Hi, there, and welcome to Five Weeknight Dishes. Margaux Laskey here. Emily is headed out on vacation, so I’ll be sending dinner ideas to your inbox for the next few weeks. Got suggestions? Complaints? You can reach me at email@example.com.
Where, oh, where did the summer go? It seems impossible, but school has already started in some places and is gearing up to start in others. Back to school might look a little different this year, but it’s still the beginning of the busy season for many of us. The juggling act — work, home, family, school — begins. I chose the recipes below with all of that in mind. They require very little hands-on prep, but the payoff is big and delicious. Take a deep breath. You’ve got this.
Here are five dishes for the week:
Dip for dinner? You betcha. On particularly harried days, I usually make a hearty dip like this cousin to pimento cheese from Melissa Clark, and serve it alongside a few different types of crackers or chips, raw vegetables and little piles of salami, pepperoni and prosciutto. (We call it “stuff on a plate.”) Then I throw an oversize chocolate bar on the table and call it dessert.
This lovely sheet-pan dinner from Ali Slagle is kind of brilliant. Ground chicken (or turkey) can skew dry, so she adds a little shredded zucchini, which keeps the meatballs moist under high heat. They roast alongside slices of zucchini, then everything is served with spoonfuls of lemon-feta sauce. I’m tossing everything with buttered orzo.
Don’t let the word “stew” scare you. This brothy, buttery shrimp dish from Sue Li is really more of a sauté, and it comes together in about a half-hour. Because my kids can be weird about shrimp, I’ll probably add another can of beans and serve this over jasmine rice.
A lot of slow cooker recipes get billed as “fix it and forget it,” but they actually aren’t. This Mexican-influenced one, from Sarah DiGregorio, is. Just combine boneless, skinless chicken thighs with a jar of good store-bought salsa verde, canned green chiles, chopped garlic, cumin and garlic and onion powders in a slow cooker and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours. The stewy chicken is great over rice or tucked into enchiladas or burritos. (Here’s an Instant Pot version.)