Looking for dinner options that come together in 30 minutes or less. Whether you're thinking a simple pasta dish, or perhaps steamed corn with clams and bacon, or even a filling quesadilla, we've got ideas to help you out.
Pasta, butter, lemon, basil, cream, Parmigiano and freshly ground black pepper. Could dinner possibly get any easier? Fresh basil and a touch of lemon are infused with the richness of heavy cream, then poured over pasta. Topped with fresh-grated Parmigiano and a little ground pepper, it makes for a remarkably easy but elegant meal! The recipe is adapted from Angelini Osteria in Los Angeles and comes together in about 30 minutes.
Just a handful of ingredients -- including corn, clams and bacon -- come together in a dish that's pure magic. Fresh corn is steamed with clams in a bacon-rich wine broth for a quick-fix dinner. The recipe takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.
- Easy dinner recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen
- 155 recipes for your favorite restaurant dishes
- Browse more than a thousand recipes from the L.A. Times test kitchen
- What's hot: 139 of the latest recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen
- 26 years of our best recipes
See more topics »
Dinner doesn't get much better -- or more simple -- than quesadillas. Melt some cheese over a warm tortilla, add an extra filling or two, and you're good to go. In this variation, tortillas are stuffed with quickly cooked greens and chunks of feta and mozzarella, the tortillas warmed until lightly browned and the cheese oozes just slightly. The recipe comes together in minutes, perfect after a long day.
For more ideas, click through our easy dinner recipes gallery and check out our Dinner Tonight page, devoted to recipes that can be made in an hour or less. Looking for a particular type of recipe? Comment below or email me at email@example.com.
ANGELINI OSTERIA'S TAGLIOLINE AL LIMONE
Total time: About 30 minutes
Note: Adapted from Angelini Osteria in Los Angeles
1/2 pound tagliolini pasta
2 tablespoons butter
8 large basil leaves, julienned
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Fresh ground black pepper
Lemon wedges, garnish
1. Cook the pasta: In a large bowl of salted boiling water, add the pasta. Cook until al dente according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta.
2. While the pasta is cooking, start to make the sauce: In a medium sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the basil and cook, stirring frequently, until aromatic, about 3 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and continue to cook until the lemon juice is reduced by half. Reduce the heat to low and add the cream. Slowly cook the cream until it thickens to a sauce consistency, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Divide the pasta between 4 to 6 serving bowls and ladle the sauce evenly over the servings. Divide the cheese between the portions, sprinkling it evenly over the sauce, and top each serving with a few grinds of pepper. Serve each portion with a lemon wedge on the side.
Each serving: 490 calories; 9 grams protein; 45 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 30 grams fat; 19 grams saturated fat; 101 mg cholesterol; 2 grams sugar; 59 mg. sodium.
STEAMED CORN WITH CLAMS AND BACON
Total time: 30 minutes
Note: Adapted from "Seamus Mullen's Hero Food." Aleppo pepper can generally be found at gourmet and cooking supply stores, and is available online.
1/2 cup diced slab bacon
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
24 littleneck clams
2 ears corn, shucked and cut into 2-inch lengths
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons pimentón
Handful fresh basil leaves, torn
Healthy drizzle of olive oil
1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, sweat the bacon over medium heat. Once it begins to render, about 2 minutes, add the garlic and sweat until translucent. Add the clams, corn and white wine, and stir in the pimentón. Increase the heat to high and cook, uncovered, for about 30 seconds, until the alcohol has evaporated. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and steam until all the clams have opened and the corn is tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Discard any clams that don't open.
2. Serve in a large bowl with a sprinkle of Aleppo pepper, torn basil and a generous drizzle of fruity olive oil.
Each serving: 207 calories; 18 grams protein; 15 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 8 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 48 mg cholesterol; 4 grams sugar; 814 mg sodium.
QUESADILLAS STUFFED WITH GREENS AND FETA
Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6
1/3 cup minced onion
1 pound mixed cooking greens, such as kale, mustards and collards
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup diced feta cheese
1/4 pound low-moisture mozzarella, cut in small dice
12 corn tortillas
1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook until it softens and begins to color, 3 to 5 minutes.
2. While the onion is cooking, rinse the greens in a colander but don't dry them. When the onion is ready, add the greens along with any water that clings to the leaves to the skillet. Season with salt and red pepper, sprinkle with garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the greens are quite tender, about 15 minutes.
3. Remove from the heat and stir in the feta.
4. Heat 2 teaspoons oil on a griddle over medium heat; use a spatula to distribute it so the surface is evenly covered. If you don't have a large griddle, you can use a skillet, but you'll have to cook the quesadillas in more than one batch. Add the tortillas and cook on one side until they have softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip them to the other side and spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of the greens in the center. Sprinkle over some of the diced mozzarella and use a spatula to fold the tortilla in half around the filling.
5. Cook until the tortilla begins to brown on one side, 2 to 3 minutes, and then flip onto the other side and cook until the tortilla browns on that side and the mozzarella is melted, about 2 to 3 minutes more. If some of the melting cheese oozes onto the griddle, that's even better. Repeat if necessary to use up all of the tortillas and filling.
6. Serve immediately, or keep warm in a 250-degree oven until all of the quesadillas have been made.
Each of 6 servings: 311 calories; 13 grams protein; 32 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams fiber; 16 grams fat; 7 grams saturated fat; 37 mg. cholesterol; 2 grams sugar; 840 mg. sodium.
ALSO:Easy dinner recipes: Chicken, chicken and more chicken