Peas are seriously underrated. They're fresh, delicious, and a surprisingly amazing source of plant-based protein. Fresh peas add color to any dish, and are pretty easy to find in the frozen aisle of any grocery store year-round.

vegetable, pea, legume
Abigail Manger

However, fresh peas are only in season for a very short time in late spring/early summer, and are truly a treat. They are so much crunchier, fresher, and prettier than their frozen counterparts and have a truly unique flavor that can't really be described. As a totally vegan source of protein, they are also super healthy in addition to being incredibly tasty.

They are perfect in salads, pasta dishes, soups, and appetizers, and they should definitely be on your menu before they're gone. I'd 10/10 recommend including them at your summer barbecue or end of school celebration. For some inspiration, check out these ten recipes that feature fresh peas.

1. Pea Pesto

This article provides three recipes that feature this delicious pea pesto. For those of you on tight college budgets or looking to cut back on your grocery bills, these recipes are a great way to stretch three ingredients as far as they can possibly go.

The flavor and texture of fresh peas will elevate the pesto taste you're accustomed to onto an entirely new level. I promise it'll rock your world. 

2. Lemon Quinoa with Peas

This recipe takes quinoa to the next level. If you're trying to eat clean, this is the perfect meal for you. It's packed with protein, is ridiculously easy to make, requires very few ingredients, and is filled to the brim with flavor. 

The fresh peas and pine nuts will transport your tastebuds to summer with their pleasant pop and light flavor. This isn't the heartiest meal, so I would recommend pairing it with a more filling food.

3. Pea Crostini

avocado, guacamole, bread
Allison Mark

This is a fantastic appetizer recipe that will seriously impress your guests. Fresh, colorful, and delicious, this crostini will make you seem way classier than you really are. It's super easy to make, and will be a huge hit at your dinner party or barbecue. 

Even if you aren't hosting an event, you can still make this recipe and mix some of the pea mixture into avocado toast. Incorporating peas into your normal mashed avocado will take your #basic breakfast to a whole new level.

4. Peas and Prosciutto

If you thought peas couldn't be a filling food, think again. When sautéed with decadent prosciutto, they make the perfect side dish to bring to a potluck. While they may seem like the underdog of a spread of food, I promise that this recipe will be a crowd favorite.

The balance of flavor between the sweet peas and the salty, fatty prosciutto is so insane – a cheaper way to treat your palate to fancy cuisine. Also, you'll feel like a real chef sautéing all the components to this perfectly simple dish.

5. Linguine with Peas and Parmesan

This recipe is a fun twist on the classic pasta carbonara, reworked to highlight peas. The salty parmesan and sweet peas balance each other out perfectly, and the textures combine to make a complete meal. 

Because it has protein, carbs, and fat, this recipe has all the components of a perfect weeknight meal, and is easy to throw together. If you're looking for a way to eat clean but also eat pasta, this is a good place to start.

6. White Bean Salad with Peas

Important to note: peas and mint are a dynamic, infallible duo. They work together effortlessly, and combine to make this simple salad amazingly delicious. For all you vegetarians, this could even be hearty enough to be an entree, but would also be amazing as a side dish. It could easily be made vegan by leaving out the cheese, also. 

This salad is perfect for when you come home from a long day of work and can't bear to cook but you're ravenously hungry. It can be thrown together in minutes and is hearty and delicious.

7. Pizza Carbonara

Ok, wow. This pizza has everything there is to love about spring on it: asparagus, peas, pesto, fave beans, fresh eggs, prosciutto. Eggs on pizza is truly one of the finer things in life, and this recipe takes that and somehow makes it better. 

Shoutout to the creator of this recipe for taking spring and making into a pizza. You've changed my life forever.

8. Green Goddess Quinoa  

If you're looking to unleash your inner health goddess, this recipe is a good place to start. Everything in this recipe is healthy, delicious, and good for your soul. This combination of flavors will open your eyes to the fact that healthy food can taste good if you do it right.

Vegans and vegetarians, this recipe is the perfect way to get your protein in and feel like you've reached peak vegan/vegetarian cooking prowess. For something this good, I think it's okay to fulfill a stereotype – I mean, look at it!

9. Pea and Prosciutto Pizza

Yes, more prosciutto, and yes, more pizza. This recipe replaces the mozzarella you'd expect to find in pizza with burrata, which makes it fresher and tastier. In addition to being absolutely gorgeous, this pizza requires relatively few ingredients, making it the perfect way to enjoy these ingredients without distractions. 

#SpoonTip: If you're ballin' on a budget, you can replace the prosciutto with bacon or another type of cheaper ham. 

10. Pasta Carbonara

Pasta carbonara is the pinnacle of pea recipes, and this one includes all the perfect spring flavors. If what you want to do is celebrate the delicious offerings of spring produce, this is the best way to do it.

Packed with nutritious ingredients, this is a great way to get your daily serving of vegetables and not hate your life while doing it. 

This is just a sample of all the delicious ways to eat fresh peas this spring. They're only in season for a short time, so make the most of it by finding your favorite way to enjoy this humble, but mighty ingredient. 

If fresh peas aren't available where you live, frozen peas have all the same nutrients and taste almost as good. You can definitely substitute them if availability or cost prevents you from buying fresh peas.