14 Super-Easy Dinners to Make Your Weeknight More Delicious

published Nov 11, 2022
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Crispy Skillet Ravioli with Garlic Butter Mushrooms in a skillet on a table
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

Look, we aren’t saying we’ve mastered the art of effortlessly pulling together a weeknight dinner at 5 o’clock every Monday through Friday. What we will say, though, is that we have an arsenal of stellar, reliable recipes — sheet pan dinners, one-pot suppers, easy pastas, and more — we know we can depend on. They’re the fast, simple, and comforting recipes we know you’ll come back to time and time again. 

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The Baked Pasta | All-Star Baked Ziti

Looking for the comfort epitomized by lasagna and other baked pastas? This year, baked ziti is our weeknight comfort winner. Saucy, cheesy, and satisfying — but so much easier and quicker than traditional lasagna.

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The Chicken Cutlet | Curried Chicken Schnitzel

If chicken cutlets aren’t in your fast-and-easy dinner weeknight rotation, let us convince you with this new and exciting take. Yogurt, spices, and mango chutney coleslaw make this quick and satisfying dinner one you’ll return to all year long.

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The Pork Chop | Pan-Fried Pork Chops

Pork chops never go out of style, but this year we’re betting on this brown sugar-marinated chop bathed in garlicky brown butter. Brown butter makes everything a little better — even a pork chop.

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The Chicken Thigh | Lemon-Thyme Chicken Thighs

Contrary to popular belief, the key to perfectly crispy chicken thighs isn't heating a pan until it's smokin' hot — it's starting with a cold one. As the skillet heats up, the chicken skin slowly renders until it gets ridiculously golden-brown and crispy. It's a technique you'll quickly memorize and can easily apply to other chicken thigh recipes in the year to come.

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The Trader Joe's Hack | Warm Sesame Brussels Sprouts and Lentil Salad

Behold the best dinner hack (and the greatest trick to have up your sleeve in the 12 months ahead). Three beloved TJ's ingredients — shaved Brussels sprouts, ready-to-eat steamed lentils, creamy sesame dressing — and 10 minutes are all you need.

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The Sheet Pan Dinner | Crispy Sheet Pan Gnocchi and Veggies

Everyone needs one great sheet pan supper. This year, the one that wins is the staff favorite of roasted gnocchi. No need to pre-cook these packaged dumplings; just roast until crispy! There are infinite ways to dress up this dish (we’re partial to extra-creamy burrata), but start with this solid base recipe.

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The Meatballs | Easy Herby Meatballs

The secret to easier meatballs: your blender. We recently learned the trick from contributor Jesse Szewczyk, and we're never looking back. Puréeing the aromatics with a bunch of herbs (almost any kind will do!) means you don't need to spend 30 minutes chopping — and the combination of rich meat and fresh herbs will make you rethink what meatballs can be.

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The Weeknight Pasta | Crispy Skillet Ravioli

For the rest of this year and all of next, we're making a conscious effort to do fewer dishes. Less scrubbing, more relaxing, please. This recipe skips the pot of boiling water and gives ravioli the potsticker treatment: Sear, then steam. It's a delightful twist that comes together in one pan and adds more flavor, texture, and fun to each bite.

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The Salmon | Broiled Salmon with Lemon, Herbs, and Mustard

This simple salmon recipe is quick enough for a weeknight (15 minutes start to finish!), but special enough for weekend dinner parties. The quick, high heat of the broiler sears the exterior of each grainy mustard-topped salmon fillet, while keeping the inside nice and juicy. After trying it once (which you should do, like, tonight), it'll be a star in your weekly rotation.

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The One-Pot Dinner | Egg Roll Skillet

Inspired by egg roll filling, this simple supper comes together in a flash thanks to bagged coleslaw mix. It's shortcuts like these that we find ourselves craving more and more these days. "I turn to this recipe whenever I need something inexpensive, filled with veggies, quick, and tasty," says Production Editor, Tracey Gertler.

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The Instant Pot Dinner | Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

It might be 2022, but Taco Tuesday is still going strong. And one of the best ways to celebrate getting past Monday is to toss some chicken breasts and salsa in the Instant Pot and let it do its thing. While the chicken cooks, make some creamy avocado sauce and set out your fixings. Talk about a weeknight win!

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The Chili | The Best Vegetarian Chili

This veggie-packed chili will fill you up without emptying your wallet. The ingredient list leans on fresh veggies you likely already have in your kitchen plus affordable pantry staples: canned beans and corn, boxed stock, and dried spices. Eat it straight up, pile it onto baked potatoes, or spoon it over pasta with grated cheese, as contributor (and Cincinnati gal) Grace Elkus suggests.

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The Sloppy Joe | Sloppy Lennys

Family dinners are starting to look different, with plant-based dishes moving to the middle of the plate. If you have vegetarian or vegan eaters in your life, or just want to eat more plants, we'd suggest this meatless take on an old-school sloppy Joe. Ali Slagle's recipe is easy, crowd-pleasing, and has the same savory-sweet, super-satisfying vibes as the sandwich many of us grew up with. Bonus: It also freezes well, making it great for meal prep.

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The Soup | Chicken & Clunkers Soup

Know what we're craving now? Comfort food that comes together quickly — and this recipe does just that. This simpler take on contributor Lish Steiling's grandma's chicken and dumplings (clunkers = dumplings) leans on boxed broth and rotisserie chicken, then adds in some fresh veggies and plenty of dumplings that cook right in the broth. It's supremely cozy and comes together in under an hour.

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This post was originally published on Kitchn. Read it there: 14 Super-Easy Dinners to Make Your Weeknight More Delicious