Food

10 Fast Fall Dinners

rigatoni with butternut squash and sage

Last week, we asked you what Burning Questions you had for my next food advice column, and the responses were so funny…

Or maybe I should say the response, singular. I’m not kidding when I say that 8 out of 10 of you asked the same (eternally evergreen) question: Will you please give me ideas for fast, easy dinners? Makes sense! Herewith, in honor of squash-soup-and-stew weather, 10 ideas for simple meals that shout fall in my house.

Rigatoni with Roasted Butternut Squash and Sage Toss cubed butternut (or honeynut) squash, chopped onion with olive oil, salt, pepper, and roast at 425°F for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare rigatoni according to package directions, drain and toss with a little butter. In the same pasta pot, over high heat, fry 8 to 10 sage leaves in olive oil, 10 seconds until crispy. Toss pasta, squash and sage together, top with Parmesan and chili flakes, and serve.

“Pizza Salad” with Warm Beans Toss romaine leaves with tomatoes, red onion, bocconcini (small mozzarella balls), croutons, and an oregano-spiked red wine vinaigrette. In a medium skillet set over high heat, cook a halved garlic clove and 1/2 a medium onion (chopped) in olive oil. After three minutes, add 3 cups (1 1/2 14-ounce cans) cooked (drained) white beans and cook until warmed through. Add warm beans to salad with Parmesan, chili flakes, and fresh torn basil if you have it.

Warm Mushroom Toasts with Gruyère and Greens In a large skillet, over medium-low heat, sautée chopped onion and mushrooms (white, shiitake, cremini, or a mix) with salt and pepper in olive oil. Meanwhile, lightly toast slices of crusty bread, then top with Gruyère and broil until the cheese is melted. Add chopped greens (kale, chard, mustard) to the mushrooms and cook until wilted, another minute. Drizzle with sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar) and serve on top of cheese toasts.

Baked Sausage with Apples, Potatoes and Onions Toss whole small potatoes and chopped onion with olive oil, thyme leaves, salt and pepper and place on a baking sheet. Nestle in four links of sweet Italian sausage (pork or chicken) and bake at 400 for 40 minutes. Meanwhile, toss chopped apples (Granny Smith is ideal) in olive oil, then add to the baking sheet for the last five minutes of baking. Remove from the oven, drizzle with cider vinegar, and serve with dollops of Dijon mustard.

Avgolemono In a large soup pot, bring a 32-ounce container of chicken or vegetable broth to a boil. Add 1/4 cup orzo and aggressively simmer for about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low, then in a medium bowl, whisk together 3 eggs and the juice from one lemon. Ladle about 1 cup of the hot broth into the egg-and-lemon mixture, whisking to combine, then add the mixture back to the simmering saucepan. Stir just until the soup becomes opaque and thickens as the eggs cook, 1 to 2 minutes. Add fresh dill, salt and pepper, and chicken (optional).

chicken pot pie

Chicken Pot Pie Simmer small chunks of carrots, potatoes, and onions in chicken broth just to cover, then stir in a tablespoon or so of flour (that has been whisked with a little milk) and simmer until thickened. Add frozen peas and cubes or shreds of cooked chicken (a storebought rotisserie is good here) then pour mixture into pie dish, cover with one 9-inch prepared pie dough, brush the dough with egg wash (one whisked egg) and bake for 30 minutes at 425°F.

Roast Salmon with Brussels Sprouts Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss halved brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, tossing halfway through. (And don’t worry if they look a little charred.) Turn heat to 450°F. Nestle single-serving-size salmon filets among the sprouts and roast another 10 minutes. Serve drizzled with your favorite dressing. (I love ginger-miso).

Shredded Vegetable Soup with Parm Bring a medium pot of broth (chicken or vegetable) to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Add shredded vegetables (anything you have; hearty leaves like kale can be torn) and simmer until vegetables are cooked through, not more than 2 or 3 minutes. Ladle into bowls and top generously with grated Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with crusty bread.

Brussels Sprouts Pizza Heat oven to 450°F. Press and stretch a 16-ounce storebought pizza dough on a baking sheet brushed with olive oil until it reaches the edges of the pan. (You want the crust to be thin.) Top with 1/2 cup grated Parmesan. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, cook halved Brussels sprouts and chopped red onions in olive oil. (Optional: Skip the olive oil, fry a piece of bacon and cook the vegetables in the bacon’s rendered fat.) Add Brussels mixture to the pizza dough, then bake for 10 minutes, until dough is crispy and golden.

Baked Potatoes with All the Fixins Heat oven to 425°F. Scrub russet potatoes clean and prick them all over with forks. (No longer skipping this step!) Rub them all over with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt, and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. While they bake, prepare desired topping: Sautéed kale, spinach, mushrooms, caramelized onions, sour cream, bacon pieces. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, split lengthwise, sprinkle with sharp cheddar and broil another two minutes until the cheese has melted. Add desired toppings and serve.

What fast fall meals are you making these days?

P.S. More burning questions and chicken-y white beans with romaine that’s just right for fall.

  1. LaReesa says...

    I’ve already made the mushroom toasts and squash pasta and both were amazing :) Thanks for these yummy suggestions!

  2. Wow! This was just what I needed, I had been thinking of what to cook and trust me i was lacking ideas. I almost felt like the world needs more food. Thanks to you i have a lot more new meals added to my list

  3. Lauren E. says...

    I want to eat ALL OF THESE! My husband is sort of a picky eater, and would probably veto most of them, though… Sometimes I feel like I’m living with a toddler. He even picks the carrots out of chicken soup!

  4. Amy says...

    Our family’s for-real-fast dinners:

    -fried eggs on buttered toast w/ cut veg sticks
    -cheese & vegetable wraps w/ mayo & honey mustard
    -plain yogurt, fruit (frozen is fine), and homemade granola
    -the KSB from this site (a little crumbled Italian sausage with white beans, tons of kale, and some lemon & parmesan)

  5. With this list, we can use for all warm autumn dinners. I prefer chicken pot pie, it’s not only fast in 30 minutes but also provides enough protein and starch. This pie looks like a tasty flower!

  6. Laura says...

    We made the chicken pot pie last night and it was the biggest hit!!
    Looking forward to the Rigatoni tonight!!

    Thanks!

  7. Katie says...

    For the baked apples/sausage/potatoes, what temperature would you bake those at? Would be helpful to know. Thanks for the ideas :)

    • Catherine M Davis says...

      400

  8. Nicole says...

    Oh, yum! Thanks for this- that pasta, especially, is calling my name.

    A tip (that I may have learned here?) is to throw a parm rind in soup/pasta/etc. for a real enhancement in flavor. Wegmans (if it’s in your area) sells the rinds as a stand alone item. Seems like it would work well in that veggie soup.

  9. Thank you for this post! As I read the headline I realized that I had meant to submit my question, which was: What can I make when I need dinner FAST and everyone is hangry? You read my mind, thank you! One question: What brand is that lovely orange chicken pot pie plate? I need it in my life!

  10. Elizabeth says...

    It’s so awesome that the majority of these recipes are vegetarian or pretty darn close. Thank you, Jenny!

  11. Genevieve Martin says...

    Brilliant list. If you can describe the recipe in a paragraph then it’s definitely simple and customisable :)

    Autumn is such a good season for food isn’t it, getting back into the old warm comforting favourites that you’ve not had in a while. Last night we had lentil cottage pie and it was so good. (I think this might be an English thing? But the mashed potato topping is delish)

  12. MB says...

    Hit the nail right on the head – thank you!
    I’d love a cookbook compilation of all of Jenny’s and readers’ straightforward dinner/lunch recipes for the home cook. I’m not terribly inventive and overall short on brainpower for coming up with dinners each week. All of these sound like things my two little ones would actually eat as well, thank you!

  13. Emilie says...

    We are a vegan household as well! Would love more vegan ideas. Thank you!

  14. AmCam says...

    Our favorite, quick, plant-based dinners are from Happy Herbivore-
    BBQ Sweet Potato ‘Sundaes’
    Bake/microwave sweet potatoes & split. Top with a dollop of plain hummus, BBQ sauce, and quick coleslaw (slaw mix+ mayo+ garlic & onion powders)
    Italiano Quesadillas
    Steam chopped broccoli, heat cast iron skillet. Spread hummus over half a flour tortilla, sprinkle with broccoli and salt/pepper/Italian seasoning, fold and heat on skillet until crisp. Cut into wedges and serve with marinara for dipping.
    BBQ Nachos
    Quarter cut corn tortillas, place on baking sheet, bake until crisp. Warm corn and black beans, dice tomatoes, mix with BBQ sauce. Top mixture with diced avocado, green onions.

  15. steph says...

    Hi Jenny, Loving how veg-forward your recipe ideas are. Would you consider sharing more dairy-free options as well? Vegan household here. Thanks!

    • Alice says...

      I’d argue that the majority of these could be very easily veganized with vegan sausage, chickpeas instead of chicken in the pot pie, a vegan cheese instead of parmesan or mozzarella?

  16. Monica says...

    I eagerly await that moment when “it feels like fall” – hey, another thing we need a word for – and I work miso soup into our weekly routine, sometimes daily if we’re under the weather.

    Tonight I made miso mushroom broth with wakame and kombu sea veg, carrots, onions, lots of ginger and garlic and added egg and thin rice noodles. Perfectly salty and delicious!

    We switch to a simple macrobiotic way of eating in the cold months: steamed vegetables, rice, beans, fish. My kids love it too!

  17. For the nights I don’t want to think about dinner I roast whatever veggies we have – potato, pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot, broccoli etc, grab some chicken thigh fillets and halve them and then marinate them in something – honey soy (equal parts honey and soy sauce, tablespoon of lemon juice, garlic, ginger and chilli to taste and zap in the microwave just to dissolve the honey and meld the flavours), balsamic (balsamic vinegar, squeeze of honey, some whole grain mustard, olive oil) or even just tossed with garlic, herbs and olive oil. Throw them in the oven and then dinner is ready in 30 minutes. I sometimes even turn the leftovers into impossible quiche (eggs, milk, some baby spinach if I have it, grated cheese and about 1/2 cup plain flour) which is another easy meal.

  18. Elinor says...

    We love the Savannah Bisque from Moosewood. We like to eat it with bacon, toast, or ham/pepperoni-and-cheese pinwheels.

    1 shallot, chopped
    Vegetable oil
    2 c sweet potatoes, chopped
    2 c white potatoes, chopped
    Stock (vegetable or chicken), enough to cover potatoes (suggest 4 c)
    1 c shredded cheddar
    3 oz cream cheese
    4 oz pimentos

    Saute shallot in vegetable oil. Add potatoes and stock. Simmer until potatoes are soft (20 min). Add cheeses and pimentos. Blend (we use an immersion blender).

  19. Kate says...

    Dal is the most amazing easy fall meal! So cozy, affordable, easy, endless variations… Priya Krishna has an awesome recipe that’s my go-to (I think she’s also published it online somewhere). I make dal at least once a week and never get bored because there are so many different ways to make it. Different lentils! Different spices! Add some spinach!

    • jane says...

      I love Priya and her cookbook! The first time we made the feta saag we made it two more times that week it was sooo delicious! The several small details like toasting the spices really add up to something EXTRA.

      Also worth noting that the recipes were all inspired off of her super busy computer engineer mother – one of those “super moms” from the last generation so you know they are practical and apparently delicious enough to inspire a career for her daughter!

  20. Nish says...

    That pasta looks soo good! Cooking it this week. And a good reminder to get back into baked potatoes.

    My favourite quick meal at the moment is asian greens, omelette and rice – put on the rice, quickly fry the greens with garlic (or 5mins before the rice is done, put your uncooked greens on top and it steams them), cook a basic 2 egg omelette per person and make a sauce of garlic, chilli, soy sauce, vinegar, a pinch of sugar and a tablespoon or two of boiling water. Pile it all up in a bowl and pour the sauce on top. It’s all done in the time it takes for the rice to cook.

  21. My husband and I made baked potatoes (he’s British so we call them jacket potatoes but basically the same) recently and topped them with leftover white chicken chili, cheddar, sour cream and blue corn chips. It was surprisingly easy and delightful.

  22. K says...

    i had some questions but now i forgot!

    i do remember this question:

    i recently discovered the amazingness of heating up the tray/ cast iron skillet in the oven *while* the oven is preheating so that when the food hits the pan, it immediately sizzles and gets crispy, while the heat of the oven cooks the entire “food” also, not just the surface touching the tray/pan. it’s like the best of both worlds of pan-frying on a stove with the entire hot atmosphere of an oven.

    I used to think I was already doing a pretty good job preheating the oven , but preheating the pan also seems to be even better. My question is, is there ever a reason that it’s preferable to put the pan/tray of food into the oven together, versus putting the pan in the oven first to heat up and adding food later?

    I hope my question makes sense!

    • Elizabeth says...

      I think the reason is that if you heat the pan first, you’ll get more crispy edges on the food than if you put the pan and food in at the same time.

  23. Elizabeth R. says...

    Can we get more details about the oregano spiked red wine vinagrette please?

  24. Nathalie says...

    This is so helpful, thank you!!! My mouth is watering as I think about the pizza salad with beans

  25. Olivia Jane says...

    Oh this post and the thread — thank you all!!

    Our family favorites are:
    – egg roll bowls (https://peaceloveandlowcarb.com/pork-egg-roll-in-a-bowl-crack-slaw-paleo-low-carb-whole30/) — you can easily swap in cubed tofu for pork
    – taco salad: black beans (or turkey) in taco seasoning, ripped romaine, shredded cheese, cilantro, onion, avocado
    – buddha bowls (https://minimalistbaker.com/sweet-potato-chickpea-buddha-bowl/)
    – cheese grits with saucy black beans (https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1019926-cheese-grits-with-saucy-black-beans-avocado-and-radish/)

    Excited to add the sushi bowls and all of Jenny’s recipes to our rotation!

  26. Hilary says...

    If folks have to be more carb aware (hello, gestational diabetes here!) We have been loving Kelly LeVeque’s recipes. My newest obsession: baja fish taco bowls.

    – Put taco seasoning on frozen tilapia (yes, this actually works) and roast in the oven on 400 for 12-15 mins
    – While that’s cooking, heat up some black beans and saute cauliflower rice in a skillet. Cauli rice is sold at TJs, Costco, and basically any other grocery store.
    – When the fish is done, nestle it + black beans over the cauli rice and top with salsa, guac, plain avocado, fresh herbs, lime, whatever you have!

    It’s so fast, so healthy and so dang delicious, we’ve been having it every week!

    • Olivia Jane says...

      Are you saying I don’t have to defrost my tilapia filets??? Game changer!

    • cherry says...

      to Olivia Jane – YES!!! you can even pan fry them from frozen!! I just add a bit of water (or butter + lemon juice if I’m feeling fancy) and cover them so that they steam as well, then remove the cover and flip so that they also get pan seared.

    • Emily says...

      This sounds delicious!

  27. Carol says...

    These dishes look amazing for being quick!

  28. Angela says...

    I made a slow cooker pork shoulder (carnitas) using a recipe from Shutterbean. Tasted delicious and was able to repurpose the leftovers into different dishes – tortilla soup, pork enchilada casserole, quesadillas.

  29. Emily Brown says...

    I’m so excited to make every one of these dinners. I love cooking seasonally and these all are perfect. Thank you Jenny!

  30. Nora B says...

    Help! What oven temp for the roasted potatoes, onion, and sausage? 400?
    Thanks!! This list is literally an answer to prayer, as extreme as that sounds to be praying about food….and getting Trump out…and my kids’ mental health as they ache to see friends…and my job performance….and yes, I also feel so aware of our deep well of privilege and blessings of a safe home, health, and the ability to have groceries delivered to my doorstep. Thanks for all this community does to lift, teach, build, create, inspire, and encourage. It is a consistent bright spot of truth, connection, and beauty.

    • SG says...

      I was wondering the same thing but was thinking 350? 375?

    • Nicole says...

      I make something similar and do 400 degrees for 20 minutes then flip, and 20 more, depending on how brown you like your food. I usually do potatoes, carrots, and sausage with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and rosemary and a lot of olive oil. It’s my husband’s favorite meal!

    • Kelsi says...

      If you’re roasting potatoes, higher heat for crispier edges. I’d do 425 on that recipe if sausages are included. Much higher will burn the onions but lower will result in disappointing potatoes IMO.

    • Maybe a silly question about this baked sausage dish, but what kind of sausage? There’s raw (which has a super-thin casing that slicing into rips apart) or the ready-made kind that just needs heating up. I inadvertently bought the latter, and I was thinking about just doing the sausage separately, on the stovetop, because I figured putting ready-made sausage in the oven might, well, burst?

    • For anyone following along and wondering, I tossed in the whole ready-made / fully-cooked sausage for the last 10 minutes of baking time, and they turned out great. :)

  31. Mims says...

    I have been loving a veganized mulligatawny soup
    one chopped each: onion, carrot, apple
    one cup yellow split peas
    one tablespoon each: mustard seed and curry powder
    3 cloves
    8 cups water
    1-2 Tablespoon better than buoillion veggie concentrate
    I just whack everything into the pressure cooker and give it ten minutes once it reaches highpressure.
    Quick release, then add a whole head of lettuce: romaine, butter or even iceburg that has been roughly chopped. Let it wilt. Use an immersion blender to roughly puree everything. Adjust spices.
    Garnish with cilantro and dollop of major grey chutney.

    • Whitney says...

      This sounds really good. I’m not sure about the lettuce though, does it add flavor? Otherwise, I’m loving yellow split peas. It would be a nice change from my go to- lentils.

  32. I’m certain you just saved me a dozen take out meals this month. So many good ones on this list, but that rigatoni sounds particularly delicious! Thank you!

  33. Kirby Tanner Kurtz says...

    Are those East Fork Pottery bowls?!?

    • Vero says...

      Came here to ask the same question! I’d recognize those anywhere. Such an East Fork lover!

  34. ale norris says...

    ok, coming here to say two things. number 1 – this list is awesome, THANK YOU! and number 2 – chorizo and potato tacos are another one! we usually use soyrizo from trader joe’s, but of course normal chorizo works too. the chorizo cooks up really quickly – while you’re cooking it, cook some peeled potatoes until soft then roughly mash them. mix the chorizo and potatoes together and put them in the chorizo skillet to crisp up a bit, then throw in some tortillas with cilantro, salsa and queso fresco and/or avocado. FREAKIN DELISH and super easy.

    • M says...

      Soyrizo? I’m going to keep an eye out for that at TJs. Thanks. Sounds delish!

    • jane says...

      TJ’s soyrizo IS delish. Very salty but a great vegan version – I’ve tried a bunch and this the best for the price.

  35. Calla says...

    Many of my favorite fast meals involve chickpeas, onions, sweet potatoes and greens. I’ll either toss them in vinaigrette, roast them, and top with a poached egg, or saute them with some spices, them cook them down with some coconut milk and lemon juice.

    • Olivia Jane says...

      We might be easy meal soul sisters.

    • M says...

      Yes! Black beans and sweet potatoes are also a great match.

  36. a.n. says...

    this is the greatest. thank you!

  37. Kate says...

    I need to know, did you have an exploding potato!!

    I always thought this was a silly thing my mom did, but one time we did have a potato explode in the oven! It was fine but I do prick now.

  38. celeste says...

    My kids have been crazy about a simple Cobb salad – a big one for the family, or littles in their Thermoses for school. Not sure what the big draw is, but I’ll take it!

  39. Quyen says...

    We eat “sushi” bowls every week. Rice, avocado, sushi ginger, cucumbers, edamame, seaweed, and some soy sauce. For the fish, I bake any kind of fish with a miso honey topping or I take canned fish and make a sriracha-mayo fish salad. My kids love it!

    • C says...

      Fun! We do Japanese for dinner once a week. Big pot of rice, little bowls of different raw and sautéed veggies, (avocado, shredded carrot, cilantro, fried burdock, shiitakes…) bowl of marinated and fried tofu, edamame, and nori quarters. Then we all make a lot of different sushi one at a time. Yum! Add Tamari and hot sauce!

    • Anna says...

      This has been on repeat since March in my house too! I love adding chunks of ripe mango

  40. Angela says...

    We are not worthy! Thank you, Jenny, for this list! I find I have a handful of easy recipes for summer but then the seasons changes and we just eat takeout! Ha!

    • Jenn P says...

      I end up doing fried rice at the end of almost every week. I call it “Leftovers Fried Rice” and take whatever odds and ends I have from the week and turn it into fried rice. My husband loves it, it’s never exactly the same, and I use up all the last little bits that aren’t quite enough for a full meal on their own.

  41. Lauren says...

    I’m 11 weeks pregnant and literally everything sounds exhausting right now, except making mushroom toasts with gruyere for my sweet husband who has been taking care of me, working, cooking, and cleaning for oh… nine and a half weeks straight. Thanks Jenny, this list gave me hope that I will cook again in the next 29 weeks!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Aww, congratulations, Lauren!

    • Karin says...

      Laughing so hard because I read this as “11 MONTHS pregnant” and just accepted it….COVID brain where a month lasts a year and being pregnant lasts forever!

  42. Agnès says...

    I love reading recipes just for “drizzle” and “crusty” and “toss”. It sounds so delicious. Pity I don t really cook.

    • Raquel says...

      Hi Agnès, if you don’t mind my curiosity, I have a question for you: if you don’t really cook… how do you eat? Take out? Frozen meals? Your partner cooks? Or do you prefer low maintenance meals like salads and sandwiches?
      I feel like I am constantly thinking about what to cook, even more now due to the pandemic. I have friends that don’t really cook and I always ask how they manage to plan their meals and not break the bank. I love cooking but the “obligation” of cooking almost every night is an annoyance! Thank you :)

  43. CM says...

    Yay! My son has been asking me to make a chicken pot pie—I’ve never done it before. This recipe looks so doable!!! Thanks!!!

  44. JP says...

    Dang! You are hitting it out of the park. Thank you for helping parents preserve a fraction of our sanity <3

  45. Kari T. says...

    That rigatoni recipe especially is calling me, but they all sound quick and easy. I’ve made a chicken avgolemono a few times from a recipe I’m fairly certain I got from CoJ and it’s soooo good. Thank you Jenny for this great round-up!

  46. Maggie says...

    This is a great list! I have a burning question – I have been trying to reduce my waste and use of single use plastic/disposable products, particularly in the kitchen (no more paper towels, cloth napkins, etc). One area that has been hard to transition is when freezing things – some of the best methods I know for freezing involve plastic wrap, aluminum foil, and ziplock bags. Do you have any suggestions for freezing meat, bread, etc. without these products? Thanks!

    • Samantha says...

      stasher bags!

    • Jenn P says...

      I’ve been using the flat reZip bags in place of ziplocks to freeze my soups and sauces. I like them better than the Stasher bags because they are easier to get into, the Stasher bag openings seem small to me. But the reZip ones have been working great. They do stain a bit, especially with a spaghetti sauce, but I don’t notice any smell/taste transfer. You can get them on Amazon or at Target.

    • Judy says...

      One suggestion is to wash and reuse ziplocs! I do this frequently and they hold up well for many uses (less applicable but still possible with frozen meat). You definitely don’t need to toss them once they’ve been used once. I probably go through a large box of big freezer bags once every one or two years.

    • Melissa says...

      look up Ziplock twist n’ lock containers. They come in lots of sizes and stack easily for storage.

      Stainless steel steam table pans can also be used in the freezer and put right on the stove or in the oven.

    • Quyen says...

      Stasher bags and other reusable ziplocs are great, but you have to hand wash. Who has time for that?! Not to mention it takes more water than dishwasher. Some you can put in dishwasher, but it doesn’t clean well. I use glass Tupperware. They stack well in freezer and you can defrost in microwave and even bake!

    • nadine says...

      I switched to glass tupperwares. Do you think is a good idea? Or the fact that some air is still trapped will make food go bad?
      I would love a post about tips to be more environmentally conscious in the kitchen and how to reduce waste.
      And tonight I’ll make those rigatoni recipe, thank you! :)

    • Christina says...

      @Nadine. No, I am pretty sure that the food will not go bad, based on the fact that I haven’t ever had anything go bad in the freezer, and I often freeze food reusing plastic ice cream containers, which do leave some air by the top. I also never buy plastic bags, but (hand)wash and reuse those that come with store bought bread, just like my mother always did :-).

    • Anna says...

      We use Stasher bags instead of ziplocks and beeswax wrap instead of plastic wrap. We still use foil since it’s recyclable

    • jane says...

      Yes, after an NPR podcast on how the plastics industry strategically MADE UP useless recycling codes on the backs of products so consumers would believe they were ok to buy because they are being recycled, (they are not), I am aggressively eliminating plastic from my life where ever it will make the most impact: no more shampoo bottles, I refill at the co-op; no more plastic wrap, I’ve invested in glass storage sets. FYI, nearly new ones are often available at thrift stores and are easy to collect there. Bonus is that the freezer looks very tidy and organized! I use masking tape and a sharpie to date and label them because I hate finding unknown items.

      https://www.npr.org/2020/03/31/822597631/plastic-wars-three-takeaways-from-the-fight-over-the-future-of-plastics

  47. Jenne says...

    Thanks for retracting your pooh-poohing of potato-pricking! I hope no one else has to suffer the way I did. :P

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha <3

  48. Sarah S says...

    WOW thank you Jenny! Next week’s meals are planned!!

  49. Kat says...

    That avgolemono recipe is still one of my favorite things to make in the fall ever since discovering your recipe!!! So easy and delicious! <3

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      omg it’s the BEST.

    • E says...

      I’m scared of it b/c of the raw egg … worth trying though?!

    • Kate says...

      Agreed! It is a family favorite! The egg def seems to cook as it is added. It has a silky sauce that seems fully cooked.

    • liz says...

      Greek girl here (Cypriot too!). Literally ate this multiple times a week until I left the nest lol. The egg cooks, but doesn’t get scrabbled egg-y if you follow that process of introducing it slowly. Eventually, it will all be back at a boil so you don’t have to worry. Second, I strongly disagree that the chicken/chicken broth is optional (:D), and strongly recommend making your own chicken broth by boiling a chicken first and using that water for the broth + that chicken for the soup. Slows it down but it’s the right way! Anyway, so weird to keep hearing this recipe brought up on blogs these days, I swear not a single friend of mine had heard of it when I was growing up but now it seems quite popular. Thank god for Yiayias. <3

    • Twyla says...

      The egg definitely cooks in the soup, you just add a bit of broth to the bowl first to thin it out so it doesn’t turn to scrambled eggs when it does. It honestly is so creamy – you’d swear there’s cream in it!

  50. faith says...

    I had a baked potato explode and burn me as a toddler – I can still remember it 40 + years later. My family mocks me for the agressive pricking I do to all potatoes now, but I would say dont skip that step!

  51. Julie Chase says...

    I’m trying to eat more vegetarian during the week, so these are fantastic!

    Some of my favorite quick meals:
    -roasted salmon, either topped with white miso paste mixed with a little sesame and olive oils, or with equal parts whole grain dijon and brown sugar. Serve with favorite roasted veggie.

    -In a deep skillet or Dutch oven brown sausage out of the casing (any kind, I like spicy turkey), add 1/2 sliced white or red onion, after a few minutes add a few minced garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, S&P, then a ton of chopped kale or favorite greens. Toss in 1/4 cup chicken or veggie stock and a can of rinsed white beans, cover, let the greens wilt. Add a dash of red or apple cider vinegar before serving.

    -roast whole unpeeled beets wrapped in foil for 25 minutes (I use red and golden). Add halved carrots tossed in olive oil S&P to sheet pan, roast another 20-25 minutes. Let beets cool, peel with a spoon, quarter, and toss with carrots and a vinaigrette made with cumin and coriander. Add dollops of goat cheese, top with toasted pumpkin seeds.

    -Roast sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and red onions together (I season with smoked paprika), rub a pork tenderloin with spice mix of your choice (I love Penzey’s Galena seasoning). Sear on all sides, finish in the oven, serve with the vegetables.

  52. Laura Wilder-Senger says...

    I have squash and beets for days thanks to my local Farmers Market box! What do I do with beets? Going to search your website now…XO

    • Louisa says...

      I love beets! When I get them, I wrap each one in tinfoil and pop in the oven whenever it’s on for something else (like a pizza or something) – hard to overcook, so I’ll leave them in forever. When done, the peels slip off. I keep in fridge, then make a simple salad of cubed beets with toasted walnuts, blue cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. It’s so simple and so good.

      We also make borscht if the CSA has been overly generous :)

      BEETS BEETS BEETS!

    • Amanda says...

      Laura –

      I love to sherry-roast my beets: in a roasting pan, put your desired ratio of sherry vinegar and water in the bottom (enough so you don’t run out during the process, but not somuch that it comes up over the rack). Place cleaned and trimmed beets on the rack and wrap tightly in aluminum. Bake in a 400 degree oven for around 40-60 minutes, but it depends on the size of your beets! I start pricking them to check softness at 40 minutes. Once cooked and cooled, I use a kitchen towel (make sure to use one you don’t mind staining) or paper towels to simply rub the surface of the beets to “peel” them. The skin should come off easily! You can also skip this step if you’d like.

      I like them sliced with goat cheese and toasted pine nuts, or cubed into my favorite salad with autumn ingredients – think feta or goat cheese, crisp apple, toasted or candied pecans, roasted butternut, pickled onions, etc. :)

    • Emma says...

      Like Louisa said, wrap them in tinfoil and chuck them in a hot oven for a while. No need to peel– just use the foil to pull the skins right off when they come out of the oven. LOVE dicing up hot roasted beets and tossing them on a salad with arugula, candied walnuts, a little leftover chicken, some gobs of goat cheese, and a lemony vinaigrette. SO good. <3

    • Lisa says...

      Thanks for all these people saying you don’t have to peel them! I frequently roast beets, but I’ve always been peeling and cutting them up before I do, and ending up with red fingers. I didn’t think of just leaving them. Seconding the remark that you can’t overcook them. I normally roast mine when I have something else going on in the oven, like roast chicken

    • Meghan says...

      Veggie farmer here! Beets are so delicious and versatile! I especially like cylinder beets as I find them way easier to peel and chop. Here’s some ways we eat them on the ol’ farm :)

      -Beet risotto. Prepare risotto as you would regularly but add 2 cups of grated beets at the beginning (after you add the first broth). If you have beet greens or other leafy greens it’s nice to add a few handfuls at the end as well
      -Steamed beets are nice to top an arugula salad with LOTS OF GOAT CHEESE haha. The cheese is key.
      -Also we add raw grated beets on top of salads
      -Chopped into 1 inch pieces and roasted with olive oil and thyme. Add honey towards the end for a nice glaze.
      -We will also sometimes make a “beet salad” like you would a traditional potato salad with chopped hard boiled eggs and a mayo-based dressing. With dill. So good!!!

    • Kara says...

      Grate your raw beets, toss with some rice vinegar and salt, let sit while you prepare other stuff. Quick pickled beets! Delicious on sandwiches, in buddha bowls, on salads, or on the side.

    • Genevieve Martin says...

      another idea for roast beets: puree into a dip with olive oil, mint, feta, pepper :)

  53. Erin says...

    This is awesome! Perfect timing as my kids transition back to in-seat and I’m determined to start meal planning again. Thank you so much!

  54. Rachel says...

    Ha! Amazing timing. Just yesterday I skimmed all of the COJ food articles from the last couple years looking for a “fast dinners” compilation! Thank you for putting this together! The two recipes that inspired me most from this list are chicken pot pie and Brussels sprouts pizza. Throwing the ingredients for these on my next grocery delivery order now!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yay!!