Chicken and Rice with Broccoli
Chicken and rice is a common combination that's seen in a variety of cuisines, each with its own twist. For this easy one-pot meal, feel free to customize it—use other chicken parts such as thighs or a whole chicken broken down. For spices, you can leave out the cayenne and cumin and opt for a turmeric and oregano mix instead, or even add some cinnamon to give this dish a touch of sweetness that's especially nice for wintertime.
Shredded Chicken, Chard and Chickpea Soup
There are a ton of ways to dress up this soup; try playing around with rainbow chard or kale, different herbs like rosemary or thyme, or a finishing sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley or cilantro. Spicing it up with a generous heaping of dried red chile flakes is also a good idea. If you happen to save your Parmesan rinds (which you should), then add one to the soup as it's cooking for a quick boost in flavor.
Easy Skillet Cassoulet
Don't scoff at the idea of a skillet cassoulet that's done in 30 minutes. To keep things quick, use both pork sausage and pork tenderloin to bulk up the dish. The only catch is that the sausage takes a few minutes longer than the pork, so you'll want to begin browning the links before adding the medallions.
Skillet Lamb Chops with Harissa, Spinach and Chickpeas
This quick-cooking recipe is made with Moroccan-style seasonings and harissa paste stirred into the chickpea mixture to add a little kick and depth to the dish. If you have more time on your hands, feel free to marinate the lamb chops for longer, but make sure to take them out of the refrigerator at least 20 minutes before you cook them so that they can warm up and cook evenly.
Easy Skillet Turkey Dinner
Depending on the size of the crowd at your place for Thanksgiving, a whole turkey might be too much (or it might not fit in your oven, if you live in some New York City apartments). Or maybe you just have a craving for Thanksgiving flavors in July. Who knows. An excellent option during these times is to make a hassle-free turkey dinner in a single skillet.
Pan-Cooked Chicken Thighs with Butternut Squash
There's a reason that chicken dishes are some of the more searched-for recipes on the internet. Chicken is incredibly versatile. This recipe cooks the thighs until the skin is crispy, then sets the chicken aside while making the butternut squash. Add the chicken back in to finish, and you've got a tasty and healthy meal in just 30 minutes. Of course, feel free to use other varieties of squash or vegetables if you have them on hand or aren't a fan of butternut squash.
Pan-Seared Fish with Shiitake Mushrooms
This dish is super simple to make but is packed with flavor from the mushrooms and the liquid they release, which is turned into a sauce with the addition of stock, lemon juice, and some butter to emulsify it. If you're feeling adventurous, try experimenting with a variety of mushrooms or adding greens like bok choy or kale.
Skillet Rice Noodles with Clams, Snow Peas, and Corn
Italian grandmothers may balk at the idea of cooking pasta directly in a sauce instead of in a separate ocean-sized pot of boiling water, but it's a great shortcut to extra flavor without the extra stove space, and can result in perfectly fine texture. But there are a couple tricks you need to know. First, you've got to make the sauce extra-saucy to account for the liquid the pasta is going to absorb as it cooks. Secondly, you've got to make sure to add ingredients at the right time to make sure they don't overcook. Finally, a shot of Sriracha and soy sauce along with a squeeze of lime and chopped cilantro at the end give it a bit of an Asian flavor kick.
Mussels in Chorizo and Tomato Broth
It's hard for something not to taste good when there's chorizo involved. In this dish, chorizo adds rich flavor with the subtle addition of heat—it's not too much, just enough. Rendering the fat from the chorizo not only gives it a crispiness but also provides excellent cooking fat for the rest of the dish. The best way to eat it is by placing a toasted piece of bread (rubbing it with a little oil and garlic is up to you) at the bottom of a bowl and ladling the mussels and broth on top.
Skillet Spaghetti alla Carbonara with Kale
Spaghetti alla carbonara is already one of the simplest dishes around. Made with nothing but cured pork, spaghetti, eggs, cheese, and a ton of black pepper, its beauty lies in nailing the technique so that you end up with a smooth, creamy sauce, as opposed to scrambled eggs. Using carbonara as the starting point, this recipe adds in a bit of crispy kale to round out the meal, all with nothing more than a skillet and a bowl.
Skillet Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe
This is a one-pot meal perfect for a winter night. Whole wheat pasta is combined with a slightly spicy sausage, broccoli rabe, some nutty Parmesan and a dose of breadcrumbs to make a fast and relatively healthy dinner. Broccoli rabe seems to be one of those winter greens that people either love or hate; apparently the bitterness can get the better of some. But if you do enjoy it, this is one of our favorite ways of eating it.
Skillet Baked Ziti
This version is an ode to the classic pasta dish with a slightly healthier twist. The pasta tubes on the edge of the pan still get the crispiness but it's brightened with a sprinkling of fresh basil that adds a little green to the dish. Feel free to up the Parmesan amount to a full cup if you want a creamier dish or even stir in some heavy cream or ricotta before putting it in the oven. Adding some sausage to the recipe could also be another delicious twist to try if you're feeling adventurous.
Couscous with Crispy Pancetta and Butternut Squash
Whether you're already an avid home cook or someone just beginning their foray into the kitchen, this dish, flavored with cumin and crispy bits of pancetta, is perfect for a quick winter meal—plus the leftovers are fantastic.
Eggplant and Tomato Sauce with Israeli Couscous
Use fresh plum tomatoes and don't worry about removing the skins before cooking them. If tomatoes aren't in season, then a 28-ounce can of whole, peeled tomatoes should work. Turmeric and some other spices used in this dish are notably Moroccan, and, while in Morocco it's typical to serve the couscous alongside the stew or sauce, you can stir it all together to keep in line with this quick and easy dinners column—and it'll turn out great. The couscous will have a chance to absorb the extra sauce and flavor.
Eggplant and Tomato Pasta
This pasta is a slight riff off of the Pasta alla Norma, that's typically made with ricotta. The key is purchasing firm eggplants and cooking them well in the first step of the recipe since they will only be added back in to warm through at the end. If you worry that your sauce isn't saucy enough, you can always add more broth or water, but give it a chance.