What's for Dinner? 25 Weeknight Recipes to Make All September Long
With the start of the school year in full swing (even if it looks a little different than usual due to the coronavirus pandemic), weeknights are bound to become a whole lot busier. However, that doesn't mean you have to stop feeling good about what you serve your family. A repertoire of quick and delicious meals, such as the Cashew Shrimp that's pictured here, means getting dinner on the table (and ensuring the entire family is well-fed) is a breeze, and that's true no matter how jam-packed your afternoon schedule is.
Just as school has rules, we have a few for getting dinner on the table with minimal fuss on weeknights—we think you'll like them. First, every recipe needs to be prepared and ready to eat in less than hour. Second, these meals need to be family-friendly, meaning balanced, able to feed at least four people, and something even kids will enjoy. Finally, every recipe needs to be easy—that means you should have the majority of ingredients on hand already and that there's no fancy equipment or techniques necessary.
We also have some additional guidelines that you can choose to follow if you please: Monday's are meatless, so expect plenty of vegetarian and vegan options to carry you through the month. On Friday we like to indulge a bit more. In celebration of making it through the week, go for something like steak or sea bass. Feel free to mix and match these recipes based on whatever you're craving or have in the refrigerator.
All of our family-friendly weeknight dinner recipes feature a variety of proteins, including chicken, pork, shellfish, and fish. We're also featuring plenty of late summer seasonal vegetables, including eggplant, bell peppers, and the first autumnal squash. In 60 minutes (or as few as 20 minutes), dinner is served!
Roasted-Vegetable Couscous Bowl
Cross-Country Hot Dogs
Teriyaki-Glazed Grilled Chicken
Poached Salmon, Spinach, and Potato Salad
Roasted Ratatouille and Eggs
Grilled Chicken Breasts with Lemon-Thyme Sauce
Make the most of the last days of summer with this al fresco recipe. Upgrade basic grilled chicken with a bright, flavorful sauce made from lemon juice, chopped fresh thyme leaves, red-pepper flakes, and extra-virgin olive oil.
Broiled Pork Chops with Yellow-Pepper Puttanesca
Red Wine Pasta
Instead of basic marinara sauce and pasta, try this elegant, eye-catching recipe. Cooked spaghetti is tossed in a rich, vivid red wine sauce that gets even more flavor from pancetta, garlic, red pepper flakes, and, of course, plenty of grated Pecorino Romano cheese.
Baked Fish with Summer Squash
Cauliflower Steaks with Romesco Sauce
Get all the satisfaction of a hearty steak without eating meat this Monday. A giant head of cauliflower gets roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then served alongside Romesco sauce (red bell peppers, almonds, tomato paste, and garlic). It's the perfect flavorful sauce for a blank canvas like cauliflower.
Grilled Salt-Rubbed Fish Sandwich
Grilled fish sandwiches and a side of salted potato chips are exactly what we want to eat as summer draws to a close. Choose white fish such as mahi-mahi or striped-bass and top with homemade tartar sauce.
Thyme-and-Sesame-Crusted Chicken Thighs
Broken Wonton Soup
Who needs takeout when you can make this simple, savory, and warming soup? It's satisfying thanks to sausage and wonton wrapper noodles and packed with flavor from ginger, garlic, and soy sauce. This is a recipe you'll continue to make through fall and winter.
Grilled Porterhouse with Brown Butter and Horseradish
Serve your family something extra-special for dinner tonight, like this huge porterhouse steak with an arugula-and-olive salad. The finishing touch is freshly grated horseradish.
Mushroom Tortellini with Arugula
Easy Beef Chili
Crunchy Panko Salmon
Skillet Chicken with Sundried Tomatoes and Chickpeas
Grilled Pork Cutlets with Watermelon-Cucumber Salad
Brown-Rice Bowl with Kabocha Squash and Shiitakes
Roasted Sea Bass with Sweet Potatoes, Spinach, and Salsa Rustica
Bacon Pasta with Cheese Sauce and Thyme
Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Orange Glaze
Seafood and citrus are a match made in heaven. That's why we love the bright, slightly spicy glaze that is brushed over these grilled shrimp skewers—it's made from garlic, thyme, orange-juice concentrate, light brown sugar, and chopped pickled jalapeños.