5 Weeknight Meals You Can Make in Under an Hour

In life, we don’t always recommend you cut corners. But, hey, in the kitchen? Now that’s a different story. Thanks to some handy store-bought ingredients, restaurant-worthy dishes known for toil and trouble are ready in no time. Here are five of our favorites, ready for the table in under an hour for your weeknight meal.

This classic French dish typically takes hours on end to prepare. Thing is, dinner needed to be on the table a half-hour ago. Don’t go giving up on the craving though, because at a supermarket near you, juicy rotisserie chickens are already rotating to plump perfection. Take one home, get a red wine sauce simmering— think bacon, mushrooms and frozen (plus pre-peeled!) pearl onions — and slip in pieces of chicken when no one’s looking.

You can’t whip up true shepherd’s pie without whipping some potatoes. Or can you? After cooking the ground beef in a skillet — with extra-easy frozen veggies in tow — reach for frozen potato tots rather than peeling potatoes for your topping. Not only does this freezer-aisle gem cut a huge step out of your dinner prep, it also adds a crunchy, textural element to your family’s shepherd’s pie.

An African dish like this traditionally comes together in an earthenware pot — a tagine — that sits over coals while the contents reach slow-cooked, fall-apart perfection on the inside. Doesn’t sound like weeknight material, eh? Think again. This veggie-packed tagine recipe is brimming with shortcut ingredients like canned chickpeas, dried apricots and frozen butternut squash. Hit it with harissa and spices, then prep the couscous as the tagine simmers.

Food Stylist: Jamie Kimm
Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin


Food Stylist: Jamie Kimm Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin,Food Stylist: Jamie KimmProp Stylist: Marina Malchin

Serve creamy Polenta with Roasted Tomatoes as a main or side dish. Canned plum tomatoes and instant polenta from your pantry become extra-hearty when Swiss chard and farmer cheese get involved.

food stylist: Jamie Kimm
Prop stylist: Marina Malchin

Cold Red Curry Noodles_6.tif

food stylist: Jamie Kimm Prop stylist: Marina Malchin,food stylist: Jamie KimmProp stylist: Marina Malchin

If your pantry’s stocked with ingredients like whole-wheat spaghetti, crunchy peanut butter and flavorful rice-wine vinegar, Food Network Magazine’s Cold Curry-Peanut Noodles can always be on stand-by. Serve it to the side of grilled salmon for a well-rounded meal.