Think you don't have time to cook chili tonight? Think again: Our speedy kitchen hacks bring comfort food classics to your table in record time.

August 14, 2017
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Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

Quick Texas Chili

Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

Time Saved: 1 hr. 35 min.

The Flavor Shortcut: Instant umami boosters like Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste build savory depth in minutes. Flank steak cooks quickly yet has the beefiness of toughter cuts like brisket. Coating the meat in flour before searing allows for more browning and wil help add body to the chili.

Meatloaf Burger Steaks with Tomato Gravy

Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

Time Saved: 1 hr. 25 min

The Equipment Shortcut: A food processor minces vegetables in seconds. Instead of a narrow loaf pan, a wide skillet quickly and evenly sears patties. The microwave steams spuds instantly; no waiting for water to boil.

Skillet Vegetable Lasagna

Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

Time Saved: 1 hr. 20 min.

The One-Pan Shortcut: Vegetables take turns cooking in a single pan, not several. A stovetop simmer quickly cooks the noodles through; no need for a separate boil. The pan shifts easily to the oven for a last-minute broil to melt and meld the cheeses.

Pork Medallions with Fennel-Apple Slaw

Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

Time Saved: 40 min.

The Thin Slices Shortcut: Thin foods cook faster. Pork medallions get better browning than a whole tenderloin; potato slices get crispier than wedges. Thinly sliced apple, fennel, and shallots absorb more vinaigrette without losing crunch.

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Schmaltzy Vinaigrette

Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

Time Saved: 1 hr. 30 min.

The Work-Smart Shortcut: Plan out your moves, like steps in a dance, so you can cook efficiently without losing focus. Prep vegetables while the oven preheats, sear chicken while the potatoes roast, and make the sauce just as the chicken finishes baking.