Chicken with Artichokes in Creamy Mustard Sauce

Photo: Jenny Rosenstrach

An Alternative to the Same Old Roasted Chicken
Cheap, tasty and quick-cooking chicken thighs are often grilled or roasted, but this recipe shows another easy way to give them major flavor: After you've browned the pieces on the stove, and let them finish cooking with artichoke hearts (frozen or canned) and lemon zest, you stir in a two-ingredient mustard cream sauce. The mustard gives the dish just enough oomph, while the cream makes it taste a little bit decadent. There's also a bit of wine and chicken stock, but don't worry about opening the containers only to use some of each, since you'll use the rest in the recipes that follow.

Get the recipe: Chicken with Artichokes in Creamy Mustard Sauce

Photo: Oxmoor House

An Even Better Way to Eat a Supermarket Shortcut
Cheese tortellini from the refrigerated section of the grocery store are a reliable last-minute meal on their own, with some tomato sauce or butter. Let them cook in a pot of simmering broth, though, and they turn into something that tastes far more delicious than you'd expect (all it really takes is some chicken stock). The dumplings turn plump and flavorful, with a gooey filling that melts in your mouth. This veggie-rich soup also includes canned, diced tomatoes, some dried herbs and baby spinach.

Get the recipe: One-Pot Spinach and Tomato Tortellini Soup

Photo: Anna Williams

Oprah's 20-Minute Pasta
Lemon is a key ingredient in this light and zesty pasta that Oprah likes to make with fresh herbs from her garden. She includes basil and oregano, which you'll use in many other recipes featured here, as well as lemon thyme—but if you want to use regular, fresh thyme, or even a pinch of dried thyme, the dish will still turn out great.

Get the recipe: Oprah's Lemon Zest Pasta

Photo: Jenny Rosenstrach

The Restaurant-Worthy Salmon
Here's a baked-fish-and-veggies dish with a deep, rich flavor from surprisingly few ingredients. 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, it's out of this world. (And if you don't feel like buying the chives the recipe calls for, you can use a tiny bit of minced shallot, which pops up in a few other recipes here.)

Get the recipe: Roasted Salmon and Asparagus with Spicy Mayo and Chives

Photo: Signe Birck

The Speediest Shrimp
Most Spanish wine bars serve simple, uncomplicated food, such as fried potato wedges, omelets or platters of sliced ham and cheese. This garlicky shrimp belongs in that category; it starts with sautéed garlic and shallots, then you add grape tomatoes, shrimp and white wine (it's baaaack!). The tomatoes morph into a bright and tangy sauce that tastes like it's been simmering for hours but actually is ready in minutes.

Get the recipe: Garlicky Shrimp with Tomatoes and White Wine

Photo: Christopher Baker

A Tasty Update to Tuna Noodle
Canned tuna doesn't have to mean sandwiches; instead, toss it with ribbons of zucchini, pappardelle and a lemony cream sauce for a luxurious yet laid-back meal. The heavy cream, white wine and stock from previous recipes come together in a smooth and rich gravy that elevates pantry and freezer stapes—dried pasta, canned tuna, frozen peas—into an unexpectedly filling and complete dinner.

Get the recipe: Zucchini and Tuna Pappardelle

Photo: Romulo Yanes

Confirmation That Pork and Apples Are Still a Dynamic Duo
Sweet-tart apples complement mild-tasting pork in such a comforting way, and this simple dish is no exception. The recipe has you brown pork chops then deglaze the pan with wine (you'll have some left over from the previous recipes). Then, cook the apples and onions with some stock (another ingredient you'll have in the fridge); they soften into a slumpy, chunky sauce that would be great on its own, but is even better with the juicy pork.

Get the recipe: Skillet Pork Chops with Apples