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How to Cook Your Way Through Chaotic Weeks

The best meals and strategies for mastering the art of weeknight dinners.

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The weather may be chilling out but chances are your schedule is doing the exact opposite. And while every task and appointment has the potential to derail your day, cooking shouldn’t be one of them.

That’s why I’m bringing you the best time-saving tricks from Epicurious that will fast-track you to filling and flavorful meals all season and beyond. You’ll find tons of meal planning and storage tips, quick-and-easy lunches and dinners, and a salted dark chocolate pudding that’s easy enough to tackle after the chaos of bedtime.

Photo and Styling by Joseph De Leo

51 Easy 30-Minute Meals for Nights When You Just Can't


“If you only have 30 minutes to get dinner ready, this handy list of recipes has you covered. You’ll find easy weeknight options that are full of flavor: think pastas, of course, but also 10-minute skillet sautés, shockingly quick vegetarian chili, and the speediest pork chops and chicken.” -Anikah Shaokat

Simple Turkey Chili With All the Toppings

Jesse Szewczyk

AS: “Having a dependable chili recipe in your back pocket means that a hearty, crowd-pleasing weeknight dinner is never far from reach. Swapping out beef for turkey makes for a lighter take on this one-pot classic that you won’t mind feasting on for days.”

Miso Oats With Egg and Avocado

Hetty McKinnon

AS: “If you have 15 minutes to whip up lunch, look no further than this Hetty McKinnon recipe. The cookbook author treats oats like jook, an Asian rice porridge, and brings eggs and avocado to the party to make it a complete midweek meal.”

51 Best Slow-Cooker Recipes for Set-It-and-Forget-It Meals

Joe Sevier

AS: “When you have about a million things to keep track of, concocting a meal that needs your unyielding attention is, well, unpleasant. These slow-cooker lunches and dinners liberate you from standing over a stove so you have one less thing to worry about.”

These One-Skillet Chicken and Biscuits Are a Lifesaver

Sahara Henry-Bohoskey

AS: “‘It’s a recipe I make when I need something the whole family (including my 20-month-old toddler) will devour,’ says recipe developer Sahara Henry-Bohoskey. ‘I adore how this recipe can shape-shift depending on whatever vegetables I need to use before they expire or whatever excites me the most in the produce aisle.’”

The Quickest Way to Cookies That Don’t Spread? Ice Water

Jesse Szewczyk

AS: “Food editor Jesse Szewczyk knows that the worst part of making chocolate chip cookies is waiting for the dough to chill. That’s why he came up with the ice bath trick which significantly speeds up the chilling process, fast-tracking your way to a warm cookie.”

Anikah Shaokat

Originally from Chittagong, Bangladesh, Anikah is a writer and recipe developer with bylines in Delish, Food52, Kitchn, Food Network, and Taste of Home. Prior to joining Epicurious, she was the assistant food editor at Food Network Magazine. She has a master’s in Food Studies from NYU and a culinary arts degree from the Institute of Culinary Education. Currently, she's an adjunct professor at NYU, teaching a course on food and identity. When she’s not cooking or writing, she’s reading historical nonfiction and cheesy romance novels (mostly to counteract the effects of historical nonfiction).