What Chef Deborah VanTrece Cooks When She’s Feeling Lazy

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(Image credit: Photo: Matthew M. Wong; Design: Kitchn)

We all know what it’s like to come home hungry at the end of a long day and not want to spend a ton of time in the kitchen. Instead, we’ll turn to our default dinners — the fast, familiar bites we can toss together with whatever’s in our fridge or pantry (with bonus points if the end result is quick, cheap, and, of course, delicious).

And famous food figures — from chefs, to TV hosts, to bloggers — feel that way too. After often spending entire days cooking with or thinking about food, it’s no surprise that when they get home, they also have their shortcut suppers to fall back on. We’re asking them to share those dinners with us.

With more than 25 years in the food industry, Deborah VanTrece has done it all. The former flight attendant-turned-restauranteur helms her own catering company and is the executive chef behind Twisted Soul, the Southern neighborhood favorite that she co-owns with her wife, Lorraine Lane. She’s also a mom and outspoken advocate of representation — especially for women and the LGBT community — in the restaurant world.

We caught up with Deborah to talk about her go-to meal at the end of a long day. As she explains, the dish doesn’t change (pasta!), but the preparation does. Her current favorite? A flavor-packed Cajun take on a classic carbonara.

Here’s exactly how Deborah makes it.

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(Image credit: Kath Nash)

How Deborah VanTrece Makes Her Cajun Carbonara

“My go-to lazy dish has always been and always will be pasta. I keep all types, shapes, and colors on hand for a quick meal in a hurry, and the contents change depending on what I have in the fridge or cupboard. The trick is to boil, sauté, and combine everything in one pot so the cleanup is minimal. My latest iteration has leftover andouille sausage, peppers, deviled crab, garlic, cream cheese, and eggs — kind of like a Cajun carbonara.”

What’s your standby lazy dinner at the end of a long day? Tell us in the comments below.

More Default Dinners

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