These chicken, pasta, seafood, and soup recipes are ready at record speed.

By Bridget Hallinan
April 14, 2020

When it comes to weeknight cooking, our motto is usually the quicker, the better—and these dinner recipes definitely fit the bill. They’re all ready in 20 minutes or fewer (some, as little as 12 to 15 minutes) but are still packed with flavor. Think soothing soups like orzo and chickpeas with turmeric-ginger broth, teriyaki shrimp and bok choy stir-fry, quesadillas, and frittata, too, in case you were craving breakfast for dinner. With 20 to choose from, you’ll have plenty to try out on your next busy night.

Credit: Greg DuPree

Five-Herb Frittata with Prosciutto and Parmesan

Credit: John Kernick

Breakfast for dinner is always a good idea, especially if it’s ready in 15 minutes. Such is the case with Nancy Silverton’s five-herb frittata, filled with mint, parsley, chives, oregano, and thyme.

Orzo and Chickpeas with Turmeric-Ginger Broth 

Credit: Victor Protasio

This soothing, restorative soup uses turmeric-ginger tea bags (yes, tea bags!), unsweetened coconut milk, and lime juice to create a base for the broth. The 20-minute recipe yields two servings, but it’s easy to scale depending on your needs.

Harissa-Spiced Carrot Soup with Almonds and Rosemary

Credit: Greg DuPree

Justin Chapple’s carrot soup has an ingredient list that’s just as short as the cooking time. With a high-speed blender and two steps, you’ll have enough soup for six servings.

Borough Market Grilled Cheese 

Grilled cheese is a reliably quick meal perfect for lunch or dinner, and this version from Ian Knauer combines cheddar and creamy triple-crème (brie works too). Instead of bread, it’s made with English muffins.

Sweet Corn-Epazote Quesadillas

Credit: Sarah Bolla

When cooked, epazote mellows and has a taste reminiscent of sage, lemon, and parsley. In these quesadillas, we combine it with corn, sliced green onions, garlic, and cheese.

Chorizo-and-Kimchi Dogs

Credit: Victor Protasio

Claudette Zepeda’s chorizo-and-kimchi dogs are an homage to the Sonoran hot dog, and they come together pretty quickly. You make the cilantro crema first, and then the kimchi slaw, and then, cook the hot dogs. All that’s left to do is quickly sear the buns and assemble.

Get the Recipe: Chorizo-and-Kimchi Dogs

Warm Spinach Salad with Soft-Poached Eggs

Credit: © Keller & Keller

This spinach and soft-poached egg salad from Peter Berley makes a nice light dinner—you could always add more protein, like chicken or chickpeas, if you want to make it more substantial. 

Shrimp Wedge Salad with Old Bay Breadcrumbs and Hot Sauce Dressing

Credit: Greg DuPree

This dish is a mashup between a wedge salad and a po'boy sandwich, with breadcrumbs toasted in Old Bay–infused oil and a Crystal hot sauce–spiked dressing.

Three-Pepper Cacio e Pepe

Credit: Victor Protasio

Liv Mervosh uses crushed pink peppercorns, coarsely ground Tellicherry pepper, and ground Szechuan pepper in this take on cacio e pepe—you can swap the Szechuan pepper with a pinch of red pepper flakes if you want.

Get the Recipe: Three-Pepper Cacio e Pepe

Pasta with Sausage, Basil and Mustard

In matching spicy sausage with a creamy mustard sauce and fragrant basil, British cookbook author Nigel Slater created a quick pasta supper with warm, mildly spicy flavors, perfect for a cool fall or winter evening.
| Credit: © Greg DuPree

Nigel Slater’s mustard pasta (yes, mustard pasta!) is another recipe with a small ingredient list (just eight, including staples like olive oil and crushed red pepper) and a correspondingly quick cook time. 

Creamy Lemon Pasta 

Credit: Victor Protasio

This bright and creamy pasta will transport you to Italy’s Amalfi Coast, studded with Meyer lemon supremes for a pop of tartness.

Get the Recipe: Creamy Lemon Pasta

Florentine Butter Chicken

Credit: Greg DuPree

Our Florentine butter chicken recipe was inspired by Editor-in-Chief Hunter Lewis’ trip to Trattoria Sostanz in Florence, Italy. Breaded chicken is cooked and basted in cultured butter in a skillet, with a splash of lemon juice in the sauce as the finishing touch.

Get the Recipe: Florentine Butter Chicken

Grilled Pork Chops with Ginger Sauce

Credit: © Fredrika Stjärne

To even further cut down on the cook time in this recipe, you can make the ginger sauce ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for up to three days. Then, all that’s left to do is season the pork chops and grill them.

Lamb Chops Sizzled with Garlic

Credit: © James Baigrie

Sizzled in extra-virgin olive oil with 10 garlic cloves, these flavorful lamb chops are ready in 20 minutes. 

Steak Au Poivre with Red Wine Pan Sauce 

Credit: Justin Walker

Believe it or not, our steak au poivre and red-wine pan sauce recipe only takes 20 minutes. The sauce is a mix of the browned bits in the skillet, plus shallots, broth, red wine, and butter, the perfect balance of acid and fat.

Grilled King Salmon with Meyer Lemon Relish 

Credit: Victor Protasio

Suzanne Goin pairs the buttery, rich flavor of grilled King salmon with a floral and lightly acidic salsa. The salsa would also be tasty on grilled lamb, chicken, or pork, so make sure you save any leftovers.

Scallops with Fennel Grenobloise 

Quick-cooking scallops are excellent with sweet fennel and a buttery lemon-caper sauce.

Our readers gave these scallops a resounding five-star rating, and, considering they’re ready in just 12 minutes, it makes sense. They’re paired with sweet fennel and a buttery lemon-caper sauce.

Teriyaki Shrimp and Bok Choy Stir-Fry

A quick stir-fry is great for weeknights. Todd Porter and Diane Cu’s recipe calls for baby bok choy, ginger, shrimp, sake or dry vermouth, rice vinegar, and more.

Seared Snapper with Granny Smith, Strawberry, and Basil Salsa

Credit: Justin Walker

You might not think of pairing Granny Smith apples, tomatoes, and strawberries together, but they make a crisp, fresh salsa that pairs really well with seared snapper.