How to Cook Everything Fast: A Better Way to Cook Great Food by Mark Bittman

Search this book for Recipes »
    • Categories: Quick / easy; Salads; Main course; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: pecans; watercress; peaches; balsamic vinegar; blue cheese
    • Categories: Quick / easy; Salads; Main course; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: Marcona almonds; apricots; arugula; sherry vinegar; Manchego cheese; smoked paprika
    • Categories: Quick / easy; Salads; Main course; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: spinach; apples; walnuts; goat cheese; balsamic vinegar
    • Categories: Quick / easy; Salads; Main course; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: pine nuts; cherry tomatoes; kale; Parmesan cheese; balsamic vinegar
    • Categories: Quick / easy; Salads; Main course; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: tomatoes; strawberries; balsamic vinegar; feta cheese
    • Categories: Quick / easy; Salads; Main course; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: tomatoes; balsamic vinegar; feta cheese; watermelons
    • Categories: Quick / easy; Salads; Main course; Italian; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: tomatoes; balsamic vinegar; strawberries; mozzarella cheese; bread; basil
    • Categories: Quick / easy; Salads; Main course; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: tomatillos; queso fresco; limes; tomatoes
    • Categories: Egg dishes; Quick / easy; Salads; Main course; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: eggs; arugula; Parmesan cheese
    • Categories: Egg dishes; Quick / easy; Salads; Main course; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: spinach; eggs; feta cheese; lemons
    • Categories: Egg dishes; Quick / easy; Salads; Main course; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: endive; eggs; blue cheese; lemons
    • Categories: Dressings & marinades; Quick / easy; Salads; Main course
    • Ingredients: bacon; endive; radicchio; shallots; balsamic vinegar
    • Categories: Dressings & marinades; Quick / easy
    • Ingredients: prosciutto; shallots; balsamic vinegar
    • Categories: Dressings & marinades; Quick / easy; Cooking ahead
    • Ingredients: chorizo sausages; shallots; balsamic vinegar
    • Categories: Dressings & marinades; Quick / easy; Cooking ahead
    • Ingredients: shallots; balsamic vinegar; Italian sausages
    • Categories: Dressings & marinades; Quick / easy; Cooking ahead; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: nuts of your choice; shallots; balsamic vinegar
    • Categories: Dressings & marinades; Quick / easy; Cooking ahead; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: olives; shallots; balsamic vinegar
    • Categories: Dressings & marinades; Quick / easy; Cooking ahead; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: dried tomatoes; shallots; balsamic vinegar
    • Categories: Dressings & marinades; Quick / easy; Cooking ahead; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: capers; shallots; balsamic vinegar
    • Categories: Dressings & marinades; Quick / easy; Cooking ahead
    • Ingredients: anchovies; shallots; balsamic vinegar
    • Categories: Dressings & marinades; Quick / easy; Cooking ahead; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: garlic; shallots; balsamic vinegar
    • Categories: Quick / easy; Cooking ahead; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: fresh ginger; shallots; balsamic vinegar
    • Categories: Dressings & marinades; Quick / easy; Cooking ahead; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: chiles; shallots; balsamic vinegar
    • Categories: Dressings & marinades; Quick / easy; Cooking ahead; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: cumin seeds; shallots; balsamic vinegar
    • Categories: Dressings & marinades; Quick / easy; Cooking ahead; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: coriander seeds; shallots; balsamic vinegar

Notes about this book

This book does not currently have any notes.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Chicken Marsala with lots of mushrooms

    • Cheri on December 23, 2014

      Prepared as written. As promised, quick and easy. Flavors were nicely balanced. This is a great "company worthy" dish for a novice cook, looks a lot more complex than it really is. We liked it and I will serve this again. I did prepare the mushrooms in a separate skillet from the chicken, then added sauce to chicken skillet to finish, which saved some time, and gave a little more depth to the dish.

    • jbny on July 30, 2015

      good with veal scallops too.

  • Salmon with sweet and sour bok choy

    • lisachile on January 06, 2015

      This was quick, simple and delicious. I added garlic with the ginger. I would double the amount of greens as we all wanted more. Served with brown rice.

    • JKDLady on August 11, 2015

      I agree. This is a terrific dish. I wouldn't change a thing.

    • mharriman on January 30, 2022

      I agree with Lisachile that doubling the bok choy would make this dish even better. I used 1 T Japanese sesame oil instead of 3T butter. I thought that would go better with the Asian flavors and I didn’t want 3T of butter fat in the dish. Served with brown rice. A fairly quick, tasty Asian recipe.

  • Cod (or other thick fillets) and chickpea stew

    • lisachile on January 02, 2015

      This was delicious and quick. We added crumbled walnuts on top for some crunch. I might try to use some sort of crouton next time (maybe made of pita bread?). We ate it with brown rice.

  • Fastest chicken Parm

    • Rita on January 19, 2015

      We love this recipe. I made the chicken version but will soon make the eggplant variation. So easy and so, FAST! -- and so flavorful. It makes a good topping for a bowl of marinara-tossed pasta.

  • Quesadillas with pico de gallo

    • scparks on December 31, 2022

      page 900

  • Greek salad with orzo and shrimp

    • Erica on May 18, 2020

      easy, good. serve on Bibb or a little Gem.

  • Lentil and mushroom stew

    • KissTheCook on March 05, 2016

      P. 506 - used sauteed hen-of-the-woods, sulphur shelf and dried lepista irinas. Most excellent.

  • Shrimp over grits

    • KissTheCook on August 03, 2018

      P. 398 - great with tasso ham (any ham) and no shrimp. Try with shrimp also. Good way to use up leftover grits.

  • Braised lentils with pork chops

    • clkandel on May 20, 2018

      Also added some spinach to the lentils with the broth. The lentils would make a great vegetarian meal with rice.

  • Cherry tomato cobbler

    • clkandel on April 15, 2022

      Quick and easy to make. I made this in the winter so the cherry tomatoes were quite firm. It might have been better to let them sit a while with the salt to draw out some juice. I think the topping would be better with some heat and plan on adding some cayenne next time.

  • Spicy peanut soup with chicken and collards

    • Locavore on October 13, 2016

      Made super quick with leftover rotisserie chicken and rice stirred in near the end. Used a mix of kale and collards and skipped the hot pepper. Yummy!

  • Pan-roasted pork tenderloin with celery root

    • Locavore on October 27, 2015

      made with 3/4 lb pork tenderloin and one celery root for dinner for two -- yummy!

  • Chicken and sweet potato adobo

    • julesamomof2 on March 19, 2020

      This was decent, but a little fussy with having to broil the potatoes and chicken on a separate pan. The end result was pretty good, I just wonder if the method could be adjusted to be easier. After consulting a few other recipes, I added some coconut milk to the broth and if I hadn't I think it would have been very tart.

  • Maple-glazed ham steaks with collards

    • mharriman on February 13, 2019

      Ham and collard greens done right. My husband and I aren’t big fans of collard greens because when we’ve had them, they’re usually way over cooked and have had the nutrients sucked out of them. I wanted to try this recipe because of the short cooking time which meant the collards would retain their nutrients. This recipe uses a wonderful braising liquid to wilt them, and they are yummy. I used the only beer I had in my house- Dos Equis. The glazed ham and greens make a nice combination. I served with skin on mashed potatoes and a green salad.

  • No-cook Spanish skewers

    • mharriman on May 15, 2022

      Very easy to prep and skewer onto toothpicks. 9 ounces of sliced chorizo (3 links), .50 pound of cubed Manchego cheese and 14 dried apricots, cut in half made 28 appetizers. Made ahead for retirement party and sprinkled on smoked paprika before serving. Tasty. Mr Bittman says this serves 4 people. That would be 7 appetizers per person. My estimate is 2 per person (14 people) with other appetizers on table.

  • Garlicky mushrooms

    • mharriman on July 10, 2020

      This is indeed a fast recipe. I cooked the mushroom recipe while my pasta was cooking. It’s not a recipe that wowed me over though. I’d put it in the okay category. Pretty bland. I had all the needed ingredients, including 6 oz of Shiitake mushrooms, and 1/3 of a single serving size of leftover white wine. Those worked with the garlic and parsley to make a lunch for one. I served the mushroom mixture over penne pasta. I think if I had added freshly grated Parmesan cheese at serving time, the mushroom flavor would have benefited.

  • Chocolate chunk banana cupcakes

    • mharriman on March 31, 2020

      Easy and fast to make, as promised. I made these to use up three overripe bananas before they were beyond help, and was a bit surprised the banana flavor added a nice hint of banana instead of an overwhelming one. I used a 3 oz Wegman’s dark chocolate and cinnamon bar and 2 ounces of a Baker's semisweet chocolate bar for the chopped chocolate. The cupcakes were still a bit gooey out of the oven which made the cupcakes luscious. This cupcake recipe doesn’t call for frosting, and I served them plain surrounded by raspberries, but a drizzle of chocolate sauce and /or vanilla ice cream would definitely put a star on these.

  • Jambalaya des herbes with fish

    • mharriman on October 28, 2018

      This was okay. I followed the directions exactly as written and it took an hour. Not fast by any means. We thought the texture was like risotto. It was very creamy, not what we were wanting with this dish. At the end of the cooking time, the celery was over cooked. I’d try this again but cook the rice separately, cook the vegetables separately, and cook the shrimp separately. Then I’d combine them and let the flavors meld for 5 minutes or so. Not only would it be faster, the vegetables would retain some crispness. On a high note, I calculated the calories— 245 per serving. Very healthy, lower calories dish.

  • Salmon and asparagus with toasted bread crumbs

    • mharriman on January 11, 2019

      Nice! This is indeed easy and pretty fast. My husband and I really liked the toasted breadcrumbs that top the salmon and asparagus. This recipe calls for a lot of saturated fat: butter and canola oil, so it’s not terribly low calorie. I used sockeye salmon which needed fewer minutes in the oven than the asparagus— which I am noting here for next time as the salmon was a bit over cooked. This recipe went very well with a barley and pomegranate salad from Plenty Cookbook.

  • Pan-seared halibut with garlicky spinach

    • mharriman on April 03, 2020

      This was just okay. The olive oil/ lemon juice bath for the fish didn’t enhance it all that much, and the sautéed spinach was good but the garlic and toasted bread crumb topping didn’t add much depth. This reminded me of an entree my mom used to make in the ‘60’s- wholesome and satisfying but missing any wow factor. These days I’ll settle for wholesome.

  • Smoky shrimp scampi

    • mharriman on December 03, 2018

      Delicious! I used large rather than medium shrimp, and they were heavenly in the olive oil, garlic, parsley, and smoked paprika. I served over lightly buttered egg noodles.

  • Charred Brussels sprout salad with walnuts and Gorgonzola

    • mharriman on February 07, 2019

      A nice change from our regular evening lettuce salad. I pulsed my Brussels sprouts, garlic, and olive oil too much for the mixture to be coarse, but the end result was still very, very good. The Gorgonzola added a wonderful sharp contrast that we loved. Next time I’ll be much more careful and only pulse briefly. On another note, we thought the toasted walnuts needed to be chopped rather than left whole. I’ll definitely repeat with these changes.

  • Spinach with apples, walnuts, and goat cheese

    • mharriman on August 16, 2019

      Excellent! The highlight of our dinner tonight. We loved the sliced apples, walnuts, and goat cheese nestled in the spinach leaves and thought the balsamic vinaigrette was just right. I have a hard time being creative with spinach for salad, especially since strawberry season is about over. This is an easy way to make it interesting. I will definitely be adding this salad to our rotation.

  • Spaghetti with mushroom Bolognese

    • markus_mihael on May 15, 2016

      Double the veggies to make it LowGI

  • Pasta with mushrooms and bacon, risotto style

  • Hoppin' John with collards

    • swegener on January 28, 2015

      This was indeed quick and easy, and delicious. I'm not a big rice eater, but wanted to ring in the new year with this traditional dish. The one thing I'd do different is either omit the bacon, or reduce it. The bacon flavor was strong, but the actual bacon was sort of flabby. I also would like more collards, but that is a personal preference.

  • Udon with teriyaki chicken

    • sldoug on November 26, 2015

      Made November 2015. I used precooked udon (all my store had) but one of the packages had been contaminated, so I made a questionable substitution of a package of noodle from a cup o' noodles (rinsed of chicken flavor), which was all I had. Noodles aside, the flavor was good but not great, a bit too much soy and not enough balance. My kids liked it so I might make it again, but I only thought it was okay.

  • Broiled ham and Gruyère with apples

    • sldoug on March 03, 2016

      Made these in a pan but loved the idea of keeping them warm in a 200 degree oven. That really upped the crispness, which was awesome. Unfortunately, I had a hard time getting the cheese to melt when pressed up against cold ham and cold apple slices, and once the apple slices warmed up, they lost their sweetness, which was really important to the balance of the sandwich. The potential was there; maybe next time I'd slip the apples in after the sandwiches were done?

  • Chicken, bacon, avocado, and tomato wrap

    • sldoug on April 19, 2015

      Made 4/18/15. Sprinkled chicken with a bit of cheddar and used soft flatbread instead of wraps. Drizzled with bacon fat. So many good flavors! Salting liberally (both the chicken and the assembled wrap) is key. I'm not a huge avocado fan, but that salty, limey avocado was delicious enough to eat on its own. Next time I'd stick with wraps instead of flatbread, as the sandwiches were very messy without a better container. So good!

    • sldoug on May 23, 2016

      Made again but this time they weren't as great. I used the "even faster" tip and stir fried the chicken and bacon together and somehow I felt the bacon was less noticeable. I also sliced my tomatoes too thick and used medium flour tortillas, which were just too small. I'm still a fan of this recipe, but this time it just wasn't as delicious. It's key to remember that the veggies are just deconstructed guacamole (minus the cilantro), so consider the ratios accordingly.

  • Chicken and black bean burrito

    • sldoug on August 17, 2015

      These are so good. I love how fast and full of flavor they are, and they are flexible enough for my whole family. I say they aren't complete without sour cream though. I was worried about the potential blandness of the rice, but the liquid from the pico soaks in perfectly.

    • sldoug on January 08, 2016

      I made these as burrito bowls with Mexican rice instead of regular and I reduced the amount of pico de gallo by a third. The timing is messed up if you don't make the rice according to the recipe, but still, I love the quick and easy salsa and the flavorful chicken and beans.

    • sldoug on April 05, 2016

      Used this recipe as a base for burrito bowls for a crowd. Kept the chicken and black beans separate but still seasoned them (split the garlic and spices in half), and multiplied the recipe by six. I only doubled the pico though, since the recipe already makes a lot. Six smallish tomatoes and one large onion.

  • Homemade chicken ramen

    • sldoug on May 15, 2015

      Made 5/15. Used four chicken thighs instead of three but otherwise kept the recipe the same. Followed the variation to add the eggs like egg drop soup because we don't love fried eggs, and added probably an extra half tablespoon of soy sauce. Overall it was really good although really, really noodley. The eggs curdled but that was fine. I wished for a bit more chicken, but ultimately it was a very family friendly recipe that I would definitely make again.

    • sldoug on December 13, 2015

      Made December 2015. My eggs didn't curdle this time and this once again proved a nice, easy meal for my family. Served it with soy and mirin cucumbers and toasted sesame seeds for garnish.

  • Broken wonton soup

    • sldoug on April 19, 2015

      Made 4/17/15. Followed the recipe but added probably an additional 3 tsp of soy sauce. The flavors and the concept were so good but walnut sized meatballs were a bit big and despite my desperate stirring, my wonton wrappers all sunk to the bottom and clumped up. I would absolutely make this again but I might use egg noodles instead of wonton wrappers (with a bit more broth to compensate -- or maybe just fresh egg noodles) in order to get that slippery wonton effect without the unwieldiness and clumpiness of the actual wrappers.

  • Smoky two-potato and ham hash

    • sldoug on August 27, 2015

      Made this for dinner and served it with the recommended cumin chili black beans and warmed tortillas. I made kind of a mess of it by forgetting to add in the paprika until after I put the potatoes in the pan, which then required me to stir things around, which then required more oil (way more). Plus, my heat was too high, so the bottom burned, although ultimately that didn't matter. I used slightly more than 2lbs of potatoes and I think this would have been best with slightly less than 2lbs as my pan was very, very full. Two tablespoons of oil for the potatoes is definitely the minimum necessary, and do not cook at higher than the lowest medium-high you have. We ate the hash and beans in burrito form and it was much tastier than I expected, but my kids didn't love it enough to warrant making it again. Oh well.

  • Oven-fried chicken with roasted corn

    • sldoug on August 23, 2015

      I really liked the flavor of the chicken, although not overcooking it is key, since the juice from the chicken makes the crispy crust a soggy mess. I'd definitely make the chicken again though, just cook it more carefully.

  • Cucumber salad with soy sauce and mirin

    • sldoug on December 13, 2015

      Made December 2015 to accompany chicken ramen. Easy, flavorful treatment for cucumbers.

  • Soy slaw

    • sldoug on November 26, 2015

      Made November 2015 with Udon with Chicken Teriyaki. I don't usually eat slaw because it seems watery and gross, so I might not be the best judge of this one. I used bottled lemon juice instead of fresh add the result was extremely lemony. I added sugar to tame it a bit but I only made it edible, not good. And sure enough, within minutes it was sitting in a pool of liquid. Would not make again.

  • Chicken Stroganoff

    • sldoug on January 24, 2016

      I used just under a pound of mushrooms and a bit over two pounds of chicken (what I had) but otherwise followed the recipe. The flavors in this dish were comforting and delicious although I might have preferred a bit of tomato paste instead of the tomato. Served it over boiled potatoes but the sauce was so thin that egg noodles would have been the better choice. I also recommend a bit of cornstarch to make the sauce a bit silkier.

    • sldoug on June 26, 2016

      Made this again, this time with two tablespoons of tomato paste and a tablespoon of dried dill since I forgot entirely about buying fresh. I served it with about six ounces of cooked, buttered egg noodles, and that was a good amount. My mushroom and chicken ratios were about the same as last time. It turned out well although I think I might drop it down to one tablespoon of tomato paste and make every effort to remember the fresh dill.

  • Pork tenderloin with butternut purée

    • sldoug on January 17, 2016

      Followed the recipe exactly but this wasn't a spectacular meal. The pork definitely needed more flavor and the butternut squash puree was tasty on its own but not a great fit with the pork. Neither was compelling enough to bear repeating.

  • Pumpkin soup with apples and pumpkin seeds

    • Hannaha100 on November 19, 2017

      Fairly easy, although it took me a few reads to understand instructions. Pumpkin seeds can be roasted in same pot to save washing or separately to speed things up. Used oat cream. Soup was nice but one for fans of subtle flavours. Missing some oomph for me. Toddler ate and said "it's good".

  • Rice bowl with chorizo and pineapple

    • puddlemere on November 21, 2018

      I used soy chorizo and feta, and I replaced the red onions with fried shallots. The flavor combo was good, but I felt like it needed a sauce of some kind.

    • aceedubs on March 30, 2022

      I make this all the time, but sub crumbled goat cheese for queso fresco. The goat cheese gets melty and makes kind of a creamy sauce for the rice.

  • Broiled eggplant and tomato salad with peanut-soy dressing

    • khopkins1012 on August 06, 2020

      This made a good, easy side dish. I replaced fresh chilis with dried, red pepper flakes; the soy sauce with coconut aminos; and red onion with green onion. I also added Thai basil.

  • Curry-rubbed pork tenderloin with mango salsa

    • khopkins1012 on September 22, 2020

      Made as directed. I’d definitely make it again. From start to finish, it took me 35 minutes.

  • Sautéed sweet potatoes

    • laurabead on May 30, 2019

      Neither of us liked this treatment of sweet potatoes. We didn't like the texture, and we missed the smoky taste from slow roasting them.

  • Miso soup with tofu, soba, and bok choy

    • deboChicago on August 09, 2019

      Very easy and delicious.

  • Cheddar waffles with bacon maple syrup

    • kaityblueeyes on November 14, 2022

      This were very tasty. Made about 4 Belgian waffles.

  • Molasses waffles with ginger maple syrup

    • kaityblueeyes on November 21, 2022

      These were a tasty variation. The molasses flavor was very slight, add more for stronger flavor. I haven’t been able to find ginger root in the store recently so used ginger paste for the syrup which gave a very strong ginger taste. Served with fresh raspberries.

  • Stir-fried tofu and carrots with soy and mustard

    • kaityblueeyes on November 17, 2022

      This was great, easy weeknight meal! Had almost nothing in my fridge but had all of these ingredients! My husband loved the carrots.

  • Manchurian tofu and cauliflower

    • kaityblueeyes on November 29, 2022

      Odd combo but it was actually delicious! Used frozen veggies instead of cauliflower. Had all the ingredients so no need for an extra store run. Loved it.

  • Spaghetti with nearly instant Bolognese

    • eileentien on November 12, 2022

      Fast and easy. The taste was just ok though.

  • Bone-in chicken noodle soup

    • eileentien on November 03, 2022

      It was simple and fast to cook. The flavor was just ok for me. My 5-year-old daughter loved the soup! I would halve the egg noodles next time.

  • Zucchini fattoush

    • aceedubs on July 22, 2022

      Instead of crisping pitas, I sometimes add lightly crushed pita chips

  • Peanut-coconut chicken tenders

    • Trishnotjustnyt on March 21, 2023

      Replace half the warm water with soy sauce next time

You must Create an Account or Sign In to add a note to this book.

Reviews about this book

This book does not currently have any reviews.

  • ISBN 10 0470936304
  • ISBN 13 9780470936306
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Oct 07 2014
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 1,056
  • Language English
  • Edition 1
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Publishers Text

In this must-have book, Mark Bittman streamlines and improves everyday cooking with 2,000 simple, innovative, and delicious recipes and a definitive game plan for becoming a faster, more intuitive cook.

The secret to cooking fast is cooking smart—how you choose and prepare ingredients and use your time in the kitchen. In How to Cook Everything Fast, Mark Bittman’s latest innovative, comprehensive, must-have culinary reference, he shows how anyone can make 2,000 simple, incredibly flavorful dishes incredibly fast—in under 45, 30, even 15 minutes—including Split Whole Chicken and Vegetables, Skillet Meat Loaf, Báhn Mì, Potato and Spinach Saag, and Crisp Pork and Watermelon Tacos. Approaching every part of cooking with a fresh eye, Mark reimagines how to use ingredients, equipment, and techniques to boost speed, such as running ziti under the broiler and simplifying mole to its flavorful essentials. Even the recipe format enables efficiency by assigning prep work to natural downtimes that occur in cooking. The result is a truly easy-to-follow game plan for discovering an all-new repertoire of fantastic recipes and, most importantly, for becoming a faster cook every time you use the book.

Other cookbooks by this author