Find inspiration and ideas for seasonal cooking for May including produce lists, what to use up, and simple seasonal eating recipes for meal planning.
PLUS grab the free printable menu planning pages to help you focus on cooking through the seasons.
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This article is part of a year-long series on how to cook seasonal foods for each month as a resource for meal planning, saving money, and helping the environment.
Each month of the seasonal cooking series includes:
- What's in season for that month.
- What you may have in your freezer and pantry to use up if you preserve food.
- Favorite recipes using seasonal produce from An Oregon Cottage to help you plan to eat seasonally.
- A free printable weekly menu planner for the month with areas to record what's in season for you and what you have to use up!
You can find all the months of this seasonal eating series here.
The month of May really sees a ramp-up in what's growing as the things we planting in March like peas, lettuce, and spinach should be starting to produce small harvests.
By the end of the month, you may even get the first handful of strawberries like I did in the harvest shown in the lead photo!
And of course the rhubarb is still producing, so we get those wonderful strawberry-rhubarb concoctions that will just continue to delight us through June.
Here are tips to help you eat more seasonally and use this resource page with the free printable meal planner:
You can read the first section of this month for answers to the questions, "What is seasonal cooking," "Why is easting seasonal important" - and a big caution we need to take into account for eating "seasonally."
- Use the lists and recipes you find here for May to make a menu according to what you are harvesting/buying.
- Harvest from your own garden or visit farmer's markets for the produce you need.
- OR use the shopping lists when super market shopping, noting the sales in the produce aisle.
- Try new things that are in season.
- Add any new recipes you like and keep them in a binder to cycle through the following season.
It's easy to lose track of produce's seasonality since most are carried all year long in stores - use this resource article and the free printable weekly menu planning page to help:
Download the menu page, print it out, and use it to write down the seasonal foods you need to use and buy, as well as the recipes you'll make that week.
Note: If you're already a subscriber, you can find this in the VIP library!
May Seasonal Eating
May is my unofficial, clear-out-the-freezer month.
While I've mentioned working towards using up the previous years produce the last few months, this is the month where I really like to clear out as much as possible to leave room for all the new gardening season's bounty.
Seasonal Produce for May
In Season Fruits:
- Rhubarb (really a vegetable, but it's mainly used as a fruit)
- Kiwi (season ends mid-May)
- Blueberries (by the end of the month in milder climates)
- Early Cherries
- Early Blackberries and Raspberries (by end month)
In Season Vegetables:
- Broccoli (purple sprouting in my garden)
- Green Onions
- Lettuce/Salad Greens
- Sweet Onions (early)
- Zucchini (by end month in milder climates)
Preserved Foods From Freezer and Pantry:
- Roasted Tomato Sauce
- Canned Spaghetti Sauce
- Frozen corn, beans, and broccoli
- Frozen strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries (and freezer jams)
- Secret Ingredient Pesto
- Various bags of diced apple, pear, and shredded zucchini
- Pickled beans, cucumbers, and asparagus
- Dried tomatoes
Seasonal Eating Recipes for May
A quick press-in crust (that's actually flaky!), and a tender egg-cheese interior studded with spring asparagus. Works for both breakfast and dinner!
This is a recipe that works in many seasons - the photo above shows it with summer's beans, peppers, and corn. But make it this month with asparagus, purple sprouting broccoli, and chopped chard or spinach. So good.
Oh goodness - that looks quite fancy, doesn't it? Well, it's super easy, comes together in minutes and really does taste as good as it looks!
Serve it with a crusty bread to scoop up all that lemon-garlic goodness.
Everybody's favorite salad is a perfect way to highlight the season's lettuce.
This is a good recipe for using up things from the freezer like frozen green beans, plus takes advantage of garden spinach.
Healthy and delicious lunch, meatless main, or side dish option. Also works great for any May barbecues you may have!
This can be made in ramekins like I show (SO much easier to serve) or can be made in a standard 13x9 inch pan for taking to get togethers. Just about a perfect way to use up any frozen berries you may still have, right?
What are some of your favorite dishes to make this month using what's in season around your house?
Looking for even more seasonal cooking ideas for May?
Check out these May dinner menu ideas for four weeks of easy entrees and sides!
This article has been updated to be more relevant and useful - it was originally published in 2011.