The Best Simple Recipes: More Than 200 Flavorful, Foolproof Recipes That Cook in 30 Minutes or Less by America's Test Kitchen Editors

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    • Categories: Stews & one-pot meals; Main course; Belgian
    • Ingredients: beer; beef skirts; chicken broth; tomato paste; onions
    • Accompaniments: Parsleyed egg noodles
    • Categories: Pasta, doughs & sauces; Main course; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: store-cupboard ingredients; parsley; egg noodles
    • Accompaniments: Quick beef carbonnade
    • Categories: Stews & one-pot meals; Main course; French
    • Ingredients: beef blade steaks; Niçoise olives; garlic; chicken broth; onions; red wine; rosemary; carrots; canned tomatoes
    • Categories: Chili; Main course
    • Ingredients: onions; ground beef; chile powder; kidney beans; ground cumin; cilantro; canned tomatoes; garlic
    • Categories: Chili; Main course; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: canned or frozen corn; chile powder; canned tomatoes; ground cumin; beans of your choice; canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce; onions
    • Categories: Stews & one-pot meals; Main course; Cajun & Creole
    • Ingredients: chicken breasts; chicken broth; thyme; celery; red peppers; onions; andouille sausages
    • Categories: Soups
    • Ingredients: chicken broth; long grain rice; parsley; onions; eggs; carrots; thyme; chicken breasts
    • Categories: Soups; Moroccan
    • Ingredients: couscous; canned tomatoes; chickpeas; onions; zucchini; chicken broth; rotisserie chicken; garam masala
    • Categories: Soups
    • Ingredients: chicken broth; rotisserie chicken; carrots; all-purpose flour; onions; celery
    • Categories: Soups; Asian
    • Ingredients: fresh ginger; mirin; soy sauce; baby spinach; scallions; Thai garlic chile sauce; sesame oil; chicken breasts; Chinese noodles; chicken broth
    • Categories: Soups; Mexican
    • Ingredients: avocados; onions; cilantro; chicken broth; rotisserie chicken; Monterey Jack cheese; vermicelli short-cut noodles; canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce; canned tomatoes with green chiles
    • Categories: Stews & one-pot meals; Main course; French
    • Ingredients: chicken broth; baguette bread; kielbasa sausages; onions; pork tenderloin; thyme; cannellini beans; canned tomatoes; garlic
    • Categories: Soups
    • Ingredients: tortellini; baby spinach; onions; chicken broth; bay leaves; Italian sausages
    • Categories: Soups; Italian
    • Ingredients: rosemary; onions; Parmesan cheese; chicken broth; pancetta; cannellini beans; ditalini pasta; canned tomatoes
    • Categories: Soups; Vietnamese
    • Ingredients: five-spice powder; beef sirloin steak tips; fresh ginger; Thai garlic chile sauce; limes; rice noodles; cilantro; chicken broth; scallions; fish sauce
    • Categories: Soups; Japanese
    • Ingredients: dried shiitake mushrooms; scallions; watercress; sea scallops; udon noodles; fresh ginger; soy sauce; chicken broth; mirin
    • Categories: Soups; American
    • Ingredients: canned clams; onions; bottled clam juice; parsley; baby red potatoes; thyme; bacon; heavy cream; bay leaves
    • Accompaniments: Garlic toasts
    • Categories: Side dish; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: baguette bread; store-cupboard ingredients; garlic
    • Accompaniments: Quick clam chowder
    • Categories: Salads; Main course; Cuban
    • Ingredients: oranges; chicken breasts; ground cumin; chickpeas; cilantro; Bibb lettuce; pimento-stuffed green olives
    • Accompaniments: Roasted red pepper and goat cheese toasts
    • Categories: Salads; Main course
    • Ingredients: baby spinach; apricot preserves; tarragon; shallots; dried apricots; slivered almonds; chicken breasts
    • Categories: Salads; Main course; Chinese
    • Ingredients: sesame oil; hoisin sauce; napa cabbage; chicken breasts; rice vinegar; chow mein noodles; soy sauce; scallions; fresh ginger; red peppers
    • Categories: Salads; Main course
    • Ingredients: smoked turkey breast; bacon; apple cider vinegar; romaine lettuce; apples; blue cheese
    • Categories: Salads; Main course; Italian
    • Ingredients: romaine lettuce; fennel; provolone cheese; cappicola; eggs; cherry peppers; cherry tomatoes

Notes about this book

  • PytnPlace on August 29, 2022

    Steak tips with mushrooms and Blue Cheese. Made with tenderloin tips, cremini shrooms, cream cheese instead of heavy cream. Would be good with pork tenderloin as well. Very tasty!

  • PytnPlace on August 29, 2022

    Spicy Grilled Shrimp Skewers. Yum! I brushed shrimp with EVOO, Creole seasoning and smoked paprika instead of the cayenne & Salt. Super easy, quick and delish!

  • PytnPlace on August 29, 2022

    Sautéed chicken with mustard and dill sauce. I subbed fresh thyme for dill because that is what I had. The chicken was not cooked through at the suggested time. Next time I will pan-roast the chicken and reduce the wine before I add the broth.

  • BethNH on May 19, 2018

    Chicken Teriyaki Stir Fry This recipe is missing from the list of recipes in the book on EYB. This was quick and easy and made a very serviceable dinner. I'd eat it again but I don't think anyone would be jumping up to request it.

  • neffashley on May 15, 2013

    Good book for tasty weeknight dinners. Everything I have made from here (10+ recipes) took me less than an hour start to finish.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Barbecue chicken sandwiches with slaw

    • mharriman on June 26, 2020

      This was indeed simple... And easy. I was out of BBQ sauce, so I made my own, which elevated the chicken flavor.

  • Barbecue pork tenderloin with cabbage slaw

    • Ivy on June 29, 2015

      Would double the salad part of this recipe along with the dressing. Salad as written in recipe fed 3 adults.

  • Broiled salmon with potato crust

    • mharriman on October 16, 2018

      Wonderful! The potato chip, chopped dill and lemon zest topping was a creative way to produce a quick, nice potato topping. I used Utz original kettle chips. In my oven, two minutes was almost too long. I’d shorten the topping broiling to 90 seconds next time. I made the suggested spinach and garlic accompaniment and it was a good pairing for the salmon recipe. A keeper!

  • Cheesy chicken and broccoli casserole

    • mharriman on June 30, 2020

      This was a big step up in flavor and appeal from the chicken and broccoli casseroles I used to get where I lived while in college. I liked the idea of using whole chicken breasts instead of cut up chicken. I also liked using barely cooked broccoli. This recipe hit the spot for comfort food. I substituted Marsala wine for sherry since I was out of the latter and that worked well. Served over Jasmine rice.

  • Chicken quesadilla pie

    • Laurmel on April 20, 2020

      I’ve lost count how many times I’ve made this recipe. I often pack this for lunch with a little sour cream, salsa, and side salad.

  • Cool corn salad

    • mharriman on May 15, 2020

      Great salad for today’s 85 degree temperatures. I had 10 ounces of ‘steam in bag’ corn, so I adjusted the other ingredients accordingly. This salad went well with grilled shrimp and tomatoes. Easy to make. Will repeat.

  • Easy rice pilaf

    • sarahawker on December 13, 2021

      Served with the Pork Piccata and family loved this very simple dish. Turned out lovely.

  • Fresh country chicken with herbs and honey

    • mharriman on February 14, 2021

      I only did the chicken sautéing for this recipe, so I didn’t give it a rating (used bone in breasts for the Lemon chicken in same cookbook), but the method of cutting the breasts in half crosswise was an aha moment for me. Most grocery store bone- in chicken breasts are way too big for one serving at my house, and this solution solves the dilemma and provides extra pieces for another use. Breast halves were at 160 f in 11 minutes ( after browning) at level 4 on my electric stove.

  • Ginger pork spring rolls

    • BrendaD1962 on October 16, 2022

      The filling and dipping sauce were delicious, however I found the rice paper wrappers to be chewy. This has nothing to do with the recipe, I may have done something wrong as I’ve never used them before. The flavour of the spring rolls was very good though.

  • Grilled honey-mustard chicken

    • mharriman on December 11, 2018

      Tasty! This was easy to make. I brushed my chicken breasts with the mustard sauce and grilled them on a stovetop grill pan for five minutes on each side. Then, I put the breasts in a baking pan for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven. I finished the chicken with the mustard/ sour cream sauce.

  • Herb-crusted steaks with lemon-garlic potatoes

    • mharriman on April 01, 2021

      Easy to prepare. The treatment of first microwaving, then finishing with pan roasting the potato chunks produces surprisingly flavorful potatoes. The herb topping on the steaks is a nice addition (I used basil and Italian parsley). Our tenderloin steaks were on the tough side, so no rating for recipe. Note to self: No more impulse buying of meat at the grocery store closest to my house.

  • Lemon chicken with artichokes and potatoes

    • mharriman on February 14, 2021

      I used bone in chicken breasts and followed the directions for the French country chicken in the same cookbook. Both recipes have you pan sauté the breasts, tent them on a plate, and then complete the entree. We liked the potatoes, artichokes, lemon and garlic on their own but they were kind of disconnected to the already cooked chicken, which could have been served with anything. The chicken needed to be incorporated with the other ingredients during cooking to make it more a part of the entree and meld the flavors. If I make this again, I’d add the other ingredients to the chicken about halfway through the cooking of the chicken.

  • Linguine with crab and sherry cream sauce

    • mharriman on December 14, 2020

      The sherry cream sauce for the lump crabmeat and pasta was lovely but the crab mixed in with it was just okay. I’d repeat the sauce with salmon next time if I were to try it again. Substitution: half and half for the heavy cream. Even with the prep, this was on the table in 30 minutes.

  • Mediterranean tuna melt

    • mharriman on October 20, 2020

      This is a great recipe for enhancing a plain tuna sandwich. I used Afghan flatbread instead of a sliced baguette and Monterrey Jack cheese instead of provolone, since that’s what I had in my fridge.

  • Middle Eastern pita sandwiches

    • mharriman on October 19, 2022

      Excellent! For a burger with so few ingredients, this is the best lamb one we’ve tasted. We love fresh mint, so I added a tablespoon of minced leaves in each pita instead of lettuce. That ingredient added a wonderful complementary flavor. As promised, the recipe was also easy and fast to put together and pan-fry. Changes: I made six patties instead of 12 and put two in each pita. I used prepared tzatziki (Cedar’s brand) instead of making the sauce prescribed. As is typical with the ATK brand , this recipe, some with cooking or add-on variations, also appears in ATK Dinner For Two special edition magazine, the ATK Cook’s Illustrated Meat Cookbook, and the ATK Mediterranean Cookbook.

  • Pan-seared chicken breasts with olives and feta

    • mharriman on February 10, 2021

      This recipe is similar to one I’ve made from Cooking Light but uses bone in/ skin on chicken breasts and doesn’t include cherry tomatoes or fresh basil. We liked this version because the vegetables are sautéed in chicken broth, which gives the entree a fuller flavor.

  • Pan-seared halibut with black bean sauce

    • mharriman on July 06, 2020

      We thought this was very good. This isn’t an overpowering sauce (didn’t use the hot version of black bean sauce) and has a nice subtle flavor. I especially liked the sautéed ginger; it took the black bean sauce to the next level. I doubled my black bean sauce because I thought the mixture was too watery. I followed the pan searing directions verbatim. My fillets came out flaky and nicely browned. Steamed broccoli was a good accompaniment. There was enough sauce that it became a condiment for the vegetable. Good enough to repeat.

  • Pork and broccoli lo mein

    • mharriman on December 04, 2018

      Tasty dish. I used Ramen noodles (chose to not hunt down the fresh Chinese). The sesame oil lends a lot of flavor to this simple but filling entree. Served with a green salad and Riesling wine. Nice!

  • Pork chops with spicy orange glaze

    • mharriman on October 17, 2022

      A quick recipe and easy to put together. We thought the flavor was okay, but nothing special. The quick-cooking sauce doesn't lend itself to much depth of flavor as a glaze since it’s poured over just before serving. I probably won't repeat it.

  • Pork cutlets piccata

    • sarahawker on December 13, 2021

      Very easy and flavorful for not a lot of effort. Served with the recommended rice pilaf.

  • Prosciutto-wrapped cod with lemon-caper butter

    • mharriman on September 22, 2018

      The combination of flavors in this recipe create a restaurant worthy entree. Served with the recommended creamy orzo... and a green salad. Nice!

  • Salmon with asparagus and chive butter sauce

    • mharriman on March 22, 2019

      Very good! I liked this new way (for me) of cooking salmon. I halved all the ingredients since it was just for two of us; the 8 minute cooking time was a bit long. My Wegman’s fish monger did a great job skinning my wild sockeye salmon, but they would have been better poached for 6-7 minutes. Even so, this recipe is indeed easy and flavorful. Served with russet baked potatoes and a garden salad, along with an Oregon Pinot noir. Reminded me of long ago meals from my home state of Oregon.

  • Sautéed chicken with mustard and dill sauce

    • mharriman on October 09, 2018

      This recipe makes a delicious poultry entree, but the directions to sauté the chicken breasts for 10 minutes and then rest them while making the sauce is a marketing attempt to pretend today’s plump retail chicken breasts reach an internal temp of the needed 165 degrees in a short time. Mine were at 80 degrees. I finished the cooking by tenting them with foil in a baking dish, in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes, while I made the sauce. They were then ready to eat at a safe and proper temp and still juicy.

  • Seared salmon with a balsamic glaze

    • mharriman on May 06, 2020

      This is one of the more simple and straightforward salmon with balsamic glaze recipes I’ve tried, and it’s one of the better ones. This pair wells with mashed potatoes or a grain like farro.

  • Seared scallops with lemon, peas, and mint orzo

    • mharriman on February 22, 2020

      Tasty. ATK says this is “ a light dish perfect for a summertime meal” but we found it was good on a cold winter night and it didn’t require any produce or other ingredients that are prime only in summer. I altered the instructions a bit: didn’t use a non stick large skillet. Instead, I used a Le Creuset Dutch oven to make the risotto- like pasta. I pan seared the scallops in a nonstick skillet afterwards. With the butter, peas, and garlic, the orzo is indeed risotto-like. I brought the orzo and liquid to boiling, reduced the heat to a gentle boil, and stirred almost constantly. That worked well. This was an interesting alternative for a pan seared scallop entree. Definitely worth a repeat visit. Went well with German Alsace region Riesling wine.

  • Sesame noodles with chicken and asparagus

    • Jane on March 16, 2011

      Good quick dinner for during the week. Chicken quickly stir-fried then mixed with pasta and asparagus which cook together. The sauce of peanut butter and Asian flavorings was very tasty.

  • Shanghai chicken salad

    • Traycee on September 28, 2020

      Excellent. Very easy and very flavorful.

  • Shrimp piccata pasta

    • mharriman on November 05, 2022

      I made some changes for two instead of four servings and also cut down the carbs. The recipe calls for 1 pound of pasta for four people but a serving size is 2 ounces per person. I reduced the linguine to that amount.i also used whole wheat pasta (Delallo brand). I also reduced the butter to less than half what was called for. Everything else I simply cut by half for two people. I did add grated Parmesan reggiano at the end, along with the parsley topping. Delicious results! My husband and I enjoyed this dish very much. Served with a red lettuce salad and balsamic vinegar.

    • Erica on January 10, 2014

      Simple (as promised), good flavors, pretty healthy. Doesn't knock your socks off but for everyday cooking, a keeper.

  • Skillet tamale pie

    • jenmacgregor18 on September 20, 2021

      Other than having already baked cornbread, this comes together quickly. I baked a box of jiffy cornbread mix in an 8 in square pan the day before & used that. I added some corn to the meat mixture with some granulated onion, garlic & New Mexican chile powder. I didn't have any tomatoes with chile, so I added a separate can of green chiles, split between the cornbread mixture and the beef and beans. It was very good and B & D both loved it.

  • Southwestern salmon cakes

    • mharriman on December 18, 2018

      These were very good but as Bob.NH says, they are time consuming to prepare. I spent nearly an hour chopping and mincing the salmon, herbs, and scallions, making the sauce, and creating the panko crusted cakes. I decided to refrigerate the cakes for a few hours before pan frying them. They held their shape and were easy to flip. My husband and I liked their light texture and flavorful sauce. They went well with an oyster stew I made the day before.

    • Bob.NH on October 04, 2015

      Not simple. Took me 1 1/2 hours to make, but were very good.

  • Steak teriyaki

    • mharriman on December 10, 2019

      Tasty. I made some changes because I thought the amount of sugar (1/4 cup for two people) and soy sauce ( 1/4 cup for two people) was way more than needed and not very healthy. I reduced the soy sauce to 1/3 cup and the sugar to two tablespoons, and it turned out fine. Served over brown rice alongside steamed broccoli. An easy main meal.

  • Stir-fried sesame shrimp

    • mharriman on October 19, 2022

      Another quick and easy recipe from this book. I liked the healthy ingredient list and that it was short. The oyster sauce and fresh ginger gave the dish needed flavor without being overwhelming. I served the shrimp, sauce, and asparagus over brown jasmine rice. Good weeknight meal that took 30 minutes from start to finish.

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  • ISBN 10 1933615591
  • ISBN 13 9781933615592
  • Published Mar 01 2010
  • Format Paperback
  • Page Count 352
  • Language English
  • Countries United States

Publishers Text

The Best Simple Recipes offers more than 200 full-flavored easy-to-prepare recipes that can be on the table in 30 minutes or less in a n easy-to-read paperback format.

Just because time is short, it doesn’t mean you have to settle for a can of soup or a sandwich for dinner, or making one of the many boring and flavorless fast recipes (which often aren’t even as fast as they promise). Our test cooks have created more than 200 recipes that keep the ingredients and cooking time to a minimum and offer tons of flavor and plenty of variety.

By combining steps, minimizing pans, and employing a little test kitchen trickery, our test cooks have made naturally fast recipes even faster, and they’ve made recipes that traditionally take hours ready for the table in half an hour. And while they used a minimum of ingredients, one thing they didn’t minimize was flavor.

While some dinners are naturally pretty fast—like chicken cutlets, pasta, and burgers—we made sure to make every minute count by combining steps, making pans pull double duty, and finding shortcuts wherever we could. But we really put our test kitchen know-how to the test by foolproofing recipes that normally require long stays in the oven or hours on the stove. You can making traditionally long-cooking meals work in 30 minutes— from Skillet Greek Lasagna to a Quick Beef Carbonnade- without sacrificing flavor.

The expertise and knowledge of America’s Test Kitchen comes through in the editorial elements scattered throughout the book. From seeding a bell pepper to how to get easy-to-peel hard-boiled eggs, “Quick Prep Tips” show in one or two steps how to get your ingredients ready fast. “Smart Shopping” boxes give tell readers on how to pick a ripe avocado or what Asian Chili Garlic Sauce is, as well as sharing valuable ingredient information we have garnered over the years on specific ingredients through taste tests. If a recipe requires some assembly, we include steps to visually walk home cooks through the process, so they can see how easily the recipe actually comes together. One-page features in each chapter provide a primer on basic ingredients or teach a quick cooking lesson.

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