Best Ideas for Weeknight Dinners, According to Eater Editors

Best Ideas for Weeknight Dinners, According to Eater Editors

Breakfast: simple. Lunch: not much work. Supper? Sometimes smoke can come out of your ears while you’re just coming up with an idea for what you’re going to cook. If you have forgotten to take something out of the freezer, or if you feel exhausted by the difficulties of everyday life, you may often think: I think I’ll skip dinner tonight. In a word: don’t. With the following recipes, Eater editors tell you about their evening meals, approved by the week.

Gochugaru Salmon With Crispy Rice

Eric Kim, NYT Koken

It’s no secret that Eric Kim’s cookbook Korean American is a favorite of — especially these mashed potatoes with roasted seaweed sour cream dip. However, true Kim heads still turn to his plethora of recipes on NYT Cooking for dinner inspiration, as they now feel like the first underground album before the band exploded. (“Oh, you’re an Eric Kim fan? Name three songs from his first record.”) This gochugaru salmon recipe is one of my weeknight favorites because salmon is too often bland and bland, while Kim’s simple invites gochugaru, maple syrup, and a healthy amount of butter to the feast, all with little to no extra fuss. Crispy rice and cucumbers: great sides. — Dayna Evans, editor of Eater Philly

Black Pepper Tofu and Asparagus

Sarah Jampel, Enjoy your meal

As someone who loves 1. dinner that comes together in less than half an hour and 2. black pepper, this recipe is actually a dream. I love that you only need a small number of fresh ingredients (asparagus, fresh ginger, and garlic) and a ton of pantry staples (rice, tofu, soy sauce). Plus, it’s a simple enough recipe that refusing to use actual measurements won’t real throw things away – sure, you could measure out the soy sauce and rice vinegar, or you could just splash it in the pan based on what feels right. My only suggestion would be to completely ignore the measurements for garlic (go ahead and double if you like, who’s stopping you?) and cornstarch; I’ve found that to get a really crunchy coating on each cube, you may want to sprinkle it liberally in the bowl and toss with your hands. † Lauren Saria, Editor Eater SF

Chicken Pie

Sylvia Rosenthal and Fran Shinagel, How cooking works

Every winter I make chicken soup, and after I’ve fished the parts of the stock and peeled the meat from the carcass, I use the dark meat to make this chicken pot pie from an absolutely shredded copy of this cookbook, which I to think my mom got about 70 bachelorette parties at one of hers. What makes me love this recipe is that it has lemon in it, and now every other chicken pot pie bores me. No secrets; I just love it. Here’s a dish that would be impossible to eat outside of the hours of 8pm and 11pm in January and February without the lights dimmed and a lot of candles lit – that’s neither lunch nor dinner; that’s just dinner. Serve with a green salad, Lost Larson limpa rye, and an incoherent anecdote about which recipes make all the cake components. † Rachel P. Kreiter, senior text editor

Mushroom Stroganoff

Sabrina Synder, Epicurious

Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup formed the basis of some of my favorite dishes growing up, so it’s only natural that when I don’t want to think outside the box at dinner, I go back to my most basic desires: creamy, salty, mushroom-y. While the canned stuff isn’t a regular item on my grocery list, mushrooms and sour cream or Greek yogurt are. Stroganoff is the easiest way to turn those things plus a few more staples — like flour, butter, alliums, and stock — into dinner (I usually skip the wine, since I rarely have bottles). Tired on a weeknight is not my favorite way or time to mess around with new dishes; on those nights, a bowl of stroganoff always feels like just the right choice. † Bettina Makalintal, senior reporter

Chicken Lo Mein

CJ Eats

In the short time that I was sucked into the TikTok whirlpool, I was captivated by a food blogger and TikToker known as CJ Eats. CJ’s recipes range from fried mac and cheese to fried Benihana rice, but I particularly liked his Chinese American recipes, many of which he inherited from his grandfather, a Southern California chef and grocery store owner — dishes such as honey walnut shrimp, General Tso’s chicken and beef and broccoli that really taste like what came out of a 90s red and white Chinese takeout container. Cooking his recipes has taught me the techniques and ingredients essential to cooking those dishes: how to velvet chicken, how to use just the right amount of MSG, and which specific soy sauces work for which recipes.

The recipe I revisit most often are chicken lo mein, which comes together quickly and can be easily adjusted based on what I have in my fridge. I often use a few different types of locally made noodles, usually swapping the traditional lo mein for yakisoba from Umi Organic. I have also been known to add a little extra shaoxing wine or sugar to make it a little sweeter. But the resulting lo mein has that tasty touch of char from the wok, that touch of salt from the oyster sauce and soy sauces, and the satisfying crunch of non-overcooked vegetables. — Brooke Jackson-Glidden, editor of Eater Portland


Sarah Jampel, Enjoy your meal

My toddler still enjoys eating green foods, and I’m sure one of the reasons for that is that we regularly have green versions of kid’s favorites like pesto pasta and green smoothies. When I saw this recipe, I was immediately excited by the prospect of adding “green rice” to our rotation. I’ve made this recipe a few times, but somehow never once I’ve had all the ingredients. It never mattered that I didn’t have the right amount of scallions, or that I traded garlic for scallions, or that one time I didn’t even have a lemon. that is why it has quickly become a mealtime staple in my household; it’s functionally a pantry recipe. This spanakorizo ​​has proven to be an adaptable, comforting, and delicious staple of our weeknight menu—and it’s not particularly challenging to cook, either. Although this isn’t called for in the recipe, I highly recommend that you crumble and mix in some high-quality feta before serving. And if you happen to have some leftover chicken, add that too to make it a more complete dinner. † Hillary Dixler Canavan, restaurant editor