Gallery: Staff Picks: Our Favorite Quick Dinner Recipes

  • Pasta e Fagioli

    I'd rather not specify how many times I've made Kenji's Pasta e Fagioli since it came out on Serious Eats. Let's just say that it's enough that now I like to play around, throwing in a piece of Parmesan rind, that last tablespoon of tomato paste, or some chopped veggies from my fridge. In 30 minutes you get a hearty, comforting soup that seems like it could have taken an hour or more. Carrie Vasios

    Spaghetti Carbonara

    You hardly need a recipe (but here's one.) Just some garlic, some eggs, some spaghetti, some pepper, some good bacon, and you're on the road to comfort food in 20 minutes or less. It's also pretty much the only way I can convince my husband to eat eggs, which are not really his thing. Maggie Hoffman

    Crusty Chicken with Mushrooms and White Wine Sauce

    Dead simple in the elegant way that only Jacques Pepin can pull off: four chicken thighs go skin side down in a cold skillet, and cook, undisturbed, until the skin is a beautiful golden-brown and the meat is cooked through. Then you can make a pan sauce, as this recipe for Crusty Chicken with Mushrooms and White Wine Sauce suggests, but my favorite lazy twist is to put the chicken on top of some salad greens and squeeze a lemon on top of everything. Chicken juices + lemon = ultimate salad dressing. Ben Fishner

    Eggplant and Tomato Sauce with Israeli Couscous

    My favorite quick dinner du jour is Eggplant and Tomato Sauce with Israeli Couscous. Requires a little bit of prep, but it comes together in one pot and it makes for some amazing leftovers. Alaina Browne

    15-Minute Creamy Tomato Soup

    I probably make this 15-minute Creamy Tomato Soup more than anything else when I'm in a rush to put something on the table. It's hot and soothing, and despite its rich creamy texture, is 100% dairy-free, which means that it can be made solely from dry pantry staples (olive oil, garlic and onions, a few dried spices, canned tomatoes, and bread). The trick is to handle it like a gazpacho—the bread and olive oil emulsify with the soup to give it both body and richness.

    It helps that it's my wife's favorite quick meal too. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Pasta Shells with Chickpeas and Arugula

    Pasta Shells with Chickpeas and Arugula

    This recipe for Pasta Shells with Chickpeas and Arugula has become a go-to for us during the week. It's tasty and feels healthy which is an extra bonus when we go back for seconds and thirds of this yummy pasta. —Jen Weinberg

    Kimchi Fried Rice

    When time is truly of the essence, I tend to reach for my big jar of kimchi. The spicy pickled cabbage adds a whole bunch of flavor very quickly, and it's always there when I need it the most. More often than not I also have some leftover white rice in the fridge, and along with some eggs, a meal of kimchi fried rice is only minutes away. I've tried a bunch of different versions over the years, but this recipe for Kimchi Fried Rice, which sets a fried egg on top instead of mixing it in, is probably my favorite. Nick Kindelsperger

    Eggplant with Urfa Biber Yogurt

    My shopping list for this Eggplant with Urfa Biber Yogurt is two ingredients long: decent eggplant and thick Greek yogurt. Cilantro too, maybe, if I want it to look sexy. Once I'm home, it's ten minutes until this spicy, smoky pile of creamy charred eggplant is ready to eat. Max Falkowitz

    Quinoa Salad

    Does leftovers with a fried egg on top count? No, that's not a recipe? Hmm, often when I don't know what else to make, I'll cook up a pot of quinoa until fluffy then toss it in a big bowl with chopped veggies for crunch, creamy avocado slices, and whatever else looks good, then make a refreshing vinaigrette with a squeeze of lime and jalapeño to give it some bite. Here's an easy quinoa salad recipe as a jumping-off point, but you can really go crazy with the mix-ins. Erin Zimmer

    Frozen Dumplings

    Robyn Lee

    I always keep a bag of frozen dumplings in the freezer for emergency dinners (I ain't making them from scratch...especially when I work in Chinatown and have access to many sources of crazy cheap frozen handmade dumplings) because 1) DUMPLINGS ARE DELICIOUS, 2) I can cook them in about 10 minutes, and 3) they're one of the few things I can't screw up. Sort of. I usually use the steam-fry method, which, if you haven't tried it, you should because it's easy. It failed me once when I was cooking on an electric stove with someone else's pan and I proceeded to burn all the dumplings, but other than that, SUCCESS. Robyn Lee

    Moroccan Spinach and Chickpeas

    I have a reputation as something of a chickpea fanatic at Serious Eats, so this won't come as a surprise: my standby quick dinner slmost always starts with opening a can. (Yes, they're better from dried beans, but we're talking minimum effort here.) This Moroccan Spinach and Chickpeas recipe comes together in about 15 minutes but, thanks to some oil-fried bread that both thickens the texture and adds a toasty flavor, tastes like it might have been cooking for much longer. Carey Jones