How to CookGenius RecipesDinner, FasterTips & Techniques

9 Genius Shortcuts for Speedier Weeknight Dinners

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Genius Recipes aren't always about quick and easy, lightweight, 2-ingredient cooking hacks. Sometimes, when it's worth it, they take the slow boat (see: oven-roasted vodka sauce, no-knead pizza, broccoli cooked forever). I'd also like to point out that there are 25 ingredients in this hamburger, and it's 100% genius.

But we all have those sapped nights after work when we need a leg up, and Genius Recipes can be really great for those, too. Below are 9 of my favorite shortcuts to weeknight dinner successreal deal polenta that cooks in 15 minutes, pasta sauce that's actually just Greek yogurt, extra-crispy grilled cheese that cooks faster without burning thanks to mayonnaise, herb pastes to keep in your freezer for fried rice or mix with hot water for near-instant soup.

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Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter
Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter
Maria Speck's Shortcut Polenta
Maria Speck's Shortcut Polenta
Todd Coleman's Potato Gratin
Todd Coleman's Potato Gratin
Amanda Cohen's Secret Weapon Stir-Fry Sauce (for Vegetable Fried Rice & More)
Amanda Cohen's Secret Weapon Stir-Fry Sauce (for Vegetable Fried Rice & More)
Heidi Swanson's Spicy Green Soup
Heidi Swanson's Spicy Green Soup
Diane Kochilas' Pasta with Yogurt and Caramelized Onions
Diane Kochilas' Pasta with Yogurt and Caramelized Onions
A Spicy Perspective's Garlic Lime Oven-Baked Salmon
A Spicy Perspective's Garlic Lime Oven-Baked Salmon
Gabrielle Hamilton's Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Gabrielle Hamilton's Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Martha Stewart's One-Pan Pasta
Martha Stewart's One-Pan Pasta

Got a genius recipe to share—from a classic cookbook, an online source, or anywhere, really? Please send it my way (and tell me what's so smart about it) at [email protected].