Jess Bender, Recipe Tester

A list of all the recipes Jess Bender has tested.

A green bowl filled with scrambled eggs and green pieces of zucchini on a tile tabletop, with a fork.

Zucchini and Eggs

An easy-peasy breakfast (or anytime) that’s full of veg. Zucchini adds some greenery to your basic scrambled eggs.

A sheet pan with 9 chicken thighs covered in a deep reddish sauce, blackened in spots.

Pomegranate Sumac Chicken

A sticky, sweet, and lightly spiced platter of roasted chicken thighs sounds pretty fantastic, doesn’t it? Let us assure you, it really is.

A dark bowl with handles full of Swiss chard Caeser salad and croutons on a dark background.

Vegan Swiss Chard Caesar Salad

Vegan Caesar salad that might even pass as the real deal. This Swiss chard-based beauty is chock-full of good-for-you ingredients. It tastes so good, you won’t even mind.

A large pot of pasta and chickpea soup, with a full white bowl next to it and a plate of shredded white parmesan.

Pasta e Ceci

In an hour, you can have a hearty, healthy, and incredibly tasty pot of this traditional Roman soup—or stew, if you prefer. Blended chickpeas get thick in an instant.

A sliced rib eye on an oval platter with anchovy butter drizzled over the top and a fork resting on the side.

Rib Eye with Anchovy Butter

Summer is for steaks—big beefy steaks. Grill one to perfection then top with a lemony and salty pat of life-changing magic. Seriously. You’re going to slather it on everything.

Five individual servings of easy apple crumble in different bowls.

Easy Apple Crumble

An apple crumble is the ultimate in comfort food. It subs in for breakfast or takes the place of a much fancier dessert. It’s the triple threat of sweets—fruit, oats, and sugar. What else is there?

A silver bowl of mujadara -- cooked rice and lentils, topped with caramelized onions with a silver spoon on the side.

Mujadara

Comfort food at its finest and, perhaps, easiest. Made with rice, lentils, and caramelized onions, it’s as good room temp as it is warm and goes with almost anything. Full of flavor yet also frugal.

A skillet filled with shrimp with chorizo and toasted bread slices on the side.

Shrimp with Chorizo

What did our discerning testers say about this recipe? “Wildy satisfying.” “Zesty.” “Quick and tasty.” “A marriage made in heaven.” “A stunning nosh.” And they should know.

A bowl of Puerto Rican-style ropa vieja with rice and cilantro on a green mesh serving tray with a linen napkin beside it.

Puerto Rican-Style Ropa Vieja

Ropa vieja is a magic act of sorts. Slowly braised beef and a handful of ingredients become more sumptuous than the sum of its parts.