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 salad week at What's for Dinner, because it's August and it's hot—and there is so much wonderful produce available right now. And really, just about anything can be considered salad, from grilled vegetables with grains to salmon with potatoes, green beans, and corn in a summery take on the classic Niçoise. Even pizza with kale and grilled vegetables can be considered a salad. If your family thinks they don't like salad for dinner, we think these delicious, summery versions will change their mind.
What to Buy
The produce and fresh ingredients you need to buy for your meals this week:
What to Make
Grilled Ratatouille and Bulgur Salad
This recipe might just become a summer favorite. Not only does it use peak-season produce (eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, and tomatoes), all cooking is done on the grill, and it can be made up to two days ahead and refrigerated; it travels well, so double the recipe and take some to work for lunch—or plan a picnic. Almost forgot to mention—it's vegan, too!
Orecchiette with Sausage, Corn, and Chiles
The small ear-shaped pasta known as orecchiette is perfectly formed to hold little pieces of vegetable or sausage.With this 20-minute pasta dish, it gets to do both as it's the foil for a sweet (corn), spicy (chile), meaty (sweet Italian sausage) combo that's rounded out with a daub of sour cream and a scattering of fresh cilantro. The recipe serves six, but we say make the full amount even if you're feeding four, and let us know if you have leftovers—and if you do, they make a tasty lunch, served at room temp.
Grilled Chicken and Zucchini Salad
Tonight, chicken cutlets get a quick marinade in garlicky, dill-flecked yogurt before they, and planks of zucchini, are flame-kissed and served alongside a quick romaine-and-radish salad.
We're making one change to the recipe, instead of dill, swap in some basil or cilantro left over from dinners earlier this week.
Salmon Nicoise with Caper Dressing
If you love Niçoise salad as much as we do, you're ready for this salmon-centric take. It only takes 30 minutes to put together and 10 minutes of cooking. Potatoes, beans, and corn all cook in one pan, while salmon filets get a quick sauté in another. A lemony vinaigrette brings it all together and it's sublime.
Grilled Vegetable Pizzas
We're celebrating that we made it through another hot summer week, and how are we celebrating? By heading outside and making an easy take on grilled pizza. And we're embracing shortcuts by starting with store-bought flatbreads and bucking tradition by topping these "pizzas" with a colorful, unexpected combination of grilled mushrooms, zucchini, red onion, and kale, plus two cheeses: the usual mozzarella and the less usual blue cheese. No marinara here, instead there's a simple mustard vinaigrette. The dressing offsets the rich cheeses and unites the vegetables into satisfying bites so no one will notice you're having salad for dinner.