Make Ahead

Recipe: Strawberry Slab Pie — Strawberries: A Field Guide

(Image credit: Linda Xiao)

Strawberries don't have to work very hard to earn a place as one of our favorite berries of summer. They are the first to arrive, tend to be the most affordable, and really know how to work the spotlight with very little help. So when you're ready to take your fresh munching to the next level, make this slab pie dreamed up by cookbook author Yossy Arefi.

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Recipe: Layered Cobb Salad — Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Take this salad to a potluck and it will be the talk of the table. It has the familiarity of a classic Cobb salad, balancing the leafy greens and tomatoes with can't-miss ingredients like crispy bacon, hard-boiled eggs, blue cheese, and a zippy red wine vinaigrette, along with a fun twist that keeps it feeling fresh. I like to consider it the trifle of the salad world. Like the dessert, you'll make this salad again and again because it's a crowd favorite that's easy to pull together.

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Recipe: Chopped BBQ Chicken Salad — Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

I have to be honest — I never quite understood what all the fuss was about when it came to classic chopped salad. It doesn't excite me. This version, however, is in a league all its own with tender chunks of BBQ chicken, crisp fresh corn, crunchy cabbage, and a tangy ranch dressing that ties it all together. It's packed with flavor, makes enough to serve a crowd, and is definitely worth making a fuss about.

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How To Make the Best Pasta Salad Without Mayo — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

I have to admit an unpopular opinion: I am just not into mayonnaise-based summer salads. When it is hot out, I want to eat light and refreshing salads, not thick and creamy ones. So when I say this is the best pasta salad ever, it's with that opinion in mind. But a mayo-free pasta salad can still come with a degree of creaminess. In this case it's by way of an olive oil-rich vinaigrette and a sprinkling of flavorful soft cheese.

Start by choosing the right pasta for the job, making an oil-based dressing, and adding some personal flair with a number of optional add-ins. Learn how to make your new favorite pasta salad right here, right now.

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Recipe: Strawberry Blondies — Easy Dessert Recipes

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Put just about any baked treat in front of me and I am happy, but there's something extra special about these seasonal blondies. The base is a classic blondie that's been seriously upgraded with the help of brown butter and a slew of chopped white chocolate. Fresh strawberry halves dot the surface — their sweet summer flavor concentrates and caramelizes in the oven, leaving you to bite into juicy, candy-like flavor in between bites of buttery, cookie-like goodness.

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Recipe: Cold Sesame Chicken and Noodle Salad — Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

I have a radical idea that will shake things up, turns some heads, and wow tastebuds all around at your next cookout: Pass on the pasta salad in favor of this sesame noodle number. It's inspired by the noodle bowls I love for make-ahead lunches and easy dinners, but it goes bigger. Chewy rice noodles are right at home in this cold summer salad for a crowd, bolstered by fresh veggies, tender strips of chicken, and a creamy sesame-ginger dressing that clings to every last bite. It's quick and easy to pull together and totally satisfying without being too heavy.

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