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5 Weeknight Dinners That Keep Cooking Fun

I’m looking for one thing when making a weeknight dinner: joy. For breakfast and lunch, I’m content with consuming an amalgamation of soulless fodder—premade salads, frozen food, anything piled into a cardboard bowl—so long as I regain some humanity in…

I’m looking for one thing when making a weeknight dinner: joy. For breakfast and lunch, I’m content with consuming an amalgamation of soulless fodder—premade salads, frozen food, anything piled into a cardboard bowl—so long as I regain some humanity in the final meal of my day.

When searching for that joy, I primarily lean on nostalgia. Typically, I want a part of the meal—whether it be the process or final flavor—to transport me somewhere I love. Sometimes it’s recreating a dish from childhood (I’ve been on a Sloppy Joe kick), and other times it’s as simple as using a technique I learned from a friend, like breaking down a chicken.

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Recipe Rewind: 2014’s Most Popular Recipes

It’s September 2014, and Food52 just celebrated its fifth birthday. Food blogs—like Joy The Baker, Brooklyn Supper, and 101 Cookbooks—are thriving. Vice’s Munchies—a YouTube series highlighting the lifestyles and personalities of beloved chefs—is so po…

It’s September 2014, and Food52 just celebrated its fifth birthday. Food blogs—like Joy The Baker, Brooklyn Supper, and 101 Cookbooks—are thriving. Vice’s Munchies—a YouTube series highlighting the lifestyles and personalities of beloved chefs—is so popular it’s about to become its own website.

Meanwhile, season two of Rewrapped—hosted by NSYNC’s Joey Fatone—just premiered on the Food Network. Earlier this year we watched super-chef Bobby Flay show how he “got (and stays) in great shape” in his new web series, Bobby Flay Fit. (It’s unclear whether this project inspired The Dean of Lean, a Cooking Channel series where Bobby Deen (Paula’s son) visits “families and [creates] healthy makeovers of their traditional meals.”)

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Our 10 Most Popular Broccoli Recipes, Ranked

Broccoli—the sixth most-purchased vegetable in the United States—will likely appear in your refrigerator sometime in the next few weeks. When it does, there are over 900 broccoli recipes on our site that will help you transform these miniature green tr…

Broccoli—the sixth most-purchased vegetable in the United States—will likely appear in your refrigerator sometime in the next few weeks. When it does, there are over 900 broccoli recipes on our site that will help you transform these miniature green trees into something delicious. It’s worth mentioning that not all of these recipes are weeknight-friendly—some will require a combination of effort, time, and ingredients beyond the scope of Wednesday evening. But don’t worry: For every technically demanding broccoli recipe on our site, there is an equally delicious alternative that’s teeming with convenience and versatility. In pursuit of identifying the path of least cruciferous resistance, here are 10 of our most popular broccoli recipes, ranked by how likely we would actually make them on a weeknight.

The Criteria

When evaluating these broccoli recipes’ weeknight potential, I considered the following questions:

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21 One-Pot Dinners to Pull Out for Weeknight Magic

This article was originally published in September 2018. It has been updated to include even more of our favorite one-pot dinner recipes.

Some people (like my roommate) wake up as the day goes on. By the time they get home from work, they’re ready …

This article was originally published in September 2018. It has been updated to include even more of our favorite one-pot dinner recipes.

Some people (like my roommate) wake up as the day goes on. By the time they get home from work, they’re ready to tackle a workout, dinner, and a couple of episodes on Netflix.

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Our 52 Most Popular Pasta Recipes

The best thing about pasta is you probably already have some. Whether it’s freshly rolled cavatelli (briefly) staying in your fridge or the shelves of dried penne lining your doomsday bunker, it’s something we can’t help but stock up on. And if it’s no…

The best thing about pasta is you probably already have some. Whether it’s freshly rolled cavatelli (briefly) staying in your fridge or the shelves of dried penne lining your doomsday bunker, it’s something we can’t help but stock up on. And if it’s not already in your cupboard, a more than adequate version is likely sold at your nearest gas station, corner store, and definitely wherever you buy groceries. Of course, pasta’s ability stretches beyond its availability: it’s delicious, quick to make, and looks great covered in Parmesan. While this isn’t news to anyone, it’s always worth repeating: Pasta is good, you should make it.

Our community members know this already—just look at pasta’s significant representation among our most popular recipes of all time. However, when you do take this advice, it’s best to have a recipe you’re excited about making. Here are our 52 best pasta recipes of all time, ranked by popularity.

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How to Pick the Right Charcoal for Your Cookout

Charcoal grilling can be intimidating. You don’t have knobs to immediately adjust the flame, there’s no ignition button to magically start your fire, and unlike universally consistent propane, every charcoal burns differently. While these compounding v…

Charcoal grilling can be intimidating. You don’t have knobs to immediately adjust the flame, there’s no ignition button to magically start your fire, and unlike universally consistent propane, every charcoal burns differently. While these compounding variables might sound like a flame-induced headache, with a bit of fundamental charcoal knowledge you can grow to embrace—and eventually leverage—these irregularities to become a much better griller. Let’s bring you up to speed.


The Two Types Of Charcoal

Charcoal Briquettes

These are what’s inside that big Kingsford bag at your grocery store. Made by compressing bits of wood, sawdust, and additives into uniform nuggets, briquettes are often the cheapest and most accessible form of charcoal. Because they’re densely packed and identical in size and material, briquettes are known to burn longer and more consistently than other charcoal. However, there are drawbacks: Briquettes produce a lot of ash, burn comparatively less hot, and the additives can impart a chemical flavor onto your food.

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Our 25 Most-Saved Recipes of 2023

Seeing as we’re nearly halfway through the year, we figured it’d be wise to gather the recipes that have garnered the most attention from our community thus far. Featuring a mix of new dishes and familiar favorites (read: anything made by Ina Garten), …

Seeing as we're nearly halfway through the year, we figured it’d be wise to gather the recipes that have garnered the most attention from our community thus far. Featuring a mix of new dishes and familiar favorites (read: anything made by Ina Garten), this list offers a solid snapshot of what we’ve collectively craved over the past several months, from the second half of winter through the tail end of spring. Think of this as a mid-year census, but with recipes.

25. Mortadella & Dijon Tart

Somewhere between a ham sandwich and a pizza, this savory, cheesy tart is worthy company for your favorite cold beer or sparkling wine. Plus, it only takes 35 minutes to prepare and will be an instant crowd pleaser at your next hang.

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The 7 Best Grilling Scenes From Movies & TV

Before you don an apron, wave around tongs, and inevitably burn something on the grill, it’s best to prepare some material. Instead of working through your arsenal of contemporary content (read: TikTok references, Vanderpump Rules commentary, and Succe…

Before you don an apron, wave around tongs, and inevitably burn something on the grill, it’s best to prepare some material. Instead of working through your arsenal of contemporary content (read: TikTok references, Vanderpump Rules commentary, and Succession takes), bring some classic cinematic grilling references to this year’s barbecue. Here are seven of the best grilling scenes from movies and television:

Best Overall Culinary Experience: Paulie’s Cookout in Goodfellas

Goodfellas is a food movie. While Henry’s Copacabana entrance and razor-sliced garlic are perhaps the film’s most memorable culinary moments, Paulie’s grill-side hang, featuring sausage and peppers, cold beer, and a random assortment of likely-uncomfortable, certainly past-their-prime lawn chairs is accurate and somehow aspirational. That is to say, I want one of those sandwiches.

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Our 12 Favorite Recipes From Beloved Restaurants

You don’t need to work at a critically acclaimed restaurant to learn its recipes. More often than not, the secrets behind celebrated dishes are made available to the public through cookbooks, articles, and videos. These recipes are great for two reason…

You don’t need to work at a critically acclaimed restaurant to learn its recipes. More often than not, the secrets behind celebrated dishes are made available to the public through cookbooks, articles, and videos. These recipes are great for two reasons. First, they’re often very instructive—chefs that spend years making food that people want to eat often know something about cooking. Second, recreating a restaurant’s dish at home is a great way to experience what a spot has to offer if you're not able to visit in person.

Keep reading for 12 of our favorite restaurant recipes you can make at home.

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The 5 Essential Mandy Lee Recipes

Food52 Resident Mandy Lee started writing about food out of anger. In 2012, her husband’s work prompted them to move from New York City to Beijing—a relocation that she wanted no part of. Upset to be moving to a place with “infuriating bureaucracy and …

Food52 Resident Mandy Lee started writing about food out of anger. In 2012, her husband’s work prompted them to move from New York City to Beijing—a relocation that she wanted no part of. Upset to be moving to a place with "infuriating bureaucracy and choking pollution," Mandy channeled her energy into launching Lady & Pups, a food blog that she would later describe as “a phoenix rising out of the tormenting flames of living [in Beijing] with all its misery.”

Since moving to China, Mandy has written a cookbook and become one of the most revered Residents on our site, regularly sharing recipes, videos, and her passionate, well-founded opinions. To highlight Mandy’s best work, we asked her to choose her five favorite recipes and explain why she loves each one. In typical Mandy fashion, both the recipes and their explanations are bold, intelligent, and fully worth your time.

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