Wondering what to make for dinner? Need some inspiration? Here's our list of suggestions: dinner recipes that take less than an hour of mostly hands-off time. Yes, there will be pasta and, yes, it will be delicious. We'll be here every Friday with five weeknight dinners, including recipes, shopping lists, and everything you need to streamline your week ahead.
It's the best time of the year if you love ripe tomatoes and fresh basil. It's also a great time to escape the kitchen and grill weeknight meals—why save all the fun for the weekend? Our meal plan for the first week of August draws on these things, plus there's a Meatless Monday recipe that will teach you a smart way to crisp canned chickpeas and turn them into an irresistible snack or important element of a vegetarian entrée. And don't skip on the shrimp burgers; they might not replace hamburgers in your dinner rotation, but we hope you'll add them to your recipe repertoire.
What to Buy
The produce and fresh ingredients you need to buy for your meals this week:
What to Make
Greek Mezze Salad
Get the week off to an easy start with this vegetarian meal that's more about putting things together than cooking. Chickpeas, along with black beans and cannellini beans, are canned beans you'll always find in our store cupboard and they anchor this easy dinner. Toss them with olive oil and z'aatar and roast them in the oven to create the crunchy element of this vegetarian dinner salad.
Stir the lemon zest into the Greek yogurt and you'll be amazed at how you've just made a stellar condiment. See if you can pull off a swoop of it on each dinner plate that's worthy of Instagram. If your swoops are not quite food stylist level, no worries! You'll be covering them with the other elements of the salad, including radishes and cucumbers tossed with lemon juice and olive oil, and the chickpeas and pita crisps.
Grilled Chicken with Mango and Mint-Lime Dressing
Turn on the grill! For dinner tonight we're grilling boneless, skinless chicken breast halves along with radishes and a serrano pepper.
While the grill is heating, make the mint-lime juice dressing that does double duty for this dinner: half of it is tossed with the pounded chicken breasts as a marinade; reserve the other half for the salad.
Mince the serrano once it's grilled and add to the remaining dressing, then drizzle the dressing over the mango, watercress, grilled radishes, and chicken. The finishing touch is daubs of goat cheese and small leaves of fresh mint.
Tomato and Basil Pasta
Like your favorite caprese salad but in pasta form. The only cooking you need for dinner tonight is the pasta; we use campanelle. Why campanelle? Because we like it! And it's got those twists and turns that penne lacks, but any short pasta would work. If you're someone who thinks this pasta does not equal a main course, let us know—or grill some sausages to serve alongside.
Pork Rib Chops with Sweet Peppers and Basil
Who doesn't love a 30-minute dinner? This meal is cooked on the stovetop, and you could make it any night of the year, but it's well suited to summer when bell peppers are at their best.
Need something to serve alongside these pork chops? Try a crusty bread, leftover potato salad, or a freshly cooked pot of rice.
Friday: Shrimp Burgers
Why not pull out all the stops? It's Friday and that is reason enough to make grilled shrimp burgers. Actually, if you have time, you can make these patties on Thursday and refrigerate them overnight. And they only take 10 minutes to cook.
Use your favorite soft buns and don't skimp on the accompaniments. There's a chili-lime mayo that's simply a combo of store-bought mayo with paprika, onion powder, cayenne, and lime juice, and together with the hot cherry peppers, slices of ripe heirloom tomato, and soft lettuce leaves, they bring it all together.