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25 Main Dish Dinners for People Who Claim They Can't Cook

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Our all-staff Slack room is where we instant message (and constantly distract) each other for the entirety of the day. It's full of ho-hum office ins-and-outs (leaking sinks, urgent desk clean-ups), but also lots of fun food-related questions and answers that—here's a wild guess—probably don't come up at many other companies.

Like this one, from our Operations Manager Olivia Bloom: "What would be your #1 Food52 recipe to suggest to your little brother who doesn’t cook?" Requirements: Must include meat. Doesn't necessarily have to be impressive (but hey, that helps).​

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Here's the list we came up with, adding in some seafood, too. (And a special shout out to Merrill, whose recipes appear here over and over again.) Share the list with your little brother—or older brother, or aunt, or friend—who doesn't cook. Then invite yourself over for dinner (but bring a bottle of wine).

Beef

Beef in Barolo
Beef in Barolo
Meatballs with Tomato and Zucchini
Meatballs with Tomato and Zucchini
Mom's Garlic-Rubbed Roast Filet of Beef with Mushroom Sauce
Mom's Garlic-Rubbed Roast Filet of Beef with Mushroom Sauce
Meatloaf, Plain And Simple
Meatloaf, Plain And Simple

If you don't have a grill, use a big, heavy skillet or grill pan to make this steak:

Simple Sicilian-Style Grilled Steak
Simple Sicilian-Style Grilled Steak
The Food Lab's Ultra-Smashed Cheeseburgers

The Food Lab's Ultra-Smashed Cheeseburgers by Genius Recipes

Rigatoni with Fennel and Veal Sausage

Rigatoni with Fennel and Veal Sausage by Cristina Sciarra

Nigel Slater's Really Good Spaghetti Bolognese
Nigel Slater's Really Good Spaghetti Bolognese

Chicken

Extraordinary Marinated and Roasted Chicken, Potatoes, and Chickpeas
Extraordinary Marinated and Roasted Chicken, Potatoes, and Chickpeas
Chicken Kapama
Chicken Kapama

This could be you:

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Chicken with Mustard and Red Peppers
Chicken with Mustard and Red Peppers
Rosy Chicken

Rosy Chicken by Merrill Stubbs

Braised Chicken Thighs with Tomato and Garlic

Braised Chicken Thighs with Tomato and Garlic by Merrill Stubbs

Super-Quick Roast Chicken with Garlic and White Wine Gravy
Super-Quick Roast Chicken with Garlic and White Wine Gravy
Rachel Khoo's Sticky Malaysian Chicken with Pineapple Salad
Rachel Khoo's Sticky Malaysian Chicken with Pineapple Salad
Chinese Chicken with Black Pepper Sauce
Chinese Chicken with Black Pepper Sauce

Pork

Herb-Crusted Pork Chops with Balsamic Onions
Herb-Crusted Pork Chops with Balsamic Onions
Linguine with Sausage and Broccoli

Linguine with Sausage and Broccoli by Merrill Stubbs

Roasted Sausage with Broccoli and Fennel

Roasted Sausage with Broccoli and Fennel by EmilyC

Cook these chops on the stove (best option: in a grill pan) if you don't have access to a real live grill.

Simple Summer Pork Chops with Balsamic-Pepper Plum Reduction and Fresh Thyme
Simple Summer Pork Chops with Balsamic-Pepper Plum Reduction and Fresh Thyme
Andy Ward & Jenny Rosenstrach's Pork Shoulder Ragu
Andy Ward & Jenny Rosenstrach's Pork Shoulder Ragu

Sea-dwellers

Skillet-Grilled Fish Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Crema
Skillet-Grilled Fish Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Crema
Spiced Shrimp in Lemon-Ginger Sauce
Spiced Shrimp in Lemon-Ginger Sauce

Beginners, you don't have to choose the 3-hour smoking option—simply bake the cod at 350° F for about 20 minutes skin side down, then broil the top for 2 minutes:​

Miso Black Cod
Miso Black Cod
Perfect Roast Salmon
Perfect Roast Salmon

What recipes do you suggest to friends and relatives who don't cook? Tell us in the comments below!