Weeknight Cooking

Dinner This Week: Chana Masala

This week’s menus include Chana Masala, Turkey Meatloaf, and Beef Stir-Fry with Bell Peppers and Black Pepper for dinner in about an hour

Published Oct. 29, 2021.

Every week, Executive Food Editor Keith Dresser pairs each main dish with a side to give you a complete, satisfying dinner without the guesswork. Look for the game plan section to learn tips on how to streamline your kitchen work so dinner comes together quicker.

Jump to a Section

Dinner 1: Chana Masala and Basmati Rice Pilaf

Game Plan: Start by prepping and cooking the Chana Masala. Once the chickpeas have been added to the pot, start cooking the rice. The two dishes will finish at about the same time.

For our Chana Masala, we use the food processor to grind an aromatic paste that forms the base of the dish. We opt for canned chickpeas because their flavor and texture were nearly indistinguishable from those of chickpeas that are cooked from dried. A generous garnish of chopped onion, sliced chile, and cilantro add so much vibrancy, texture, and freshness that you'd never guess that most of the other ingredients in the recipe are from the pantry. For Basmati Rice Pilaf with light, fluffy, aromatic grains, we first rinse the rice to remove excess starch. Next, we sizzle whole spices in butter before toasting the rice itself. Finally, we add water and then cook the rice over low heat before removing it from the heat and allowing it to steam.

Printable Shopping Lists: Chana Masala and Basmati Rice

Equipment Review

The Best Saucepans

The saucepan is a kitchen essential, used to make everything from soup to custard. Which is best?
Read Our Review

Dinner 2: Turkey Meatloaf with Sautéed Green Beans

Game Plan: The meatloaf will take a little more than an hour to get on the table, but most of the cooking time is unattended. Prep the green beans as the meatloaf bakes, and then cook them as the meatloaf is resting.

Substituting store-bought ground turkey for beef can lead to a dense, mushy Turkey Meatloaf with Ketchup-Brown Sugar Glaze. To avoid this, we stir in quick oats, which add just the right amount of chew and help to open up the texture of the dense turkey. To avoid overwhelming the mild flavor of the turkey with too many add-ins, we stir in a modest amount of onion, as well as garlic, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and Dijon mustard. Finally, we coat the meatloaf in a ketchup-based glaze, which we add in two stages to ensure that it sticks to the exterior. For Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic and Herbs that are tender, lightly browned, and fresh tasting, we sauté the beans first, then add water to the pan and cover it so the beans finish cooking in steam. 

Printable Shopping ListsTurkey Meatloaf and Sautéed Green Beans

Equipment Review

The Best Wire Racks

A rack elevates food so air can circulate underneath for even cooking and cooling. Which brand is the best bang for your buck?
Read Our Review

Dinner 3: Beef Stir-Fry with Bell Peppers and Stir-Fried Bok Choy

Game Plan: Prep and marinate the beef (steps 1 and 2), then prep the black pepper sauce (step 3). While the beef sits, prep all of the ingredients for the bok choy. Stir-fry the beef (steps 4 and 5). Wipe out the skillet and stir-fry the bok choy. Once the bok choy is cooked, transfer it to a serving platter, wipe out the skillet, and finish the beef (steps 6 and 7).

Beef Stir-Fry with Bell Peppers and Black Pepper Sauce starts with flank steak, which delivers rich, beefy flavor. Soaking the steak slices briefly in a mild baking soda solution and then in a soy-based marinade yields supertender, flavorful results. For crisp-tender Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Soy Sauce and Ginger, we separate the leaves and stalks and cook them separately. Small amounts of soy sauce and fresh ginger accent the bok choy’s fresh, vegetal flavor without overwhelming it. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Beef Stir-Fry with Bell Peppers and Bok Choy

To view more quick weeknight dinner ideas, check out the rest of the Dinner This Week series.


This is a members' feature.