School Lunch, Reinvented
Barbecue Sloppy Joes
This updated old-school diner classic is mom-approved. Before serving the hearty sandwich chef Christopher Tunnell ran it by his mom. "When she tasted it, she was proud," he says.
Carrot Macaroni and Cheese
The silky carrot puree mixed with the cheddar here is a terrific source of vitamin A and helps reduce the amount of fat in the recipe.
Crisp Gnocchi "Tater Tots"
In this reinvented recipe for tater tots, homemade gnocchi are fried to resemble the cafeteria tray classic.
This grilled-chicken taco recipe calls for chicken thighs marinated in tomatoes and lime. The result: super juicy meat that cooks quickly.
Black-Bean Turkey Chili
"In this industry, you often don't eat when you need to," says Ronnie Killen. "What helped me lose weight was eating at the right times." He started having real meals with lean proteins, like this turkey chili.
Free-Form Sausage-and-Three-Cheese Lasagna
This rustic and gooey lasagna is packed with cheese and sausage. The style is called free-form because the pasta can be arranged in different ways—for instance, folded over the filling—instead of traditionally layered.
Oven Fries with Roasted Garlic
Skin-on potatoes, like the ones used for these crispy, low-fat fries, are high in vitamin C and potassium; they're also a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin B.
Margherita Tortilla Pizzas
Jacques Pépin makes quick pizzas with pita bread, lavash or flour tortillas. The possibilities are endless, from a simple Margherita to a pizzeria-inspired white-clam pie.
Cheddar-and-Onion Smashed Burgers
Chef Adam Fleischman creates beef patties by flattening balls of ground meat on the griddle before cooking them with cheddar and onions. Before serving, the burgers are sprinkled with "umami dust," a savory mix that includes ground kombu (a type of seaweed) and dried shiitake mushrooms.
Skillet Chicken-and-Mushroom Potpie
Grace Parisi proves that making potpie doesn't have to take a long time with this one-skillet version, prepared with store-bought rotisserie chicken and—her stroke of brilliance—buttered white bread in place of the usual labor-intensive puff pastry crust.
Beef Tenderloin "Dogs" with Corn Relish
David Burke grills beef tenderloin, cuts it into long, thick slices about the length and width of a hot dog, then cradles each piece in a soft bun. One summery relish, made with kernels of sweet corn and bits of red onion tossed with cider vinegar, goes on top of all the "dogs."
Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs
Spaghetti and meatballs is a crowd-pleasing classic Italian-American dish. The mixture of beef, veal and pork makes the meatballs really flavorful.
The New American Grilled Cheese
The best grilled cheese is the gooiest grilled cheese, says author Laura Werlin: "After you bite into it, the cheese should stretch out past your face as far as your arm will reach. Otherwise, it's just not right."
For this oven-fried chicken recipe, skinless, boneless chicken thighs are breaded in panko and a blend of spices including celery salt, garlic salt, and cayenne pepper.
Baked Beans with Maple-Glazed Bacon
For a zippy version of a New England classic, Laurence Jossel bakes buttery Rancho Gordo Yellow Eye beans in a tangy-hot mixture of apple cider vinegar, molasses, brown sugar and crushed red pepper. Regular Italian cannellini or Great Northern beans can replace the Yellow Eyes.