10 Supermarket Buys for Faster Dinners

Stock up on versatile fast-fix ingredients to simplify dinner preparation.

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Washed Baby Spinach

Raw or cooked, these greens add protein and iron to any dish. Try baby spinach in salads, stir-fries and soups.


A few minutes is all it takes for it to be table-ready, and couscous is as versatile as cooked rice; try it served alongside roasted meat or chicken, paired with sauces, as a stuffing or to thicken a soup.

Frozen Shrimp

Defrost a bag of shrimp in 10 minutes (or less!) by immersing it in a bowl of water. You’ll have a protein that takes three to five minutes to cook, depending on whether it’s steamed, boiled, sauteed, grilled or roasted.

Precooked Polenta

Depending on how it’s prepped, these rolls work as a stand-in for pasta, rice or bread: Try them sliced for personal pizzas/flatbreads, mashed into a gravy or sauce, or chopped and sauteed in a stir-fry.

Refrigerated Pizza Dough

Pizza and calzones are solid options, but try stretching the dough extra-thin and baking it for flatbread or heating it in a pan for flour tortillas.

Frozen Shelled Edamame

This choice is protein-rich and has a soft texture that’s just as pleasant pureed for a dip or sauce as it is whole and tossed into salads, stir-fries or eaten plain for a snack.

Rotisserie Chicken

Carved, shredded, sliced or chopped, rotisserie chicken works as a topping or filling, in a soup or salad, cold or heated through.

Canned Beans

Cost-effective and rich in fiber, canned beans can be used whole to whip up a chili or fortify a soup; or mash them for a side or a burrito filling.

Frozen Brown Rice

Serve healthful hot grains in minutes as an accompaniment to a quick vegetable saute or roast chicken; leftovers also make a hearty addition to soups and casseroles.

Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese

Grate or shave this cheese over pasta or vegetables for a savory fix that adds richness in the simplest dish. Sprinkle a layer over a casserole and broil until golden for a quick crust.