Easy Weeknight Dinners
The simple, fast Italian weeknight dinners I turn to time and time again. - Giada De Laurentiis
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Food Network Recipes
Behold, our April Fool's Day recipe coined by ChatGPT... which actually turned out to be delicious! We asked the internet's most controversial AI tool to give us a unique, original Italian recipe, and it delivered with ravioli nachos.
Between the rich and nutty flavor of hazelnut with balsamic and herbs, this chicken has an elevated flavor that keeps you coming back for more!
A bowl of this pork sausage ragu will have you feeling like you're in the heart of Tuscany. With a base of diced onion and carrot, Chianti red wine, a Parmigiano rind, and aromatic rosemary, this pork sausage ragu is bursting with robust flavors of the Tuscan countryside.
The kind of pasta that makes you sit back and say “Hello lover. Where have you been all my life?” With so few ingredients there is no reason why this one can’t stick around forever!
This vegetarian risotto brings on the savory flavor with mushrooms. Use this as an opportunity to experiment with interesting mushrooms you find at the farmer's market or the grocery store!
This simple and sumptuous pasta comes together in just 25 minutes, all thanks to a few key flavorful ingredients. Canned cherry tomatoes lend tons of sweetness to this sauce, which makes a delicious foundation for fresh crab.
This bolognese is somehow light and rich at the same time! Packed with tons of satisfying flavor and textures, we might be curling up with a bowl of white Bolognese all winter long.
This pasta dish is one of the classic pastas of Rome. It’s traditionally made with guanciale, a cured pork product that’s common in Italy, but it’s a bit difficult to find here: so I opt for bacon instead. Feel free to swap out some of the Parmigiano for Pecorino, or even all of it!
From Rome, with love: here’s how to make a perfect Cacio e Pepe. Cacio e Pepe translates to “cheese and pepper,” which is really all you need other than some pasta and butter to make this deliciously minimal pasta!
Bolognese is one of my all-time favorite dishes, but the reality is I often don’t have the time on a weeknight to make it happen. This recipe is my shortcut!
Ricotta is one of my favorite ingredients to add to meatballs – I love my meatballs to be light and not dense, and the ricotta gives it an amazingly tender texture. These meatballs gain so much flavor from simmering away in your favorite marinara sauce. I like to serve them simply over some arugula or with roasted vegetables, and some crusty bread on the side is a great addition.
Bolognese is one of my absolute favorite classic Italian dishes, and I love it in all kinds of variations. My simple bolognese is an old standby, but I like to switch it up – and in this case, Bison makes for a lighter, leaner choice as opposed to beef. Bison generally has less fat and more protein, which makes it a lighter choice for an easy weeknight – and while some bolognese recipes call for long simmer times, this one just takes 25 minutes to cook up to perfection.
There’s nothing like a one-pan meal that requires little to no prepwork on a busy weekday, and it doesn’t hurt when it’s as delicious as this one! Use any of your favorite quick-cooking veggies in place of kale if desired, like broccoli rabe, broccolini or spinach.
This panini doesn’t call for too many ingredients, but each one packs a big punch of flavor. This is one of my favorite combinations, especially for fall: ham, gruyere cheese, apples and a great quality mustard. It hits every note of salty, sweet, savory and tart. The thyme brings everything together in a really lovely way.
Pan-sear the salmon until it’s golden brown and crispy, and then use the same pan to cook some of my favorite ingredients: artichoke hearts, shallots, sundried tomatoes and baby spinach. It’s so beautiful on the plate! The presentation is absolutely impressive enough to serve when you’re entertaining, but clocking in at 20 minutes to throw it together, it’s a wonderful weeknight dinner as well.
My sister, Eloisa, absolutely loved a farro, broccoli, and cipollini onion dish my mom used to make when we were kids. I re-created the dish, making it a more weeknight-friendly meal by replacing the farro with faster-cooking farfalle pasta and the cipollini onions with peeled and easy-to-find frozen pearl onions.
Minestrone is a beloved Italian soup, and one of the most recognizable ones in the US. It’s a thick, hearty stew with vegetables, and often with pasta or rice. In my version, I opt for heartiness from potatoes and cannellini beans! The step of blending up some of the beans with broth gives the soup a delicious, velvety texture.
Sun-dried tomatoes are chewy, sweet, with an intense concentrated tomato flavor… and they’ve got a beautiful deep red color, too. They’re a powerhouse ingredient because you really don’t need many of them to give a dish tons of flavor. This is also a dish that’s great served warm, or cold the next day. And the best part? It’s so easy, and the only thing you need to really cook are the noodles themselves.
Sweet, pureed butternut squash unexpectedly tastes amazing with shrimp in this pasta! Perfect for a quick weeknight meal!
Chicken Piccata is one of my most popular recipes, and it’s no secret as to why: it’s such a quick and easy dinner to throw together, but the ingredients bring on big flavor, and you can pair it with just about anything. This salmon version is a great change-up from the classic!
“Bechamel” is a milk-based sauce that’s thickened with a roux of flour and butter – it’s a classic French sauce (considered one of the “mother” sauces) but it’s used often in many other cuisines, including Italian. This was the dish we had on cold, rainy days for dinner – it’s the ultimate comfort food.
There are plenty of easy weeknight dinners for fall that require minimal effort. Our mantra: either set it and forget it in the oven, or simplify it altogether! Case and point, turn to these 12 easy weeknight recipes for fall from Giada for a better season ahead. Now, happy (and cozy) cooking!