Late summer’s bounty of fresh produce means it’s improv season in the kitchen! Mixed with some pantry staples and a few simple cooking techniques, meals basically season themselves this time of year. Not sure where to start? We’ve pulled together some of our favorite no-recipe recipes with easy-to-master formulas that’ll help you cook off-the-cuff, whenever, wherever.
Salsa is one of the easiest—and most delicious—appetizers to master and this recipe from Guero’s in Austin makes it even easier thanks to the use of canned tomatoes. Of course, come summer, we swap in all the fresh tomatoes we can (here’s your chance to use up any misshapen or overripe ones from the garden), and adjust the heat level to our own tastes.
This super-simple marinade from Jessica in the Kitchen is as multi-purpose as it gets, elevating everything from garden-grown veggies to grilled meats. Feel free to play with adding in extra ingredients like Dijon mustard or maple syrup, extra garlic, or fresh herbs and fire up that grill.
Having a solid hash recipe in your back pocket means you’ll always be able to pull together a killer breakfast. This recipe from Brown Sugar Mama combines heaps of fresh-from-the-farmers-market veggies, but you can absolutely mix and match based on whatever seasonal veggies you currently have on hand.
Simply seasoned chicken will basically cook itself—if you know the tricks to coax it to do so. This recipe from Slo Burn teaches you how to roast perfect bone-in chicken and veggies all in the same pot with a simple pan sauce that’s spoonable over fresh rice, easy roast potatoes, or plain noodles.
The easiest way to elevate a basic bowl of pasta? Add more cheese and bake (obviously). This recipe from Grandbaby Cakes combines a meaty tomato sauce with spaghetti, ricotta, and mozzarella, but it’s easy enough to adapt to your own tastes. Only have penne pasta? No problem! Want to add in garden-grown zucchini and spinach? Do it. Master the basics and the world of baked pasta (aka the world’s easiest dinner) is yours.