Super-Easy Shortcut Recipes

Start with fresh, seasonal ingredients, then pair them with high-quality, time-saving convenience products. Here are our favorite recipe shortcuts for your busiest nights.

Start with a Jar of Pasta Sauce

Use its rich, slow-simmered herb-and-tomato goodness as a starting point for dinner, be it chili, braised lamb, poached eggs, or baked pasta.

Marinara: An Essential Ingredient for the Healthy Cook
Photo: Johnny Autry

An Essential Ingredient for the Healthy Cook

Of all the shortcut ingredients for the healthy cook, a good marinara is one of the finest because it delivers the pleasures of slow-cooking—in a jar. If you've ever put up your own sauce, you know the work involved. A good factory marinara (and please see the buying notes on the next slide, because there are a few things to look for) is thick, packed with flavor from herbs and garlic, and, above all, tastes like concentrated summery-tomatoey goodness. Think about what those qualities can do for your everyday cooking: add body to stew or chili; make a tangy braising liquid for meaty lamb shanks; and turn out hearty, gooey baked pasta.

More Ways To Get Cooking Light

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25 Best Vegetarian

Whether you have made the full vegetarian plunge or just want to mix it up, sans the meat, once a week, these healthy, meatless main dishes will have you swooning.

Fontal Polenta with Mushroom Sauté