14 Citrus Recipes to Brighten Your Day

Winter blues got you down? Well let's fix that with some bright and cheery citrus recipes! These recipes are a warm ray of sunshine and will have your grinning from ear-to-ear in no time. We've got a little something for everyone from bread to pasta to salad. Cheers to citrus!

Yellow is my favorite color, hands down. There’s just something so bright and cheery about it that always brings a giant smile to my face (and I mean ALWAYS), even in the midst of the winter gloom. 

I think the same can be said about citrus of all kinds. Not only does it smell delightfully fresh and come in vibrant colors, it has a well-earned reputation for instantly brightening up the flavor of any sweet or savory dish.

Whether you’re in the market for an afternoon baking project, a quick dinner, or light lunch, we definitely have you covered!

Orange Bread

This bread is bursting at every seam with bright citrus flavor. Freshly grated orange zest is incorporated into the batter and we highly recommend that you drizzle it with a quick and easy orange-lemon glaze!

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Triple Layer White Cake

Cake makes people happy. Orange makes people happy. Put them together, and you’re going to get one hefty dose of happiness! You do need to make the orange curd a day in advance, but don’t let that stop you because you need this cake in your life!

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Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp Parmesan Lemon Cream Sauce

Sometimes pasta dishes can feel heavy, but not this one! It’s light and fresh and so simple to make. Whip this up for a quick weeknight win.

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Cilantro Lime Rice

Adding a little lime zest and lime juice literally transforms your rice into something absolutely phenomenal that you probably won’t want to share. Use basmati rice for best results and don’t forget to toast it lightly. It really deepens the flavor!

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Flank Steak with Orange and Avocado Salsa

Ever thought of making a salsa out of oranges? You 100% need to! Simply mix the oranges with lots of cilantro, then sprinkle queso fresco (or feta) and avocado over top. This easy salsa transforms the steak into a real standout with Mexican flair.

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Sriracha Orange Glazed Green Beans

Feel like turning up the heat? Toss your green beans in a citrusy/spicy/slightly sweet sauce that blends together in perfect harmony!

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Grapefruit Avocado Salad

Grapefruit + avocados are an unexpected combo, but it works! Pinky promise. Avocado loves the bright splash of acidic citrus, and grapefruit loves the warm richness of avocado

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Mexican Fruit Cocktail

If you want to make every single one of your taste buds happy, try this fruit cocktail. It’s far from boring with both sweet and savory flavors. It’s absolutely delicious in an unexpected way!

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Overhead shot of a homemade keylime pie, covered with whipped cream and with a linen beside

We can’t talk about bright and fresh recipes without talking about Key Lime Pie! It’s the pie version of lime-flavored Starburst candies.

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Loaf Cake with Marmalade

This recipe makes two cakes, which means you can freeze a loaf for a rainy day. It’s a light and fresh cake with soft citrus flavor baked into a rich and moist cake. It’s what every lazy afternoon needs!

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Lemon Ricotta Pancakes Recipe

Lemon and ricotta are a match made in heaven, especially in these pancakes. Ricotta adds richness without making the pancakes heavy or dense, and lemon adds a perky flavor that dances in your mouth when you take the first bite.

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Beef Noodle Bowl - - noodle salad with beef and vegtables in a white bowl

Fresh and zippy goodness in under 30 minutes! How’s that for brightening up your day? This salad has everything you’re looking for.

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Lemon Mascarpone Blondies

This isn’t your ordinary blondie recipe. Get ready to sink your teeth into the lightest and chewiest blondie in all the land. Be sure to make an extra batch because these will disappear faster than you can dish them out!

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Lemon Chicken

This has been a reader favorite for years! The acidity from the lemon helps balance the stronger flavor of the dark meat in thighs and legs. It pairs well with rice, buttered noodles, angel hair pasta, or even mashed potatoes.

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Claudia Cash

Claudia is the Community Manager for Simply Recipes, and finds joy building relationships with our readers through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. As the mother of 5 girls, she is passionate about family dinner and having that time together every day to connect with those we love, even if it's over toast and eggs.

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