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One-Dish Salmon in Foil Packets with Asparagus, Fennel and Tarragon Vinaigrette

Maura Friedman

One-Dish Salmon in Foil Packets with Asparagus, Fennel and Tarragon Vinaigrette


10 quick and delicious recipes perfect for your weeknight dinner table

The secret to a satisfying and no-fuss weeknight meal is all about time-saving tricks. From using pre-bought proteins like rotisserie chicken to prepping the night before, or simply using a nifty kitchen gadget, there are many different ways to save time on a Tuesday night.

Here are 10 of our favorite quick and easy meals that you can make for dinner tonight.

One-Dish Salmon with Asparagus, Fennel and Tarragon Vinaigrette
Foil packets are a low-mess method for a perfectly cooked meal. This recipe uses deliciously fatty salmon, which holds up nicely when steamed, along with a medley of vegetables for the perfect oven-to-table meal. This recipe can easily be scaled up to serve four; keep the vinaigrette amounts the same, but double the salmon, vegetables, lemon and vermouth. 
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Pork Tenderloin with Red Cabbage and Apples
This practically one-pot meal is a hearty and relatively healthy quick weeknight dish that will satisfy everyone at the table. To make the most of your 35-minute cooking time, prep and cook up the cabbage and apples while the pork is resting.
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Chicken Bolognese with Penne
We’ve lightened up this traditional pasta dish by using ground chicken as our protein, which adds lots of flavor to a rich tomato sauce without lots of fat. Take the worry (and some time) out of prepping the veggies by using a food processor to finely chop them — it’ll also give them more surface area for browning and flavor development. 
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Squash Casserole
For a hearty vegetarian meal, look no further than this cheesy, comforting casserole that comes together in just an hour. A meal in its own right, this hearty casserole can also be paired with some collard greens or a store-bought rotisserie chicken. 
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Instant Pot Shrimp and Grits
This recipe's secret is the nifty technique of cooking the grits in a bowl atop the gravy, which eliminates the need to stand and whisk for 45 minutes, and it and gets the grits infused with the aromas of the savory gravy below. Better yet, this recipe is essentially a one-pot meal, so you can enjoy your warm, cozy dish without a looming mountain of dishes in the sink. 
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Spaghetti with Lemon, Garlic and Thyme
A quick cooking time doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor, and this 10-minute recipe proves it, thanks to a strategic use of fragrant ingredients like garlic, lemon and herbs. 
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Chicken and Dumplings
A hearty stew made that much more magical with dumplings poached in its broth, chicken and dumplings is a classic homestyle meal that will statisfy everyone at the table. Poaching chicken and making homemade stock makes this tasty dinner even better, but feel free to use a rotisserie chicken and pre-made broth in its place for a quick, practically one-pot, weeknight meal. 
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Tybee Island Shrimp Scampi
Crunchy breaded shrimp served with fluffy long-grain rice can be your next weeknight meal in just 20 minutes — the trick is to use pre-cooked rice, which you can make a day or two ahead and store in the fridge. A perfectly adaptable recipe, feel free to trade out the shrimp for an equal amount of chicken breast tenders. 
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Virginia Willis' Vegan Vegetable Soup
This vegan vegetarian soup from Virginia Willis doesn't require hours of simmering ham bones or pots of homemade vegetable stock. It is what is ingloriously referred to in the parlance of food writers as a “dump-and-stir” — but absolutely packed with flavor. The secret? A shot of umami-packed miso.
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Bacon-Jalapeño Mac and Cheese
Bacon and cheese make the perfect pair, bringing just the right amount of indulgence to your dinner, and adding jalapeño to the mix gives this recipe a perfect kick of heat to make it a standout dish. Feel free to make this 45-minute recipe the day before; just let the completed dish cool at room temperature and then store in the fridge until you're ready to serve up some mac and cheese goodness.
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Photo credit (Pork Tenderloin with Red Cabbage and Apples, Squash Casserole, Instant Pot Shrimp and Grits, Chicken and Dumplings): Ramona King 
Photo credit (Spaghetti with Lemon, Garlic and Thyme): Kate Sullivan 
Photo credit (Tybee Island Shrimp Scampi): Charity Burggraaf 
Photo credit (Virginia Willis' Vegan Vegetable Soup): Virgina Willis 
Photo credit (Bacon-Jalapeño Mac and Cheese): Idebar Austin

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Dena Rayess is a recipe editor and cookbook author based in San Francisco. She enjoys exploring new foodways in and around the Bay Area and beyond, and has been known to whip up a mean house cocktail at dinner parties.