Weeknight Dinner Planner: 5 Simple 30-Minute Dinner Ideas

Italian, Mexican, seafood, meat—Rachael's got all your cravings covered!
By Hope Tierney ,

Monday: Grilled Pizza Margherita

Pizza is especially easy to make at home in the summertime. Just heat up the grill, lay out your toppings and you're in business.

Recipe: Try Rachael Ray's Grilled Pizza Margherita

Tuesday: Sliced Steak with Early Summer Corn & Spring Onion Maque Choux

Photography by Joseph De Leo

The steak is soaked in garlic-butter and thyme, giving it flavor and juiciness, which goes great with a spicy New Orlean side dish called maque choux.

Recipe: Try Rach's Sliced Steak with Early Summer Corn & Spring Onion Maque Choux

Wednesday: Sicilian-Style Saffron Cod with Burst Tomatoes

Be sure to toast a few slices of your favorite bread to sop up the delish citrus-y, tomato-y, garlicky leftover liquid in your bowl. You wouldn't want all that flavor to go to waste!

Recipe: Try Rach's Sicilian-Style Saffron Cod with Burst Tomatoes

Thursday: Shrimp, Mexican Chorizo & Pineapple Tacos with Tequila & Lime

Photography by Joseph De Leo

These tacos are jam-packed with lots of tasty textures from the shrimp, pineapple, cabbage and sausage. Use corn or flour tortillas, depending on your preference. Don't forget to squeeze lime all over!

Recipe: Try Rach's Shrimp, Mexican Chorizo & Pineapple Tacos with Tequila & Lime

Friday: Charred Scallion Pesto Pasta

There's not much better than fresh pesto on pasta with extra cheese on top. Bonus: it's easy to make a big batch for a large party.

Recipe: Try Rachael's Charred Scallion Pesto Pasta

Shopping List

For the Grilled Pizza Margherita

  • Flour
  • 1 lb. pizza dough, store-bought or homemade
  • 1 can (14 to 14.5 oz.) plum or diced tomatoes
  • EVOO
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • Aged balsamic vinegar
  • Fennel pollen or ground fennel seeds
  • Salt
  • Natural olive oil cooking spray
  • 3/4 lb. fresh mozzarella
  • 12 fresh basil leaves

For the Sliced Steak with Early Summer Corn & Spring Onion Maque Choux

  • 2 lbs. flatiron steak, flank steak or trimmed 1 in.-thick boneless ribeye
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Olive or canola oil
  • Butter
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 3 ears corn
  • 1 bunch spring onions or scallions
  • 1 rib celery with leafy tops
  • 1 Fresno or red finger chile
  • 1 jalapeño
  • Heavy cream
  • 1 lime
  • Fresh thyme
  • Hot sauce, preferably Tabasco

For the Sicilian-Style Saffron Cod with Burst Tomatoes

  • Saffron threads
  • Chicken stock
  • EVOO
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Dry or citrusy crisp white wine
  • 4 6-oz. pieces cod or black bass, preferably sustainable, skin removed
  • Flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 orange
  • 1-2 anchovies (optionsal)
  • Crusty bread

For the Shrimp, Mexican Chorizo & Pineapple Tacos with Tequila & Lime

  • Olive oil
  • 3/4 lb. fresh (Mexican) chorizo
  • 3/4 lb. medium shrimp (deveined)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 fresh pineapple
  • 1 bunch spring onions or scallions
  • 2 jalapeños
  • Cilantro or parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 3 oz. shots silver tequila
  • 2 limes
  • 12-16 6-in. corn tortillas
  • Shredded white or red cabbage
  • Hot sauce, preferable Green Tabasco or Frank's RedHot

For the Charred Scallion Pesto Pasta

  • Salt
  • 3 bunches scallions
  • Canola oil
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1 lb. spaghetti or egg tagliatelle
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • Fresh basil
  • Flat-leaf parsley
  • Fresh mint
  • Grated parmigiano-reggiano
  • 1 lemon
  • EVOO
  • Grated ricotta salata (optional)
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