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200+ Weeknight Dinner Recipes, Vetted by the Man Repeller Community

My four-year anniversary of working at Man Repeller just so happened to fall on the day last week that over 200 commenters helped me compile a list of go-to weeknight dinner recipes. Though the timing may have been coincidental, I couldn’t help feeling an extra tablespoon of gratitude (cooking-adjacent pun intended)–not only for everyone who took a few minutes to contribute something thoughtful, but also for the reminder that, at its best, the internet can be a truly wonderful place to hang out, even if I’m slightly biased toward this particular corner of it. TL;DR–thank you all for being here, is anyone hungry?

I personally can’t scroll through the comment section of the aforementioned post without wiping drool from the corner of my mouth, which is a testament to the deliciousness of the recipe ideas that were being tossed around. I am very much looking forward to becoming a reformed weeknight dinner person, but first I want to return the favor of your submissions with a little organizational zhushing that will hopefully make our collective recipe-making initiatives a whole lot easier to facilitate. Put on your chef’s hat and scroll down for a full recap of the recommended recipes, formatted by category.


Did Someone Say Pasta?

Links to recommended pasta recipes from around the internet:

Quick Pasta and Chickpeas from Smitten Kitchen

Broccoli Bolognese with Orecchiette from Bon Appétit

Mushroom Pasta from Bon Appétit

Spaghetti Pangrotto with Crispy Eggs from Smitten Kitchen

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Spicy Chicken Sausage and Mushrooms from Cup of Jo 

Simple Carbonara from Bon Appétit

Bucatini all’Amatriciana from Bon Appétit

Pasta Puttanesca from The Guardian

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Lots of Kale from Bon Appétit

Crispy Tortellini with Peas and Prosciutto from Smitten Kitchen

Roasted Tomato and Pancetta Pasta from Martha Stewart

Rigatoni with Sausage, Beans, and Greens from Bon Appetit

Additional pasta recipes from commenters:

“Lemon Gnocchi with Artichokes”

  • Requires gnocchi, frozen (or jarred) artichoke hearts, kale, lemons, olive oil, and parmesan. I often add garlic or capers or whatever I happen to have on hand. 
  • Heat olive oil in a pan or wok, add artichokes and gnocchi and sauté until they’re heated and coated with oil. Add salt and pepper.
  • Add enough water to barely cover everything and cook until the water mostly evaporates and the starch from the gnocchi makes the whole thing creamy (around five minutes).
  • Add kale, tons of lemon (the juice from one small lemon should do it), and more seasoning (I usually add chili flakes here) and cook until it’s all creamy and lemony.
  • Serve with cheese (parmesan, feta, goat) and/or fresh herbs.

“Coconut Almond Butter Noodles”

  • First, cook some rice noodles, because the other quantities depend on how many noodles you have.
  • Fry some mushrooms (or any vegetable you like) with garlic.
  • Add spring onions, and a bit of chopped chili.
  • Add a good glug of coconut milk (eyeball the amount based on noodle quantity).
  • Add 2-3 tablespoons of almond (or any other nut) butter, a couple of squeezes of lime, a teaspoon of miso, and some cayenne.
  • Finally, add the cooked rice noodles and coat with the sauce. Serve with your favorite hot sauce and some toasted sesame seeds.

“Veggie Pasta”

  • I usually choose a protein and veggie that I can throw over pasta with butter and garlic. It requires almost no prep work.
  • First, get water boiling so you can throw pasta in as you start cooking other things.
  • I’ll sauté either shrimp or ground chicken or sausage in a pan with garlic, butter and seasoning (Tony’s is my favorite, but you could use the dried oregano and red pepper flakes you have from the spice rack).
  • Then I’ll either steam spinach or broccoli and toss it all over the pasta once cooked!

“Lemon Sour Cream Pasta”

  • Cook spaghetti and add sour cream, juice of one lemon, pepper, and salt. That’s it.

“Pasta e Ceci”

  • Heat up some olive oil in a pan and add a big blob of tomato paste (buy in a tube, keep in fridge).
  • Toss in some red pepper flakes, and microplane in a clove or two of garlic.
  • After these cook up for a bit, add in a rinsed can of chickpeas, let it hang out for a minute or so, then add some water (I usually use the empty can to measure out about a can and a half) and let it come to a boil.
  • Add salt and throw in a handful of short pasta like orzo or ditalini.
  • When the pasta is al dente, it’s done! You’re left with a soupy-stew type thing that you can top with more olive oil, a little grated parmesan, some pepper, whatever. Sometimes I throw in a handful of spinach as the pasta is finishing to get some greens in there, too.

“Zucchini Pasta”

  • Fry zucchini slices and sun-dried or fresh tomatoes in olive oil with garlic, salt and pepper and put it on any type of pasta–you could also add mushrooms, spinach, or kale! Basically any vegetable that cooks well when fried.

A Chicken in Every Pot

Links to recommended poultry recipes from around the internet:

Chicken and Mushroom Congee from Martha Stewart

Additional poultry recipes from commenters:

“Cheesy Zucchini Chicken” 

  • Chicken breasts
  • Grated parmesan
  • Grated zucchini (with as much moisture squeezed out as possible)
  • Chili flakes
  • Mix the zucchini, parmesan and chili together. Place on top of the chicken breasts and bake in a 350 oven for ~20 mins. Side with mashed potatoes, veggies, couscous, rice–anything you fancy!

“Chicken Bacon Brussels Bowl”

  • Chop brussel sprouts, coat them in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast in oven for 25-30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook 1-2 strips of bacon on the stove.
  • Then, cook chicken breast in bacon grease (yum).
  • Add brussels to bowl, top with chicken, bacon, blue cheese crumbles, and Tessemae’s Avocado Ranch.

“The Best Way to Cook Chicken Breasts Perfectly”

  • Get a frying pan with well-fitting lid.
  • Heat to medium with some oil.
  • Pat chicken with paper towel and season with salt and pepper (I often add garlic powder).
  • Place in pan; it should be hot enough to make a searing sound when it goes in.
  • Brown on each side, about 5 minutes each.
  • Place the lid on the pan and turn heat down to low. From this point until the end of the recipe, DO NOT lift the lid up.
  • Leave on low heat for 10-20 mins depending on the size of chicken breasts/tenders.
  • Again, leaving the lid ON, turn the heat off and leave for another 10-20. BOOM perfect chicken!

Meat Me in St. Louis (Sorry)

Links to recommended meat recipes from around the internet:

Sausage, Red Wine, and Butter Bean Casserole from Easy Peasy Foodie

Additional meat recipes from commenters:

“Breakfast Burritos” 

  • All you really need are eggs and a tortilla wrap–then go crazy with veggies, meat/meat substitutes (like soy chorizo) plus cheese and a garnish.

“Sausage with Beans and Tomatoes”

  • You need a cast iron pan that can go in the oven.
  • Cook two sausages in the pan until just brown, add a tin of butter beans in tomato sauce, whole fresh cherry tomatoes and lots of black pepper. Cook in the oven for around 15 minutes, crack an egg on top, put it back in for 7 mins, put the whole thing on a plate with napkin underneath and eat straight from the pan with some crusty bread.
  • Add a dollop of crème fraîche and some lemon juice for extra deliciousness.

Seafoodies Unite

Links to recommended seafood recipes from around the internet:

Shrimp and Basil Stir-Fry from Bon Appétit

Shrimp Pad Thai from Food and Wine 

Roast Fish with Curry Butter from Epicurious

Additional seafood recipes from commenters:

“Baked Salmon”

  • Put a salmon fillet on some aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic salt pepper–and whatever other spices you fancy.
  • Fold up aluminum foil into a parcel and put into the oven for 20 minutes.
  • At the same time, steam or grill some vegetables like broccoli or asparagus and then serve all together with hummus.

“Homemade Poke”

  • Cook however much brown or sushi rice as you want, and add sushi vinegar seasoning to the rice (rice wine vinegar and sugar).
  • Chop up whatever vegetables you want–cucumber, carrot, snow peas, corn, etc.
  • Add a can of cooked tuna with some mayo mixed in (or tofu, cooked salmon, whatever protein you want really).
  • Sprinkle in some dried seaweed, add a bit of pickled ginger if you have it, and a dash of soy sauce.

“Fish Stew”

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 750ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • 400g tin butter beans
  • 450g white fish
  • 150g raw prawns
  • Parsley to garnish
  • Serve with yummy, buttery sourdough or some deluxe saffron rice.
  • Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Finely slice the onion and garlic, add to the pan. Fry gently until softened, stir through the smoked paprika. Add the chopped tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse the beans and chop the fish into large chunks. Turn down the heat and add the beans and fish to the pan. Simmer for 4 minutes or until the fish is almost cooked through, then add the prawns and cook until they turn pink. Taste and season, then ladle into bowls, scatter with parsley leaves and serve with bread or rice.

Horny for Soup

Links to recommended soup recipes from around the internet:

Brothy Beans with Kimchi and Squash from Bon Appéti

Curried Lentil, Tomato, and Coconut Soup from Bon Appétit

Easy Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup from Seasons and Suppers

Thai Carrot Soup With Coconut Milk from Seasons and Suppers

Butternut Squash Soup from Jenny Klimenkoff Health Coaching

Additional soup recipes from commenters:

“Coconut Veggie Soup”

  • For this you’ll need coconut milk, broth, garlic, ginger, protein, noodles, and any combination of vegetables.
  • Chop the garlic and ginger (add an onion if you want), toss it a bit in oil, add the protein and toss to brown, add the liquids, then add the vegetables. boil the noodles separately, add some red pepper flakes, and there you go.

“Tomato Vodka Soup”

  • 1 can tomato paste (any brand), 3 cans of milk, dried or fresh basil, salt, pepper, splash of vodka.
  • Stir until tomato paste and milk is smooth, add seasonings and vodka. Serve with salad or grilled cheese.

“Beet Soup That Changed My Life”

  • Wash 3-4 beets and wrap them in parchment paper and aluminum foil. Cut off ends of a few cloves of garlic and wrap them the same way.
  • At 400 degrees, roast the garlic for about 30 minutes and the beets for about an hour.
  • Wash some leeks and slice all the light green/white bits.
  • Take a shower/practice handstands while you wait for everything to roast
  • Peel the beets with a paper towel and cut them into quarters.
  • Sauté the leeks for about 8 minutes till they’re soft.
  • Add (peeled) garlic, beets, veggie stock, thyme, bay leaves, and bring to a boil.
  • Simmer. Take out bay leaf. Blend in a blender or with an immersion blender.
  • Add lots of fresh lemon juice.

Vegetarian Gems

Links to recommended vegetarian recipes from around the internet:

Veggie Egg Fried Rice from Bon Appétit

Shakshuka from Smitten Kitchen

Spicy Dragon Noodles from Budget Bytes

Chickpea Puree with Roasted Zucchini from CiaoBellaKitchen

Sweet Potatoes with Charred Lemons from Bon Appétit

Halloumi Hummus Bowls from How Sweet Eats

Additional vegetarian recipes from commenters:

“Spaghetti Squash Pasta” 

  • Chop a spaghetti squash in half, drizzle with olive oil and salt, bake, then add cheese and tomato sauce, bake a little more and BOOM– spaghetti squash pasta!

“Greek Salad”

  • Cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, Kalamata olives, and feta, dressed in extra-virgin olive oil plus salt and pepper.
  • Add bread and tzatziki (or any doctored-up Greek yogurt sauce) if you have on-hand.

“Pesto Beans and Parm”

  • Sautéed white beans with pesto and parmesan and blanched rapini (just separate the leaves and cut off the bottom inch or two of the stalk, then cook in boiling salted water for like two minutes) with butter and pepper.

“Basic Stir Fry”

  • Baby bok choy, red pepper, and chicken breast (if vegetarian, just add more veggies like zucchini and carrot or broccoli), chopped rough.
  • Cook off some fresh ginger and garlic in a pan and then add the chicken, then add the veggies.
  • Add decent amount of soy sauce, and a dash of honey if you like for a touch of sweetness.
  • Serve with hokkein noodles or rice plus fresh chili and cilantro if you fancy. DONE. legit 10-15 mins.

“Huevos Rancheros”

  • In one pan, I sauté garlic with whatever veggies I’m in the mood for (usually bell peppers and spinach),while I toast a tortilla in another.
  • Once the tortilla is crispy, I add a little cheese on top.
  • When the cheese melts, I crack an egg over it and flip/cook the way I’d make any old egg.
  • After around 5 minutes, I plate the egg/tortilla thing and top with all my veggies (plus some avocado, salsa or diced tomatoes if I have them on hand)!

Vegan Specialities

Links to recommended vegan recipes from around the internet:

Soba Noodle Bowl with Miso-Tahini Dressing from A Cozy Kitchen

Crispy Tofu with Maple-Soy Glaze from Bon Appétit

Tofu and Vegetable Curry from Bon Appétit

Yellow Lentil Daal from Anna Jones

Spicy Black Bean Tacos from BBC Good Food (vegan if you replace the honey)

Canal House Lentils from Bon Appétit

Coconut Cauliflower Adobo from Half Baked Harvest

Roasted Chickpea, Cauliflower, and Arugula Salad from Gimme Some Oven

Spinach, Tomato, and Chickpea Veggie Curry from The Happy Foodie

Crispy Miso Chickpea Bowls with Garlic Sesame Dressing from Minimalist Baker Recipes

Thai Peanut and Quinoa Salad from Cookie and Kate

Coconut Lentil Curry from A Couple Cooks

Cauliflower Black Bean Bowl with Kale Guacamole from Goop

Chickpea and Kale Curry from Goop (vegan if you replace the chicken stock)

Coconut Spinach and Chickpeas with Lemon from Kitchn

Green Couscous from IHCC

Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala from Budget Bytes 

Additional vegan recipes from commenters:

“Quick Roasted Veggies”

  • Chop up vegetables (sweet potato, tomato, paprika, zucchini, onion, garlic…) and freeze them. When I get home from work I just bake some in the oven for 20 minutes or heat them up in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil, herbs, and salt. It works by itself, or you can add it to pasta or fish. 

“Vegan Quesadillas”

  • You need: 2 tortilla wraps (I like whole wheat), tomato sauce, cheese (I like the Violife vegan variety), a large handful of pre-cooked beans (I like black beans), a good handful of greens  (I like to use spinach), a teaspoon of oil (if you need it for the pan you are using), and a seasoning of your choice (I just use oregano).
  • Using medium/high heat, add oil to the pan and put in one wrap. Add the cheese first. Then mash the beans in a small bowl and add the spice to the mix. Add mashed beans, greens and tomato sauce. Add the other wrap on top and flip the whole thing over. Wait a minute and then take it off the heat.
  • Cut it into triangles with a scissor and eat it!

“Veggie Sweet Potato”

  • Poke some holes into a sweet potato and microwave it (or bake at 400 for 45 minutes, if you have the patience…it really does taste better but microwaving totally works in a pinch).
  • Sauté some spinach/kale/bell peppers/really any quick-sautéing veggie you want, and throw in some canned and drained black beans.
  • Stuff all of this inside the sweet potato and season however you want (I like salt and pepper, cumin, and red pepper).
  • Top with avocado and salsa/hot sauce, and maybe some nutritional yeast if you’re feelin’ crazy! 

“Zucchini and Tofu Bowl”

  • Make rice
  • Cook zucchini however preferred (I baked with a little salt, pepper, and chili powder)
  • Cook tofu however preferred (I bake it chopped in little pieces with oil, soy sauce, salt, and a light flour coating for crustiness).
  • Put rice in bowl, add zucchini and tofu, top with lots of chopped cilantro, more soy sauce, and sesame oil to taste.

“Sweet Potato Tacos”

  • Wash two sweet potatoes (no need to peel them) and grate on a box grater while you sauté some onion/garlic
  • Then add potatoes, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper, cilantro if you like that kind of thing, and lime juice to the pan.
  • Warm up some corn tortillas and you’re done!
  • I like to top with avocado and pickled jalapeño if I have it (and hot sauce, of course).

Snack Attacks

Links to recommended quick/snacky recipes from around the internet:

Thai Peanut and Quinoa Salad from Cookie and Kate

Savory Sweet Potato Pancake with Arugula Salad from Goop

Crispy Egg from Smitten Kitchen

Roasted Broccoli and White Beans from Shutterbean

Additional quick/snacky recipes from commenters:

“Greek Salad”

  • Cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, Kalamata olives, and feta, dressed in extra-virgin olive oil plus salt and pepper.
  • Add bread and tzatziki (or any doctored-up Greek yogurt sauce) if you have on-hand.

“Puff Pastry Tart”

  • Ready-rolled puff pastry + cream cheese/ ricotta/ goat cheese/ soy yogurt + seasonal veggies + salt/ pepper/ herbs.
  • I love a tomato tart with some capers, basil and olive oil or goat cheese + onion + pear… you can really use anything you have left in the fridge and if you’re up to it you can make a simple green salad during the 20 minutes the tart is in the oven.

“Rice, Eggs, and Avocado”

  • Vinegary sushi rice + two poached eggs + a small avocado, sliced.
  • Drizzle with soy sauce and follow with a giant glass of cold water.
  • Sleep for a thousand years, feeling satiated but not over-full.

Good for Using Up Random Ingredients

Links to recommended “everything but the kitchen sink” recipes from around the internet:

Veggie Teriyaki Stir Fry with Noodles from Cookie and Kate

Smoky Quinoa and Black Bean Salad from Budget Bytes

Additional “everything but the kitchen sink” recipes from commenters:

“Basic Frittata”

  • Scramble some eggs and cut whatever veggies and protein you’ve got into bite-size pieces.
  • I like my frittatas with chicken sausage, potato, zucchini, onion, and cheddar cheese. I use 6-7 eggs with 3-4 cups of other stuff in a 12″-skillet to feed two people with leftovers.
  • It’s probably ten minutes of prep, ten minutes cooking the veggies/protein on the stove top, then add the eggs and cheese and finish it under the broiler for 4-5 minutes.
  • Variations: make an omelette or just top the sautéed veggies with a couple of sunny side up eggs.

“Easy Tortilla Wraps”

  • Tortilla wraps with literally anything you have to put in them!
  • I prefer no meat, so I like to fry some black beans or cauliflower in a pan with taco seasoning and then just add whatever vegetables and sauce I want. This is super easy to make vegan or with meat, whatever you please.

“Oven Fajitas”

  • Slice different color bell peppers (I also like to incorporate poblano or Anaheim peppers), red onion, and chicken breast and spread on a sheet pan.
  • Season with a mixture of cumin, coriander, salt, black pepper, red (cayenne) pepper, and cinnamon.
  • Drizzle with olive oil, and mix. Bake at 375 for ~10 mins. Toss and bake for ~5 more minutes.
  • Heat corn tortillas in oven for 2 minutes.
  • Finish with chopped cilantro and squeeze of lime. Top with whatever you like (i.e. cheese, sour cream, hot sauce).

One-Pot Meals

Links to recommended one-pot or one-pan recipes from around the internet:

Sheet Pan Greek Chicken and Veggies from Gimme Delicious

Easy Sheet Pan Dinners from Kitchn

Instant Pot Salsa Chicken from Simply Happy Foodie

Braised Coconut Spinach & Chickpeas with Lemon from Kitchn

Easy Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala from Budget Bytes

Mozzarella, Borlotti, and Wild Green Garlic Sauce from The Happy Foodie

Additional one-pot or one-pan recipes from commenters:

“Stuffed Sweet Potato”

  • Drench a small potato in coconut or olive oil and roast in a foil wrapper at 400 degrees for 45 minutes until soft and squishy.
  • Cut open and cover in any toppings you like (I enjoy black beans, green onion, tomato, cilantro, cotija cheese, and sometimes a crispy fried egg).

“Chicken and Cauliflower Bake”

  • Put cauliflower in an oven pan with olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.
  • Take it out and add chicken breasts.
  • On top of chicken and cauliflower add melted butter, lemon, breadcrumbs, and parmesan cheese.
  • Put it back in the oven until the chicken is cooked (165+ degrees).
  • You don’t have to measure anything–cook as much as you want. It creates basically no dishes to wash (if you put foil in your pan it requires even less). AND it tastes kinda like mac ‘n cheese!

For Fellow Trader Joe’s Fanatics

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Spicy Chicken Sausage and Mushrooms from Cup of Jo 

Gyoza and Bone Broth from Trader Joe’s Kitchen 

“Trader Joe’s Brown Rice and Quinoa Pasta”

  • Tomato sauce
  • Diced avocado
  • Mushrooms
  • Everything but the Bagel seasoning
  • Cook the mushrooms in a pan until soft and add the red sauce, then pour over some boiled pasta. Add avocado and seasoning, spritz on some lemon, and voila!

“Trader Joe’s Israeli Couscous”

  • Pearl couscous cooks really quickly in vegetable or chicken broth, which gives it plenty of flavor.
  • I use the recipe strait off the back of the Trader Joe’s box, and the pine nuts and shallots make it feel a little fancy, all the while being so accessible.
  • Add a roasted veggie of your choice.

For the Alison Roman-Curious

Spicy White Bean Stew with Broccoli Rabe from NYT Cooking

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Bacon and Wilted Escarole from Bon Appétit

Shallot Pasta from NYT Cooking

Spicy Noodle Soup with Mushrooms and Herbs from NYT Cooking

Crispy Herbed Chickpeas from Bon Appétit


Don’t say I didn’t warn you about the drool factor!!!!!!! What are you making tonight?

Photos by Louisiana Mei Gelpi.

Harling Ross

Harling is a writer and was most recently the Brand Director at Man Repeller.

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