Weeknight Cooking

Got 30 Minutes? Make These Dinners

October  2, 2017

Sundays are the days I spend hours roasting sheet pans of sweet potatoes or cauliflower or carrots. I take my time simmering wheat berries and vigilantly stirring a batch of steel cut oatmeal. In these lazy afternoons, I abandon half-baked plans to bake perfect spice bread. Mondays through Fridays? Not so much.

While this Sunday prep takes me to the middle of the week, by Wednesday, I start fretting about what to throw together. All too often, minimally dressed eggs and pasta save the day. But recently I realized I could make a lot more exciting meals in 30 minutes. Salads or tacos or stir-frys that come together in the time it takes for me to watch an episode of The Office. (Yes, some include eggs and pasta, but more as supporting cast members.) Here are 20 Sunday-worthy meals I can throw together any other day of the week.

For the carnivores

Fast Fish Dishes

Meatless Mains

What are are your weeknight warriors? Anything you can prep in less than 30 minutes? Let us know!

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Kayleigh
  • Meleyna Nomura
    Meleyna Nomura
Katie is a food writer and editor who loves cheesy puns and cheesy cheese.


Kayleigh October 2, 2017
These look great! Definitely bookmarked a few. One thing though: the Oyako Don listed under "meatless mains" is a chicken dish. I thought it was mushrooms so I clicked through, but it's made with chicken thighs. Might be better under the carnivore section :)
Meleyna N. October 6, 2017
Fun fact: okayo means "parent and child," named so because the dish is made up of chicken and egg. :)
Meleyna N. October 6, 2017
That is, oyako. Oof.