When I get home at 7:30 p.m., I don’t really feel like making an hour-long-plus, kitchen-destroying kind of dinner. And despite my best intentions to experiment with make-ahead meals, oftentimes I find myself picking up a premade salad at the grocery store or scrolling through menus on Seamless. And there’s nothing wrong with taking a break on those really rough days, but we all know that ordering in can quickly add up. So, in an effort to push myself back into the kitchen, I’ve looked for speedy, satisfying recipes that I can pull together in a tired state...and that won’t make a dent in my bank account. Here’s what’s on the menu:
Instant noodles also make the fastest pizza crust—simply cook an egg-noodle mixture in a skillet over low heat for 20 minutes, then top it and pop it into the oven for another 10. Presto, personal pizza.
Another work of cheese alchemy from Sarah Jampel: Freckled tortillas filled with just as many sautéed greens as strings of melty cheese. If you’re lucky, it’ll pull apart in gossamer strands as soon as you bite in.
All the flavors of kung pao chicken, but starring the humble spud. The recipe takes a smart trick from our favorite, J. Kenji López-Alt—parcooking the potatoes in vinegar-spiked water to create cubes that are firm on the outside yet fluffy on the inside.
If you’re gonna go with a grilled cheese, make sure it’s a good one. This one has the presence of a diva but will be ready for the show in 15 minutes flat.
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What’s a quick dinner you whip up when you’re tired? Share tips in the comments below!
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).