Easy dinner recipes: Make these great sandwiches in 25 minutes

You can’t beat a good sandwich when you’re looking for simple comfort food. Stuff your favorite filling between two slices of bread and you're set. And because they're portable, you can grab and go on a busy weeknight. Each of these ideas comes together in 25 minutes or less.

Take everything you love about a BLT and add a gloriously messy fried egg. And melted cheese. It's how Thomas Keller dresses up this classic; start to finish, it's ready in only 20 minutes.

This simple sandwich comes courtesy of chef and cookbook writer Deborah Madison and her husband, Patrick McFarlin, in their book, "What We Eat When We Eat Alone." Ciabatta bread is piled with mustard greens, cheese and roasted red peppers, then cooked in a panini maker or skillet, making for a sandwich that is one of McFarlin's favorites.

It’s a perfect use for leftover chicken (or grab a rotisserie chicken on your way home tonight). Shred the meat and toss it in a bowl along with celery, yogurt, sour cream, tangy lemon juice and curry spice for a quick salad. Stuff the chicken into a halved pita and your meal is ready in minutes.


And for more ideas, click through our easy dinner recipes gallery and check out our Dinner Tonight page, devoted to recipes that can be made in an hour or less. Looking for a particular type of recipe? Comment below or email me at


Total time: 20 | Serves 1

Note: From Thomas Keller.

3 to 4 thick slices bacon

2 slices Monterey Jack cheese

2 slices pain de campagne (rustic country loaf), toasted

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

4 slices tomato

2 leaves butter lettuce

1 teaspoon butter

1 egg

1. Cook the bacon until crisp, drain on paper towels and set aside.

2. Place the slices of cheese on one slice of the toasted bread and place in a toaster oven or under a broiler to melt the cheese.

3. Spread the other slice of toast with the mayonnaise, top with the cooked bacon, the sliced tomato and the lettuce.

4. In a nonstick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Fry the egg, turning over briefly when the bottom is set. (Keep the yolk runny.)

5. Slide the finished egg on top of the lettuce. Top with the other slice of toast, melted cheese side down. Place the sandwich on a plate and slice in half, letting the yolk run down the sandwich.

Each serving (with 4 pieces of bacon): 1,115 calories; 52 grams protein; 50 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams fiber; 78 grams fat; 30 grams saturated fat; 346 mg. cholesterol; 2,192 mg. sodium.


Total time: 25 minutes | Serves 1

Note: Adapted from "What We Eat When We Eat Alone" by Deborah Madison and Patrick McFarlin. It is one of McFarlin's favorites. This recipe makes more mustard greens than are used in the sandwich.

1 bunch mustard greens, stemmed and washed but not dried

1/2 cup water

Salt and pepper

1 garlic clove, pressed or minced

Red pepper flakes, a few pinches or to taste

Pepper sauce or red wine vinegar, to taste

2 pieces ciabatta, or your favorite rustic bread

Olive oil

Grated Gruyere or fontina cheese

Roasted bell pepper cut into wide strips

Dijon mustard

1. Put the mustard greens in a pot over high heat with the water that clings to the leaves plus one-half cup. Sprinkle with one-half teaspoon salt, pepper to taste, garlic and the pepper flakes and cover. After the leaves have collapsed, reduce the heat to medium and cook until they're tender when you taste one, about 7 minutes. Drain, then squeeze the excess water out of the greens. Put them in a bowl and season with additional salt, if needed, and pepper sauce or vinegar to taste.

2. Slather the outside of the bread with olive oil. Cover one slice of the bread (the dry side) with cheese, pile on a half or a third of the greens, and add the pepper strips. Spread the top slice with Dijon mustard, then cover.

3. Cook in your panini maker or in a skillet until the bread is crispy and the cheese melts. When a wave of melted cheese hits the hot surface, there's a bonus tang, but don't let it burn. Slice it diagonally; it's easier to eat that way and it looks jaunty too.

Each sandwich: 611 calories; 20 grams protein; 73 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams fiber; 27 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 16 mg. cholesterol; 1,447 mg. sodium.


Active work and total preparation time: 15 minutes | Serves 1 to 2

Note: You can also serve this as a salad over a bed of greens; add diced fruit or toasted nuts to the chicken mixture for different texture and flavor.

1 3/4 cups shredded roasted chicken

2 tablespoons minced celery

2 tablespoons plain yogurt

2 tablespoons sour cream

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 tablespoon curry powder

1/8 tablespoon ground cumin

Salt, pepper

1 pita bread

4 leaves red leaf lettuce

1. Place the chicken and celery in a mixing bowl.

2. Mix together the yogurt, sour cream, lemon juice, curry powder and cumin in a small bowl, then add to the chicken and celery. Stir well, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Cut the pita in half to form two pockets. Line each pocket with 2 lettuce leaves. Spoon the chicken mixture into the pita halves, dividing evenly.

Each of 2 servings: 420 calories; 418 mg sodium; 110 mg cholesterol; 19 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 20 grams carbohydrates; 41 grams protein; 1.51 grams fiber.