Every Single Cooking Trick We Use To Make Weeknight Dinners Easier

Photographed by Alice Gao.
Weeknight dinners are always an adventure. When we leave work at dinnertime and are already hungry, the thought of cooking can make us want to cry on the sidewalk. Often, we end up on Seamless or at a restaurant, and we reluctantly spend our hard-earned cash just to avoid dealing with the kitchen Monday through Friday. But, luckily, there are a whole bunch of fixes out there for people just like us. Whether you need a super-quick meal or want to keep a dinner trick or two up your sleeve for emergencies, we're here for you. Click through to find our favorite weeknight dinner tips.
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Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Jen Beauchesne; Prop Styling by Chloe Daley.
Make Dinner With 3 Ingredients
Three-ingredient dinners are a serious life-saver. Especially when they're somehow just as creative and tasty as a meal that would have taken twice as long to whip up.

Get some three-ingredient dinner ideas here.
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Photographed by Ruben Chamorro.
Get Recipes From Real People
Prep times from cookbooks and online recipes aren't always as quick as we want them to be. We find the best advice for weekday meals comes from our friends and family members who are also attempting to cook quick and delicious post-office meals. If you gather enough different people's go-to dinners, you'll have a slew of new recipes to try in no time!

Get some fast meal ideas here.
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Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Victoria Granof at Cornelia Adams; Prop Styling by Kaitlyn du Ross Walker at Honey Artists.
It's All About The Marinade
Prepping in advance is a great tip, but if we're being really honest, committing to a whole night of prep work isn't particularly enticing, either. That's where marinading comes in. It takes five minutes to throw one together, and you'll be all ready to cook when you come home the next night.

Get some easy chicken marinades here.
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Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Michelle Gatton.
Pack It In A Jar
Jars make everything better (and prettier!). You can pack a bunch of snacks, lunches, dinners, and even breakfasts for easy eating anytime, anywhere.

Get some meal-in-a-jar ideas.
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Photographed by Erica Helgas; Food Styling by Jen Beauchesne.
When In Doubt, Make A Bowl
There's always time to throw together a bowl. Just make some quick-cooking grains and add whatever protein or veggies are lying around in the fridge. Top with a sauce, dressing, or salsa, and dinner is served.

Get some grain bowl ideas here.
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Photographed by Erica Helgas; Food Styling Michelle Gatton; Prop Styling Chloe Daley.
If All Else Fails, Make A Salad
Don't even have time to make a grain bowl? That's okay — there's always salad! Same throw-together execution, but no need for grains.

Get some cheap homemade salad ideas here.
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Photographed by Janelle Jones; Food Styling by Susan Ottaviano / Halley Resources.
Make A Quick-Cooking Soup
Soup doesn't feel like a throw-together meal, but there are plenty of versions that come together in 20 minutes flat. Plus, you'll have leftovers for later in the week.

Here are some five-ingredient, 20-minute soup ideas.

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