If you like to cook, there are probably meals you happily spend a couple of hours preparing, meals that look and taste delicious and meet the specific needs of the moment: special occasion, romantic dinner, simple need to indulge the inner gourmet.
Great meals don't have to take hours, though. Some dinners can seem fancy, or slaved-over or plain-old perfect for the entire family without taking much time at all. They're simple to make and a pleasure to consume on any night of the week, even at the end of a hectic day when it seems like spaghetti is the only option.
Not that there's anything wrong with spaghetti, but it's nice to have some options when time is short. Here are five of the tastiest, most interesting 30-minute recipes in our cookbook. They run the gamut from kids' meals to dinner-party fare, so you're bound to find exactly the right recipe for your quick-dinner needs.