dining table with the bold essence of Mexican Street Corn Soup, a spirited blend that channels the festivity of spring. It’s a soup that carries the vibrancy of its namesake, perfect for brightening up any al fresco meal. As spoonfuls are savored, this dish turns a simple sitting into a lively gathering. It pairs well with the effervescent chatter of good company, under a canopy of budding branches.
Get the Recipe: Mexican Street Corn Soup

Al pastor chicken quesadillas pulled apart.
Chicken Al Pastor Quesadillas. Photo credit: Cook What You Love.

Chicken Al Pastor Quesadillas

Introducing the flavor-focused Chicken Al Pastor Quesadillas is all about bringing people together. This dish is a perfect hand-held delight for when you want to keep things unfussy yet engaging. Gratitude comes in the form of melty, warm bites, perfect as the evening cools. Set against a backdrop of a setting sun, this meal is a casual nod to togetherness.
Get the Recipe: Chicken Al Pastor Quesadillas

Shirazi Salad

Light, refreshing, and bursting with hints of nature’s awakening, a Shirazi Salad is spring in a bowl. It’s an eclectic mix of fresh elements that capture the essence of outdoor dining. This salad has the unique ability to complement a diverse range of mains while holding its bright own. It brings a splash of color and freshness to any picnic table.
Get the Recipe: Shirazi Salad

Baja fish tacos on a white plate.
Baja Fish Tacos. Photo credit: Cook What You Love.

Baja Fish Tacos

Assembling your own Baja Fish Tacos, an interactive dish perfect for seaside or backyard dining, is a certain joy. The freshness they bring to the table is unmatched, ideal as spring’s bounty begins to bloom. They’re a light yet satisfying choice, encouraging diners to mix, match, and make their perfect bite. End the day with a taco in one hand, your feet in the grass, and no care in the world.
Get the Recipe: Baja Fish Tacos


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