What to Cook Tonight?

Well, I guess my first question has to be: What kind of night is it?

If it’s the kind of night where work/soccer/train ran late, and you need something fast, you might want to check out:

Lentils with Crispy Sausages
Burrito Bowl
Hatch Burgers
Old School Chicken with Lemon and Capers
Chorizo Tacos with Avocado, Slaw, and Cilanto-Lime Yogurt
Grilled Steak Tacos with Pickled Onions and Cilantro Pesto
Basic Chicken and Rice
Quick Miso-Glazed Salmon
Sweet and Sour Mongolian Tofu Stir-fry
Chicken Sausages with Kale and Baked Beans
Tortilla Soup
Shrimp with Feta
Oven-Roasted Shrimp with Asparagus
Fried Chickpeas on Pita or Naan with Yogurt Sauce
Or any of these Top 10 Quickies
paired with any of these Top 10 Sides

Is it the kind of night when you want to eat something that screams summer?

Spaghetti with Corn, Bacon, Basil
Salmon Salad (on the grill, please!)
Scallops with Corn-Bacon Hash
Grilled Chicken For People Who Hate Grilled Chicken (yogurt-marinated)
Grilled Vegetables with Haloumi
Five Summer Salads (potato, snap pea, slaw, etc)

Is it the kind of night where you can’t deal with making anything extra, even though the little terrorist at the table is making demands that involve hot dogs and peanut butter?

Salmon Salad, Deconstructed
Taco Pizza, don’t laugh! (page 196, Dinner: The Playbook)
Tortilla Soup, Deconstructed (See page 159 Dinner: A Love Story)
Spaghetti With or Without Clams
Chili-Rubbed Chicken with Avocado, and Shredded Spinach

Is it the kind of night where you actually have a little time to prepare something while savoring a glass of wine? (i.e. Is it Sunday?)

Braised Pork in Adobo with Polenta
Chicken Mole
Vegetable Tempura Bowl (page 178, Dinner: The Playbook)
Real Deal Pad Thai
Sweet and Sticky Pomegranate Chicken
Steakhouse-style Steak Salad
BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Korean Short Ribs
Fried Fish Nuggets with Chard

Is it the kind of night when you need to redeem yourself for some majorly hedonistic eating?

Mongolian Tofu Stir-fry
Detox Soup (Avocado-Cucumber Soup)
Shredded Asian Chicken Salad
Vegetable Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce
Salmon with Brussels Sprouts and Ginger-Scallion Sauce
Fish “Presents”
Butternut Squash Soup with Walnuts, Chives, and Creme Fraiche (page 101, Dinner: A Love Story)
Curried Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Yogurt 

Is it the kind of night where you have hardly anything in the pantry?

Pasta with Caramelized Onions and Spinach
Easy Chicken Noodle Soup
Fried Chickpeas on Pita or Naan with Yogurt Sauce
Penne with Roast Tomato Sauce
Pizza with Asparagus and Onions
Beans on Toast
Avocado BLTs
Waffle Iron Grilled Cheeses
Quinoa Salads with Vegetables

Is it the kind of night when you are having people over?

See Having People Over!

Is it the kind of night when you’d rather read a pharmaceutical manual than cook?

Storebought dinners that you can feel good about feeding your kids.

Don’t see what you’re in the mood for?

Take a look at the complete DALS Archive.

Note: This page will be continually, seasonally updated.

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Fancy Pants

A fantastic, comprehensive list! And a nice reminder of some of this long time reader’s favorite older posts!! Thanks for doing the planning for us!


I just sat down at my computer for work, thinking “My goodness, what are we going to have for dinner tonight?!” And lo and behold, I have found a treasure chest of answers, categorized by a variety of factors. I absolutely LOVE (and will probably heavily rely on) this page, and am so thankful I have found you, DALS.


I am overwhelming negative about most things in life. But I love this list.


I love your website and love this list! So nice to know there is someone out there in the same boat, with great helpful ideas. Thank you!


I dont even have kids, but I am the cook in the house and this is one of my favorite sites to go to for recipes! I just discovered this genius list and will be using it from now on for inspiration!


I tried finding the Hoisin Turkey Burger recipe, but the link above took me to an error page. Help!


I just discovered your website and will surely be back again and again. This is just what I need at this point in my life (2 kids, working, etc.). If you’re taking requests, a “Meatless Monday” addition would make these recipe ideas just about perfect!


Agreed! I LOVED your sloppy joe recipe and come back every few years to search for it. Pretty please?!


Love your website and books! A request: please update “screams fall or winter” back to summer! I use that category so much for seasonal inspiration.

Second request: would be great if your categories included the recipe name. The blog entry titles are tough when searching the archives for “that salmon recipe I think had Thai flavors”….

Leigh Ann Koch

This is my favorite page on your blog, I tell people about it all the time. I loved Dinner A Love Story and read it like a book. Whenever I feel like I am slacking, and it’s often during school I read one of your entries and I am relieved. Thank you and Happy Holidays!!

Vickie Goldstein

I recently made your “Farro Bowl with broccoli and avocado….I have been in the kitchen for 50 years and when I look at a recipe I can taste it with my mouth…these r the “add-ons” I did and it was “outrageous…first I used brown rice vinegar instead of rice wine vinegar, used olive oil not grapeseed oil, used a dash of Tabasco and some red pepper flakes (I like a little fire),squeezed a clove of garlic in the mix, along with a scallion…I put this mixture in a wok and let that simmer down 2 minutes, then added the farro and mixed together…topped with crushed peanuts and cilantro….it was truly delish…(next time MIGHT squeeze a little fresh lime juice on top)…oo lala…