August can be a polarizing month. Lots of folks are done with buggy, sweltering days. Others, like me, know the close of August signals the coming end of the growing season, with all its soon-to-be-missed glories: plump corn on the cob, buxom garden zucchini, and bulbous homegrown beefsteak tomatoes.
And then there are the kids, who are prepping for the start of another school year, with all of its promises and unknowns. This can imbue August with a sense of urgency. The scene is about to switch up.
Tellingly, the recipes you clicked on this August bridge dreamy summer laziness and back-to-school pragmatism. We have some real gems in here, like a way to freeze ripe tomatoes and transform them into a zero-effort, flavor-packed sauce at your convenience. Welcome to our 10 most popular recipes from August.
1. 3-Ingredient Lemon Posset
Posset is a British custard that dates back to the Middle Ages, which makes me think it was not such a backward time after all. If they were making easy yet incredible desserts like this, they were doing something right. There’s minimal cooking—just heat cream, sugar, and lemon juice on the stove for a few minutes, then let kitchen magic do its work as it chills and sets.
2. 3-Ingredient Cucumber Sandwich
Our endlessly clever editor Laurel Randolph found the perfect use for her favorite Trader Joe’s flavored cream cheese spread. She grabs that, Persian cucumbers, and a few hearty loaves of sourdough to make a quickie lunch that’s enchanting in its simplicity.
3. Pudding Mix Cookies
If you dream of baking comforting batches of cookies from scratch but lack the time, these charming little cookies can scratch that itch in 20 minutes flat. They’re made with pudding mix, Bisquick, an egg, a little oil, and the chips of your choice. I recommend the combo of butterscotch pudding and butterscotch chips.
4. Air Fryer Corn on the Cob
The big plus with cooking corn in the air fryer—besides convenience—is how it slightly chars the kernels for that amped-up toasty corn flavor. This is a great way to quickly cook a few ears of corn.
5. Million Dollar Pie
This Southern icebox pie is probably older than you are, and it’s high time for its revival. The buttery graham cracker crust is the only baking you do. After that, it’s a simple matter of folding whipped cream with coconut, pineapple, cream cheese, and sweetened condensed milk.
6. One-Pot Taco Pasta
Equally important in stress-free weeknight cooking is what happens after the cooking is done. Dishes, to be precise. We all want as few dirty pans to wash as possible. Makes this creamy, beefy taco pasta all in one pot; the pasta cooks in the sauce.
7. S’mores Crunchwrap
Look, we all love the flavor combo of s’mores, but in practice, eating them is a hot mess. Enter the s’mores Crunchwrap, which envelops the chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows in a buttery tortilla. Use chocolate chips and mini marshmallows for maximum meltability.
Our contributor Betty Ann Quirino grew up eating the bistek her mom cooked in the Philipines. Now, she makes it for her own family on busy days when everyone wants something simple yet satisfying. Cook thinly sliced marinated beef in a skillet, then add the marinade so it can reduce to a savory sauce. Rice for serving is a must.
9. Zucchini Butter
Do you or someone you know suffer from a condition known as Too-Much-Zucchinitis? There’s a splendid solution. Grate every last zucchini and cook it down slowly with a few cloves of garlic to make zucchini butter, a spread that’s ace on toasted rustic bread. Or toss it with pasta for an almost-instant dinner.
10. Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce
Maybe you’ve heard of, or made, this tomato sauce recipe with a longtime cult following. Our News editor Myo Quinn’s spin is to use frozen tomatoes. Brilliant! Yep, she freezes excess summer tomatoes—skin and all—and throws them into the pot straight from the freezer. She also purées the cooked sauce with an immersion blender to make it extra smooth.