These simple weeknight meals, featuring the best ingredients of late summer and early fall, leave plenty of time to enjoy evenings with friends and family.
|Spaghetti with Arugula-Mint Pesto
Here, arugula and fresh mint are combined to create a sprightly pesto that’s tossed with spaghetti for an easy dinner. Pair with a green salad to round it out.
|Avocado and Black Bean Tortas
This colorful sandwich, inspired by a Mexican torta, is packed full of fresh vegetables. Black beans may seem like an unusual sandwich spread, but they add protein and flavor to this meatless meal.
|Clams with White Beans, Fennel and Broccoli Rabe
Tender, sweet Manila clams take only minutes to cook. Here, they’re augmented by fresh fennel, saffron and red pepper flakes for a sophisticated dish. Serve with crusty bread brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with black pepper.
Planned correctly, this whole dish comes together in about 30 minutes and tastes infinitely better than takeout. The noodles and fish sauce can be found in the international foods aisle of grocery stores or at Asian markets.
|Sautéed Scallops and Quinoa with Orange-Avocado Salsa
Quinoa mixed with olive oil and a big handful of fresh herbs makes a refreshing bed for the scallops and zippy salsa made from oranges and avocado. This recipe makes a generous amount of both the quinoa and the salsa; toss the leftovers with crumbled feta cheese and pumpkin seeds for a light but filling lunch the next day.
|Grilled Salmon and Red Onions with Nectarine Salsa
This dish shows off two favorite summer ingredients—nectarines and Alaskan salmon. It’s so simple to make, and using high-quality ingredients means little embellishment is needed.
|Grilled Chicken Breasts with Salsa Verde and White Beans
Salsa verde is a fresh, all-purpose sauce that’s delicious on poultry, seafood and pasta. Make a double batch to have extra to use another day. Here, it adds bright flavor to grilled chicken breasts.
|Quick Kabob Pita Sandwiches with Tzatziki
Food on a stick is fun for kids, and the entire family can help prepare this simple kabob recipe. Children can skewer the meat, which cooks in minutes on an indoor grill. Then everyone assembles their own pita sandwiches, adding whatever garnishes they please.
|Stir-Fried Pork and Sugar Snaps with Soba Noodles
Crisp sugar snap peas, young green onions and just a small amount of pork are the basis for a novel dish made with Japanese buckwheat noodles and bold Asian flavors. Finish the meal with ginger cookies and fresh strawberries.
|Grilled Steak with Sweet Peppers
Assorted peppers, quickly sautéed, make a garden-fresh base for grilled steak. A soy-based marinade elevates the flavor of the steak in the time it takes to cut the vegetables. Grill slices of rustic bread with the meat for a complete dinner.
|Stir-Fried Tri-tip with Radicchio
Lean tri-tip is great for stir-frying — the meat can absorb the flavors of the other ingredients, rather than drying out from the heat of a grill. Peppery watercress and pleasantly bitter radicchio balance the richness of the beef.
|Beef, Broccoli and Crisp Garlic Sauté
Broccoli’s versatility and ease of cooking make it popular for a wide range of dishes, such as this Asian-inspired sauté of beef, broccoli and crisp garlic.