Kale, Mushroom, and Bacon Pita Pizzas
Not just for stuffing, pitas are an instant pizza base and your all-purpose bread for breadcrumbs. For a satisfying vegetarian main, omit the bacon; instead, sauté the vegetables in 2 teaspoons olive oil, and sprinkle pizzas with 1 ounce shaved Parmesan cheese for a hit of salty, savory flavor.
Kale and Mushroom Quinoa with Romesco
You'll have plenty of smoky romesco sauce—enough for a generous dollop on top. Meaty, no-prep mushrooms add richness and earthiness to gravies, sautés, and stir-fries.
Pea, Tomato, and Bacon Gnocchi
Sweet peas, salty bacon, and slightly acidic tomatoes complete this colorful skillet main. Chop the bacon first, as we do, or cook whole slices until crisp, remove from the pan, and crumble. A faster alternative to pasta, gnocchi sear beautifully, meld well in a skillet sauté, and plump into tender pillows when added to soup.
Chicken and Gnocchi Dumpling Soup
Homey and hearty chicken and dumplings has never been faster or easier, thanks to store-bought gnocchi. Browned bits from the seared chicken thighs create a rich base for the soup. Frozen green peas cook instantly, keep well, and add a fresh, springy note to any dish any time of the year.
Kale, Apple, and Almond Chicken Salad
A simple lemon vinaigrette doubles as a marinade. Make sure to pat the chicken dry before searing, or the excess liquid will keep the meat from browning. Crisp, sweet-tart varieties (Fuji, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady) add freshness and crunch—or a juicy, sweet contrast to seared or roasted meats.
Kale Pesto Pasta with Shrimp
Making pesto out of leafy greens is a great way to pack lots of veggies into each serving of pasta. Baby kale is your all-purpose green. It's tender enough for salad and sturdy enough for wilting and blending, with zero prep.
Skillet Apple Chicken Thighs
This dish is perfect for easing into fall and comes together in one pan to boot. Vastly underrated thighs are rich and moist, perfect for stewing, grilling, or searing. This dish also works beautifully with pork chops—a twist that's weeknight-fast yet fit for company and makes us simply giddy for fall. Sub 4 (6-ounce) bone-in pork chops for the chicken thighs, searing 5 minutes on each side. Like the thighs, the chops will finish cooking in the apple mixture.
Beef and Broccoli Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Russets aren't the only spuds worth stuffing. Smoke and heat, achieved with chili powder and ground red pepper, work particularly well with sweet potatoes. No need to overstock your dairy drawer—preshredded 2% reduced-fat Mexican-blend cheese is a mild, slightly salty four-cheese blend that is all you need.
Broccoli and Cheddar Chicken Pasta
Instead of adding broccoli florets to the pasta, a double serving is incorporated into the creamy sauce. Heat the broccoli and sear the chicken while the pasta cooking water comes to a boil. Frozen steam-in-bag broccoli florets store much longer than fresh, adding green-veggie heft to any main dish or acting as a simple ready to-go side.
Lemon-Garlic Shrimp with Radish and Green Bean Quinoa
Radishes become tender and blushing pink when sautéed, a lovely addition to the quinoa. Move over, spuds and rice. Quick-cooking quinoa is a protein-packed whole grain that's the new everyday starch in your pantry. Red onion is pungent enough to hold its own, sturdy enough to add great crunch, and pretty enough to showcase.
Quinoa Bibimbop Bowls
Jalapeno seeds add heat to the spicy-sweet beef mixture; remove the seeds and membranes before mincing for sensitive palates. Haricots verts are the snap bean's slender French cousin and cook in a couple of minutes for an easy side or crisp-tender stir-in for many dishes. Raw radishes are fine, but pickled, sautéed, or roasted is divine. You'll wonder how you ever did without them.
Stacked Chicken Enchiladas
We skip the time-consuming task of rolling each enchilada in favor of a layered casserole approach. Canned unsalted crushed tomatoes is the only tomato base you really need, no straining or blending required. Have leftover corn tortillas? You can use for tacos, layer like lasagna, or blend into soup.
Beef and White Bean Chili
Blended corn tortillas add a delicious masa flavor and give the chili extra body. Buttery, starchy, and tender, cannellini beans succeed as a creamy mash, chili base, or filling. Jalapenos are so much more than a garnish. Char in the pan, pickle, or chop for relishes and marinades.
Burger Steaks with Mushroom Gravy, Sweet Potato Wedges, and Haricots Verts
Microwaving the potatoes gets them tender in minutes; roasting gets them the crispy edge we love. One package of poultry herbs includes just enough fresh sage, rosemary, and thyme, while packages of single herbs tend to spoil before they're used.
Sweet Potato and White Bean Soup
Mild cannellini beans give the soup body and protein without distracting from the rich sweet potato flavor. Chopped apple and Greek yogurt on top add a tart and tangy contrast. Nutrition abounds in versatile sweet potatoes; plain potatoes need much more dressing up.