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5 No-Fuss Dinners For Your Busiest Days

04/20/2015 08:46 am ET | Updated Apr 20, 2015

Shortcuts abound in these supereasy dishes that you can make in just minutes.

By Lynn Andriani

  • Chicken Tenders That Are Crispier Than Any Frozen Variety
    Photo: Alison Gootee
    Making your own breaded chicken fingers is so easy and delivers such excellent results that you'll follow the recipe once, and be making them regularly (by heart) forever. You can use boneless, skinless breast or thigh meat -- or just precut chicken tenders, which are already in inch-long strips. The rest of the ingredients do the work for you, with flour helping the egg adhere to the meat, and egg helping the bread crumbs (use panko for maximum crunch) stick to the flour. Fry the pieces lightly in olive oil until they're just browned -- and be amazed at how quickly you've made a crisp, delicious meal.

    Get the recipe: Homemade Chicken Tenders
  • A One-Pot Asian Supper
    Photo: Johnny Miller
    Lettuce wraps are a great way to eat Asian stir-fries without having to prepare a starchy accompaniment, such as noodles or rice. Just brown the meat with the seasonings, wash and dry some Bibb or butter lettuce leaves while it sizzles, then let everyone pile spoonfuls of the filling into their edible 'cups'. This particular dish uses a few powerhouses -- ginger, garlic and soy and hoisin sauces -- to infuse the ground beef with lots of flavor.

    Get the recipe: Gingery Beef Lettuce Wraps
  • An Unexpected Sandwich You'll Totally Fall For
    Photo: Alison Gootee
    Dinner sandwiches often sound great, until you're knee-deep in assembling what can feel like a zillion components. This rendition, though, relies on just a few key ingredients that are worth much more than the sum of their parts. The recipe starts with scallion butter (that's a fancy term for softened butter that has sliced green onions stirred into it). Spread it on ciabatta, bake until toasted, lay sliced ham on top, add a dollop of ricotta-pea mixture over it then garnish the sandwich with sliced radishes. The pink-and-green masterpiece offers a fresh combination of flavors and textures.

    Get the recipe: Warm Ham Tartine with Ricotta Spread
  • The Vegetarian Pasta With An Insta-Sauce
    Thinkstock
    A 500-degree oven can wreak havoc on some foods; yet, with the right ingredients, the blistering temperature works speedy wonders. Grape (or cherry) tomatoes are such items. As they roast, they burst, leaving you with a sweet sauce that's perfect with nutty, hearty whole wheat pasta. Plenty of garlic and olive oil are the other starring players here, as well as a hefty sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan.

    Get the recipe: Hail Mary Pasta
  • The Mexican Dinner You Can Serve Any Way You Like
    Thinkstock
    We're all about quesadillas, those crispy, oozy tortilla sandwiches that can be made with practically any filling on the planet (here, tender and juicy shrimp). But if you're superpressed for time (or feeling very low-effort), you could call it quits after step one of this recipe, and turn the dish into tacos. After you've sautéed the vegetables and shrimp, just spoon the mixture into tortillas, top with cheese and you'll be eating in no time.

    Get the recipe: Shrimp-Vegetable Quesadillas

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