9 Genius Shortcuts for Speedier Weeknight Dinners

Genius Recipes aren’t always about quick and easy, lightweight, 2-ingredient cooking hacks. Sometimes, when it’s worth it, they take the slow boat (see: oven-roasted vodka sauce, no-knead pizza, broccoli cooked forever). I’d also like to point out that there are 25 ingredients in this hamburger, and it’s 100% genius.

But we all have those sapped nights after work when we need a leg up, and Genius Recipes can be really great for those, too. Below are 9 of my favorite shortcuts to weeknight dinner successreal deal polenta that cooks in 15 minutes, pasta sauce that’s actually just Greek yogurt, extra-crispy grilled cheese that cooks faster without burning thanks to mayonnaise, herb pastes to keep in your freezer for fried rice or mix with hot water for near-instant soup.

Now tell me yours.

Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter by Genius Recipes

Maria Speck's Shortcut Polenta

Maria Speck’s Shortcut Polenta by Genius Recipes

Todd Coleman's Potato Gratin

Todd Coleman’s Potato Gratin by Genius Recipes

Amanda Cohen's Secret Weapon Stir-Fry Sauce (for Vegetable Fried Rice & More)

Amanda Cohen’s Secret Weapon Stir-Fry Sauce (for Vegetable Fried Rice & More) by Genius Recipes

Heidi Swanson's Spicy Green Soup

Heidi Swanson’s Spicy Green Soup by Genius Recipes

Diane Kochilas' Pasta with Yogurt and Caramelized Onions

Diane Kochilas’ Pasta with Yogurt and Caramelized Onions by Genius Recipes

A Spicy Perspective's Garlic Lime Oven-Baked Salmon

A Spicy Perspective’s Garlic Lime Oven-Baked Salmon by Genius Recipes

Gabrielle Hamilton's Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Gabrielle Hamilton’s Grilled Cheese Sandwiches by Genius Recipes

Martha Stewart's One-Pan Pasta

Martha Stewart’s One-Pan Pasta by Genius Recipes

Got a genius recipe to share—from a classic cookbook, an online source, or anywhere, really? Please send it my way (and tell me what’s so smart about it) at kristen@food52.com.



The Genius Recipes cookbook is here—and a New York Times Best Seller! It’s a mix of greatest hits from the column and unpublished new favorites—all told, over 100 recipes that will change the way you cook. It’s on shelves now, or you can order your copy here.

This article was written by Kristen Miglore from Food52 and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.