When you get hungry but don’t have the energy to cook for hours, you can always try these eight simple recipes to get you by. Whether you’re a college student trying to get away from frozen dinners or an experienced chef just looking for an easy night, these simple recipes can fill you up without tiring you down. The ingredients are common and the process is easy, so get excited for some delicious meals!
While it’s easy enough to find a burger place thanks to fast food, sometimes you can’t beat the taste of a home-fried patty. Having spare ingredients around the house helps burgers become more substantial– ingredients like ketchup, mustard, pickles, onions, or lettuce– but in the end, a simple burger can be good enough for even the more picky eaters. All you really need is the ground meat of your preference, buns, a small amount of seasonings, and a tablespoon of Worcester sauce. Season your ground meat, add the Worcester sauce, and fold those ingredients together. Shape your meat into a patty, and it’s ready to be cooked! A grill or barbecue may give you the best results, but just a pan over the stove top can heat your burger to perfection. Be sure not to prod at it too much, so it doesn’t crumble into pieces, and make sure the patty is browned all the way through. Once you’re done with the patty, the burger is basically finished. Add any additional toppings, toast your buns (if that’s how you like them), and enjoy the meal.
2. French Toast
If you’re looking for simple recipes for breakfast that combines the sweet and savory, then French toast is just what you’re looking for. Just like with the burgers, any extra ingredients you may have around the house can help– maple syrup, jam, powdered sugar, you name it. But this breakfast treat can easily be scarfed down all on its own. For this one, you’ll need eggs, bread, milk, and cinnamon. Crack your eggs, and if you’re trying to eat healthier, feel free to take out some yolks. Stir in the milk and cinnamon thoroughly and dip your bread into the mixture. Remember to get both sides! Then, it’s as easy as frying the batter-soaked bread in a pan. Great for breakfast, brunch, or dinner for the daring!
3. Roasted Cauliflower
Many people struggle finding the right vegetables. The bane to any child or picky eater, it can be challenging to find food that balances health and taste. Well look no further than roasted cauliflower, a simple recipe with many variations. You’ll need cauliflower and olive oil, and your favorite choice of spices. Personally, I’m fond of adding garlic powder and grated Parmesan, but any variety of spices work. All you have to do is cut the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces and toss them with olive oil and spices, and it’s ready for the oven. For crispier, blackened cauliflower, use higher temperatures around 425 degrees, while lower temperatures like 375 degrees result in softer, more delicate cauliflower. Be sure to check up on them to see how they’re browning, and to toss the cauliflower when you feel they’re getting close to finishing. This way, you maximize the browning process. Just don’t eat the whole tray by yourself!
4. Macaroni & Cheese
I have spent way too much of my life making mac and cheese from the powdered, name brand products you find in stores. I can’t speak for everyone, but I would imagine that a lot of people went through the same thing. But once I realized how easy it was to make macaroni and cheese for myself, with real cheese I never went back. For this recipe, you’ll need your pasta of choice– usually elbows or shells– milk, flour, butter, and whichever cheese you decide to use. It usually works best when you have two cheeses; one cheese with a good melting texture, and the other for flavor. My personal cheeses of choice would be a combination of white and sharp cheddar, but with this recipe, its easy to experiment. Go for your favorites! Boil some water to cook your pasta in, about 8 to 10 minutes, then strain. Now use your pot to bring the milk to a simmer, while adding in butter and flour. Once those ingredients are properly mixed in, you can return the pasta to the pot, and start adding the cheese. Less cheese will result in a smoother, more milky sauce, and more will give you a gooier, stickier mac and cheese.
5. Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts
Another dish that provides a tasty twist on vegetables, but you may find this one to be a little less healthful. But they’re so delicious it’s hard to mind. Along with these Brussels, you’ll need maple syrup, bacon, and olive oil. Much like with the cauliflower, these Brussels sprouts are going into the oven, so you’re going to toss them in a mixture of olive oil and maple syrup. Chop up your bacon and sprinkle over the sprouts, and then into the oven they go. Again, the time and temperature used will determine the texture when the come out; low temperature and less time leaves them soft while high temperature and long time leaves them crunchy. You’ll be licking your fingers after a meal like this!
6. Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting
While this recipe requires a few more ingredients, it will be worth the effort. Brownies alone are delicious, but adding some cream cheese frosting to the top and you’ll have a satisfying desert for as long as you can keep them away from people! For the brownies, you’ll need neutral oil (conola or peanut), granulated sugar, flour, cocoa powder, eggs, a little salt and water, and a lot of chocolate chips. You’ll want to combine the wet ingredients first (oil, eggs, water), and slowly add in the dry ones, except the chocolate chips. You’ll want to mix all those ingredients thoroughly, then fold in the chocolate chips at the end. The brownies are oven-ready now, and while they’re baking, you can make the cream cheese frosting to spread over the finished product. For the cream cheese frosting, you’ll need butter, cream cheese, vanilla extract, and confectioner’s sugar. It’s as easy as warming up the butter and cream cheese and stirring them all together, and in no time, your sweet treat will be ready for consumption.
Of these simple recipes, this one is for those meat-eaters out there. This recipe needs ground beef, eggs, onion, and some seasonings for the loaf itself. All you need to do is combine those ingredients in a bowl and put the mixture into a lightly greased loaf pan. For the sauce, you’ll need ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard, which can be easily mixed and spread over the top. You can save any extra sauce for later, and then send the meatloaf into the oven. Considering how good this meal is and how easy it is to make, it’s no wonder that meatloaf is a classic.
Pasta Carbonara holds a high place in pasta dishes. It’s delicious, and is one of more classy dishes you can order. Considering the esteem it’s held in, Carbonara is quite easy to make. In addition to your pasta, you’ll need an egg, Parmesan cheese, and bacon/pancetta. Once the pasta is cooked, you just crack the egg and pour it in. The main trick here is the temperature of the pasta; if it’s too hot, the egg might curdle, but too cold and the egg won’t cook. Then you can add the cheese and meat to the dish, maybe a little bit of light seasoning, and your Carbonara is finished.
Which of these simple recipes are you ready to try out? Do you have your own secret ingredients to improve these meals? Let us know in the comments, and bon appetit.