Hi and welcome to Five Weeknight Dishes, coming to you live in the middle of crazy season, with all the partygoing, toasting, gift shopping, cookie baking — the blitz of spangly, year-end exuberance.

When I finally get home, I’m totally beat. I want dinner to just be done, but for it still to be pretty good. (Standards!) So here are some of the best fast recipes I know on NYT Cooking. Not a single one takes longer than 30 minutes, and most are faster than that. If you have freezer reserves, draw on those too. (On Wednesday I heated up turkey meatballs that I’d stockpiled alongside jarred tomato sauce, toast from the freezer and brussels sprouts on the side.) Or order a pizza or enchiladas. Do what you need to do! And as always, I’m at dearemily@nytimes.com.

Here are five dishes for the week:


David Tanis’s midnight pasta.

CreditRomulo Yanes for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Vivian Lui.

1. Midnight Pasta With Garlic, Anchovy, Capers and Red Pepper

I want to write a love song for this pasta, that’s how good it is. (But then again, I like capers, and in fact spent my honeymoon on an island that is famous for its capers.) You can skip the anchovies, capers or both if you don’t have them, don’t like them or, in the case of the anchovies, want to make this vegetarian. The recipe is written for two people, but of course you can double it. A green salad with lemon dressing would go well alongside.

View this recipe in your weekly plan.


Hot honey shrimp.CreditJulia Gartland for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Monica Pierini.

2. Hot Honey Shrimp

A super-smart recipe from Melissa Clark. Prepare a spicy, zingy honey mixture; coat the shrimp; roast at high heat. You could make a pot of rice too, but the shrimp cooks so quickly you’d be better off with a baguette. Pair with an arugula salad with lime vinaigrette.

CreditRyan Liebe for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.
CreditCraig Lee for The New York Times

4. Crispy Chickpeas With Beef

It’s sort of crazy how much people like this recipe: just cumin, garlic, chiles, a big can of chickpeas and a pound of ground beef, though pork or turkey (preferably dark meat) would work too. Or omit the meat altogether and add some vegetables (I’d try chopped cauliflower florets). Serve with rice or pita, a dollop of yogurt, lots of herbs and sautéed spinach.

View this recipe in your weekly plan.


CreditJim Wilson/The New York Times

5. Chicken Meunière

These cutlets take all of 15 minutes and go with pearl couscous, buttered egg noodles, pesto pasta, potatoes, farro, a main-course green salad with a Dijon dressing, cauliflower rice — you get my drift. Nail this and you’ll always have a good way to cook chicken breast.

View this recipe in your weekly plan.


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