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What's for Dinner? Chicken, Meatballs, and Asparagus -- It's a Spring Thing!

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: Cuban Black-Bean Stew with Rice


Hearty and quick to prepare (it uses canned beans), this is a filling, flavorful dinner for a Monday (or any night).

Get the Cuban Black-Bean Stew with Rice Recipe


TUESDAY: Pasta with Sausage, Leeks, and Lettuce

Photography by: Con Poulos

It's all about the leeks. You might think this dish is all about the sweet Italian sausage, but, no, really the important thing here is the leeks. They bring a brightness and sweetness to a dish unlike what their kin onions offer. And, no -- I've never had lettuce in my pasta before either.

Get the Pasta with Sausage, Leeks, and Lettuce Recipe


WEDNESDAY: Meatballs with Garlic Bread

Everything tastes better with garlic bread. And this is a super easy route to using hoagie rolls rather than a loaf. Why didn’t I think of that before?
Cooking the meatballs in the tomato sauce saves time and infuses the sauce with flavor. Bonus: There's only one pot to wash!

Get the Meatballs with Garlic Bread Recipe


THURSDAY: Broiled Bacon-Wrapped Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Watercress

Photography by: Joseph De Leo

The joy of broiling: It’s fast and the results are delicious. It's a boon for the time-pressed weeknight cook. Learn more about this underused kitchen workhorse.

Get the Broiled Bacon-Wrapped Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Watercress Recipe


FRIDAY: Asparagus-and-Lemon Risotto

Photography by: Andrew Purcell

Does spring make you think of asparagus? Me too, and a risotto is a perfect vehicle. Made with vegetable stock, this is a slightly decadent, totally delicious meatless dinner. Adding lemon and parsley before serving gives it a fresh flavor.

Get the Asparagus-and-Lemon Risotto Recipe


SATURDAY: A Shrimp Tikka Masala Meal  



This meal is so much tastier than takeout and the whole thing comes together in about an hour. If you don't fancy shrimp, this recipe works wonderfully with sliced skinless chicken breast. The Toasted Coconut Rice is sublime, and Honey-Roasted Eggplant with Chiles will convert even those who don't always love eggplant. 

Get the Shrimp Tikka Masala Recipe

And for dessert, Pistachio Brittle with Vanilla Ice Cream -- a cool, sweet winner.




SUNDAY: Gnocchi from Scratch


A delicious, hands-on project for a Sunday afternoon. Transform baked potato, flour, and salt into comforting little dumplings. Serve them with pesto, marinara, or sauteed  kale (my favorite) -- and those are just some of the options.

Get tips for making gnocchi from Lucinda Scala Quinn.

Get the Homemade Gnocchi Recipe