Five dishes to cook this week – The Denver Post

Hello and welcome to Five Weeknight Dishes. We are still at home, and we are still cooking. Let’s acknowledge that it can be a slog. I’ve found that it helps a little when I make a recipe that brings with it some kind of small revelation or a beat of joy: a tip acquired, textures I wouldn’t have thought to pair, a flavor I haven’t thought about in a while.

So here are five dinners that might do that for you, whether it’s a good shortcut for risotto, a recipe that honors ranch dressing or the best pasta dish to cook while you can still buy great corn.

Here are five dishes for the week:

1. Baked Risotto With Greens and Peas

Making risotto the traditional way is wonderful if you have time and want to slip away from the world by standing at the stove, endlessly stirring; it is less wonderful when dinner just needs to be done. And so I appreciate the stirring be eliminated in this pleasingly green recipe. I will be making it pronto.

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: 30 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup Arborio rice (about 7 ounces)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 4 ounces green or lacinato kale (about 1/3 bunch), stems separated and thinly sliced, leaves stacked and cut into 1/4-inch-thick ribbons (about 4 packed cups)
  • 3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 ounces baby spinach (about 4 packed cups)
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan (3 ounces), plus more for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, 1 minute. Add rice, season with salt and pepper, and stir until coated in oil and lightly toasted, 2 minutes.

2. Add kale, season with salt and pepper, and stir until wilted, 30 seconds. Add broth and bring to a boil over high heat.

3. Cover and bake until almost all of the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 20 minutes.

4. Stir in spinach and peas until spinach is wilted. Add Parmesan, butter and lemon juice, and stir until well blended and saucy. (Liquid will continue to absorb as risotto sits.) Season with salt and pepper. Serve in bowls and top with more Parmesan.

— Recipe by Kay Chung

2. Pan-Seared Ranch Chicken

I am delighted by this recipe, which deploys a quick, yogurt-based version of ranch — America’s favorite dressing — as both a sauce and a marinade. Do as some of the commenters did and thin some of the ranch with lemon juice, then use it to dress salad greens on the side.

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: About 35 minutes


  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives, or 1/2 teaspoon dried, plus more for serving
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill or parsley (or 1/2 teaspoon dried), plus more for serving
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil