Meals are a little lighter this week in honor of the season.


It's that time again; you're thinking about dinner and what to cook. So here's our weekly list of suggestions: weeknight dinner recipes that take less than an hour of mostly hands-off time. Some recipes will be much faster than that. Yes, there will be pasta, and, yes, it will be delicious. On the weekends, there's more time to try something new, cook something slow. So visit us every week for dinnertime inspiration.

It's spring-even if local produce is thin on the ground and the weather keeps feeling more like winter-so we're nudging toward lighter fare with this week's meals.

Monday: Three-Cheese Skillet Lasagna

We're starting the week with a year-round favorite, not a spring dish. This decadent, cheesy, and totally irresistible lasagna doesn't cut any corners on taste and uses just one skillet, so cleanup is minimal.

Credit: Ryan Liebe

Tuesday: Salmon, Asparagus, and Leek in Parchment

Now this is spring! Plus it's fast and oh so delectable, healthy too. And I'm sure you love cooking in parchment or en papillote as the French call it, as much as we do. It maximizes flavor and minimizes mess. What's not to like?

Credit: Alpha Smoot

Wednesday: Red-Bean Burgers with Avocado and Lime

Ready to kick back with a burger? Try these meatless patties made from mashed kidney beans. But serve them traditional style on buns with romaine, sour cream, avocado, and lime wedges.

saffron risotto shrimp peas
Credit: Sidney Bensimon

Thursday: Saffron Risotto with Shrimp and Peas

Stir up a classic risotto tonight. It's a comforting meal made with Italian short-grain rice cooked in chicken broth and wine, flavored with saffron (which also gives it the dish that pleasing golden color), and finished with shrimp and peas. Spring cheat: Though the recipe calls for fresh peas, you can easily sub frozen here.


Friday: Braised Chicken With Artichokes, Olives, and Lemon

Go Mediterranean tonight with this homey chicken recipe. It's served over orzo, the pasta that thinks it's rice! Using frozen artichokes makes it easy to bring fresh flavors to this comfort food dinner.

Credit: Mike Krautter

Saturday: Asparagus Casserole

It's so good that we're taking this traditional Southern side centerstage for dinner tonight. Our recipe features smoky bacon, creamy bechamel, and nutty Gruyere along with hard-boiled eggs and asparagus, that herald of spring. Serve with a crisp spring salad for a lighter approach or spicy pork sausages (and the salad!) for full-on indulgence.

Credit: Ryan Liebe

Sunday: Steak Dinner (aka: Get Out the Grill)

When you're feeling beefy, a steak dinner really hits the spot. If your budget is grand, go with Martha's pan-seared porterhouse. If your wallet is more modest, try flank steak. This cut is well priced and well flavored. It does benefit from marinating, so allow time for that, but the cooking comes together in a flash-yes, we're talking grilling! And if you don't feel like cooking outdoors, a grill pan would do very nicely here. A steak just calls out for potatoes, so we suggest these phenomenal Crispy Potatoes with Rosemary.


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