Easy Dinners for Laid-Back Spring Evenings

Miso-honey chicken and classic shrimp scampi come together in a flash after happy hour.

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By Emily Weinstein

It’s the season — here in New York, at least — for sitting outside at the end of the day with a pastel-colored drink. I’m currently looking for a house drink for spring and summer, something that goes a step beyond wine but isn’t involved to make. This rosé cooler is a strong contender; so is this tonic spritz. Only slightly more work (in that you’ll need a blender) is limonada, which I’ll save for weekends and possibly spike with booze.

Then I’ll head into the kitchen, where I’ll be looking to make something simple, quick and delicious. Here are five recipes that hit the mark. Send me your cooking requests and quandaries at [email protected]. And if you enjoy the work we do at New York Times Cooking, please consider subscribing.

1. Sheet-Pan Miso-Honey Chicken and Asparagus

Broil, don’t bake: This chicken recipe from Yossy Arefi cooks quickly and promises punchy, gingery flavor. Underutilized and maybe underappreciated, too, the broiler is essentially a grill inside your oven. Don’t be embarrassed if you don’t know where your broiler is: In most ovens, it’s at the top, so use the highest rack to cook your food. (If the broiler isn’t there, it’s in a drawer beneath your oven.)

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2. Fried Cheese and Chickpeas in Spicy Tomato Gravy

One of the beauties of Hetty McKinnon’s new recipe is that it works with any cheese that stays firm after frying: halloumi, paneer, queso blanco and queso de freir. The dish works just as well with tofu, to make the meal vegan. The tomato sauce comes together quickly, with a good kick from chile powder and ground ginger.

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3. Shrimp Scampi

A classic for a reason. Melissa Clark’s five-star recipe delivers buttery, garlicky shrimp that you could pile on a tangle of linguine.

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4. Seared Salmon With Caper-Raisin Vinaigrette

I’m unabashedly pro-caper, so much so that I honeymooned on an island that’s famous for its capers. This new recipe from Ali Slagle is reminiscent of Sicilian cooking in the combination of sweet, salty and sour flavors, perfect with crisp-skinned fish and cauliflower.

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5. Bean and Cheese Burritos

This recipe from Kay Chun is a go-to for kids, or really anyone who loves creamy beans and melted cheese presented in hand-held form. Tuck in shredded rotisserie chicken, if you’d like, or leftover roasted veggies.

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