100 Easy Dinner Recipes for Right Now

Oh, September. You are madness. You are back-to-school and back-to-work after August laze and Labor Day. You are crisp new notebooks and backpacks. You are closed-toe shoes. You are calendars cross-referenced, car pools arranged, nut-free lunches assembled.

Figuring out dinner every day is already a chore, but in hectic September, it can be a trial.

I write a New York Times Cooking newsletter called Five Weeknight Dishes, with five recipes for busy people who still want something good to eat. (Sign up for it here.) And so, in honor of September, I’ve picked 100 dinner recipes I think you should try this year, ideas that make it easy to eat deliciously.

All 100 recipes are straightforward, and many need only 30 minutes to make. None take more than an hour, and if they do take that long, most of the time is hands-off. I kept kids in mind when I picked these recipes, but the truth is that no matter where you are in life, September has a way of sweeping us all. I hope you find dishes here to love, and that you put them on repeat all year long.



Melissa Clark’s skillet chicken tastes like pizza.Credit…Christopher Testani for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

Skillet Chicken With Tomatoes, Pancetta and Mozzarella. The nickname for this recipe is “pizza chicken,” and, if you weren’t already planning to make it, then maybe now you will.

White Chicken Chili. Think dinner on one of those chilly late-September nights. This easy dish is done in under an hour if you use store-bought rotisserie chicken.

Ginger-Scallion Chicken. Few dishes say “weeknight” louder than stir-fry, a dynamic dinner that cooks in a flash.

Pan-Seared Ranch Chicken. Ranch is America’s favorite dressing, creamy, peppery and impossible to resist. The version here, made with Greek yogurt, doubles as tangy marinade and sauce.

Sheet-Pan Gochujang Chicken and Roasted Vegetables. This is roast chicken and vegetables gone electric, and a superb way to use gochujang, the red-pepper paste. The comments on this recipe are ecstatic.

Gochujang adds flavor to this sheet-pan chicken dish from Yewande Komolafe.Credit…Christopher Testani for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Chris Lanier. Prop Stylist: Carla Gonzalez-Hart.

Grilled Za’atar Chicken With Garlic Yogurt and Cilantro. Make this excellent recipe in the oven if grilling isn’t your thing.

Mussakhan (Roast Chicken With Sumac and Red Onions). Cut the cooking time here without diminishing the dish’s lemony, richly spiced flavor by using boneless chicken thighs, not bone-in.

Chicken Fajitas. It’s hard not to love freshly made fajitas. This is a shortcut recipe that doesn’t taste like one.

Miso-Honey Chicken and Asparagus. These boneless chicken thighs broil instead of bake, which cuts the cooking time to about 10 minutes. That miso-honey marinade is good enough to sip from a spoon.

Yossy Arefi’s miso-honey chicken and asparagus comes together quickly under the broiler.Credit…David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

Sheet-Pan Scallion Chicken With Bok Choy. Who knew that a mixture of Dijon mustard, miso, ginger and garlic made an irresistible coating for chicken? Kay Chun did. Here’s the work of a brilliant recipe writer.

Easy Kung Pao Chicken. You can make this beloved dish in 15 minutes flat.

Garlicky Chicken With Lemon-Anchovy Sauce. There was a time when I made this dish several times a month. I still love that combination of capers, lemon, anchovy and lots of garlic.

Arroz Chaufa (Fried Rice With Chicken and Bell Pepper). This is Chifa cuisine — Chinese-Peruvian cooking — and a top-notch stir-fry.

Lemony White Bean Soup With Turkey and Greens. The best use of ground turkey that I know.

Melissa Clark’s lemony white bean soup.Credit…Con Poulos for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Jerrie-Joy Redman-Lloyd.

Sticky Coconut Chicken and Rice. In this one-pot meal, chicken and rice cook together in a coconut-milk bath.

Baked Mustard-Herb Chicken Legs. This is the chicken recipe you need to make everyone happy. Swap in mayo for the mustard if you like.

Tajín Grilled Chicken. The chile-lime jolt of Tajín is sublime sprinkled on mango and watermelon; as a rim on a margarita, it’s unsurpassed. It’s also an excellent spice mix for chicken (and seafood, too).

Chicken Katsu. Schnitzel, Milanese, katsu — all are breaded, pan-fried cutlets, and very lovable at that. Katsu is a Japanese staple, served with tonkatsu sauce.

Pasta, Noodles, Rice and Other Grains

Eric Kim’s gochujang buttered noodles.Credit…James Ransom for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne.

Gochujang Buttered Noodles. This thrilling mash-up of staple Korean noodle dishes is made with gochujang and a large pot of buttered spaghetti. (Watch Eric Kim make this, and other noodle dishes.)

One-Pot Pasta With Ricotta and Lemon. Everyone should have an accommodating pasta or noodle recipe. This one is a great example. You can toss in veggies, whether they’re fresh or from the freezer. Add white beans or chickpeas. Toss in handfuls of herbs. Or serve it plain for kids who like their pleasures simple. (Watch how to make this.)

Crisp Gnocchi With Sausage and Peas. Here’s a weeknight power chord: gnocchi, which is shelf-stable and delectably chewy; sausage, a flavor grenade of seasonings and fat; and frozen peas, for some easy and sweet pops of green.

Ali Slagle’s crisp gnocchi comes together in less than 30 minutes.Credit…David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

Pasta With Andouille Sausage, Beans and Greens. This hearty and endearing pasta has a distinctly Cajun vibe.

Chile Crisp Fettuccine Alfredo With Spinach. A tablespoon of chile crisp turns stodgy Alfredo sauce into something exciting.

Pasta With Sausage, Squash and Sage Brown Butter. This recipe is inspired by a dish at the seminal Brooklyn restaurant Frankies Spuntino, where it’s supposedly often ordered on dates. Make it for someone you love.

San Francisco-Style Vietnamese American Garlic Noodles. A garlicky paean to the combo of soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce and butter.

Sardine Pasta Puttanesca. Will you please make this the year you try sardines? (If you haven’t already, that is. Sardine lovers need no persuading.) Tinned sardines are easy to find, sustainable and outstanding in pasta dishes like this one.

Sohla El-Waylly’s take on puttanesca sauce relies on sardines.Credit…Kerri Brewer for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

Crispy Gnocchi With Burst Tomatoes and Mozzarella. Honestly just a really fun recipe that’s impossible to stop eating.

Taiwanese Meefun. This vegetarian version of the noodle stir-fry tastes good, whether it’s hot or at room temperature.

Pasta e Ceci (Italian Pasta and Chickpea Stew). There are a lot of ways to make this beloved Roman dish; this one takes only 30 minutes.

Blistered Broccoli Pasta With Walnuts, Pecorino and Mint. The broccoli here is seared, but it still retains some snap. It mingles nicely with the chewy pasta, soft herbs and hard crunch of the walnuts.

Dawn Perry’s blistered broccoli pasta.Credit…Andrew Purcell for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Carrie Purcell.

Somen Noodles With Poached Egg, Bok Choy and Mushrooms. The dinner equivalent of putting on your favorite sweater.

Honey-Glazed Mushrooms With Udon. You had me at “honey-glazed mushrooms.”

Cold Noodle Salad With Spicy Peanut Sauce. Kids tend to love peanut noodles. This version is delicious as is, though you can dial down the heat if needed.

Rice and Grains

This pulao from Priya Krishna is flexible and full of flavor.Credit…Armando Rafael for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Cyd Raftus McDowell.

Vegetable Pulao.Cardamom, cinnamon, cumin and turmeric flavor this cozy, simple-to-cook dinner.

Kimchi Fried Rice. There’s butter in this fried rice, which makes for particularly luscious results. I love this recipe.

Baked Risotto With Greens and Peas. A hands-off approach to risotto, that typically very hands-on project.

Feel free to swap in other green vegetables in this baked risotto from Kay Chun.Credit…Yossy Arefi for The New York Times (Photography and Styling)

Farro With Roasted Squash, Feta and Mint. You could regard this as a salad, but I prefer to think of it as a gigantic weeknight grain bowl.

Butternut Squash Congee With Chile Oil. I love this idea of letting cubes of butternut squash nearly melt into congee, a simple rice porridge that goes by different names across cuisines.

Quick Jambalaya. A clever shortcut to the Louisiana classic.

Shrimp Fried Rice. As with so many fried rice dishes, this one is a kid-pleaser. Best not to skip the yum yum sauce. (Watch Eric Kim make this.)

Fish and Shrimp

Sue Li’s lemony shrimp and bean stew is an easy and elegant weeknight meal.Credit…Christopher Testani for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

Baked Salmon and Dill Rice. A pleasingly green one-pot meal that draws inspiration from Iranian cuisine. I’m for any recipe that calls for whole bunches of herbs.

Coconut-Miso Salmon Curry. Your new default salmon?

Spicy Tuna Salad With Crispy Rice. Inspired by the spicy tuna at sushi bars, this recipe delivers a stimulating mix of textures.

Lemony Shrimp and Bean Stew. Weeknight cooking doesn’t usually read as fancy, but this dish does. I’d eat it with bread, but pasta is another good option.

Baked Cod With Buttery Cracker Topping. “Buttery cracker” is code for Ritz crackers. The crumbs are delicious piled on cod in this very New England recipe.

Sarah DiGregorio’s baked cod is a take on a New England restaurant staple.Credit…Sang An for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

Sheet-Pan Shrimp With Tomatoes, Feta and Oregano. This is 10-minute cooking with flavors that harmonize.

Salmon With Garlic Butter and Tomato Pasta. This charmer conjures the ’90s, in a good way.

Coconut Fish and Tomato Bake. The gingered coconut sauce in this amazing recipe turns to velvet in the oven.

Shrimp Scampi With Orzo. Maybe you think of scampi as restaurant food? This buttery, garlicky classic is made for your kitchen and well matched with orzo.

Shrimp Tacos. Beachy, breezy shrimp tacos would be a welcome break from homework and viola practice.

Yewande Komolafe’s shrimp tacos are easily adaptable.Credit…Kelly Marshall for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Roscoe Betsill. Prop Stylist: Paige Hicks.

Miso-Glazed Fish. This couldn’t be easier or more foolproof.

Hot-Sauce Shrimp. A stunningly simple move: Toss shrimp in a bowl with hot sauce and butter. I keep shrimp in the freezer to make it.

Salmon Croquettes. These fish cakes make use of an underrated pantry staple: tinned salmon. But you can use freshly cooked or leftover salmon if you like. Serve with tartar sauce, hot sauce or both.

Coconut Curry Fish. This staple dish leans on Jamaican curry powder for its powerful flavor and hue.

Sheet-Pan Fish Tikka With Spinach. The star of this smart recipe is vibrant tikka marinade, which flavors both fish and greens.

Zainab Shah’s sheet-pan fish tikka.Credit…Bryan Gardner for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne.

Sheet-Pan Salmon and Broccoli With Sesame and Ginger. Healthy and nearly effortless weeknight cooking.

Sheet-Pan Cod and Scallions With Cucumber Yogurt. Everything is better with yogurt sauce, especially when cucumbers figure in.

Mahi ba Somagh (Sumac Roasted Fish). This citrusy recipe is simply great. You can use fillets if you’re intimidated by the thought of cooking butterflied fish — though can I persuade you to try that, too?

Snapper Escovitch. A bright and bracing dinner: snapper in a blanket of vinegared bell peppers.

Use fillets or a whole snapper in this escovitch from Millie Peartree.Credit…Dane Tashima for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne.

Sheet-Pan Chile Crisp Salmon and Asparagus. You don’t need to cube the salmon for this hot-honeyed recipe, but the bite-size pieces are fun to eat and begging to be added to a grain bowl.

Zibdiyit Gambari (Spicy Shrimp and Tomato Stew). This recipe calls for cumin, garlic, jalapeño and dill, for an easy-to-make stew with galvanizing flavor.

Beef and Pork

Kay Chun’s meatballs are extremely versatile.Credit…Christopher Testani for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

Meatballs. Never ever make a single batch of meatballs! Double, triple or even quadruple so you have extra to freeze. You’ll want them. (Here are turkey meatballs, if you’d prefer that to beef.)

Sheet-Pan Sausages and Brussels Sprouts With Honey Mustard. Bookmark for the first chilly night of the year.

Carne Asada. The best steak tacos start here. Save time by using ground spices, instead of prepping everything for your own spice blend. (Watch Pati Jinich make this.)

Pati Jinich’s carne asada.Credit…Johnny Miller for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Sue Li.

Beef Short Rib Rice Bowls. This recipe siphons Korean barbecue flavors into an easy rice bowl.

Crispy Chickpeas With Beef. So simple, it’s almost crazy.

Sheet-Pan Sausage With Peppers and Tomatoes. Sausage is a brilliant weeknight ingredient: It arrives preseasoned, and the fat flavors everything around it, like a tangle of roasted sweet peppers and tomatoes.

Ali Slagle’s sheet-pan sausage with peppers and tomatoes.Credit…David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Vivian Lui.

Grilled Steak With Sauce Rof. This sauce is so good, you’ll want to use the leftovers on everything you cook for the rest of the week.

Pork Chops in Lemon-Caper Sauce. If you love the bright zing of lemon and capers, these smothered pork chops are for you.

Black Pepper Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry. Deemed a “perfect weeknight dinner” in the comments, this dish champions the punchy heat of black peppercorns.

Sue Li’s black pepper beef and cabbage stir-fry is built primarily from pantry staples.Credit…Andrew Purcell for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne.

Pork Chops With Jammy-Mustard Glaze. This is an easy way to make dinner feel special.

Pork Meatballs With Ginger and Fish Sauce. More meatballs, this time flavored with ginger, garlic and fish sauce. I like these over rice with a lime squeeze.

Party Board. This recipe is a party, and I love a party. Think of it as a charcuterie board, but made with whatever you have and whatever you want.

Vegetables, Beans and Tofu

Yewande Komolafe’s crispy tofu with cashews and blistered snap peas.Credit…David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

Crispy Tofu With Cashews and Blistered Snap Peas. Yewande Komolafe has a genius for cooking with tofu. If you’ve never tried her tofu recipes, start here. (Watch Yewande make this.)

Silken Tofu With Spicy Soy Dressing. This New York Times Cooking staff favorite is best in warm weather, but shines anytime.

Mushroom and Eggplant Yassa. This satisfying stew with caramelized onions, chile, ginger and garlic is a vegetarian version of a Senegalese staple.

Braised White Beans and Greens With Parmesan. Cooking trends come and go, but beans are forever.

Red Curry Lentils With Sweet Potatoes and Spinach. People swear by this recipe, which is inspired by dal and packed with nourishing ingredients. This reheats well if you make it ahead.

Lidey Heuck’s red curry lentils work well with rice or toasted flatbread.Credit…Linda Xiao for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Monica Pierini.

Vegetable Pajeon (Korean Scallion Pancakes With Vegetables). Make these crisp-rimmed pancakes with whatever vegetables you have on hand, even leftovers.

Soy-Braised Tofu With Bok Choy. This recipe is a weeknight staple at my house, a speedy and savory braise that can take any vegetable you throw at it.

Sabich Bowls. The signature elements of sabich, the Israeli sandwich made with eggplant, hummus, tahini sauce and boiled egg, are just as good funneled into bowl form. Chickpeas step in for the traditional hummus.

Bean and Cheese Burritos. For any tweens in your life who recently turned vegetarian, and for anyone else in your home who loves the salty smush of refried beans.

Kay Chun’s bean and cheese burritos.Credit…Linda Xiao for The New York Times. Food Stylist; Hadas Smirnoff. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth.

Sweet and Sour Eggplant With Garlic Chips. Eggplant can turn to sludge if it’s not treated right. You won’t have that problem here.

Folami’s BBQ Tofu. A very effective way to make crowd-pleasing tofu: Bathe it in barbecue sauce.

Black Bean Chili With Mushrooms. This vegetarian recipe draws its depth from a combination of fresh and dried mushrooms.

Coconut-Ginger Black Beans. These satiny beans make for a delicious dinner with rice and greens.

Ali Slagle’s vegan coconut-ginger black beans.Credit…David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

Kaddu (Sweet and Sour Butternut Squash). This vivid squash dish works wonders as a side, but I’m happy eating it on its own with rice and with a dollop of yogurt. (Watch Priya Krishna make this.)

Green Curry Glazed Tofu. Jarred Thai green curry paste is the smart pantry shortcut in this veggie-packed recipe.

Spiced Seared Eggplant With Pearl Couscous. Eggplant melds beautifully with tomato, cinnamon, cumin and cayenne.

Tortizzas. Tortillas crossed with pizza: a fun customizable dinner for kids and the adults who cook for them.

Eggs and Dairy

Eric Kim smartly cooks the ingredients for this bibimbap on sheet pans.Credit…Linda Xiao for The New York Times Food Stylist: Judy Kim.

Sheet-Pan Bibimbap. Eric Kim’s mother tasted his innovative version of bibimbap and told him she’d never make it the traditional way again. (Watch Eric make this.)

Mattar Paneer (Peas and Paneer in Spiced Tomato Gravy). Cashew butter is the secret ingredient in this streamlined take on the classic. In the words of one of the commenters: “This is really bonkers good.” (Watch Zainab Shah make this.)

Plantains With Jammy Tomatoes and Eggs. Tomatoes and eggs are a popular pair the world over; this particular recipe is inspired by a version you’ll find in Lagos, Nigeria, using firm plantains.

Yewande Komolafe’s plantains with jammy tomatoes and eggs.Credit…Linda Xiao for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Hadas Smirnoff.

Eggs Kejriwal. I’ve made this dish of spicy eggs on toast with many different kinds of bread (even bagels), and it always works. The combination of mustard, Cheddar and chile pops.

Gyeran Bap (Egg Rice). Now part of my regular cooking routine.

Chilaquiles. For transcendent chilaquiles, fry or bake tortillas to make the chips yourself. For fast chilaquiles, buy the chips. It’ll still be good.

Çilbir (Turkish Eggs With Yogurt). The dinner eggs of my dreams.

Alexa Weibel adapted this çilbir recipe from the cookbook author Özlem Warren.Credit…Christopher Testani for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

Saag Paneer. Banish any thoughts you might have of dull or gloopy takeout paneer. This is insanely good.

Crispy-Edged Quesadillas. It took having children for me to rediscover the rapture of an oozing quesadilla. Add chicken, steak, beans or vegetables if you like, or adorn with a fried egg. (Watch Nikita Richardson make this, and other easy recipes.)

Sheet-Pan Feta With Chickpeas and Tomatoes. Feta is sturdy enough to roast, but it still melts a bit in the oven heat. It’s extremely satisfying in this Greek-inspired dinner.

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