T-Minus 25 Minutes to Happiness
In this life, time is an invaluable commodity. You want delicious, but you need fast. To that end, we've created an assortment of dishes—Mexican, Asian, Italian, comfort food, and vegetarian—that marry the ideals of fast and delicious. Enjoy these recipes that take 25 minutes or less.
Our first offering are Roasted Pork Tenderloin Tacos. Thick and slightly tangy Mexican crema adds a cooling finish to these tacos. Make the tortillas extra-delicious by lightly charring them over a gas burner. No gas? Quickly sear directly on an electric coil (work fast) or in a hot cast-iron skillet.
Pineapple Chicken Kebabs with Cilantro-Lime Slaw
A sweet-tangy-spicy glaze of Asian pantry staples caramelizes beautifully under the broiler. To complete the meal, serve with jasmine rice tossed with sliced green onions and lime rind strips.
Thai Shrimp Curry
Add this Thai Shrimp Curry to your weekly rotation for a quick and tasty Asian dish the whole family will love. For a vegetarian version, swap in cubes of drained, pressed tofu for shrimp, and soy sauce in place of fish sauce.
Apricot-Basil Chicken with Freekeh
Freekeh is an ancient variety of wheat that is harvested while green and then roasted for a fantastically nutty, smoky flavor. Package directions call for simmering on low for up to 25 minutes, but here it's cooked a little more quickly by raising the temperature to medium. Substitute couscous, quinoa, or rice if you can't find freekeh. If you can find fresh apricots, swap them in for dried, increasing the amount to 1 cup.
We love the thin crust of this pizza, which cooks up fast and as crisp as a cracker.
Fig-Glazed Chicken Panini with Brie
For sandwiches with great crunch, look for a rustic whole-grain bread boule. If you have trouble cutting 1-ounce slices across the width of the boule, cut it in half first.
Louisiana-Style Chicken Soup
Our gumbo-style soup removes the roux step (saving as much as an hour) and instead uses aromatics sautéed with tomato paste for a toasty flavor foundation. Serve with a crusty baguette for mopping up every last delicious drop.
Sweet shrimp is ideal for spicy dishes like this. If you want just a light lick of heat, use ¼ teaspoon red pepper. If you prefer more fire, go for ½ teaspoon (or more).
Roasted Mushrooms on White Bean Puree
Portabella mushroom caps bring meaty flavors and textures to this quick-cooking veggie dish. The addition of fresh mozzarella makes this a great vegetarian starter for kids.
Tomatillo-Braised Chicken Thighs
The tomatillos in this braising sauce offer a tangy contrast to the rich chicken flavor. Select firm (but not hard) fruit that feels heavy in your hand and with the papery husk intact.
Sweet and Sour Chicken
Powdered peanut butter (which you'll find on the nut butters aisle) adds richness to this Asian classic. If you'd rather not use it, sub more flour.
Spinach and Pancetta Fake-Out Risotto
Precooked rice simmers in slightly thickened chicken stock to mimic the creamy texture of risotto. If you'd like to use your own leftover cooked rice, use 4 cups.
Chicken-Broccoli Mac and Cheese with Bacon
Nothing says comfort food quite like mac and cheese. Make a complete meal out of it with chicken, broccoli, and bacon.
Fennel Soup with Almond-Mint Topping
We were blown away by the rich flavor of this fast soup. Fennel gently cooks until it has a faint lick of licorice, then gets pureed with white beans for a silky texture.
Chicken Verde Enchiladas
Shredded chicken verde enchiladas are a sure-fire winner at the dinner table. Expedite the chicken shredding by inserting two forks into the meat while it is still warm, then pull apart to shred.
Mushroom Ramen Bowl
In place of the normally time-consuming enriched broth, we infuse water with bacon for smoky richness.
Linguine with Ricotta Meatballs
Fresh pasta takes only two to three minutes to cook. Bring your pot of water to a boil early, and drop the pasta in just before the meatballs are finished so that everything is done at the same time.
Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
The gravy is the standout, perfect for stirring into mashed potatoes. Serve with quick-cooking greens like spinach or kale for an easy, family-friendly meal.
Shiitake-Stuffed Butternut with Quinoa Streusel
Instead of stuffed chicken, why not stuffed squash? Look for quinoa flakes on the hot cereals aisle. If you can't find them, use all panko for the topping.
Quick Pork Posole
Traditional, hearty Mexican fare gets dialed up with boneless country-style pork ribs. Shave a few more minutes off your prep and cleanup time by asking the butcher in the grocery store meat department to cut up the ribs for you.
Crispy Vegetable Quesadillas
A sparing amount of cooking spray is key to perfectly crisp quesadillas—too much and the fat absorbs into the tortilla. Plus, spreading mashed beans onto each tortilla forms a protective layer that keeps the veggie juices contained (and the tortillas crisp).
Vietnamese Caramel Pork
Instead of making caramel from scratch, we use brown sugar, which is much quicker.
Eggplant Parmesan with Parsley Orzo
Removing intermittent strips of eggplant skin not only makes this dish easier to cut and eat but also retains some of the great flavor that's in the peel.
Rustic Tomato Soup with Cheesy Toasts
The food processor speeds prep by finely chopping the veggies, in turn giving the soup a rustic, crisp-tender texture. If you want a smoother texture, process longer.
Corn, Squash, and Green Onion Flatbreads
If you think this vibrant flatbread won't be filling enough for a whole meal, combine it with a simple mixed-greens salad for a delicious all-veggie dinner.
Grilled Shrimp Caesar Salad
The single anchovy fillet lends umami depth to the dressing without giving it any sort of strong fishy flavor.
Crispy Chicken Cutlets with Butter-Chive Pasta
You'll be amazed how crisp these schnitzel-inspired cutlets get with only 6 minutes of cooking.
Quick Chicken and Vegetable Curry with Garlic Naan
Curries are often served over rice, but this version is served like a stew with a side of naan bread for a hearty complete meal.
Five-Spice Orange Beef and Broccoli
Orange rind and five-spice powder perfume the dish with sweet notes that are countered by a hit of red pepper heat. Decrease the pepper for kids or folks who prefer to walk on the mild side.
Bloody Mary Burgers
Inspired by the classic cocktail, these bold-flavored burgers make a fantastic brunch entrée. For an extra umami kick, whisk 1 to 2 teaspoons vodka into the sauce.
Pork, Bean, and Escarole Soup
Chicken Scaloppine with Peperonata
Thin chicken cutlets cook in butter for a rich, savory flavor, while bell peppers stew in fruity olive oil.
Speedy Cincy Chili
Cincinnati chili is a unique style that includes sweet seasonings like cinnamon and chocolate and is served over spaghetti. If you like pungent touches, you can sprinkle some chopped raw onion on top.
Black Bean Cakes with Ginger-Cilantro Cream
The black bean mixture is delicate. Turn cakes gently, as they may fall apart. If they do, don't worry—you can press them back together. Serve with a simple salad of lettuce, sliced cucumbers and radishes, and carrot ribbons.
Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce with Garlic Cheese Toasts
We really liked this dish with the fruity heat of Turkish Aleppo pepper, but you can substitute crushed red pepper.
Pork and Asparagus Stir-Fry
Sriracha Shrimp Rolls
Buttering and toasting the rolls adds tons of rich flavor; don't be tempted to skip that step.
Grilled Asparagus with Fried Eggs and Pancetta
Asparagus and fried eggs are a classic springtime combo for good reason—they're delicious together. Medium-thick asparagus spears will char nicely outside while staying crisp-tender within.
Timing on this recipe is important, so have your bacon cooked and eggs ready when the pasta is done. Do not let the pasta drain completely; for the creamiest sauce, you want a little of the water still clinging to the noodles when you add them to the eggs.
Perfect Pork Tenderloin
Think of this refreshing salad as a deconstructed spring roll: cool rice noodles, crisp vegetables, and a sweet-and-spicy vinaigrette instead of a dipping sauce. Top it all off with savory stir-fried pork. Look for brown rice noodles on the Asian foods aisle of your supermarket or in your local Asian market. We love that they offer up whole-grain goodness, and, once cooked, they’re pretty much indistinguishable from white rice noodles. If you're unfamiliar with fish sauce, you'll find it on the Asian foods aisle, too. We find it to be indispensable in the kitchen, lending savory depth to all kinds of dishes; try a splash in meatloaf or burgers; guacamole; meat or chicken marinades; or spaghetti sauce.
Mushroom and Spinach Omelet
A veggie-stuffed omelet makes for one easy, satisfying dinner when paired with a simple side salad. While the cooked spinach mixture sits, it may give off some more liquid; strain this off to keep the omelet from becoming watery.
Sweet and Hot Pepper Open-Faced Egg Sandwiches
There's a great interplay of flavors here, with the tingly heat of cherry pepper and the sweetness of bell pepper and onion. For an even spicier dish, substitute 2 tablespoons pickled jalapeño slices for the cherry pepper.
Caribbean Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Pineapple Salsa
Swedish Meatballs with Red Currant Pan Sauce
Silky and sweet, the red currant pan sauce would be delicious served over pork chops or grilled poultry. Use leftover jam for anything from spreading over biscuits to creating a flavor base for barbecue sauce.
Pork Medallions with Spring Succotash
Our take on this guaranteed family favorite saves more than 200 calories, 16 grams of fat, and nearly 670 milligrams of sodium over the leading fast-food cheeseburger pizza.
Lowcountry Shrimp and Grits
This classic Carolina combo makes for a flavorful and fast dinner—quick-cooking grits come together in about 5 minutes.
Thai Beef and Basil Noodles with Shiitake Gravy
If you have trouble finding shiitake mushrooms, use whatever 'shrooms you have on hand. Sliced creminis would work equally well for this saucy noodle bowl.
Middle Eastern Kofta Kebabs with Lemon-Tahini Sauce
Cooked quinoa acts as a binder for these kebabs, packing them with extra protein and some whole-grain goodness.
Curried Shrimp and Melted Cherry Tomatoes
Find garam masala—a fragrant Indian spice blend—in the supermarket spice aisle.