“What the heck should I cook?” is a question Bon Appétit staffers think about a lot—for work, yes, but when we get home too. In this weekly digest we’re sharing the recipes we make off the clock (and can’t wait to make again). Check back every Friday for more July favorites.

July 29

An Actually Filling Summer Salad

I had our August 2022 issue for less than 12 hours before making this sunny recipe for Avocado and Bulgur Salad from associate food editor Kendra Vaculin. Unlike some summer salads that leave you still hungry, this one is hearty from quick-cooking bulgur. And it’s effortlessly pretty too, thanks to all the bright green ingredients: arugula, avocado, jalapeños, cilantro, and pistachios. —Emma Laperruque, senior cooking editor

Avocado and Bulgur Salad

This is the love child of a grain bowl and arugula salad—with charred scallions, avocado, and thinly sliced jalapeño for smokiness, richness, and heat.

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Mixed Grain and Coconut Porridge

On the weekends I like to make a big batch of grains that I can reheat during the week, and this coconutty porridge is a favorite. I’ve been eating it in the mornings topped with blueberries. I used a mix of quinoa and farro, and instead of water and coconut milk, I subbed in a quart of this new Vita Coco non-dairy bev, which is a mix of coconut water and coconut cream. Didn’t have raisins, but I did have dried currants which are like…worse raisins. —MacKenzie Chung Fegan, senior commerce editor

Crispy Chickpea and Cucumber Salad

I grew up eating a very simple cucumber salad (sliced raw vegetables drizzled with lemon juice and black salt) pretty much every night, and this Crispy Chickpea and Cucumber Salad hits the nostalgia notes. That said, this recipe brings bigger flavor and some protein, thanks to the crisp chickpeas and garlic-cumin-lime dressing. I made it in the morning and it kept well til dinnertime; if we’d had leftovers, I bet they would have been just as good the next day. —Sonia Chopra, executive editor

Crispy Chickpea and Cucumber Salad

Crunchy cucumbers can become a full-on dinner once you lean on pantry staples like seeded crackers to bring in the texture and fun.

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Pasta That Gives Summer Corn a Spotlight

All I want to do is eat corn these days, and this riffable Corn and Sausage Pasta by Chris Morocco hit the spot, imbuing the noodles with that seasonal sweetness. I ended up using some breakfast sausage I had in the freezer, which worked well. The simple dish garnered plenty of leftovers, and with a little extra parm on the re-heat, it’s still so solid.  —Serena Dai, editorial director

Seared Squash and Halloumi Burgers

My kitchen has no air-conditioning so anything I can grill in the summer, I will grill in the summer. This veggie burger translated beautifully: juicy zucchini, squeaky halloumi, garlicky honey, fresh basil. I can’t wait to play around with the template, based on my CSA—say, eggplant or bell peppers instead of zucchini, or cilantro or parsley instead of basil. —Emma Laperruque, senior cooking editor

Seared Squash and Halloumi Burgers

This vegetarian recipe makes a strong case for replacing a veggie burger with a slab of melty, salty cheese.

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July 22

Saucy Tofu Noodles

I keep a couple pounds of tofu in the fridge at all times, mostly for this recipe from our senior food editor Christina Chaey. Hodo Farms Extra Firm Tofu is never not amazing, but it is especially amazing here—crumbled into nuggets, tossed in cornstarch, crisped until golden, then shellacked in a spicy-sweet, so-so-good sauce. —Emma Laperruque, senior cooking editor

Crispy, Speedy Sheet Pan Gnocchi

Whenever I have friends coming over for dinner and a movie, I tend to reach for this crispy sheet pan gnocchi recipe from Sarah Jampel. Layered with flavor from juicy burst cherry tomatoes, jammy roasted onions, and lemon-garlic dressing, this dish comes together in less than half an hour and only uses one pan—perfect for when you have a host of hungry people waiting for a quick feast to go along with a campy film (we watched the 2004 seminal classic Taxi starring Queen Latifah opposite Jimmy Fallon). —Chala Tyson Tshitundu, associate editor

Sheet-Pan Gnocchi

This gnocchi (Is it pasta? Is it a salad?) with a jammy cherry tomato sauce takes just 25 minutes and one pan.

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Star-of-Brunch Giant Blueberry Pancake

This single, slice-and-serve pancake is ideal summer brunch fare. I add a little lemon zest to mine, which pairs beautifully with blueberries. The trick is that you pour the entirety of the batter into a skillet and then slide it into the oven—no standing over a hot stove. Turn the baked pancake out onto a platter to reveal the bronzed underside and serve. It’s great with maple syrup, but if (like me) you are very extra, you could dollop a little pastry cream on top of each slice to take it into summer dessert territory. —Joe Sevier, cooking and SEO editor

Summer Squash and Basil Pasta

As happens every summer, this weekend I found myself with too much summer squash and not enough energy to do something exciting with them. Chopping the green and yellow vegetables, cooking them down ’til jammy, and tossing with basil, lemon juice, Aleppo pepper, and the last bits of a few cheeses made for an easy sauce that clung beautifully to pasta in this recipe by Chris Morocco. I doubled the squash (told you I had a lot) but kept the amount of pasta the same, and the leftovers, reheated with an extra hit of lemon juice, were just as good as the first bite. —Sonia Chopra, executive editor

Summer Squash and Basil Pasta

Sautéed squash eventually gets jammy and saucy if cooked long enough, ideal as a way to coat big pieces of pasta.

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As Simple as It Gets Banana Ice Cream

My partner and I generally bake weekly, but our ACs are not powerful enough to counter a hot oven. To avoid overheating, I made this incredibly simple banana ice cream recipe that surprises me every time with its lovely texture. I don’t see the point in dessert without chocolate, so I added a lot of Droste cocoa powder, chocolate chips, a spoonful of maple syrup, and a spoonful of peanut butter. It has a surprisingly, and incredibly convincing, ice cream texture. —H Conley, research fellow

Spicy, Herby Honeydew Salad

When I shop at my food co-op, I always spend a good amount of time eyeing the melon, determining if I’ll have the strength to carry it home. This time I mustered up the courage to make the trek because of Anna Stockwell’s salad recipe. It satisfies all of my salad needs in one recipe: sweet, savory, spicy, herbaceous, crunchy, and acidic. I subbed out the peanuts with toasted pistachios, because that’s what I had lying around, and they nicely added to the all around green aesthetic. The trick is to refrigerate all your ingredients ahead of time so that your salad cools you down. — Nina Moskowitz, assistant to editor in chief

Honeydew Salad with Ginger Dressing and Peanuts

Just the side your barbecue ribs are looking for, this all-green salad gets a kick from serrano, ginger, and just a hint of fish sauce.

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Five-Spiced Spatchcocked Grilled Chicken

I’m going to visit my parents this week which means that, besides getting to hang out with my two favorite people, I’ll also have access to a grill. I’m most excited to make this spatchcocked chicken, which sits in a dry rub of five-spice, salt, white pepper, brown sugar, and MSG (optional but recommended), before being grilled. It’s served alongside grilled scallions tossed into a bright, acidic vinaigrette with chiles, soy, and sesame, and the remaining white paper and brown sugar. I’ll be skipping the garlic to assuage my stomach, but I have no doubt it won’t be lacking in flavor. —Kate Kassin, editorial operations associate

July 15

Grilled Corn With Chaat Masala

Thank you, universe—and Mehreen Karim, who developed the recipe, and her mother-in-law, who inspired it—for introducing me to this dish at the start of corn season. “An otherworldly spice mixture,” as Priya Krishna puts it, chaat masala takes buttered corn from rich and sweet to tangy, spicy, and full of umami, courtesy of ingredients like amchur, cumin, coriander, chile powder, kala namak, and asafetida. It is the only grilled corn I will speak to this summer (no disrespect to all our other corn recipes). —Emma Laperruque, senior cooking editor

Grilled Corn With Chaat Masala

All it takes is one tangy spice mix to knock your summer grilled corn out of the park.

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It’s Not Summer Until Zucchini Blossoms

Zucchini blossoms are the perfect sign of summertime in New York: delicate with that gorgeous turmeric-yellow that exudes long, steamy, sunny days. I lean into a satisfying umami flavor, so for this Stuffed Zucchini Blossom recipe, instead of lemon and mint, I mix sautéed candy onion (another star of the season) and trumpet mushrooms into ricotta from Hawthorne Valley Farm. For a flourless fry, I use tapioca or potato starch. They were a bit finicky the first time, but with practice they’re an easy dish to impress friends. —H Conley, Research Fellow

Seedy, Hearty, Use-It-Up Granola Bars

Like some sort of anxious bird hoarding away for the winter, I’ve managed to accumulate an absurd number of seeds, nuts, and dried fruit left over from various baking projects and recipes. I’m turning them into Sarah Jampel’s Nut Butter Granola Bars to put them to good use as a breakfast to grab and go when I’m running late in the morning (i.e., every morning). And because I have an insatiable sweet tooth, my batch will definitely have a handful of mini chocolate chips thrown into the mix. —Antara Sinha, associate cooking editor

Nut Butter Granola Bars

This just-sweet-enough, chewy-but-firm bar is bound together by peanut butter and honey.

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Cream-less Creamy Corn Pasta

I definitely did not make my corn purée liquidy enough for this cream-less creamy corn pasta from Melissa Clark, but this dish absolutely celebrated sweet, in-season corn in a way that felt more hefty than my usual cobbled-together salad. I followed the comments and played around: A clove of garlic went in with the scallion whites, and I cooked the cobs in water before cooking my dried pasta. I also used Desert Provisions’ hatch chile flakes in lieu of standard ones. All in all, I’d make it again. —Serena Dai, editorial director

Not Intimidating Upside-Down Cake

I don’t consider myself a very good baker, but I’m sort of having a Julie and Julia moment with Cheryl Day, and it all started with her pineapple upside-down cake. When I first made this recipe, I was absolutely terrified because I knew I had to make caramel and flip a whole cake—two tasks I never look forward to—but you know what’s so great about Cheryl Day (besides her dedication and love for baking)? She makes cakes that seem challenging to a new baker actually doable. Plus, here’s something I learned the second time I made this recipe: If your cake sticks to the pan, simply scoop it up and spoon it over a bowl of vanilla ice cream. —Esra Erol, senior social media manager

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

The retro classic pineapple upside-down cake gets an instant upgrade with sophisticated, fruity Luxardo cherries.

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Lentil-Smothered Greens on Fried Bread

This recipe, a weeknight wonder, is inexplicably, wonderfully, underdoggedly greater than the sum of its parts. I turn to it whenever I have wilty kale in my fridge, which is generally often and specifically this past Saturday. While I didn’t have fennel and celery on hand, I did have garlic scapes from a friend’s garden and a jar of marinated wild mushrooms foraged by our neighbor. (Update: I’m still alive.) —MacKenzie Chung Fegan, senior commerce editor

Floral, Fragrant Berry Tea Cake

While attempting to clean out everything in my fridge before I leave for vacation, I googled “can you freeze buttermilk?” so I wouldn’t waste the half-pint I have left over from a Fourth of July baking project. The answer was yes, but I figured I could make use of both the dairy and the pint of blueberries I’d almost forgotten about by making a cake instead (you can definitely freeze a cake). I upped the saffron a bit because I love that subtle, floral flavor and finished with a heavy sprinkling of demerara sugar. This one is becoming a regular in my summer baking rotation for sure. —Kendra Vaculin, associate food editor

Blueberry-Saffron Tea Cake

Blueberries and saffron may seem like they’re from different worlds, but here they come together like delicious star-crossed lovers.

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July 8

Chewy, Melty Chipwiches 

I’m such a fan of the classic Chipwich that friends have stocked my freezer with them as a birthday present. Nothing says summertime to me quite like spending the day in the sun and then hurriedly eating an ice cream sandwich as it melts down your arms. Shilpa Uskokovic’s recipe nails the chewy texture of the cookie to a T (thanks to agave nectar). And as a bonus, unlike some chocolate chip cookie recipes, this one doesn’t require creaming butter or a lengthy chill time. —Antara Sinha, associate cooking editor 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

A clever combo of olive oil and agave syrup keep these cookies miraculously chewy and tender even straight out of the freezer.

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My-Spouse-Went-Overboard-at-the-Farmers-Market Frittata

I am the grocery shopper in my household, but this weekend I sent my spouse to the farmers market in my stead. The good news: She came home with everything on my list and proclaimed the experience “fun.” The not-so-good news: She doesn’t quite have a handle on portion size when it comes to shopping for veg. Thankfully, we were having guests over for brunch so I consulted this absolutely clutch frittata ratio guide and threw together 16 eggs with some sour cream, all of those veggies, and plenty of blue cheese. Now if anyone knows what to do with 17 garlic scapes, please let me know. —M.C.F.

Crunchy, Springy Snap Pea Salad 

I just moved back to New York from San Francisco, and frankly, my local Brooklyn farmers market is no match for the glory that is the Ferry Building. I was ready to be sad about it until I bought some sugar snap peas that turned out to be as crunchy, bright, and sweet as their name suggests. I turned to this Claire Saffitz salad, in which the sweetness of the peas shined while the tangy, creamy dressing kept it from that dreaded salad sensation where you feel like you’re a rabbit. —S.D.

Sugar Snap Pea Salad

No need to cook them! Just serve fresh sugar snap peas raw with this creamy, tangy buttermilk dressing.

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Caesar Salad—Hold the Mayo

When I go to Win Son Bakery in Brooklyn’s East Williamsburg, the essentials on my little metal tray are the mochi doughnut, the scallion pancake BEC, and the fan tuan. For balance I recently decided to add their white sesame Caesar to the mix—and wow. Andy Baraghani’s sesame Caesar salad is the closest I can get without hopping on the L train. Especially good with a cast-iron rib eye and crispy potatoes, the dressing doesn’t require eggs or mayonnaise. All I need is my trusted jar of tahini for the earthiest, creamiest of dressings. —Kate Kassin, editorial operations associate

Homemade Hamburger Buns 

How many times have I pulled Bread Toast Crumbs by Alexandra Stafford off my bookshelf? I’ve lost count. Come cookout season, her hamburger buns are my back-pocket trick: suspiciously simple and everyone freaks out about them. If I’m lucky, I’ll have one or two left over to toast in the morning and slather with salted butter. —E.L.

Bread Toast Crumbs: Recipes for No-Knead Loaves & Meals to Savor Every Slice: A Cookbook

Steamed Fish to Remind You of Home

When I don’t feel like calling my mom (sorry), I look to Woks of Life for simple Chinese recipes I remember eating as a kid. For a small dinner party with some pescatarian friends, I went for a simple Cantonese steamed fish. I bought good farmers market sea bass for the dish and it was ideal: impressive, easy, and light enough for us to gorge on dessert. —S.D.

Use-Up-Everything-in-the-Fridge Umami Noodles

I’m flying home to Australia tomorrow and I see it as my duty to eat every last morsel of fresh produce lurking in my fridge. This weekend I made food editor Zaynab Issa’s nutty, umami-packed noodles and threw in an assortment of knobbly mushrooms, half-wilted spinach, wrinkly bell peppers, and a random veggie sausage. “This is amazing,” my amazed boyfriend said. Chewy noodles tossed with a triumvirate of big flavors—brown butter, oyster sauce, and soy sauce—turns literally anything you’ve got into a comforting meal in about 20 minutes flat. —Ali Francis, staff writer and editor

Nutty Umami Noodles With Scallion Brown Butter and Snow Peas

Brown butter and savory oyster sauce make a flavor duo so beautiful we’re wondering what took us so long to combine them.

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