25 Fast, Satisfying Weekday Recipes (2024)

Keeping weeknight dinners enticing can be a challenge, but not with these fast, flavorful recipes: Filling and nourishing, they all hit the table in 45 minutes or less. Try a tossed pasta such as gnocchi with chicken and kale or orecchiette with veal and rosemary; a big bowl of grains and vegetables or clams in a soppable broth; or creamy broccoli-potato soup or shrimp curry with rice. Whatever you're working with in the fridge this week, bookmark this collection of fast easy meals for when time is of the essence.

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Spicy Tofu and Zucchini Stew

25 Fast, Satisfying Weekday Recipes (1)

Sommelier Annie Shi, co-owner of King in New York City, grew up going to Korean restaurants with her family. Memories of dishes like soondubu jjigae, a spicy Korean tofu stew, became inspiration for a quick and easy stew of tofu and vegetables that she makes for cozy weeknight dinners.

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02of 25

Bacon Fat Fried Rice

25 Fast, Satisfying Weekday Recipes (2)

Rocco DiSpirito's Bacon Fat Fried Rice is finished in 40 minutes with jammy pineapple preserves and crisp fresh pineapple, which impart the savory bacon-flavored rice with a smoky sweetness and balanced acidity.

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03of 25

Steamed Clams with Tomatoes and Basil

25 Fast, Satisfying Weekday Recipes (3)

Clams, white wine, jammy tomatoes, garlic, and herbs make an aromatic meal in a bowl with flavorful broth to sop up.

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04of 25

Chicken Breasts with White Wine Pan Sauce with Crème Fraîche and Spring Herbs

25 Fast, Satisfying Weekday Recipes (4)

Andrea Slonecker's simple white wine pan sauce enriched with créme fraîche and a generous handful of tender fresh herbs turns pan-roasted chicken breasts into a special meal in 45 minutes.

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05of 25

Spicy Eggplant and Zucchini Stir-Fry with Plant-Based Meat

25 Fast, Satisfying Weekday Recipes (5)

Similar in texture to ground beef with a rich, meaty flavor, plant-based crumbles are a perfect addition to quick-cooking stir-fries. Serve over brown or white rice for a fast and filling weeknight meal.

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06of 25

Creamy Shrimp Curry with Coconut Milk

25 Fast, Satisfying Weekday Recipes (6)

This shrimp curry recipe from Anna Theoktisto combines fresh curry leaves, warm spices, creamy coconut milk, and sweet shrimp for a weeknight one-pan meal.

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07of 25

Miso Air Fryer Salmon With Baby Bok Choy

25 Fast, Satisfying Weekday Recipes (7)

Cooking salmon in the air fryer allows the miso marinade to form a salty-sweet crust on the surface of each fillet. While the salmon rests, you can quickly cook the bok choy in the air fryer; the edges of the leaves will char a bit, creating a savory contrast to the ginger, soy, and sesame oil sauce that goes on top.

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08of 25

Lamb Loin Chops Sizzled with Garlic

25 Fast, Satisfying Weekday Recipes (8)

If you've never cooked lamb chops, this recipe is a great place to start. It comes together in just 20 minutes, and delivers big, rich flavors from the lamb chop, the sizzled garlic, and the lemon, parsley, and crushed red pepper flakes in the pan sauce.

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Ginataang Gulay (Filipino Vegetable Stew)

25 Fast, Satisfying Weekday Recipes (9)

Gently stew seasonal vegetables in creamy coconut milk until just tender for an easy and delicious weeknight dinner.

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10of 25

Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp

25 Fast, Satisfying Weekday Recipes (10)

Using an air fryer instead of frying in oil on the stovetop means crispy shrimp without any splatters to clean up afterwards. Serve the shrimp with rice for dinner with a side like baby bok choy sautéed in toasted sesame oil and fresh ginger.

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11of 25

San Bei Ji (Three-Cup Chicken)

25 Fast, Satisfying Weekday Recipes (11)

Ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and rock sugar make the chicken in this classic Taiwanese dish tender and incredibly flavorful.

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Steak Diane

25 Fast, Satisfying Weekday Recipes (12)

Emeril Lagasse's retro recipe for Steak Diane features pounded filet mignon served with sautéed mushrooms in a buttery flambéed Cognac sauce — all in 22 minutes.

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Roasted Vegetable Grain Bowl with Chickpeas and Tahini-Ginger Dressing

25 Fast, Satisfying Weekday Recipes (13)

Sub in any grain, protein, or leafy green you have on hand for this satisfying bowl with a deliciously easy sesame-based dressing.

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Creamy Tomato Rigatoni

25 Fast, Satisfying Weekday Recipes (14)

A judicious amount of heavy cream enriches this simple tomato sauce, producing a lush texture that clings to the pasta without blanketing richness for a special but not extravagant, 45-minute meal.

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Gnocchi with Roast Chicken, Bacon, and Kale

25 Fast, Satisfying Weekday Recipes (15)

Roast chicken, crispy bacon, tender kale, and sweet red onion are tossed with gnocchi and topped with lemon zest and Parmesan for this hearty meal.

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Broccoli and Potato Soup

25 Fast, Satisfying Weekday Recipes (16)

The bright green broccoli florets floating on top of this hearty soup make it especially eye-catching, but it's the broccoli stems that do the real work. They're cooked with the potatoes and then pureed to form a creamy base. A final sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese gives the soup an extra savory touch.

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Chicken Katsu

25 Fast, Satisfying Weekday Recipes (17)

Roy Choi's perfectly golden, crisp breaded and fried chicken cutlets make for an incredibly comforting dish with tonkatsu sauce, Dijon mustard, and steamed sushi rice.

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Maltagliati with Mushrooms and Pea Tendrils

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Nutty porcini mushrooms absorb the slightly sweet sherry vinegar and pair perfectly with fresh and frilly pea tendrils in this pasta traditionally made from dough scraps.

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Longevity Noodles with Oyster, Shiitake, and Enoki Mushrooms

25 Fast, Satisfying Weekday Recipes (19)

The longer the noodles the better to symbolize longevity in this spicy, savory dish, a must at Lucky Chow producer Danielle Chang's Lunar New Year feast. A mix of torn and sliced mushrooms (also a symbol of health and longevity) adds a variety of textures and a bite of umami to this quick-cooking dish.

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Tofu Pad Thai

25 Fast, Satisfying Weekday Recipes (20)

Earthy oyster and shiitake mushrooms combine beautifully with chewy noodles, golden-fried tofu, crisp bean sprouts, lightly spicy long red chiles, and crunchy peanuts in this 40-minute meal.

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Creamy Polenta with Burst Cherry Tomato–and–Red Wine Ragout

25 Fast, Satisfying Weekday Recipes (21)

An easy addition to your weeknight rotation, creamy polenta is topped with savory garden tomato ragout that's laced with ribbons of hearty greens. Cooked with milk, it's a comforting vegetarian main.

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Seared Tuna with Soy and Red Chiles

25 Fast, Satisfying Weekday Recipes (22)

Soy sauce, sesame oil, scallion, garlic, and dried chiles are combined with chicken stock to make an intense and delicious sauce for 25-minute pan-seared tuna steak.

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Shrimp with Roasted Corn, Leeks, Tomatoes, and Basil

25 Fast, Satisfying Weekday Recipes (23)

Showcasing late-summer produce, this simple sauté is a perfect shoulder-season weeknight dinner. Marinating sweet cherry tomatoes in vinegar and salt tenderizes them and draws out their juices, creating a light sauce.

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King Trumpet Schnitzel with Mixed Herb Pesto

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Here, king trumpet mushrooms get the schnitzel treatment. Double-breading them creates a crispy crust that stays crunchy even as they cook and release moisture. Black pepper and turmeric add a savory, bitter flavor to complement the mushrooms' earthiness, while fragrant Meyer lemon juice and nutty pecorino cheese amp up the herb-packed pesto.

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Orecchiette with Veal, Capers, and White Wine

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Tender veal ragù is flavored with white wine, capers, thyme, and rosemary, then tossed with little ear-shaped orecchiette.

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25 Fast, Satisfying Weekday Recipes (2024)
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