40 Garden-Fresh Vegetable Recipes | Midwest Living
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40 Garden-Fresh Vegetable Recipes

Bright, bold and delicious produce—corn, beans, tomatoes, squash and more—flavor these fresh vegetable recipes for appetizers, main dishes and sides.

Suncrest Gardens Farm's Pesto Pizza

Heather Secrist uses kale in her pesto for this tomatoey creation, though you can substitute arugula, spinach or basil if you prefer. "Pesto can be frozen in ice cube trays for use throughout the year," says Heather, owner of Suncrest Gardens Farm in Cochrane, Wisconsin. "Once frozen, place the cubes in a freezer bag to pull out as you need them."

Suncrest Gardens Farm's Pesto Pizza

Tomato and Cheese Tart

Assorted varieties of tomatoes add color and freshness to this puff pastry tart. The pastry can be made ahead, then topped and baked at the last minute.

Tomato and Cheese Tart

Squash and Tomato Bake

Summer squash adds texture to this easy side dish, which combines stewed tomatoes with paprika, garlic, basil and pepper, as well as some melty mozzarella and Parmesan. It goes well with roast chicken or beef.

Squash and Tomato Bake

Fresh Herb Pasta Primavera

A Parmesan cream sauce tops pasta made with your choice of fresh herbs and veggies. 

Fresh Herb Pasta Primavera

Roasted Carrots

Carrots’ natural sweetness shines in this recipe from Urban Roots Farm in Springfield, Missouri, so shop your farmers market for the freshest ones, even if they aren’t heirloom.

Roasted Carrots 

Napa Cabbage Spring Rolls

"Spring rolls are a great way to utilize fresh vegetables as they become available at the market," says Kevin Shinn, chef-owner of Bread and Cup in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Napa Cabbage Spring Rolls

Squash Ribbons with Parmesan and Crisp Prosciutto

This toss-together recipe from BelGioioso Cheese in Wisconsin makes a pretty side dish in summer, when zucchini and yellow squash abound.

Squash Ribbons with Parmesan and Crisp Prosciutto

Fingerling Potato Salad with Honey-Thyme Vinaigrette

The addition of fresh haricots verts gives this potato salad fresh-from-the-garden taste. The recipe is from Chicago chef Myk Banas.

Fingerling Potato Salad with Honey-Thyme Vinaigrette

Fresh Taco Salad

Cilantro Ranch Dressing tops a flavorful blend of jicama, multigrain tortilla chips, avocado, black beans, queso fresco and greens. 

Fresh Taco Salad

The Stone Barn's The Modena

Sweet onion, mushrooms, snap peas, marinated chicken and feta top an oiled crust in this pizza recipe from the Stone Barn in Nelson, Wisconsin. "The vegetables add crispness," says Stone Barn owner Pam Taylor.

The Stone Barn's The Modena

The Stone Barn's Pizza Dough

Oven-Roasted Squash and Beets with Arugula

This calicolike blend is as nutritious as it is pretty. The veggies roast separately so the beets don't dye the squash pink. The recipe comes from Urban Roots Farm in Springfield, Missouri.

Oven-Roasted Squash and Beets with Arugula

Sugar Snap Peas with Sesame Seeds

We gave this popular veggie a new twist with a hint of ginger, some kick from black pepper and a finish of nutty sesame oil and seeds.

Sugar Snap Peas with Sesame Seeds

Greek Orzo Salad

Olives and feta give salty punch to this pasta salad from Surdyk's Liquor and Cheese Shop in Minneapolis. 

Greek Orzo Salad

Eat-Your-Greens Pizza

We threw pizza convention out the kitchen window in this utterly delicious (and beautiful) recipe. Frozen puff pastry pinch-hits for traditional pizza dough, yielding a flaky, crisp crust. A salad's worth of vegetables covers the top, along with just a bit of smoky ham and nutty Gruyere cheese. And say good-bye to marinara sauce. Instead, a drizzle of flavorful creamy garlic salad dressing moistens the pizza and adds big flavor.

Eat-Your-Greens Pizza

Roasted Baby Potatoes with Herbs

You'll find a wide variety of potatoes at your farmers market or supermarket produce section. We play up an assortment of potatoes--such as baby Dutch yellow, fingerlings, baby purple and round red--in this easy-to-fix recipe.

Roasted Baby Potatoes with Herbs

BLT Salad

We took a summertime staple (a bacon-lettuce-and-tomato sandwich) and made it a main-dish salad. Creamy mustard dressing tops it perfectly.

BLT Salad

Pickled Green Beans

Dilly Beans are a farmhouse staple and common to old preserving books. They’re equally happy as part of a relish or antipasto tray or at a picnic with burgers and brats. This recipe is from Urban Roots in Springfield, Missouri. 

Pickled Green Beans 

Roasted Cherry Tomato Chutney on Squash

Annie France of Mission, Kansas, invented this beautiful summer dish. Juicy cherry tomatoes are roasted and served over spaghetti squash with herbs and mozzarella balls. Annie says she serves it as a side dish, but we think it would make a fantastic meatless main.

Roasted Cherry Tomato Chutney on Squash

Sauteed Swiss Chard and Pine Nut Bruschetta

If you’ve never tried Swiss chard (a dark leafy green similar to kale and spinach), this pretty appetizer makes a good introduction. Garlic, red onion, currants, vinegar and honey balance its earthiness. The recipe comes from Urban Roots Farm in Springfield, Missouri.

Sauteed Swiss Chard and Pine Nut Bruschetta

Heirloom Tomato and Onion Quiche

The recipe was developed for heirloom tomatoes such as Cherokee Purple or Brandywine, but if those aren't available, use whatever kind of tomatoes you like. Drain sliced tomatoes on a paper towel before adding them to the quiche, and they won't release as much water.

Heirloom Tomato and Onion Quiche

24-Hour Tex-Mex Salad

Based on Tex-Mex ingredients, this layered salad can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance. For a fun presentation, assemble individual servings in clear jelly jars, dressing and all, then refrigerate.

24-Hour Tex-Mex Salad

Arugula Pesto

Peppery arugula pinch-hits for basil in this memorable pesto from chef Kevin Shinn of Bread and Cup in Lincoln, Nebraska. Try it as a spread on baguette slices or as a pasta sauce.

Arugula Pesto

Sauteed zucchini recipes

Tacos (pictured at left) Halve and slice zucchini. Saute in olive oil 3 to 4 minutes; season with salt, pepper and chili powder. Serve with shredded cooked chicken in warm flour tortillas.

Sauced Saute sliced or chopped zucchini in olive oil with crushed garlic and sliced mushrooms about 4 minutes or until tender. Add a little heavy cream, and cook until thickened. Season to taste; serve over pasta. Top with Parmesan.

Asian Julienne zucchini and saute in olive oil with chopped shallots about 4 minutes or until tender. Season with toasted sesame seeds, a splash of soy sauce and crushed red pepper.

Fiesta Saute chopped zucchini, sliced onion and fresh corn in olive oil for 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in some salsa; heat.

Three Ways to Butter Up Sweet Corn

Serve our seasoned butters as a topping for sweet corn, steaks, seafood or burgers. They make a great sauce for vegetables, too.

Three Ways to Butter Up Sweet Corn

Summer Vegetable Potato Salad

This fresh take on potato salad combines red or yellow potatoes, corn, roma tomatoes and fresh basil with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Sprinkle with feta cheese before serving.

Summer Vegetable Potato Salad

Fresh Corn, Tomato and Chipotle Chile Salsa

Homemade salsa bursts with freshness thanks to straight-from-the-garden corn, tomatoes and sweet peppers. Chipotle chiles add a hint of heat alongside the tangy lime juice. It's like a bite of summer when scooped up on corn chips. You can also serve it with grilled meat or poultry.

Fresh Corn, Tomato and Chipotle Chile Salsa

Panzanella (Bread Salad) with Summer Vegetables

A backyard garden's worth of colorful summer veggies fill this beautiful potluck salad. The toasted bread chunks absorb the dressing and juices from the tomatoes; you won't believe how delicious they taste! 

Panzanella (Bread Salad) with Summer Vegetables 

Fresh Veggie Pizza

This pizza is packed full of vegetables: zucchini or yellow summer squash, sweet peppers, fresh mushrooms, green onions and more. If you have kids, have them help make this with their favorite vegetables.

Fresh Veggie Pizza

Second-Helping Pasta

Sweet peppers, garlic and tomato add color and flavor to this quick-and-easy pasta dish. If you like, add cooked chicken strips or shrimp.

Second-Helping Pasta

Zippy Zucchini Pizza

This Asian-inspired pizza is topped with goat cheese, chopped red potatoes, onion, zucchini, chile peppers and garlic. Even more flavor comes from a sprinkling of fresh cilantro, mint, ginger and an Asian spice mix.

Zippy Zucchini Pizza

Grilled Green Beans with Shallots

Wrapped in a foil packet, fresh green beans--seasoned with onion, soy sauce, basil, mint, sesame seeds and your choice of nuts--grill alongside your meat entree.

Grilled Green Beans with Shallots

Grilled Chicken and Garden Vegetable Penne Pasta

Tomatoes, squash, red sweet peppers and green onions give garden-fresh flavor to this chicken-and-pasta main dish. Also, the vegetables add nice color to the recipe, which comes from the Culinary Vegetable Institute in Milan, Ohio.

Grilled Chicken and Garden Vegetable Penne Pasta

Five-Herb Roasted Carrots and Potatoes

Our Five-Herb Roasted Carrots and Potatoes recipe, developed by the Midwest Living® Test Kitchen, uses fresh chives, oregano, parsley, rosemary and sage to make the veggies fragrant and delicious. The roasting temperature also brings out the flavor in the vegetables.

Five-Herb Roasted Carrots and Potatoes

Peanut Sauce with Veggies

Chef Sara Moulton, who provided this recipe, says it's a longtime favorite. "Many years ago I hired my friend Rosa Ross, a cooking teacher and author who specializes in Chinese cuisine, to teach me some recipes for a Chinese New Year's party," Sara says. "One of the recipes was Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce. The dipping sauce was completely addictive. Here is my adapted version."

Peanut Sauce with Veggies

Gouda and Red Onion Pizza

This easy appetizer pizza features shredded Gouda and caramelized onions. The recipe comes from Gouda maker Oakvale Farmstead Cheese in London, Ohio.

Gouda and Red Onion Pizza

Fresh veggie sensation

Play up fresh with an easy side dish from Chicago-area chef Joe Morelli. Marinate fresh asparagus, red pepper, yellow zucchini, shaved carrots and cremini mushrooms in extra virgin olive oil with some kosher salt and black pepper. Drain off the marinade and pan-roast the mix in a sizzling-hot saute pan with 1/4 cup canola oil for 2 minutes. Add shaved garlic and minced shallots for the last 30 seconds.

Grilled Sweet Onions

Onions wrapped in foil steam to juicy perfection when cooked on your grill. The recipe comes from a Naperville, Illinois, reader, who says the onions "turn out very tender and sweet."

Grilled Sweet Onions

Asparagus Fritters

Asparagus fritters are a spring customer favorite at Bread and Cup in Lincoln, Nebraska. Chef-owner Kevin Shinn says you can use the same batter recipe with other vegetables, such as sweet peas.

Asparagus Fritters

Roasted Jalapeno Gazpacho

Going to the trouble to roast a single pepper might seem unnecessary, but it adds a unique depth of flavor to the chilled soup. The recipe comes from Urban Roots Farm in Springfield, Missouri.

Roasted Jalapeno Gazpacho

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