This classic dish stays within its 20-minute time allotment, but still dresses to impress. We recommend serving with angel hair pasta.
Prosciutto and Smoked Gouda Panini
This three-ingredient recipe is the ultimate last-minute party dish. It'll make a light meal for 10 or hors d'oeuvres for 15 to 20 in just a few minutes. The strong flavor of smoked cheese (cheddar or mozzarella works as well as Gouda) stands up well to the saltiness of prosciutto. Of course you can also cut the recipe down to make a great quick lunch for just a few―you need a little over half an ounce each of prosciutto and cheese per sandwich.
Spinach Salad with Maple-Dijon Vinaigrette
Opposites do attract: Smoky, salty bacon and crisp, fresh spinach are paired in salads all the time. What makes this recipe unique is its maple syrup-based dressing, which adds richness in addition to maple flavor, and tart apple pieces, which add another layer of taste. Add a baked potato for an easy dinner meal.
Turkey Burgers with Special Sauce
These burgers get added flavor from orange juice, soy sauce, and ginger, while the Special Sauce amplifies those tastes with creamy mayo and honey mustard. Whole-wheat buns are a good choice because their hearty nuttiness stands up to the sauce, but thick slices of dark rye or pumpernickel bread are great substitutes too. For a bit of cheesy indulgence, top these burgers with slices of Swiss or provolone.
Pork Tenderloin with Red and Yellow Peppers
Anchovies melt into the pepper mixture, adding a savory, salty quality. If you don't like anchovies, omit them and add 3 tablespoons minced olives.
Grilled Portobello-Goat Cheese Pitas
Each element of this dish contributes unique elements. Crispy and chewy texture come from the grilled pita; tanginess and cooling creaminess from the goat cheese; sweet, juicy freshness from the tomato; and earthy smoky flavors and meaty texture from the portobellos. It's a great summer combination with a simple fruit salad made from whatever you have on hand.
Quick Shrimp Chowder
When preparing this chowder, make sure to buy U.S. wild-caught or farmed shrimp for the best sustainable option.
Strawberry-Avocado Salsa with Cinnamon Tortilla Chips
Make the chips in advance, cool completely, and store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
Pasta with Zucchini and Toasted Almonds
Not only does fresh pasta from the refrigerated section cook faster than dried, it also tastes better―the chewy texture of the pasta is an incomparable improvement. Here the pasta is mixed with an abundance of zucchini, mint, and marinated tomatoes, with a sprinkle of almonds for extra crunch. Add a side salad for a filling vegetarian meal, or add cooked shrimp or chicken to the pasta to create a one-dish dinner.
Sesame-Miso Cucumber Salad
Miso is a thick soybean paste with a salty, slightly sweet flavor. Look for it in the refrigerated part of the produce section or with the dairy products, or substitute soy sauce.
Garlic-Thyme Burgers with Grilled Tomato
Thyme, garlic, and Dijon Mustard give these burgers a French twist. Pan-grilled tomatoes enhance the already-juicy texture.
Chipotle-Lime Crab Crisps
An easy crab salad that has tons of flavor―it includes tangy lime, fiery chipotle, creamy avocado, and crunchy vegetables―is baked on tortilla chips for a unique appetizer. To make it a meal, omit the chips and bake the crab mixture in a baking dish, then serve over lettuce as a main-dish salad, or fill warmed flour tortillas for chipotle-lime crab tacos.
Warm Tortellini and Cherry Tomato Salad
Prepared filled pastas from the refrigerated section of the supermarket are a great boon to get dinner on the table fast. They add multilayered flavor and cook even more quickly than dried pasta. Here, cheese tortellini is paired with fresh, crisp asparagus, bitter arugula, sweet and juicy tomatoes, pungent onion, and tart canned artichoke hearts in a simple two-vinegar vinaigrette for a meal that takes no longer than cooking the pasta.
Skillet Pork Chop Sauté with Peaches
The bright, bold flavors in this dish mean you don't need a side with a lot of high-impact flavors. Serve over quick-cooking couscous.
Shrimp and Arugula Salad
The white balsamic won’t discolor the shrimp or bright veggies. For something a little sharper, substitute white wine vinegar.
Microwave Smashed Potatoes
Chorizo-Mussel Noodle Bowl
For this filling dish, mussels are joined by big chunks of smoky Spanish chorizo (don't use spicy Mexican chorizo) and lots of noodles in a big bowl of goodness. It's a fine meal by itself, but a small salad or garlic bread would make great sides.
Chicken Panini with Fig Jam
Fig season may only last a few weeks, but fig jam captures the complex sweetness of the fruit excellently, and is available any time of year. These sandwiches are a great use of leftover chicken, and the easy skillet toasting process makes them warm, gooey, and wonderful. Sliced deli chicken, turkey, or ham can also fill the sandwich, though it'll be a bit flatter.
Fresh Salmon-Cilantro Burgers
Mexican flavor suffuses these burgers, from the chopped jalapeño mixed in to the patties to the cilantro-lime mayo that tops them. The mayo is also a good topping for
Macadamia Nut-Pesto Fettuccine
Your family will never guess what's in this pesto, but the macadamias give a creamier texture than other types of nuts. Add half-and-half to that for a wonderfully rich, indulgent sauce with familiar flavor but a hint of something new. The pesto comes together in the time the pasta cooks, so it takes just a few minutes to create a creamy, comforting dish with less than 400 calories per serving.
Pineapple Chicken Satay
Round out this meal that is full of fresh and bright flavors with rice and sugar snap peas.
Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes
This recipe is not only quick, but also versatile. Try one of our three variations to spice things up: raisin and pine nut, sesame-ginger glazed, or lemon-tarragon.
Black Bean Hummus
This hummus recipe has a southwestern kick that everyone will love. We recommend serving with pita chips but you can also serve with assorted crudités.
Linguine with Garlicky Clams and Peas
Fresh pasta has a substantially different flavor from dried, but you can find it easily in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Try it in this easy dish and you'll be hooked―the delicate pasta combines with the slightly chewy clams for textural contrast in a briny sauce finished off with the savory flavor of Parmesan.
Southwestern Cobb Salad
Our favorite southwestern flavors about in this Cooking Light Southwestern Cobb Salad recipe.
Beef and Mushroom Sloppy Joes
These aren't the sloppy joes of your childhood. Cremini offer deeper, richer flavor, but you can also use regular button mushrooms.
Packaged greens are ultra-easy to use, and you just have to add a few extra ingredients to put a unique stamp on a salad. Basil and kalamata olives build a Mediterranean salad with a sweet cider vinaigrette that's served over an easy pita pizza for a complete meal.
Cucumber Gazpacho with Shrimp Relish
Cool off with this warm-weather favorite. A garnish of fresh shrimp relish provides the finishing touch.
Seared Filet with Mixed-Herb Gremolata
A great sear on the steaks depends on getting the pan very hot and not moving the meat too much while it's cooking.
Stone Fruit Salad with Toasted Almonds
With a dressing of almond oil and a white wine reduction, plus a topping of tangy goat cheese, this recipe brings some added elegance to the everyday fruit salad. It makes a nice light lunch or dinner starter on its own, but you can top with sliced chicken breast to make it more substantial. Either way, serve with chilled glasses of the wine you used in the dressing.