Mix-and-Match Dishes That Make Every Meal a No-Brainer
These recipes are easy and delicious—and if you're missing a few (or even many) ingredients, we've got plenty of ideas for substitutions, so you're practically guaranteed to find a meal you can cook tonight.
Shortcut Roasted Chicken
Here's a no-fuss recipe for a classic that offers just as much flavor as the original, but calls for chicken parts instead of a whole bird, thus cutting way back on the amount of work involved. You simply place the meat into a resealable plastic bag or bowl, and toss in shallots, garlic, thyme, olive oil and lemon juice. Let it all sit in the fridge while the oven preheats, then spread the contents of the bag (or bowl) into a roasting pan. You'll have golden-brown, slightly crisp meat and a wonderful sauce with which to serve it.
Instead of using a whole chicken, use 8 pieces (any combination of legs, thighs, drumsticks or breasts)
Instead of lemon, use orange
Instead of shallots, use any onion
Instead of thyme, use rosemary or sage
Instead of white wine, use chicken or vegetable stock
Get the recipe: Roasted Chicken with Lemon, Thyme and Shallots
The Restaurant-Worthy Salmon
Here's a baked-fish-and-veggies dish with a deep, rich flavor that tastes much more complex than it really is. While the salmon (or other flaky, oil-rich fish) cooks in an olive-oil-lemon-juice-honey glaze, you stir together a ridiculously simple sriracha mayo to accompany it. The fish is delicious on its own, with a sweetness reminiscent of teriyaki but none of the salty soy-sauce flavor. With the spiced mayo (which gets an additional kick from chopped, fresh chives), though, it's out of this world.
Instead of lemon juice, use balsamic vinegar
Instead of honey, use maple syrup
Instead of salmon, use tuna or mackerel
Instead of asparagus, use leeks or broccoli
Instead of mayonnaise, use sour cream
Instead of sriracha, use any hot sauce
Instead of chives, use scallions or leeks
Get the recipe: Roasted Salmon and Asparagus with Spicy Mayo and Chives
An Open-Face Supper Sandwich
This rendition of one of our most reliable fallbacks starts with scallion butter (aka softened butter with sliced green onions stirred into it). Spread it on ciabatta, or other bread, bake until toasted, lay sliced ham on top, add a dollop of ricotta-pea mixture and garnish with sliced radishes.
Instead of ham, use roast beef
Instead of radishes, use cucumbers
Instead of frozen peas, use frozen, chopped spinach
Instead of ricotta, use cream cheese or plain Greek yogurt
Instead of ciabatta, use English muffins or bagels
Instead of scallions, use red onion or garlic powder
Get the recipe: Warm Ham Tartine with Ricotta Spread
A "Mine! All Mine!" Supper for Each Person
A muffin tin is probably one of the most underrated kitchen tools. Case in point: this frittata recipe, which has you spoon a mixture of beaten eggs, cream, cheese, chicken and spinach into each cup and bake until the eggs are just set. Out pop individual, puffy, savory omelets that are perfect with a salad.
Instead of smoked paprika, use chipotle powder or other chili powder
Instead of baby spinach, use Swiss chard, collard greens or kale
Instead of heavy cream, use half-and-half
Instead of Parmesan, use cheddar
Instead of chopped, roast chicken, use cubed ham or tofu (or omit)
Instead of corn tortillas, use sandwich bread cut into circles with a juice glass
Get the recipe: Frittata Tortilla Cups
The Cheesy Vegetarian Casserole
If you've got a bag of Brussels sprouts, a head of cauliflower or broccoli, or any other hearty veggie you'd like to use up, this hearty bake might be just the thing. Its base is brown rice, which you add sautéed vegetables, some cream, spices and a good amount of cheese to and bake. There may be no more tasty or satisfying clean-out-the-crisper-drawer supper than this.
Instead of brown rice, use white rice
Instead of Brussels sprouts, use broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus or cabbage
Instead of white wine, double the chicken stock or use vegetable stock
Instead of heavy cream, use half-and-half or whole milk
Instead of an apple, use fennel or a pear
Instead of fresh thyme, use tarragon or parsley
Instead of cheddar, use Monterey Jack, Gouda or fontina
Instead of slivered almonds, use chopped walnuts or hazelnuts (or omit)
Get the recipe: Cheddar and Brussels Sprouts Rice Bake