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 (or noodles!) 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.
Are you feeling pressed for time? Making dinner on a weeknight can feel like a delicate balance of time, energy, and appetite. You're so hungry you barely have energy to cook, or you got home so late you have even less time than usual for dinner prep. Be sure to save our stellar 30-minute-and-under recipes for those nights when every second counts. This week as we move into fall, we've got a quick-cooking pasta that uses canned salmon so it's a great pantry dinner (sub whatever leafy green you have for the broccoli rabe), a 35-minute baked chicken sandwich, and 30-minute mini beef meatballs that are served in lettuce cups.
What to Buy
The produce and fresh ingredients you need to buy for your meals this week:
What to Make
Roasted Ratatouille and Eggs
We're big fans of eggs for dinner. They're endlessly versatile, a good source of protein, and inexpensive too. Tonight we're turning the oven on but the flavors of this vegetarian one-pan dinner are still all summer. Eggplant, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes are transformed into a roasted version of ratatouille and the eggs cook right in the glorious vegetable stew.
Mini Meatballs in Lettuce Cups
Don't get stuck in a hamburger or chili or Bolognese rut; ground beef is so versatile (oh, yes—and economical too). Try it in these mini meatballs—a deliciously different dinner that takes 30 minutes to make. They're flavored with ginger and scallions and served in lettuce cups with cilantro sprigs, chopped Thai chiles, peanuts, and a zesty lime mayonnaise.
Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
Winner, winner baked chicken dinner! The secret to these irresistible crispy chicken sandwiches is that they're baked not fried. Healthier and less messy, that's definitely a win-win for a Wednesday dinner. So is the fact that they only take 35 minutes to make.
Pasta with Salmon, Broccoli Rabe, and Garlic
A 30-minute pasta dinner that's bold and unexpected, and just the thing for a chilly fall night. A little canned wild salmon goes a long way thanks to its assertive flavor and brilliant color and it's just fabulous combined with the robust taste of the greens, garlic, and Pecorino Romano.
Consider this a season-straddling meal using the bounty of summer zucchini that's all around, but turning it hearty as only a sausage filling can. (And if you fancy, these boats can be made a day ahead and refrigerated, then baked the day of eating.)