A whole tube of tomato paste and a whole can of anchovy fillets support half a dozen caramelized shallots in this rich pasta by Alison Roman. Double up the sauce and keep it for weeks.
Ravneet Gill’s Supersmart recipe skips expensive vanilla extract, but still delivers incredible flavor. Don’t skip the night chill or roll the dough balls before chilling. It is this attention to detail that really makes them an exemplary cookie.
Recipe: Perfect chocolate chip cookies
This recipe by Ali Slagle takes the best bits of sour cream and onion dip and applies them to … a chicken dish during the week. The result is a tender (yes, tender!) Chicken breast with a crispy exterior and the flavors of sour cream and onion dip. You’re welcome.
It turns out that feta turns creamy in the oven. That creaminess plays against hot tomatoes, earthy broccolini and light lemon in this weekday dinner from Yasmin Fahr, which is ready in under 30 minutes. Play with them as you like and swap vegetables depending on the season.
Recipe: Pan-baked feta with broccolini, tomatoes and lemon
Forget the beans. This could have been the year of the boneless and skinless chicken breasts at NYT Cooking. Ali Slagles Take uses mayonnaise as a marinade for an extra moist result, while ginger and lime add great flavor to the chicken. But best of all? It’ll be ready in 15 minutes.
Recipe: Ginger and Lime Chicken
Beans had a big moment in 2020, and this recipe from Alison Roman was no exception. This flexible stew is incredibly adaptable: it goes well with broccoli rabe or kale, almost any type of white bean or salty cheese.
This vegetarian take on the French classic is full of flavor and calming. A mixture of mushrooms is best, and as Melissa Clark notes, don’t skip caramelizing everything first. Take a cue from the readers who made it and serve it over mashed potatoes, semolina, or a hearty polenta.
Recipe: Bourguignon mushroom
Another flexible stew, this recipe from Colu Henry is surprisingly rich, yet vegan. Use butter beans or cannellini, cherry tomatoes or grapes, add vegetables or not. And if you prefer (and you don’t mind making the dish vegetarian rather than vegan), finish it off with a very welcome pinch of cheese.
Recipe: Roasted tomatoes and stew with white beans
Yewande Komolafe has a way with tofu. This setting is seared in the pan and combined with a warming reduction of ginger and coconut milk. The bubbly peas are a light-colored counter, but as Yewande notes, any fresh green moment (snow peas, broccoli, asparagus) will work.
Recipe: Crispy tofu with cashew nuts and pea peas
Succulent heirloom tomatoes are best on their own, but this Vallery Lomas cake is perhaps the next best. The tomatoes are embedded in an herbaceous pudding and then baked. Use a pre-made crust to cut prep time.
Recipe: Heirloom tomato tart
Melissa Clark came up with this recipe for Rosh Hashana, but it works for almost any night. The sweetness of the plums compliments the rich, meaty chicken legs and the sharp bite of the red onions. Marinating helps here, so start the night before. But after that this simple, satisfying meal is ready in an hour, max.
Recipe: Sheet-pan chicken with roasted plums and onions
If you love chickpeas and pasta, you are not alone. This flexible twist on Colu Henry’s Roman dish is easy to customize and ready in 30 minutes – a satisfying, hearty main weekday night.
Recipe: Pasta e Ceci (Italian pasta and chickpea stew)
This one-bowl bread from Yossy Arefi is just what you need if you’re craving carrot cake but don’t want to go through large-scale production to get there. (No blender!) It’s an ideal afternoon snack, and the lemon icing is an unexpected alternative to the cream cheese frosting.
After Samin Nosrat’s recipe was posted on NYT Cooking, reports of buttermilk runs came in. It was that popular. From buttermilk? Samin suggests plain yogurt or kefir as a substitute. The result is a burnished bird with tender meat.
Recipe: Roast with buttermilk roast
Inspired by Indian Dal, this meatless meal from Lidey Heuck is great for lunch, dinner and freezing. Thai spices like fresh ginger, turmeric, and coconut milk fill up and brighten the red lentils. Skip the toasted coconut if you’d like, but it adds a nice crunch in the end.
Recipe: Red curry lentils with sweet potatoes and spinach
Pan pizza lovers will be delighted! This recipe, brought to The Times by Tejal Rao from King Arthur Flour’s test kitchen, has a long pause so you need to plan ahead. The result is an aromatic, airy crust that is wonderfully crispy around the edges.
Recipe: Cheesy Pan Pizza
Jerrelle Guy’s simple dessert is just what you need when you want something warm, sticky, and sweet with little effort. Swap out the strawberries for whatever berry you have on hand – frozen or fresh. Some readers have even used stone fruits. They all play well against the cake-like filling, which is sweetened with brown sugar.
Recipe: Strawberry Spoon Cake
The batter for these scones by Joanne Chang from Flour Bakery & Cafe benefits from a short break. Prepare them a day in advance, then bake them in the morning for a tender, flaky treat with fresh blueberries and a maple icing.
Recipe: Joanne Chang’s Maple-Blueberry Scones
This vegetarian option, brought by Alexa Weibel of Brooks Headley from Superiority Burger to The Times, is based on extra firm tofu that is pickled in brine and then deep fried. The result is transcendent and an ideal meatless alternative to a fried chicken sandwich.
Recipe: Superiority burger crispy fried tofu sandwich