5 Easy Dinners We Cook Again and Again
No multi-step recipes or long ingredient lists—just smart ideas for getting supper on the table on a typical crazy weeknight.
Photo: F&W/Stephanie Foley
The Unexpected (and Genius) Way to Make a Burger
Sweet or hot Italian sausage may be a summertime cookout staple, but it also deserves kudos for how easily it transforms into flavorful patties. Since the meat is already seasoned, all you have to do is remove the casings, form the pork into burgers, brush with oil and cook in a frying pan or grill pan until browned and crusty, about five minutes per side. While you're doing that, sauté a bag of baby spinach with garlic in olive oil for a fresh-tasting topping. Toasted ciabatta rolls will soak up the juices.
Get the recipe: Italian-Sausage Burgers with Garlicky Spinach
A Cheater Homemade Pizza You'll Be Proud Of
We're all about repurposing leftovers, but one use that had escaped us—until now—is pizza. Pita, pizza dough or wheat tortillas all work for the crust; top whichever you choose with whatever extras you have. A container of tomato sauce? Just add mozzarella and red chili flakes. Roasted vegetables? Layer shaved cheese, such as Pecorino Romano, over the pizza base. Any kind of cooked greens, from kale to spinach? Throw on some sliced Spanish chorizo and crumbled blue cheese.
Get the recipe: Gigi "Skizza" with Arugula Pesto, Ricotta and Chicken
A Salad Where the Dressing Does Double Duty
Lemon juice, mustard, cumin, honey and olive oil: This zippy mixture can brighten up whatever veggies you like—and it also works as an excellent marinade for chicken, as this smart recipe shows. After you've cooked the meat (whether on the stovetop, oven or grill), add some of the reserved dressing to the vegetables and toss everything together for a healthy entrée salad.
Get the recipe: Grilled Chicken, Spinach and Cashew Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing
The 15-Minute Shrimp
Spanish wine bars aren't just known for their Riojas; most also serve simple, uncomplicated food, such as an omelet or a platter of sliced ham and cheese. This garlicky shrimp belongs in that category; it starts with sautéed garlic and shallots, then you add in grape tomatoes, shrimp and white wine. The tomatoes morph into a bright and tangy sauce that tastes like it's been simmering for hours, but is actually ready in minutes.
Get the recipe: Garlicky Shrimp with Tomatoes and White Wine
A One-Pot Asian Supper
Lettuce wraps are a great way to eat Asian stir-fries without having to prepare a separate accompaniment, such as noodles or rice. Just brown the meat with the seasonings, wash and dry some Bibb or butter lettuce leaves (their cup-like shape is ideal) while it sizzles, then let everyone pile spoonfuls of the filling into their edible bowls. This particular dish uses a few powerhouses to bump up the flavor, including ginger, garlic, soy and hoisin sauces. Plus, they store well, so you don't have to run to the store to buy new each time you want to make this delicious meal.
Get the recipe: Gingery Beef Lettuce Wraps