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Festive and Fast Dinner Recipes Because ...

When you're extra busy, you need meals you can count on.

Senior Digital Food Editor

It's a hectic time of year, but you still need to eat and to eat well. These easy dinner recipes are just what you need to keep you and your family well fed. Our weeknight meals take less than an hour of mostly hands-off time, many cook much quicker than that but may require constant stirring. On the weekends we like to try something different; recipes that cook long and slow, projects that get us using new ingredients and techniques, and menus to make entertaining a cinch. So join us every week for dinnertime inspiration.


Monday: Soy-Maple Broiled Tofu with Broccoli

Photography by: Romulo Yanes

Start the week fast with this 30-minute broiler meal. If you aren't already a fan of tofu, you will be once you try this sheet-pan dinner where the tofu is glazed with a fabulous soy-maple-chicken broth mixture and cooks atop broccoli. (I'm not labelling this a one-dish dinner as you'll also need to cook rice.)


Get the Soy-Maple Broiled Tofu with Broccoli Recipe

TUESDAY: Lemony Pesto Chicken Soup

lemony pesto chicken soup
Photography by: Pernille Loof

Seems like I'm back on that soup Tuesday thing again. Don't think that means a meal you don't have time to prep tonight because if you make this soup with store-bought broth and rotisserie chicken, it takes just 20 minutes.  



Get the Lemony Pesto Chicken Soup

WEDNESDAY: Bacon, Potato, and Swiss Chard Scramble

bacon potato and swiss chard scramble served on grey plate
Photography by: Lennart Weibull

Here's a sophisticated take on brinner: Swiss chard ups the ante on this hearty scramble. It takes 40 minutes to make and is sure to be a recipe the family request again and again. 


Get the Bacon, Potato, and Swiss Chard Scramble Recipe

THURSDAY: Halibut in Parchment

Photography by: Romulo Yanes

This is a favorite test-kitchen technique that you should try: When you bake fish and vegetables in a parchment parcel, you're steaming them in their own juices. This preserves nutrients and requires little added fat. Plus you're cooking the protein and vegetables together and ir's fast.


Get the Halibut in Parchment Recipe

FRIDAY: Beef Stroganoff Stir Fry

In less than 30 minutes this meaty meal will be on the table and you can bet everyone will adore it. A rich beef stew with mushrooms that's finished with sour cream and served with egg noodles, Stroganoff is a classic for good reason. This rapid-fire version will work with any cut of beef that's suited to stir frying.


Get the Beef Stroganoff Stir-Fry Recipe

SATURDAY: One-Pan Cuban Chicken with Rice and Beans

one pan cuban chicken with rice beans
Photography by: Armando Rafael

It's one-pan Saturday! Between last-minute gift purchases and extra big food shopping trips for the holidays, you'll need a delicious dinner that comes together with little fuss. Chicken thighs cook along with bell pepper, black beans, and rice (and there's a little bacon to amp up the flavors). While this meal is cooking there's time for a little gift wrapping.


Get the One-Pan Cuban Chicken with Rice and Beans Recipe

SUNDAY: Sweet-Potato Shepherd's Pie

Photography by: Bryan Gardner

A meal-in-one and a super-cozy comfort food casserole, our clever take on Shepherd's Pie switches out the usual ground lamb and white potatoes for ground beef and sweet potatoes. Assemble it in the morning before you head out on Santa's errands or just prior to baking, this easy-going dish will be delicious either way.


Get the Sweet-Potato Shepherd's Pie Recipe