Life

Easy weeknight recipes for busy schedules

Ease back into your fall routine with these quick and delicious meal ideas.

Ease back into your fall routine with these quick and delicious meal ideas

3 food photos, side by side. Left: Roasted chicken wings and lemon slices on a baking sheet covered in tin foil, sitting on a grey surface. Middle: Overhead shot of a blue and white bowl filled with a chicken drumstick, noodles and a curry broth. Right: Overhead shot of a sheet pan on a dark grey surface. Slices of roasted delicata squash, onion, pieces of sausage and roasted rapini are on the pan.
(Photo, left to right: Deb Perelman, Janis Nicolay, Betty Binon)

The end of summer brings more than just a shift in the weather — it marks the return to routine: school pick-ups, in-office meetings, and the never-ending question, "What's for dinner?"

Juggling a busy schedule leaves little room for intricate recipes and extra time in the kitchen. But fear not! We've gathered a collection of simple but elevated recipes that address the need for quick and delicious weeknight dinner ideas.

Some of the recipes included here have been adapted by chefs specifically for those pressed-for-time evenings, while others are simply elevated dishes that are easy at heart. Yasmin Fahr's cherished one-pot chicken dinner, a flavorful and fragrant recipe handed down by her mother, can easily be adapted into various other dishes. We've got a weeknight version of chicken khao soi and an easy skillet lasagna, neither of which skimps on taste. And when you really need to shave off prep and cleanup time, we've got three different sheet pan dinners, including a hearty chicken cacciatore.

We're confident some of these could become mainstays of your weekly rotation and add a little magic to your weeknight dinners.

Weeknight Lemon Chicken Wings

Roasted chicken wings and lemon slices on a baking sheet covered in tin foil, sitting on a grey surface.
(Photography by Deb Perelman, styling by Barrett Washburne)

Thai Pork Omelet (Kai Jiew Moo Sub | ไข่เจียวหมูสับ)

A bird's eye view of a plate setting with the main dish being golden brown omelet with sliced green onion on top for garnish. Beside it to the right is a slightly smaller dish with a spoon and fork and steamed rice. To the bottom is much smaller dish filled with a red dipping sauce.
(Photography by Janis Nicolay)

'My Mama's Chicken' by Yasmin Fahr

Overhead shot of a metal pan with cooked rice and chicken thighs. It's sitting on a wooden cutting board on a grey tablecloth.
(Photography by Patricia Niven)

Misir Wot (Lentil Stew)

overhead shot of a bowl of lentil stew with a small bowl of spices sitting next to it. a plate with flatbread (injera) sits next to that.
(Photography by DL Acken)

French Onion Soup Pasta

side by side of 2 images. left: overhead shot of three handpies on a baking sheet, on top of a wire cooling rack, sitting on a marble surface. right: overhead shot of a bowl of short pasta topped with onions and cheese, sitting on a marble surface.
(Photography by Aviva Wittenberg)

Roasted Black Bean Burgers

A black bean burger on a bun, sitting on a white plate on top of a white marble surface. A hand reaches into frame to spoon salsa on top of the burger patty.
(Photo: David Loftus)

Skillet Lasagna with an Easy Everyday Tomato Sauce

A skillet on a grey wood surface. The skillet is filled with a cooked lasagna with melted cheese and dollops of ricotta cheese on top.
(Photo: David Bagosy, Styling: Melissa Direnzo)

Weeknight Chicken Khao Soi (Khao Soi Gai | ข้าวซอยไก่)

overhead shot of a blue and white bowl filled with a chicken drumstick, noodles and a curry broth. a plate with lime wedges, sliced shallots and a small bowl of chili oil sit next to it.
(Photography by Janis Nicolay)

Spiced Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomatoes

3 chicken salad stuffed tomatoes on a beige plate. They're sitting on a light beige tablecloth with more plates, a small bowl of green olives, and a rotisserie chicken arranged around them.
(Photography by Gabriel Cabrera)

Meat Lovers' Pizza 

Overhead shot of a circular pizza with meat, cheese and fresh basil on top. It's sitting on a wooden cutting board and one of its slices is next to it on a white plate. A pizza cutter and a bowl of Parmesan cheese are next to the pizza.
(Photo: David Bagosy, Styling: Melissa Direnzo)

Soba Salad with Tahini Dressing and Roasted Cauliflower 

Overhead shot of a bowl of soba noodle salad with roasted cauliflower, slices of red bell pepper and sliced green beans in it. The bowl sits on a dark brown metal surface.
(Photography by Betty Binon)

Pajeon 

An overhead shot of a plate of pajeon on a bright blue background. A small bowl of sauce, a plate of kimchi and another plate of pajeon surround the main plate.
(Photography by Soo Kim)

Chicken Cacciatore Sheet Pan Dinner

Overhead shot of a sheet pan with roasted chicken thighs, tomatoes, and pieces of mushrooms, red pepper and onion on it. It's sitting on a grey wooden surface with the fresh ingredients scattered around the pan.
(Photo: David Bagosy; Styling: Melissa Direnzo)

Sheet Pan Shrimp and Pineapple Tacos

Overhead shot of a sheet pan on a wooden table. The pan has roasted shrimp and pieces of pineapple on it. 2 white plates with tortillas on them sit next to the pan.
(Photo: David Bagosy, Styling: Melissa Direnzo)

Celebration Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Dates 

Closeup, overhead shot of roasted sweet potato chunks, dates, chicken thighs and drumsticks on a sheet pan.
(Photo credit: David Loftus)

Mezhukkupuratti (മെഴുകുപുരട്ടി) 

closeup on a plate of stir fry made with zucchini, plantains and green chiles
(Photography by Christian Lalonde)

Sarosh's Chicken Jalfrezi Pita Pockets with Quick-Pickled Onions

Overhead shot of 2 pink plates with stuffed pitas on them. The pitas are cut in half and filled with lettuce, chicken, and pickled onions.
(Photography by Gabriel Cabrera)

Kimchi Sandwiches

closeup of a hand holding a kimchi sandwich. the person is wearing a floral sweater and a watch.
(Photography by Jenny Huang)

Kunde (Black-Eyed Peas and Tomatoes in Peanut Sauce) 

Overhead shot of a shallow bowl filled with kunde, black-eyed peas and tomatoes in peanut sauce. It sits on a dark grey surface.
(Photography by Khadija M. Farah & Jennifer May)

Brown Rice, Chicken and Butternut Squash Salad with Roasted Garlic Tahini Dressing

A beige bowl filled with Brown Rice, Chicken and Butternut Squash Salad on a beige surface. A rotisserie chicken sits on the left of the image and a stack on plates on the right.
(Photography by Gabriel Cabrera)

Chicken Kanji 

Overhead shot of a grey bowl of kanji, a white, porridge-like soup made with rice and chicken with oil, fried onions and chopped green herbs on top. A spoon sits in the bowl. The bowl is on a black marble table.
(Photography by Nik Sharma)

Delicata Squash and Italian Sausage Bake

Overhead shot of a sheet pan on a dark grey surface. Slices of roasted delicata squash, onion, pieces of sausage and roasted rapini are on the pan.
(Photography by Betty Binon)

Dal aur Sabzi (Lentils with Roasted Carrots and Kale) 

Overhead shot of a green plate of Dal aur Sabzi, Lentils with Roasted Carrots and Kale on a white lace tablecloth. A yellow plate of basmati rice sits next to it.
(Photo: Shayma Owaise Saadat)

Cauliflower Tacos 

Overhead shot of a white plate with 3 tortillas on it. The tortillas are topped with black beans, corn, Tomatillo Sauce, roasted cauliflower and cilantro.
(Photography by Betty Binon)

Better-Than-Classic Pound Cake

an overhead shot of a pound cake in a loaf pan on top of a baking sheet
(Photography by Deb Perelman, styling by Barrett Washburne)

Applesauce Cake with Cream Cheese & Honey Frosting

Closeup on a single-layer cake sitting on a white cake stand. A hand holds the side of the stand and a spatula spreads white icing on top of the cake.
(Photography by David Loftus)

Chocolate Cherry Skillet Brownies 

Overhead shot of brownies topped with vanilla ice cream and cherries in a cast iron skillet.
(Photography by Adrian Harris and Jeremy Inglett)

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