When looking to make a simple-yet-sublime dinner or dessert, open a Nigella Lawson recipe and you can rest (and cook) assured that the dish will be lick-your-plate tasty, but won’t leave your kitchen a mess or require a fourth trip to the grocery store. In fact, all but a couple of these recipes have been featured in the Genius Recipes column. Nigella’s just that good.
In an effort to lift your spirits when it comes to heading to the kitchen to make dinner yet again—the pandemic-induced cooking rut is real, folks—a hefty dose of Nigella is in order, and nothing else will do. Not to tell you what to do but I’d strongly recommend you make one of these dinner recipes tonight (there’s a springy one-pan chicken recipe and a super-simple vegetarian linguine). And while you’re at it, poke around the kitchen to see if you have the ingredients to make one of these brilliant desserts. Me, I’m going for a pasta-slash-chocolate loaf cake evening.
So let’s raise a glass (and maybe a fork as well) to Nigella and these eight recipes—none of which should be made in the meecrowavé.
Chicken & Pea Traybake
Honestly, I’ve never seen anything that screams “spring” like this sheet pan dinner—but Nigella wouldn’t scream, she’d calmly and firmly declare it.
Linguine With Lemon, Garlic & Thyme Mushrooms
This vegetarian pasta, which is actually vegan if you skip the cheese, is just as good cold from a large container in the fridge at midnight (the best way to eat pasta, really) as it is served warm, and modestly, in bowls. I speak from experience.
Very Smart Strawberry Streusel Cake
This very smart dessert—or, let’s be honest, breakfast—starts with a super-simple blender jam, middles with a streusel topping made from some of the dry ingredients, and finishes with a one-bowl cake batter.
One-Step, No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream
Is there anything more exciting than the promise of ice cream that is easy? I think not. I would also strongly recommend serving a scoop in a lightly toasted brioche bun.
Meringue Gelato Cake With Chocolate Sauce
“Fold store-bought meringue cookies into whipped cream” is in fact all I’d care to do on a Saturday night, thank you so much. I don’t recommend cutting and plating this one so much as I recommend grabbing a fork.
Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake
This recipe leaves you with a bit more batter than you’ll need to fill the loaf tin. I’ll be honest—if you haven’t eaten at least a spoonful of that extra batter before pouring the rest into half a muffin tin, I don’t know if we can be friends. [Editors’ note: While we cannot speak for Rebecca’s friend list, we actually don’t recommend you eat large quantities of raw egg and flour in cake batter.]
Dark & Sumptuous Chocolate Cake
This rich, fudgy cake is actually vegan, so if you don’t do dairy (that’s not me or Nigella, but I’m sure it’s one of you), you’re good to go.
No-Bake Nutella Cheesecake
Sometimes, you (or let’s be honest, I) need to make a cake; but sometimes, you (again, I) don’t want to go to the store. That’s when I turn to pantry and fridge staples and no-bake cheesecake. If digestive biscuits, cream cheese, butter, nuts, and Nutella aren’t staples in your kitchen, I suggest you alter that…and then make Nigella’s cheesecake.
Rebecca Firkser is the assigning editor at Food52. She used to wear many hats in the food media world: food writer, editor, assistant food stylist, recipe tester (sometimes in the F52 test kitchen!), recipe developer. Her writing has appeared in TASTE, The Strategist, Eater, and Bon Appetit’s Healthyish and Basically. She contributed recipes and words to the book “Breakfast: The Most Important Book About the Best Meal of the Day.” Once upon a time, she studied theatre design and art history at Smith College, so if you need a last-minute avocado costume or want to talk about Wayne Thiebaud’s cakes, she’s your girl. You can follow her on Instagram @rebeccafirkser.