If you're in for a long day, chances are, you'll want to get dinner on the table fast. From simple pastas to comforting soups, vegetables, sandwiches, shrimp and mussles, here are 14 recipes that you can make in half an hour or less. Just click on the photos to see the recipes.
Giuseppe's mussels in sambuca
Mussels are steamed in a flavorful blend of fresh fennel, garlic, leeks, cream and white sambuca, the anise-flavored Italian liqueur. Serve the mussels alongside plenty of crusty Italian bread and a cold glass of Vermentino or Albarino.
Spaghetti with arugula and garlic bread crumbs
A touch of fresh-toasted bread crumbs can transform a dish, sprinkled over vegetables or gratins -- they even work magic drizzled over desserts. They can elevate a simple pasta dish too, as Food columnist Russ Parsons shows in an amazingly simple recipe for spaghetti with arugula and garlic bread crumbs.
Luxurious yet frugal, broccoli is simmered in chicken broth until tender, then quickly blended for a thick soup with silky texture. To complement the fresh broccoli flavor, add a squeeze of lemon or a drizzle of grated Parmesan.
Creamy scrambled eggs with fines herbes
Even scrambled eggs work well at dinnertime. Gently cook them to a soft scramble, top with chopped fresh herbs and serve alongside toasted baguette slices. It makes for a perfectly light main course.
Hurley's grilled mussels with red wine and chorizo
The mussels in this dish are first grilled to open them, lending light smoky notes to the shellfish. They're then tossed with a flavorful blend of chorizo, a rich wine reduction, tomatoes, parsley and butter. Hungry yet?
Egg salad sandwich with dill
Chopped hard-boiled eggs are tossed with onion, celery, mustard, vinegar, mayonnaise and a touch of salt for a quick egg salad. The salad is great by itself, but spoon it between two slices of bread with shredded lettuce and fresh dill and you've got a meal that's perfect when you're on the go or looking for a quick bite to eat.
Only a handful of ingredients are used in this easy recipe. The shrimp and all the flavorings are combined in a resealable bag and slow-poached for maximum flavor while keeping the shrimp tender and moist. It's perfect served over a bed of rice.
Steamed corn with clams and bacon
Just a handful of ingredients, including fresh corn, clams and a bacon-rich wine broth, come together for a dish that's pure magic.
Black mussels with fennel salt
Writes our own S. Irene Virbila, "At Jar in Los Angeles, chef Suzanne Tracht gives an Asian inflection to steamed black mussels. She serves a bowl heaped with the sweet plump mussels in the shell and tops them with an emerald thatch of 'water spinach,' or ong choy, a leggy Asian green. The idea is to swish the sweet plump mussels through the juices at the bottom of the bowl and eat each one with a sprinkling of grassy fennel salt made from fleur de sel, toasted fennel seed and lemon zest. Divine."
Zucchini, corn and green chile (calabacitas)
For those who've never heard of it before, calabacitas is a classic Southwestern blend of stewed vegetables. This colorful mix of zucchini, corn and green chile is simply flavored with bacon, onion, oregano and garlic, with a little fresh cilantro to round out the harmony.
Asparagus with bread-crumb-fried eggs
Dinner doesn't get much simpler than a fried egg cooked over crisp bread crumbs and draped over steamed asparagus spears, topped with a drizzle of vinegar for a touch of acidity.
New Mex migas
You say chilaquiles, Food columnist Russ Parsons says migas. Whatever you call them, you can't go wrong with this one-dish comfort food combining eggs, chiles, tortilla chips, beans, cheese, sour cream and cilantro.
Green panini with roasted peppers and Gruyere cheese
This 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.
'Spanglish' BLT with fried egg and melted cheese
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.
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