Weeknight Dinners: One Time-Saving Ingredient, Five Days of Recipes

What takes a meal from “quick and easy” to “too much for a Tuesday” -- and would the answer change if you could skip the latter’s first three steps? We think so, which is why we’re stocking up on these make-ahead (or shelf-ready) shortcuts.


Breaded Chicken Cutlets


Crispy baked chicken strips make an easy, kid-friendly dinner. Prepped in advance and stockpiled in your freezer, they come together even faster. Serve with a simple veggie side, or try one of our brand-new recipes.


Breaded Chicken Cutlets

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken alla Milanese

Chicken Tacos

Chicken Club Sandwich

Photography by: Standard

Spaghetti Squash


More than a low-carb pasta alternative, spaghetti squash is a tasty canvas for cheesy sides and hearty mains. Roast a few squash on the weekend and carve as needed -- watch them closely while reheating to avoid the mush factor.


Skirt Steak with Pickled Onion and Spaghetti Squash

Spiced Squash Pancakes

Roasted Squash with Parmesan and Herbs

Spaghetti Squash Gratin

Quick Turkey Bolognese with Spaghetti Squash




Chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans) have long been a staple of vegetarian cuisine. While it’s true that they shine in plant-based dishes, we also love combining them with meat to make healthful, balanced meals -- or just making a batch of hummus and calling it dinner.


Mediterranean Chickpea Burgers

Chicken, Chickpea, and Pesto Salad

Greek Salad Sandwich

Tuna, Chickpea, and Beet Salad

Homemade Hummus




By now, we’re all well acquainted with this satisfying vegetarian protein source. A big batch made on Sunday can become burgers, hash, or even breakfast-for-dinner as the week goes on.


Fall Vegetable and Quinoa Hash with Poached Eggs

Moroccan Steamed Salmon with Quinoa and Carrots

Quinoa-and-Turkey Patties in Pita with Tahini Sauce

Warm Quinoa, Spinach, and Shiitake Salad

Quinoa Cakes




Mark our words: Sardines are the new tuna. And while we don’t endorse lying to your kids, a casual comparison might make this heart-healthy little fish go down easier.


Lemon-Herb Sardine Salad

Sardine Tacos

Caramelized Fennel, Celery, and Sardine Pasta

Spinach Salad with Sardines and Crispy Prosciutto

Sardines on Rye


Dried Chorizo


If sardines are the new tuna, chorizo is the new bacon. This flavorful Spanish pork sausage can be stored at room temperature and enjoyed in thin slices straight from the package -- or used as an accent to one of these delicious dishes.


Caldo Verde (Kale and Chorizo Soup)

Chorizo and Potatoes with Roasted Peppers and Egg

Warm Spinach and Chorizo Salad

Seafood and Chicken Paella

Spicy Mussels and Chorizo


Soba Noodles


These often gluten-free noodles (look for boxes marked “100 percent buckwheat”) make an excellent anchor for veg-rich salads, soups, and stir-fries. While we don’t recommend cooking and storing them undressed, the finished recipes should keep for several days (and if storing the dish isn't an option for you, the noodles cook in a speedy 7 to 8 minutes).


Asian Noodle Bowls with Steak and Snow Peas

Soba, Tofu, and Vegetable Stir-Fry

Soba Noodles with Grilled Shrimp and Orange Dipping Sauce

Soba and Tofu in Ginger Broth

Cold Soba Salad with Feta and Cucumber




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