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50 Secretly Easy Dinners That Look Really Impressive

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Hey, wouldn’t it be awesome if there were a recipe that required practically zero work but turned out stunning and delicious every time? Oh wait, it exists. In fact, we found 50 of them just for you.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

1. Balsamic Cranberry Roast Chicken

Colorful and almost completely hands-off.

Pinch of Yum

2. Brown Butter Scallops with Parmesan Risotto

Psst: Searing scallops takes six minutes flat.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

3. Pistachio-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Apple and Escarole Salad

All you need is a little over half an hour.

Photo: Jon Cospito/Styling: Erin McDowell

4. Baking-Sheet Pizza with Olives and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Tastes like it was made in an ancient stone pizza oven. (Spoiler: It wasn’t.)

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

5. Pomegranate-Maple Glazed Lamb Chops

As easy to cook as chicken (seriously).

Lush Loves

6. Miso Baked Eggplant with Black Rice Salad

Sesame seeds make everything look fancy.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

7. Tomato Soup in Grilled Cheese Bread Bowls

Here’s how to be the cool mom.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

8. Quiche with Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Crust

There’s no need to make homemade dough.

Cook Beautiful

9. Pan-Roasted Chicken with Shallots and Dates

Wow everyone with this irresistibly salty-sweet duo.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

10. Spicy Turkey Enchiladas with Pumpkin Seeds

Jump-start the cheesy deliciousness with shredded turkey (or rotisserie chicken).

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

11. Cheater’s White Wine Coq au Vin

Great news, you don’t have to be Julia Child to pull it off.

Damn Delicious

12. Kale Cobb Salad

Ooh, we never thought of adding fruit to the mix.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

13. 15-Minute Buffalo Chicken Sliders

They look and taste mega gourmet.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

14. Roasted Beet Tartare

Cue the white tablecloths.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

15. Grilled Flatbread Pizza with Artichoke, Ricotta and Lemon

Sometimes you want the delicious flavor of pizza without all the work.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

16. Ginger-Pineapple Shrimp Stir-Fry

Twenty minutes and you’re totally done.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

17. One-Pot Pasta Limone

Throw the ingredients together, boil ’em and get ready to eat.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

18. 15-Minute Cucumber Avocado Blender Soup

A cheesy baguette takes this dish over the top.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

19. Moules-Frites (Steamed Mussels and Fries)

It takes 30 minutes, max.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

20. Salmon Bowl with Farro, Black Beans and Tahini Dressing

Class things up when you’re dining solo.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

21. Skillet Steak with Asparagus and Potatoes

You love ordering sirloin at restaurants; now you can make it at home.

The Modern Proper

22. Meatball Shakshuka

The delicious mash-up we never knew we needed.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

23. Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa

We’ll take our seafood wrapped in tortillas from here on out.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

24. 15-Minute Mezze Plate with Toasted Za’atar Pita Bread

Like one of those fancy sharing plates you’d get at a restaurant.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

25. Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas

Dish up this beauty on your largest platter.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

26. Pan-Fried Cod with Orange and Swiss Chard

News flash: Cooking fish doesn’t have to be tricky or time-consuming.

The Bojon Gourmet

27. Roasted Beet and Carrot Lentil Salad with Feta, Yogurt and Dill

We’re getting serious Yotam Ottolenghi vibes.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

28. Cheater’s Skillet Paella

We hacked this classic Spanish dish so it uses one pan and takes an hour. You’re welcome.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

29. Pork Scallopini with Lemon, Capers and Radicchio

If you have pantry staples on hand, it comes together with just five ingredients.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

30. White Turkey Chili with Avocado

Presenting the smartest way to cook for a crowd.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

31. Skillet Roast Chicken with Peaches and Tomatoes

Surprise and delight.

Vegetarian Ventures

32. Vegan Pumpkin Baked Ziti

Assemble it in advance and pop it into the oven before serving.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

33. Mediterranean Couscous with Tuna and Pepperoncini

Looks exotic but takes virtually no effort to make.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

34. Thai Beef Bowls with Rice Noodles

Just as healthy as a salad but about a billion times more flavorful.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

35. Baked Sesame-Ginger Salmon in Parchment

Love cooking but hate doing dishes? (Join the club.)

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

36. Lemony Broccolini Pasta

As easy as jarred marinara—but five times as classy.

I Will Not Eat Oysters

37. Chicken Shawarma Sandwich

Way more impressive than a burger.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

38. Shrimp with Cauliflower 'Grits' and Arugula

Lose the carbs but keep the flavor (in just 30 minutes).

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

39. 15-Minute Cheater’s Pad Thai

Way faster and fresher than takeout.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

40. One-Pan Steak with Beets and Crispy Kale

Just assemble the ingredients on a baking sheet and pop it in the oven.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

41. Pasta Alla Norma

Even the name sounds shmancy.

A Better Happier St. Sebastian

42. Beer Braised Steak Nachos with Pickled Onions and Pico de Gallo

Hello, slice of heaven.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

43. Rotisserie Chicken Ramen

The instant stuff is all grown up.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

44. Baked Chicken and Mushroom Risotto

Who has time to stand over a hot stove and stir (and stir and stir)?

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

45. Ravioli Lasagna

Plus, it’s already perfectly portioned.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

46. Cuban Sliders for a Crowd

Easier than making a turkey cold-cut sandwich.

Gimme Some Oven

47. 'Everything' Chicken

Our favorite seasoning strikes again.

Weeknight Society

48. Bulgur with Roasted Butternut Squash, Sage and Goat Cheese

Flavorful, warming and easy to prep.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Derek Laughren

49. Lemon-Rosemary Sheet Pan Cornish Hens

Find something that looks fancier. We dare you.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

50. Mashed Potato Fritters with Smoked Salmon and Chives

The best way to put leftovers to work.