In the third week of easy dinner recipes we include easy dinner ideas ranging from elegant chicken cordon bleu to game day barbecued beef sandwiches. The side dishes are listed on each day's menu, making it seven more days of stress-free dinners!
BLUE RIBBON CHILI
This quick and easy chili uses chili seasoning mix and two kinds of kidney beans, along with other convenient pantry staples, to create a simple weeknight meal. Serve with cornbread for a hearty dinner that requires little prep.
Blue Ribbon Chili Ingredients:
2 pounds ground beef
½ onion, chopped
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon garlic salt
2 ½ cups tomato sauce
1 (8 ounce) jar salsa
4 Tablespoons chili seasoning mix
1 (15 ounce) can light red kidney beans
1 (15 ounce) can dark red kidney beans
1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the ground beef and the onion and sauté for 10 minutes, or until meat is browned and onion is tender. Drain grease, if desired.
2. Add the ground black pepper, garlic salt, tomato sauce, salsa, chili seasoning mix and kidney beans.
3. Mix well, reduce heat to low and simmer for at least an hour.
1 ½ cups cornmeal
2 ½ cups milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
⅔ cup white sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. In a small bowl, combine corn meal and milk; let stand for 5 minutes.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
4. Mix in the cornmeal mixture, eggs and oil until smooth. Pour batter into prepared 13×9 inch pan.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean.
Day Two Easy Dinner Recipe
PENNE AND VODKA SAUCE
Savory pancetta is lightly sauteed then cooked in vodka, tomato sauce and cream to make a rich and velvety sauce to cover penne. It goes wonderfully with warm Italian bread and a salad, making an elegant meal without any fuss. Pancetta makes the dish and is available at most deli counters. The alcohol in the vodka sauce burns off during cooking, making this delicious dinner family-friendly.
Penne and Vodka Sauce Ingredients:
1 (16 ounce) package penne pasta
2 Tablespoons butter
¼ pound thinly sliced pancetta bacon, chopped
⅓ cup vodka
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1 ½ cups tomato sauce
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pancetta, and sauté until lightly browned.
3. Add vodka and stir until it is reduced by half, about 4 to 5 minutes.
4. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer uncovered for 10 to 12 minutes. Stir every few minutes.
5. Stir in pasta, and heat through. Serve with Parmesan cheese, tossed salad and warm Italian bread.
Day Three Easy Dinner
EASY CHICKEN CORDON BLEU
BUTTERED WHITE RICE
This easy chicken cordon bleu is created with chicken breasts rolled with ham and Swiss cheese. Coated in a smooth chicken gravy, this is the perfect dinner for nights you want something special without spending all night in the kitchen.
Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu Ingredients:
1 cup milk
1 cup dry bread crumbs
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – pounded to ¼ inch thickness
salt and pepper to taste
6 slices cooked ham
6 slices Swiss cheese
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
½ cup heavy cream
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place milk and bread crumbs in two separate shallow bowls.
2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place one slice of ham and one slice of cheese on each piece of chicken; roll, and secure with toothpicks.
3. Dip each chicken roll into milk, and then into breadcrumbs.
4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown rolled chicken on all sides.
5. Arrange the chicken in a 9×13 inch baking dish.
6. In a small saucepan over medium heat, blend soup and cream; season with salt and pepper to taste.
7. Pour over the chicken. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
Day Four Dinner Idea
BARBECUED SHREDDED BEEF ON KAISER ROLLS
BAKED FRENCH FRIES
Beer, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings create the base for this mouth-watering beef barbecue. Made from roast that falls apart when it's done, this recipe makes hearty sandwiches with just enough tangy sauce left over to dip your french fries into.
Barbecued Shredded Beef Ingredients:
3 pounds beef roast
2 onions, chopped
2 (12 fluid ounce) cans or bottles beer
6 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons liquid smoke flavoring
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
salt to taste
1 (18 ounce) bottle barbecue sauce
2 cups water
1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Place roast in a large roasting pan and scatter chopped onions over.
2. In a large bowl, combine Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
3. Pour in beer, stir and add to roasting pan. Add water to the top of beef.
4. Cover and cook in oven at 275 degrees F for 4 to 5 hours.
5. When meat is cooked, shred meat with 2 forks, add barbecue sauce and mix well.
6. Serve with baked French fries (made from frozen French fries).
Day Five Dinner Recipe
HONEY GLAZED HAM
Juicy bone-in ham gets a sticky glaze of brown sugar and honey, with savory undertones of mustard and cloves. This is an easy, yet amazing, Sunday dinner, especially when paired with baked corn.
Honey Glazed Ham Ingredients:
1 (10 pound) fully-cooked, bone-in ham
1 ¼ cups packed dark brown sugar
⅓ cup pineapple juice
⅓ cup honey
⅓ large orange, juiced and zested
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place ham in a roasting pan.
2. In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, pineapple juice, honey, orange juice, orange zest, Dijon mustard, and ground cloves.
3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside.
4. Bake ham in preheated oven uncovered for 2 hours. Remove ham from oven, and brush with glaze.
5. Bake for an additional 30 to 45 minutes, brushing ham with glaze every 10 minutes.
Baked Corn Ingredients:
1 (15.25 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (14.75 ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
¾ cup melted butter
2 eggs, beaten
1 (8.5 ounce) package dry corn muffin mix
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Combine the whole-kernel corn, cream-style corn, sour cream, melted butter, eggs and corn muffin mix.
3. Mix well and pour into one 9×13 inch baking pan.
4. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes.
Day Six Easy Dinner
IRISH CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS
This is comfort food at it's finest. A creamy stew of chicken, vegetables, and potatoes surround dumplings made from biscuit dough to create a belly warming meal for chilly nights.
Irish Chicken and Dumplings Ingredients:
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
3 cups water
1 cup chopped celery
2 onions, quartered
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
5 carrots, sliced
1 (10 ounce) package frozen green peas
4 potatoes, quartered
3 cups baking mix
1 ⅓ cups milk
1. In large, heavy pot, combine soup, water, chicken, celery, onion, salt, poultry seasoning, and pepper.
2. Cover and cook over low heat about 1 ½ hours.
3. Add potatoes and carrots; cover and cook another 30 minutes.
4. Remove chicken from pot, shred it, and return to pot. Add peas and cook only 5 minutes longer.
5. Add dumplings.
To make dumplings:
1. Mix baking mix and milk until a soft dough forms.
2. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto boiling stew.
3. Simmer covered for 10 minutes, then uncover and simmer an additional 10 minutes.
Day Seven Easy Dinner Idea
ITALIAN SAUSAGE PEPPERS AND ONIONS
PASTA WITH TRADITIONAL SAUCE
Sausage, peppers an onions are an easy and versatile family dinner. It's very easy to make, uses only a few ingredients, and can be served on rolls or over pasta. Pour traditional spaghetti sauce over the pasta and serve the sausage as a side or as a mix-in for a robust Italian meal.
Italian Sausage Peppers and Onions Ingredients:
6 (4 ounce) links sweet Italian sausage
2 Tablespoons butter
1 yellow onion, sliced
½ red onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ cup white wine
1. Place the sausage in a large skillet over medium heat, and brown on all sides.
2. Remove from skillet, and slice.
3. Melt butter in the skillet. Stir in the yellow onion, red onion, and garlic, and cook 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Mix in red bell pepper and green bell pepper. Season with basil, and oregano. Stir in white wine.
5. Continue to cook and stir until peppers and onions are tender.
6. Return sausage slices to skillet with the vegetables. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes, or until sausage is heated through.
7. Serve with pasta with red sauce.
Easy Dessert Ideas
Chances are, you're going to want some tasty, but easy, desserts to pair with these meals. Check out some of ideas for easy desserts.
Peanut butter Kiss cookies. Peanut butter cookies are very easy to make, with few ingredients. Instead of pressing a fork into the formed cookies before baking, press a Hershey's kiss into each. The delicious chocolate will pair very well with the peanut butter cookie. Plus, you'll have some leftover candies for snacking!
Chocolate mousse. This is a simple, no-bake dessert to make in individual glasses. If you don't want to use the oven too much, then this is a perfect pick for dessert. It's rich, sweet without being too sweet, and easy to store. Top with whipped cream and fruit for an added flair.
Coconut pistachio pie. You might think that any pie takes time to make. While this is true for a lot of pies, the coconut pistachio is an exception. This pie uses a coconut crust paired with pistachio pudding. It's quick, easy, and delicious. If you want a unique dessert that won't leave you in the kitchen for hours or break your wallet, then this one is for you.
Devil's food cookies. A lot of people will use devil's food cake mix for a cake, which is completely understandable. Did you know that you can use it for cookies, too? The best part is that these cookies are low in fat, meaning that you can have more of them than other desserts. One box of cake mix can make a lot of these cookies, so there's plenty to go around.
Mini blueberry tarts. This dessert will have people thinking you spent a lot more time on it than you actually did! Use store-bought pie crust or make the pie crust in advance to speed this recipe up. This recipe is a great idea if you want something a little fancier than regular old cookies.
You can find these recipes, and many more, right here. When you're done, check out all of our other awesome dinner recipes.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©iStock.com/bhofack2.