Hi and welcome to Five Weeknight Dishes — though I think we should reframe, just this once, because starting Monday we’ll no longer be on Standard Weeknight Time. Even now, it feels like Christmas week, as I’m constantly searching for Scotch tape and scissors.
So let’s rechristen this one Five Dishes, period, flexible dinners that won’t keep you in the kitchen for untold hours, will produce leftovers you’ll long for, and are appropriately fabulous or cheese-capped to serve to guests. (If you need five ultrafast recipes, here’s last week’s newsletter; you could’ve been eating that hot honey shrimp in the time it took to read this sentence.)
Have ideas for me or kitchen dilemmas? I’m email@example.com. I truly love hearing from you, so thanks for all your notes.
Here are five dishes for the week:
CreditMichael Graydon & Nikole Herriott for The New York Times. Prop Stylist: Kalen Kaminski.
This Alison Roman recipe is the equivalent of a fashion jumpsuit: so mussed, so at ease, so “This? I just threw it on.” It’s remarkably simple to make, and takes all of 25 minutes. Be generous with the herbs when you’re serving if you want to land the look. Serve with toast or boiled potatoes and either green beans or a salad dressed with lemon and oil.
Homemade lasagna is one of those ultimate culinary acts of love. This cheese-crowned beauty is streamlined, meat-free if you like and ideal for a crowd. You could save a little time by using jarred sauce; bolster the flavor with sausage or red-pepper flakes. Serve with a salad and, if you really love whoever you’re cooking for, garlic bread.
Before I left the office on Wednesday, I asked my brilliant colleague Julia Moskin what she was making for dinner. The answer was this recipe, a side dish she tosses with penne or a similarly sized pasta to turn into a main course. This is one reason we all love Julia: She has the best ideas. Scale up the recipe if you like; use extra pans to avoid crowding the vegetables. This would also make a great side for roast chicken like the one below.
This is a Melissa Clark dish that is scant on active time, but does require the kind of opening in your schedule that allows you to brine 8 hours in advance and then remove the chicken from the fridge an hour before roasting. (I never said it was hard; you just need to hit your marks.) It is utterly delicious, a beloved recipe online and justly so. Serve with roasted potatoes and sturdy greens.
5. Turkey Chili
My gift to you is a foolproof turkey chili for a crowd that can be made in 45 minutes and will please everyone who tries it. (I’ve even seen picky kids eat it.) I serve mine over rice with the works: sour cream, avocado, cilantro, cheese, scallions or minced red onion. This tastes better on Day 2, so let it sit if you can. I’d make a spinach salad to go alongside, but steamed or pan-seared broccoli would work well, too.
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