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Dinner This Week: Cooking from the Pantry - Vol. 7

By Keith Dresser Published

This week’s menus include Shredded Chicken Tacos, Omelet with Tomato and Bacon, and Spaghetti and Meatballs for dinner in about an hour.

Even with the best-laid plans, cooking during these unprecedented times can be a challenge. So we've put together three recipe pairings, each with an entree and a side, that call for ingredients you may already have on hand. But if you don't have a particular ingredient or the supermarket is out of stock, don't worry; we've also provided ideas for subsitutions. 

Dinner 1: Shredded Chicken Tacos and Sautéed Corn and Black Beans

Shredded Chicken Tacos start with boneless, skinless chicken thighs simmered in a tomato-and-chipotle-based sauce. Fire-roasted tomatoes add a hint of smokiness, but regular canned diced tomatoes plus a pinch of smoked paprika will also work. The shredded chicken freezes well, so consider making a double batch. Fresh corn may not be available yet, but Sautéed Corn with Black Beans and Red Bell Pepper works well with 1 pound of frozen corn that has been thawed and dried well on paper towels. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Shredded Chicken Tacos and Sautéed Corn and Black Beans

Dinner 2: Omelet with Tomato and Bacon and Home Fries

Breakfast for dinner starts with our Family-Sized Tomato, Bacon, and Garlic Omelet. Feel free to change up the filling to use what you have on hand, aiming for about ½ cup filling total. We like the spicy kick provided by pepper Jack cheese, but another good melting cheese can be swapped in. Our oven-cooked Home Fries are best with russet potatoes, but other varieties of potatoes can be substituted in a pinch. No matter what type of potato you use, don’t skip the baking soda: It's critical for the best texture.

Printable Shopping Lists: Omelet with Tomato and Bacon and Home Fries

Dinner 3: Spaghetti and Meatballs and Spicy Green Salad

Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs uses a panade to keep the meatballs moist. If you don’t have white bread on hand, other types of bread can be substituted. Alternatively, ½ cup of panko bread crumbs can be used, but you will need ⅔ cup of buttermilk (or plain milk) to moisten them. We like to make our own tomato sauce, but a 24-ounce jar of your favorite pasta sauce can be substituted. Spicy Salad with Mustard and Balsamic Vinaigrette calls for a mix of spicy greens, like arugula and watercress, but feel free to use other boldly-flavored greens with the pungent mustard-based vinaigrette. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Spaghetti and Meatballs and Spicy Green Salad


View more weeknight dinner ideas below, or check out all of the Dinner This Week menus.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.