easy recipes collage easy recipes collage In the time it takes to read this article, you could make one of these recipes. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz, Jerry James Stone)

Super-easy recipes you can make in 20 minutes

They're fast, simple and delicious. You'll want to adopt these recipes for your next last-minute meal.

Does anyone ever feel happy after microwaving day-old leftovers? Sure, it requires minimal time and effort, but then, what are you left with? The same dinner you ate yesterday, with a bit more crust and discoloration thrown in for good measure.

But what if you could put the same effort into actually cooking something? What if making a wholesome, satisfying dinner was as easy as throwing a few ingredients together, hitting a few buttons on the oven, and calling it a meal?

Thanks to the excellence of our Israeli Kitchen chefs – who know you're only in a rush on days that end in "y" – we've compiled a generous helping of recipes to keep on hand on those evenings where the time between "Honey I'm home!" and "Is dinner ready yet?" is reduced to a pittance. These six recipes may look like they took you all day, but looks can be deceiving.

Creamed corn and vegetable casserole

creamed corn and vegetable casseroleIt doesn't get any easier than this vegetable casserole. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

When you hear someone say "casserole," chances are the first thought that strikes you isn't "fast." There's a certain level of skill necessary to make a casserole, and there's usually a certain level of patience, too. So we're calling this the "anti-casserole." It doesn't get any easier – dump a bag of vegetables into a pan, pour creamed corn over it, cover it with fried onion straws, pop it in the oven, and voila – the go-to veggie side dish with just the right proportions of crunch and creaminess.


Fig bruschetta

fig bruschettaThis fig bruschetta is bound to be a big hit at your next gathering. (Photo: Jerry James Stone)

Can beautiful appetizers really be this easy? Can impressing guests with the most elegant hors d'oeuvres on the block become your reality in as little as 20 minutes? With this recipe, you'll want to make little bite-sized beauties even when you're the only one coming for dinner. The fun thing about bruschetta is that it can be exactly what you make of it – as simple as tomatoes on toast, or as elaborate as caviar or escargot. With this bruschetta, you'll have all the flavors of your favorite charcuterie (cheese and cold-cuts plate) in one brilliant bite.


Tropical fruit syllabub

Fruit syllabub with mango and papaya.We’ve sweetened the syllabub with just a touch of honey, gave it a little kick with fresh lemon juice, and left out the alcohol. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

You may not own a grass skirt (or be caught anywhere wearing one!) but this sweet, fresh, wholesome dessert may make you want to tie one on. And with a prep time of only 15 minutes, you won't be too exhausted after making this to actually eat it! For those who don't know what syllabub is, it's a traditional Old English dessert made with white wine, cream, sugar and an acidic fruit like a lemon. In this extra-fruity, non-alcoholic version, you'll be whipping up single servings of this masterpiece in the time it takes to preheat an oven.


O. Henry bars

o. henry barsThis recipe mimics the classic O. Henry bars, with one exception – maple syrup instead of corn syrup. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

This is the dessert you bring to a company potluck when you forgot about the potluck until the day of, and a coworker taps you on the shoulder and says, "Coming to the potluck tonight?" We've all been there. Luckily, with these tasty, lightly sweetened O. Henry bars, you don't have to arrive empty-handed and risk becoming the office ingrate. Call it the gentleman's Rice Krispy treat – these bars may even anoint you the potluck MVP.


Pickled radishes

pickled radishes in a jar.Quick pickled radishes are a great way to experiment without the risk or intimidation of home canning. (Photo: Jerry James Stone)

The thought of pickling anything makes us tired. Surely there's a waiting period here – time for whatever you're pickling to absorb the spices and vinegar it's sitting in – or at least a few terms we'd have to Google. But what if we told you you could pickle your favorite vegetables in under 20 minutes? And what if we also told you that pickling retains vegetables' nutrients where cooking them doesn't, so eating one pickled radish is the equivalent of eating four over-boiled ones? (That's not math, people. Just encouragement.) Go ahead. Pickle that produce for instant nutrition and great taste.


Cashew date balls

Cashew date balls with coconut flakesCashew date balls with coconut flakes (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

Those irresistible bite-sized chocolate confections that just accidentally caught your eye as you breeze past the bakery on your walk? Off-limits. These ridiculously easy, unpretentious and slightly addictive cashew balls with a sweet coconut coating that are approaching superfood status? Help yourself! We call these cashew date balls a triple threat – quick to make, super-healthy and satisfying for the sweet-toothed among us. When it comes to eating right, snacking doesn't have to be synonymous with cheating.

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