5 Low-Effort, High-Reward Dinners from Jerildine Mobley-Arias of Whisper of Yum
Our absolute favorite weeknight dinners are the ones that come together with minimal effort (and dirty dishes!), yet deliver a totally delicious and satisfying meal that’s packed with great flavor. And Jerildine Mobley-Arias, creator of the inspiring food blog Whisper of Yum, couldn’t agree more. Weeknight or not, she’s all about simple, straightforward recipes that rely on pantry ingredients. Here she shares five of her go-to weeknight dinners, plus a few smart tips for bringing them to the table.
5 Easy-as-Can-Be Weeknight Dinners
This week’s meal plan involves low-effort, high-reward meals. With daylight lasting a bit longer, spend less time making dinner and more time outdoors. These dishes promise big flavor and incorporate the use of pantry ingredients that are a mainstay in my cooking. I like to end the workday with food that soothes the soul but doesn’t require too much time or energy to make. These are my choices for solid, flavor-packed dinners each night of the week.
Monday: Panko and Parmesan-Crusted Cod
Get ready for flaky baked cod that gets plenty of flavor and texture from a rosemary and lemon infused panko and Parmesan crust. A simple side of sautéed spinach, roasted Broccolini, or steamed rice are my go-to ways to round out this dinner. Bonus: Sauce can be spooned over any of these sides for maximized flavor.
Tip: Bake panko breadcrumbs for a few minutes in the oven before making the crust. It’s the secret to a beautiful golden crust with tons of crunch.
Get the recipe: Panko and Parmesan-Crusted Cod
Tuesday: Ginger and Fish Sauce Meatballs
These Vietnamese-inspired chicken meatballs are tender and juicy, and bursting with punchy flavor, thanks to ginger and fish sauce. Serve them over rice or vermicelli noodles, or pile in lettuce cups. Have leftovers? They will taste even better for tomorrow’s lunch.
Tip: For the very best flavor, I like to make the meatball mixture a few hours in advance, then tuck it in the fridge to let the flavors marry. Once dinnertime approaches, shape chicken mixture and bake.
Get the recipe: Ginger and Fish Sauce Meatballs
Wednesday: Shrimp and Asparagus Stir-Fry
Simple stir-fry meals are one of my favorite low-effort, maximum-reward dinners. Tonight I’m taking advantage of in-season asparagus and whipping up this easy dish that promises big flavor. The main components are juicy shrimp sautéed in ginger and garlic, then tossed with tender-crisp asparagus, and a savory oyster sauce that pairs beautifully with steamed jasmine rice.
Tip: To prevent overcooking shrimp, remove from skillet just after shrimp are slightly pink and return once asparagus are tender-crisp. The result? Asparagus with the perfect amount of bite and juicy, tender shrimp.
Get the recipe: Shrimp and Asparagus Stir-Fry
Thursday: Garlic and Mushroom Skillet Chicken
This chicken thigh skillet recipe is easy to make and great for weeknight eats. It starts by cooking chicken thighs in a cast iron skillet, which delivers an exceptionally crispy skin and thoroughly cooks the chicken thighs, followed by making a luscious mushroom, garlic, and thyme sauce.
The result is a flavor-packed chicken swimming in a creamy, garlic sauce — it’s absolutely delicious. My favorite pairings with this skillet chicken recipe are my lemon caper roasted cauliflower steaks and roasted Japanese sweet potatoes. The mixture of flavors and textures is divine and quite delicious.
Tip: Using a paper towel, pat chicken skin until completely dry. A dry surface will yield crispier skin when cooking.
Get the recipe: Garlic and Mushroom Skillet Chicken
Friday: Thai-Style Basil Chicken
In case you’re itching for takeout, I have the perfect dish for you: 20-minute Thai-style basil chicken. This dish makes a weekly appearance at our dinner table for its ease in preparation and taste. It’s a balance of sweet and salty, with a bright basil aroma. Best served with jasmine rice and a spoonful of sauce. What better way to end the week than with a 20-minute, restaurant-inspired meal?
Tip: The light and dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, and fish sauce that this recipe calls for are pantry staple ingredients that are used in many Asian-inspired dishes. One bottle of each will last you awhile and you will be on your way to making many creative, great-tasting eats.
Get the recipe: Thai-Style Basil Chicken
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