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Classic Grilled Cheeseburger

All photos by Ramona King

Classic Grilled Cheeseburger


6 fast and easy recipes for your most hectic weekday nights

With summer winding down and kids headed back to school, most of us are gearing up for a busy fall. Between running errands and getting the kids to soccer practice on time, the last thing we want to stress about is making dinner. But a busy schedule doesn’t mean you can't still eat well. 

By choosing quick, easy and make-ahead dishes, you can still enjoy a home cooked meal, well, most nights. (Tacos and takeout still should always have their place.) To help you out, we’ve rounded up our favorite quick and easy recipes that will allow you to stress less during eventful weekday evenings. 

Classic Grilled Cheeseburger
Grilling a thick cheeseburger is truly one of life’s simple pleasures. Be sure to buy meat with an 80/20 ratio of meat to fat, such as ground chuck, to help keep the burger juicy as it cooks. To maximize the sear of the grill, avoid moving the burgers around, except to flip them over once. If you don’t have easy access to a grill, try making these burgers on the stove in a cast iron skillet or grill pan — they’ll turn out just as good. 
Get the recipeCountry Ham and Broccoli Frittata
Any time we can do breakfast for dinner is a win in our books. Think of a frittata as a crustless quiche, or an omelet without any pressure of the ever-treacherous flip. It’s a great one-pan wonder that can easily feed a small group, and it can be a perfect outlet for any cooked meats or vegetables you may already have in your refrigerator. The only special equipment you’ll need is a large nonstick skillet. We’ve added country ham and broccoli to this particular frittata, but feel free to customize it with your favorite mix-ins. 
Get the recipeGrilled Blue Cheese and Proscuitto Sandwich
Think of this as the older sophisticated brother of a classic grilled cheese sandwich. If you have a family of adventurous eaters, this is a great sandwich to help expand their palates. The secret to making the flavors of the sandwich pop are the addition of preserves (fig is optimal; grape and peach work well too), which we spread on one side of the bread.
Get the recipeLeftover Steak Nachos
Have some excess leftover steak on hand? Slice it up and make nachos! The nachos are only in the oven long enough to melt the cheese, so the steak runs little risk of overcooking — and your dinner will be ready lickety-split. Using a combination of store-bought white cheese dip with shredded cheese helps coat all the tortilla chips with some type of cheese (even the ones hiding on the bottom) and provides a great contrast between creamy and melty. You can always cook these on a baking sheet, but we love to cook and serve these nachos in cast iron.
Get the recipePeach Caprese Salad
A traditional caprese salad features the combination of tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil. Since they grow in the same season, we’ve given the salad a Southern makeover by substituting sweet peaches for the tomatoes. You'll notice that we've gone fast and loose with the ingredients in this recipe. Feel free to experiment with your own proportions based on what you can find at the farmers market. Season everything to taste. 
Get the recipeAnne Byrn’s Chicken Tetrazzini
Nothing says comfort better than chicken tetrazzini.  A crowd pleaser, tetrazzini can be made with either chicken or turkey. To help cut down on preparation time, add a rotisserie chicken to your shopping list. However, making the sauce from scratch — no cans here — is key to success with this dish, an you can feel free to alter the seasonings as you see fit. Add some cayenne if you like it. Add a pinch of nutmeg if you like. Use the sherry to pick up the sauce, but if you don't have sherry, add some white wine instead. Add the green olives or omit. But do take the time to toast some chopped pecans to scatter on top just when ready to serve. If you add the pecans before baking, some will burn and the others will get soggy sitting in the casserole and its juices. However you choose to fiddle with this dish, you can always make it on the weekend and pop it in the oven come Wednesday night.
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Rachel Taylor is a staff writer at Southern Kitchen. She moved to Atlanta earlier this year after graduating college in Maryland, and has been a digital audience specialist at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Politically Georgia, as well as a freelance writer for publications such as USA Today and the Delmarva Daily Times on Maryland's Eastern Shore. She has lived in France and Italy, and loves to travel.