20-Minute Meals (We Aren't Kidding)
When it's you versus the clock, and scrambled eggs are not an option, turn to this totally new dinner salad—or any of the five superfast, delicious recipes that follow.
A Warm Entrée Salad That's Unlike Anything Else You Ate This Week
Thanks to jalapeño, mint and feta, this healthy grain-and-veggie salad bursts with spice and tang. It employs the brilliant trick of pouring boiling water over couscous, covering the bowl and letting it stand five minutes. While that cooks, you make a quick vinaigrette and char yellow squash on a grill pan (or grill). Toss everything together, throw in some watercress and scallions and enjoy.
Get the recipe: Couscous Salad with Grilled Squash, Feta and Mint
A Vibrant Spanish Supper
Cod fillets topped with a from-scratch tomato sauce bolstered with smoky Spanish chorizo sounds like the type of dish that could take awhile, but this recipe proves otherwise. The spicy pork sausage, which is cured, is already cooked; so, you only need to sauté it for a few minutes for it to become tender. Halved cherry tomatoes cook in even less time, and flaky, white cod needs only about six minutes to brown to perfection. The sauce becomes a topping for the fish, adding rich flavor.
Get the recipe: Cod with Chorizo and Tomatoes
An Eat-with-Your-Hands Dinner (That's Not Mexican!)
We've all leaned on tacos when we need a quick meal. Now, O
magazine contributor Sunny Anderson teaches us a new way to make the classic, quick crowd-pleaser, with Asian flavors replacing traditional cumin and chili. A quarter-cup of hoisin sauce delivers just enough sweetness to punch up ground beef; you also mix in grated, fresh ginger, scallions, garlic and soy sauce. Boston or Bibb lettuce leaves serve as shells to hold the meat—and add a cool and crisp counterpoint to the savory, spiced filling.
Get the recipe: Gingery Beef Lettuce Wraps
The Lifesaver Pasta That You Never Saw Coming
When you feel like you're on a competitive cooking show but it's really just you, your kitchen and three hungry people (one of whom is whining about the grilled-chicken run you've been on lately), turn to this unique take on huevos rancheros. There's definitely no shame in serving breakfast for dinner, but this delicious main course takes the Mexican classic's key ingredients—eggs and salsa—and applies them to pasta, so the egg yolks and salsa turn into a silky sauce for spaghetti. It's salty, creamy, a little spicy—yet familiar, too. (And it probably would at least get you into the next round on TV.)
Get the recipe: Huevos Rancheros Spaghetti
The Fresh-from-the-Oven Pizza That's Faster Than Delivery
Homemade pizza seems speedy in theory, but we always forget how long it takes for our oven to heat up to an appropriately scorching temperature. That's why this stove-top version is so fantastic; pick up a round of dough (many pizzerias sell it, as does Trader Joe's and other grocery stores), roll out half of it so it's slightly smaller than your biggest skillet and crisp it in a bit of olive oil, just until it's lightly browned—about 3 minutes. Then, you flip it, top it with tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil and slide it under the broiler (which takes almost no time to preheat) so the cheese can melt and the top crust can turn golden.
Get the recipe: Pan-Fried Pizza
Salmon and a Side, All in One
It doesn't take long to turn salmon fillets into rosy-on-the-inside, lightly-crisped-on-the-outside perfection (6 minutes, max). But instead of just plunking the fish down on a plate alongside a humdrum salad, this recipe has you lay it atop a bed of crisp-tender green beans that you've cooked (for just 5 minutes) in the same pan. Then, the entire dish gets drizzled with vinaigrette and a smattering of quartered cherry tomatoes and thinly sliced radishes.
Get the recipe: Seared Salmon with Green Bean Salad and Balsamic Vinaigrette