10 gorgeously green vegetable recipes for every occasion

By Lesego Madisa, 6 October 2023

Out with the soups and in with the light and fresh meals! We’ve rounded up 10 recipes that make a great case for eating more greens. Add asparagus, cucumbers, leeks and broccoli (to name a few) to your shopping basket. These recipes will take you from breakfast to dinner – and we’ve even included a few snacks.

With winter in the past, you're probably looking for new recipes to get you through the season. One cannot survive on braai alone. When you're not grilling in your backyard or local park, here's what to make:


1. Load up on leeks: Leek-and-potato frittata

While fry-ups and omelettes get all the breakfast glory, frittatas tend to be overlooked. This Spanish dish is made with thinly sliced potatoes and eggs and can be flavoured with chorizo, mushrooms or bacon, but if you've never tried caramelised leeks, this is the recipe to do it. Don't forget to serve this made-for-sharing breakfast with a dollop of sour cream and some chives. Leek-and-potato-frittataGet the recipe for leek-and-potato frittata here. 

2. Asparagus with Hollandaise

Asparagus doesn't take a long time to cook. In fact, did you know that you can cook asparagus by pouring boiling water over it in a heatproof dish? Leave for a few minutes, then shock in cold water to keep the colour vibrant and stop it from cooking further. This recipe is great if you're hosting a few people for brunch. Serve with all the trimmings: bagels, poached eggs, bacon and smoked trout. We also love the fried leeks to add a bit of crunch. If you want to go all out, this is the brunch dish to serve.

Get the recipe for asparagus with Hollandaise here.

ALSO READ: 6 breakfast-for-dinner recipes to try this spring

Quick dinners

3. Stir-fried greens with baked tofu

This stir-fry is what to make when you want to clear your fridge before your greens wilt. It uses a mix of pak choi, Tenderstem broccoli, mangetout, and Chinese cabbage, but green beans, regular cabbage and spinach also work.  Get the recipe for stir-fried greens with baked tofu here.

4. Pea-and-mascarpone pasta

Frozen peas, salt, spinach and mascarpone are all you need to make the punchiest pasta sauce ever. If you're on a budget, swap the mascarpone for cottage cheese. Contributing food editor Hannah Lewry also suggests cooking a large batch of pasta and freezing it for days when you don't feel like cooking. This recipe uses orecchiette pasta but feel free to use your favourite pasta shape. Pea and mascarpone pasta  Get the recipe for pea-and-mascarpone pasta here. 

ALSO READ: 7 sensational recipes that celebrate Spring produce


5. Brown rice, grilled greens and green pesto bowl

Another fantastic way to use up soft green vegetables and herbs is to make your own pesto. Add to a rice bowl with grilled Tenderstem broccoli and beans and top with grilled halloumi. The halloumi can also be swapped for grilled paneer or tofu.  Get the recipe for brown rice, grilled greens and green pesto bowl here. 

6. Quinoa-and-avocado salad

Yes, we know avocado is technically a fruit, but since we don't typically put it into fruit salads, we reckon it fits in just fine here. Add to a salad made with baby fennel, quinoa and an easy lemon-and-maple dressing. Don't try to overcomplicate your salad, but make sure there's a good balance of flavours and textures and always use grains to bulk it up.  Quinoa, fennel, avocado and baby butter lettuce saladGet the recipe for quinoa-and-avocado salad here. 

ALSO READ: 6 of the best warm salads you should try this spring


7. Green giardiniera

Giardiniera is an Italian relish of pickled vegetables in vinegar or oil. For this green version, deputy food editor Khanya Mzongwana uses broccoli, green olives, green beans, cucumber, spring onions and Padrón peppers. Pickling is a fantastic way to preserve your favourite vegetables at their peak while they're in season. Add this pickled relish to burgers and pizzas; it also makes a great home-made gift.  Get the recipe for green giardiniera here. 

8. Fridge-pickled cucumber with whipped tzatziki

Toss apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt and sliced cucumbers and leave to stand overnight – that's how easy it is to make pickled cucumber. This version is super easy and eliminates all the steps that you may find intimidating about pickling. The whipped tzatziki's creaminess pairs perfectly with the acidic cucumber. If you're planning a picnic, this is a great snack and can be transported in your picnic basket with ease. Get the recipe for fridge-pickled cucumber with whipped tzatziki here. 

ALSO READ: 3 fancy snack ideas to make in spring


9. Spinach dinner rolls

Did you know that you can use vetkoek pre-mix to make rolls? There's no shame in cutting corners if the work has been done for you. Add puréed spinach to add colour to your easy dough before baking.  Spinach dinner rolls

Get the recipe for spinach dinner rolls here. 

10. Kale quiche

We bet you've never seen a quiche this green before. If you're looking for a baking recipe that'll keep you busy on a lazy spring afternoon, this is it. Make a flaky, buttery pastry shell and fill it with a leek-and-kale savoury custard before baking. It's a departure from the usual quiche Lorraine but, trust us, it's just as good. Dark green quicheGet the recipe for kale quiche here. 

ALSO READ: 13 vegetable tart recipes to celebrate the beginning of spring



Lesego Madisa

Article by Lesego Madisa

TASTE's commercial content producer loves thrifty recipes, fridge foraging and never says "no" to cake. When she's not flipping through the pages of food mags and cookbooks, she's happily baking and knitting in her tiny apartment.
View all articles
Load more