Easy recipes for dinner: Chicken recipes, pork and more

Home kitchen with Sears Kenmore oven range, pantry, kitchen cabinets

In our years of searching the Web for easy recipes —  chicken recipes, pork recipes, meatless dishes  side dishes — Amy and I have found the recipes below worth bookmarking.

This is our personal list for our own reference. We lean toward chicken recipes and healthier ingredients, and we like spicy food — Thai and Indian food, red chilli peppers, Southwestern cooking. We occasionally enjoy meatless or vegetarian meals, and we don’t eat a whole lot of beef.

Here’s hoping you’ll find a few recipes you’ll love.

Recipes for chicken

  • Breadcrumb-Baked Chicken (via Cooking Light)
    • A crispy chicken coating without frying: Great, classic garlic-parsley flavor — and you can use it on pork or fish, too.
  • Quick Coq au Vin (via Cooking Light)
    • I love this recipe. It’s a super-easy version of the more-involved French classic, and very satisfying even though it’s relatively low-calorie.
  • Grilled Chicken with Sriracha Glaze (via Cooking Light)
    • This works fine on the outdoor grill — but we also use this glaze on boneless, skinless chicken thighs before roasting them in the oven in a Pyrex baking dish.
  • Pan-Roasted Chicken with Lemon-Garlic Green Beans (via Real Simple)
    • A very simple recipe that produces a delicious dinner in one pan. The lemons disintegrate into tasty morsels that are almost like candy. We use three lemons in all (two sliced) and chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts, with the skin removed to reduce the fat.
  • Oven-Fried Chicken Parmesan (via Cooking Light)
    • This quick and easy reduced-calorie version of Chicken Parmigiana is delicious — especially when accompanied by polenta and a salad or other greens.
  • Jamaican Jerk Chicken Hash (via Cooking Light)
    • Outstanding chicken with browned poatato chunks — but it does have to marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours before cooking, so you have to plan ahead.
  • Braised Chicken Thighs with Sauerkraut (via Cooking Light)
  • Braised Chicken with Pepper Sauce and Cheese Polenta (via Cooking Light)
    • Not quite as fast and easy as other recipes on our list, but certainly one of the tastiest. This is a great home-cooked meal to serve guests. The Cheese Polenta recipe alone is notable for its technique: Cornmeal into the pan first, then gradually stir in the water. I had been doing it the opposite way for years, but this method is lump-proof.
  • Chicken Braised in Walnut Sauce (via Cooking Light)
    • We’re always pleased with this one, a Cooking Light take on a traditional Persian dish. Often, we use chicken thighs instead of breasts.
  • Chicken Breasts with Curried Apple Stuffing (via Cooking Light)
    • A familiar savory-and-sweet poultry-and-stuffing combination with an interesting curry twist.
  • Tuscan Chicken with Warm Bean Salad (via Bon Appétit)
    • A delicious, homey chicken-and-beans recipe — but it does have to marinate in the refrigerator for about 3 hours before the 40-minute bake and 4-minute broil.
  • Easy Chicken Fajitas (via Food & Wine)
    • Fast fixings to fill flour tortillas — or high-fiber wraps, if you’re Amy.
  • Chicken Tamale Casserole (via Cooking Light)
    • An easy, comforting meal using cooked, shredded chicken breast.
  • Easy Greek Chicken Casserole (via Cooking Light)
    • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs, red potatoes and green beans with tomatoes and feta chesse — all in one dish with very little work.
  • West African Chicken Stew with Spicy Sweet Potato-Peanut Sauce (click the “Recipes” link under the book cover)
    • One of the many reasons we love our pressure cooker is this stew, which we usually make this using turkey thighs.
  • Thai Chicken Sauté (via Cooking Light)
    • Exotic flavors and an easy recipe, but we would never use “boil-in-bag rice.” One cup of jasmine rice, two cups of water, one teaspoon of salt, simmered for 20 minutes is easy enough — and much more delicious with Asian recipes.
  • Moroccan-Spiced Chicken Thighs (via Oxmoor House)
    • Quick, easy, tasy boneless chicken thighs in a smoky tomato sauce — meant to be served with Whole Wheat Couscous and Apricots, which can easily be prepared at the same time.
  • Chicken Salad (via Southern Living)
    • After reading Eric Lax’s Woody Allen biography some years ago, having chicken salad sandwiches and iced tea for lunch every day sounded like a great idea. At the time, we were buying giant tubs of the stuff from Sam’s Club. This recipe produces a far superior chicken salad with a nice little red pepper kick.
  • Best Oven Fried Chicken (via And She Can’t Even Cook!)
    • There are thousands of “homemade Shake ‘N Bake” recipes out there, but not a lot of really good ones. The “oven-fried chicken” recipes are generally better, but many of them include an extended marinating time which won’t work for a quick dinner. This one has crunch and flavor while reducing the fat and usling skinless chicken.

Recipes for ground chicken

We like ground chicken much better than ground turkey, and usually substitute it in ground turkey recipes.

  • Chicken Burgers with Caramelized Shallots and Blue Cheese (via MyRecipes.com)
    • Delicious and easy burgers. The fresh rosemary and garlic really work well with the blue cheese and shallots.
  • Thai Ground Chicken Basil (via Allrecipes.com)
    • This delicious, spicy, and super-quick recipe requires a cup of fresh basil, so it’s a good way to use basil from the garden. It also calls for
      Black Soy Sauce, which can be difficult to find.
  • Amy’s Chicken Chili with Beans
    • Amy’s video shows how to cook dry beans (without soaking) in a pressure cooker, and how to chop up chicken thighs or breasts in a food processor. Alternately, you could use canned beans and store-bought ground chicken. This chicken chili is tomato-based, and includes poblanos, a jalapeño, and a serrano pepper. It’s delicious.

Pork recipes

  • Kalua Pig (via ‘Ono Kine Grindz)
    • This Hawaiian lu’au favorite is very easy to make in your oven (or even your slow cooker), provided you have a few hours to let it cook. This recipe nicely details the process. We usually add a couple or three tablespoons of soy sauce, plus some minced garlic and ginger to the pork rub.
  • Tortilla-Crusted Pork (via Southern Living)
  • Roast Pork Porchetta-Style (via Cooking Light)
    • A very simple technique to produce an aromatic roast, full of flavor.
  • Herbed White Bean and Sausage Stew (via Melissa Clark, New York Times)
    • A hearty stew using dry beans without presoaking. We have been able to cut the 3-hour simmering time by
      making this dish in our pressure cooker.
  • Maple-Sage Roasted Pork Tenderloin (via Cooking Light)
    • Only 4 ingredients, a 30-minute marinade, then 25 minutes in the oven.
  • Pork au Poivre (via MyRecipes.com)
    • Quick and easy peppered pork tenderloin recipe.

Seafood recipes

Meatless recipes

We’re obviously not vegetarians, but since we heard about Meatless Monday on NPR’s Morning Edition (“Campaign Aims To Make Meatless Mondays Hip“), we have been trying to adopt the practice as much as possible. Some weeks it doesn’t work out, so we may have a Meatless Tuesday instead.

Meatloaf recipes

Lamb recipes

  • Garlic-Rosemary Lamb Pita (via Cooking Light)
    • Same basic idea as a gyro sandwich, with a cucumber and yogurt tzatziki sauce. You could add sliced red onions or chopped tomatoes. You can even make this with strips of chicken breasts, as one commenter suggests.

Side dish recipes

  • Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa)’s Baked Sweet Potato “Fries” (via Viking Range Corporation)
    • Sweet potatoes are very healthy, and this is a very delicious and easy recipe — made even easier since Amy prefers to leave the sweet potatoes unpeeled.
  • Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes (via Cooking Light)
    • Chipotle chiles (smoke-dried jalapeños) add the perfect smoky burn to this sweet potato dish, balanced against the familiar brown sugar, butter, and cream, plus a little refreshing lime juice.
  • Perfect Broccoli: a method and recipe (via Daily Fill)
    • We love broccoli when it’s prepared correctly, and this is one good, basic technique.
  • Amy’s Mustard and Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
    • Easy recipe for sweet potatoes and Yukon Gold potatoes, oven-roasted for 45 minutes.
  • Pico de Gallo (via Southern Living)
    • A fresh tomato recipe that’s a cross between salsa and salad, “Pico de gallo” is Spanish for “rooster’s beak,” and this Mexican condiment does have a noticeable nip from jalapeño peppers, balanced nicely here by by the good (monounsaturated) fat of avocados.
  • Tabbouleh: Parsley, Tomato, and Bulgur Salad (via Cooking Light)
    • Like the Pico de Gallo above, this is a great way to use fresh tomatoes, but this classic Middle Eastern recipe
      (also spelled “tabouli”)
      is accented by cool mint instead of spicy burn. Amy feels that kosher salt is key in this dish, and a good idea in general. We don’t bother with the boring iceberg lettuce leaves.
  • Heaven on Seven Corn Bread (via the Heaven on Seven Cookbook)
    • Heaven on Seven is a fantastic New Orleans restaurant that happens to be located in Chicago. Restaurateurs Jimmy and George Bannos started it on the seventh floor of the Garland Building on North Wabash, and it has since expanded to a few other locations. Their jalapeño and cheddar corn bread is outstanding.
  • Indian-Style Potatoes (and Green Beans) (via Cooking Light)
    • A simple, fresh twist on potatoes and green beans, and a nice accompaniment to an Indian main dish.
  • Carrot-Wheat Berry Salad with Cumin and Raisins (via Cooking Light)
    • Refreshing, healthy, and filling, with nice exotic flavors.
  • Oven Fries
    • French fries with very little fat, hassle, or mess.
  • Mexican Red Rice (Arroz Rojo) (via Sunset)
    • An easy recipe for an authentic-testing side dish. The rinsing is not difficult, and it does pay off.