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Our Favorite Meals in 6 Ingredients or Less

Photo credit: Getty Images

Work. Commute. Home. You open the cabinets with a sigh. Weeknight dinners can be daunting, so we’ve assembled some of our go-to hits—ones requiring a piece of fish, a box of pasta or even just opening a can, for delicious results, in no more than six ingredients.

1. Marcella Hazan’s Buttery Tomato Sauce. The famous Italian cook passed away this year, and leaves behind a number of culinary legacies including this classic: Halve an onion along its equator. Simmer in a pot with about a half a stick of butter. When it starts smelling wonderful, dump in 28 ounces of whole peeled Italian tomatoes. Crush them using a potato masher or a wooden spoon. Stir periodically. After 20 minutes, start a pot of boiling salted water, and cook your favorite pasta. Once your sauce is a robust red-orange color, salt to taste, and toss with noodles.

2. Whole Roast Chicken Boneless skinless filets get all the credit, but a whole roast chicken is a snap. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bring chicken to room temperature, dry and salt inside and out, mash softened butter and a favorite herb (we like sage or rosemary) together, and push herb butter gently under the bird’s skin and into its cavity. Drop a half head of garlic, sliced widthwise, into the bird’s belly. Slice a lemon in half, and use half to drizzle juice over bird. Chop potatoes into small pieces; place in pan with rest of garlic and roughly chopped herbs. Place bird on top, for an easy roasting rack.

3. Grilled Salmon with Lime Butter Sauce This minimalist knockout is fantastic grilled or roasted. Puree a clove of garlic with a few tablespoons of lime juice, a bit of salt and fresh pepper, and a stick of melted butter. Pour into a bowl; chill. If using a grill, season room-temperature salmon with salt and pepper and grill flesh-side down on an oiled rack for a few minutes. Flip, and cook to taste. Spoon lime butter on top.

4. Faux Salad Niçoise High-quality Italian canned tuna makes all the difference in this protein-packed salad. Boil a few eggs, toss with chopped raw kale, capers (or olives, if you’ve got ‘em) and a can of tuna. Make a dressing from fresh lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil, to taste (we like one part juice to two parts oil). Season, and toss gently with salad.

5. Puff Pastry Tarts Frozen puff pastry is the home cook’s secret weapon—especially for unexpected guests or ravenous kids. Pull a square out of the freezer right when you get home and start pawing through the cabinets. Draw a border on the dough, prick all over the center with a fork, and heat oven to 400 degrees. Combinations that work: mozzarella, fresh salted tomatoes, and basil; caramelized onion, Brie, and thyme; tuna, capers, Parmesan and minced sautéed onions. Cook until dough is golden.

Knorr® is also in the business of making dinner more of a snap. Here’s one of their easy and completely delicious dinner recipes.

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Knorr® Creamy Shrimp Alfredo

Ingredients

  • 1 package Knorr® Pasta Sides™ - Alfredo
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  • Prepare Knorr® Pasta Sides™ - Alfredo according to package directions, stirring in tomatoes and spinach during the last 5 minutes of cook time.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in large nonstick skillet and cook shrimp, stirring occasionally, until shrimp turn pink, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir cooked shrimp into hot Pasta. Sprinkle with cheese.
  • TIP: Also delicious with chicken! Substitute 1 lb boneless chicken, cut into strips, for the shrimp. No fresh spinach on hand? Feel free to use 1 package (10 oz.) thawed frozen spinach instead of baby spinach.