Chicken stew

Photo: Alison Gootee/Studio D

Chicken, Pasta and Salad, All in One
This one-pot Italian meal combines some of the key ingredients of a chicken cacciatore—chicken, mushrooms, carrots, onions, tomato—without the labor-intensive steps of frying and then simmering the meat. It's still a wonderfully satisfying dinner, though, with rigatoni (or other pasta) and greens mixed right into the stew. You toss fresh arugula in at the end of cooking, so the leaves wilt a bit but still retain their bite, adding an unexpected note to a classic.

Get the recipe: Chicken, Arugula, Thyme and Pasta Stew
Hungarian Beef Goulash with Paprika and Dumplings

Photo: Jody Horton

A Ridiculously Fast Beefy Dinner
We always thought goulash took a minimum of two hours to make, but this speedy recipe shows how easy it is to get a rich stew in just 45 minutes. It's packed with vegetables and the requisite sweet paprika, plus sour cream and, of course, has those irresistibly fluffy dumplings on top. This recipe serves two but you can easily double it.

Get the recipe: Hungarian Beef Goulash with Paprika and Dumplings
Vegetarian or fish stew

Photo: Gentl & Hyers

A Versatile, Healthy Dish for Everyone
Fish stew is one of the speediest meals you can make, since the protein (in this case, any firm, white fillet, such as fluke, bass, grouper, blackfish or monkfish) cooks in just minutes. This smart recipe, which includes a hearty and fragrant mix of fennel, potatoes, carrots and tomatoes, is also easy to make vegetarian-style. You can set aside just one portion or adapt the entire pot, swapping in beans for the fish.

Get the recipe: Vegetarian-Friendly Fish or Bean Stew
Chorizo stew

Photo: Lilyana Vynogradova/iStock/Thinkstock

The Savory Spanish Supper
Smoked paprika is the ingredient that really makes this dish sing. It lends a deep and woodsy flavor to what's really just a sausage and bean stew (although sherry vinegar and white wine don't hurt). Be sure to have some crusty bread on the table for sopping up all the juices.

Get the recipe: White Bean and Chorizo Stew
Squash stew

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A Veggie-Packed Stew with a South Asian Vibe
A wonder spice strikes again, this time in the form of curry. The warming, toasty notes are perfect alongside ginger and coconut milk; add butternut squash, tomato and bok choy and you've got a substantial meal that comes together in just 45 minutes. (And it's terrific over steamed white rice.)

Get the recipe: Curried Butternut Squash Stew
Chicken and Andouille Gumbo

Photo: Andrew Purcell

The Express Version of a New Orleans Classic
This chicken and Andouille sausage gumbo takes way less time to make than most, but it still has lots of bold flavor. Gumbo filé powder, which you may be able to find in your supermarket's spice aisle, is a nice addition shaken over your bowl (as you would with salt) for a distinctly earthy flavor.

Get the recipe: Chicken and Andouille Gumbo