Cooking with your partner is one a fun indoor activity. Whether you’re making a sumptuous one-pan chicken dinner on a lazy weekend, or just flipping pancakes for a weeknight dinner, this is a good way to build a strong bond with your partner. These are moments to share as stories, and learn from each other as you look forward to having a delicious meal at the end of the day.
Cooking at Home With Your Partner Vs. Eating at a Restaurant
Cooking at home, and eating together, has advantages over eating at a restaurant. Homemade meals are cheaper and healthier because you’re aware of all the ingredients. Eating at home also allows you to have more fun, laugh to your heart’s content and converse about anything without feeling like you are disturbing other people at the restaurant. More still, you don’t have to worry about sucking in your tummy, or not eating too much, because you don’t want your stomach to bulge out in that tight-fitting dress.
What is a One-Pan Dish?
Nowadays, most people are busy with a myriad of tasks, which do not allow them to cook weeknight dinners at home. This is where one-pan meals come in handy. One-pan meals are meals you can prepare in one pan. They are also called one-skillet or one-pot dishes. These easy dinner recipes are delicious, convenient, and easy to prepare, and you don’t have to spend so much time cleaning after you cook.
Most one-pan dinner recipes require that you pre-prepare some of the ingredients before you start cooking. For instance, if you want to cook chicken and pasta for your weeknight dinner, you may have to prepare the chicken breasts beforehand, and store in your refrigerator. That way, you only have to prepare pasta, add your chicken, and stir-fry with chopped veggies.
Below is a list of one-pan dinner recipes you can cook with your spouse. These fast and easy dinner ideas are mostly ethnic, versatile, and can be tweaked into a number of variations. Even picky eaters can get inspired by these.
One-Pan Chicken Dinner Ideas
Brown Stew Chicken and Rice
Popular in the Caribbean Islands, this savory dish comprises rice and stew made of Caribbean spices, with browned Chicken. To make this a one-pan meal, you’d have to prepare your brown stew beforehand, preferably on a weekend when you’re at home. Then, when you want to make the instant hot pot recipe, all you have to do is add the stew and the proteins to a pot of boiling rice and allow it to steam until done.
This is great for weeknights, considering how it takes about 35 minutes maximum to prepare. You marinate your chicken thighs or chicken breasts in the balsamic marinade for about 10 – 20 minutes. Next, you fry in a skillet until browned. Alternatively, you can bake them. You can easily have this with pasta, rice, or French fries. This is an easy dinner recipe that kids would love.
Honey and Garlic Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggies
To prepare this on-pan chicken dinner, you have to start off with making a marinade consisting of honey, garlic, peppers, spices, and herbs. After marinating chunks of chicken breasts, you go ahead to bake. You can add the veggies about midway into baking. This meal is healthy and nutrient-dense.
Lebanese Rice and Chicken
This one-pan dish consists of long-grained rice and roasted nuts beautifully blended with spiced ground beef and shredded chicken breasts.
Puerto Rican Arroz con Pollo (Rice and Chicken)
This is one of the many variations of chicken and rice in the world. In this case, you cook with beer. Arroz con pollo is made in a pan with homemade adobo seasoned chicken sofrito and savory rice. Tomato sauce, peas, and sazon are necessary ingredients, too. Basmati rice is preferable for this one-pan chicken dinner.
One-Pan Vegan and Vegetarian Meals
Made with basmati rice, saffron spice, onion, and broth, saffron rice is easy to make and can be eaten with any protein, mushrooms, tempeh, tofu, or seitan.
Pineapple and Cashew Fried Rice
This meal is a perfect blend of sweet and savory. To prepare, you have to stir-fry already-cooked rice in a skillet containing veggies, and pineapple pieces. Lastly, top it off with cashew nuts and see how the perfect one-pan meal comes alive.
Chickpea and Asparagus Stir-Fry
This dish is packed with nutrients! To make it, you have to stir-fry chickpeas and asparagus in a skillet with veggies, herbs and spices of your choice.
One-Pan Vegan Coconut Rice and Tofu
Basmati rice is best for this dish. You add already cooked coconut rice into a skillet sauteing with coconut oil, tofu, spices, and herbs.
Mushroom Fried Rice
Already cooked rice is added into a skillet with veggies, spices, herbs, and mushrooms. This quick meal is suitable for kids and great for the family on weeknights.
Lentil and Quinoa Chili with Potatoes
Lentils, sweet potatoes, tomato puree, and peppers are the main ingredients for this meal. It is vegan, gluten-free, and tasty. Garlic, green pepper, onions, and other spices help to give this dish more flavor.
Coconut Milk Pulao
Indian spices, basmati rice, coconut milk, and cashew nut (kaju) come together in one pot to create this sumptuous meal. This one-pan dish is savory, kid-friendly, and rich in nutrients.
Sheet Pan Mushroom and Asparagus
This list of cheap dinner ideas would be incomplete without this easy-to-make dish. Sprinkle some salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and other spices on mushrooms, and bake. The asparagus can come in later. This meal is healthy, nutritious and easy to make.
Mushroom and Egg Couscous
Rehydrated couscous is stir-fried in a skillet containing veggies, mushrooms, eggs, garlic, onions, salt, and other spices of choice. This meal preparation takes less than 35 minutes.
One-pan meals are your best meal options for weeknight dinners. They’re also ideal for days when you feel tired, but need to whip up tasty meals that are easy to prepare. These cheap dinner ideas can easily rival what you could get at a restaurant.
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