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What's for Dinner? Minestrone, Pizza, and Some Non-Italian Meals, Too

Whether it’s Sunday and you want to cook up a storm, Monday and the fridge is stocked, or Thursday and you’re tired and hungry, we have dinner inspiration for you. Cook one of these recipes tonight and every night this week.

Senior Digital Food Editor

It’s that time again; you’re thinking about dinner and what to cook. So here’s our weekly list of suggestions: dinner recipes that take less than an hour of mostly hands-off time. Some recipes will be much faster than that. We’ll suggest what you can do to prep ahead and cut down on weeknight work. Recipes will be family-friendly, but we’ll stretch the boundaries beyond chicken tenders and broccoli. Yes, there will be pasta, and, yes, it will be delicious. So visit us every week for dinnertime inspiration.



Monday: Spinach-and-Mushroom Quesadillas


When tortillas meet cheese, something magical happens -- and fast. Consider the quesadilla a version of that all-time favorite, the grilled cheese. Only here, we go healthy by adding cremini mushrooms and spinach to the mix. The result is so good, you're sure to make these over and over again. Serve with a salad or a quick pot of black beans.

Get the Spinach-and-Mushroom Quesadillas Recipe


TUESDAY: Picadillo-Style Chili

Photography by: Yuki Sugiura

It doesn’t get much faster or beefier (in a sophisticated way) than this.

Get the Picadillo-Style Chili Recipe


WEDNESDAY: One-Pot Minestrone

This beloved Italian soup isn't just hearty and healthy -- it's really flexible. Use Martha's recipe as a guideline and choose the leafy greens, veggies, and beans you prefer or have in the refrigerator and pantry.

Get Classic Minestrone Recipe


THURSDAY: Chicken and Vegetables in Parchment

Photography by: Bryan Gardner

Cooking en papillote (that is, in parchment) is a healthy, messproof way to dinner. Each parchment paper package holds lean chicken breast, cherry tomatoes, baby bok choy, and a sprig of fresh thyme. They steam in their own juices, preserving nutrients and requiring little added fat (just a tad of olive oil). Serve with cooked brown rice or another whole grain.


Get the Chicken and Vegetables in Parchment Recipe


FRIDAY: Tuna-Noodle Casserole with Cauliflower

Photography by: Linda Pugliese

Call it comfort-food Friday -- actually, you'll call it delicious after just one bite of our upgrade on this classic casserole.


Get the Tuna-Noodle Casserole with Cauliflower Recipe


SATURDAY: Milk-Braised Pork Loin

Photography by: Jonathan Lovekin

There’s a tad more time on the weekend, providing the chance to try something new. Sure, you may have roasted a pork loin before, but have you braised one in an herb-infused mixture of milk and cream? The meat is meltingly tender, and the braising liquid reduces to a most-delicious gravy. Give it a try, and serve with a crunchy fennel and endive salad or braised kale.


Get the Milk-Braised Pork Loin Recipe


Sunday: Pizza as Art and Dinner

Photography by: Roland Bello

Maybe there’s a little pork left over from yesterday?  Ah, how we love leftovers. But we also love pizza -- who doesn’t? And Sunday is the perfect day for getting creative in the kitchen with dough and toppings. Lucinda Scala Quinn's art-inspired recipes go well beyond the usual tomato-mozzarella. Use them as inspiration for your pizza creations. And call in the kids -- this definitely is a project they'll enjoy. Leftover slices, well, if there are any, will make a superb lunch for school or office.


Get the 7 Unique Recipes to Make Pizza a Work of (Edible) Art Recipes

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