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10 professional meals you can make with little effort

Posted in by rosiehill on June 18, 2021

Do you love cooking? If yes, you’ve probably thought about throwing a dinner party for friends and family at some point. However, there’s always the worry that you won’t be able to cook something that’ll wow them unless the dish is super complicated.

This can obviously create a lot of problems in the kitchen, but, with our list below, you’ll be able to cook up some absolute showstoppers without getting yourself too worked up in the process.

Courgette and onion frittata

Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 medium courgette
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 – 5 large eggs
  • Salt and pepper

Quick, simple, and pleasing, this is a great dish when you’re making a light lunch for yourself and a friend.

You can find the full method here.

Honey sriracha chicken

Time: 2 hours and 10 minutes

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 675g boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 150ml tamari or soy sauce
  • 170 ml honey
  • 150ml sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (or you can use double the amount of plain flour)

While it seems like it takes a long time to cook, it’s a one-pot dish you can leave to cook itself. Which means you can spend time getting the dinner table looking great for everyone’s arrival.

You can find the full method here.

Portuguese chicken

poruguese chicken

Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 small whole chicken
  • 675g potatoes

The marinade:

  • 2 dried ancho chillies
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 60ml plus 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, red wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 60ml cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

The sauce:

  • 245ml plain yoghurt
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried coriander
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Want to impress at a dinner party? A traybake is an ideal way to cook something with a wow factor without using all of your pots and pans.

You can find the full method here.

Baked lemon shrimp

Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 900g peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 8 large minced garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 210g orzo
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 20g fresh basil, chopped

A delightful summer meal that will keep you in the sun rather than the kitchen, this is a great replacement for all those barbecues. Because who likes burnt burgers anyway?

You can find the full method here.

Thai roast chicken with mango and apple salad

Time: 50 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

The chicken

  • 3 shallots
  • 2 small red chillies
  • Zest and juice 1 lime
  • Thumb-length piece fresh root ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sunflower oil
  • 2 chicken breasts

The salad

  • 1 red apple
  • ½ mango
  • ½ small bunch fresh mint
  • 3 spring onions
  • Small bunch fresh coriander
  • ½ teaspoon fish sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon caster sugar

An evening in for two is made all the better when there’s something delicious to eat, and this will ensure you won’t spend too much time cooking and washing up.

You can find the full method here.

Sundried tomato pasta with spinach

pasta

Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 200g dried pasta
  • 1 jar sundried tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 20g fresh basil
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 45g baby spinach
  • 25g Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper

A simple recipe that everyone loves. Quick and easy, this is ideal for when you want to impress everyone at a drop of a hat.

You can find the full method here.

Baked ravioli

Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 5

Ingredients:

  • 570 cheese ravioli
  • 450g minced beef
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 75g chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 375g passata
  • 120 bechamel
  • 400g diced tomatoes
  • 110g cream cheese
  • 340g shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh chopped basil and oregano to garnish (optional)

Your oven is your friend, and this baked treat is sure to bring an Italian wow factor to any plate.

You can find the full method here.

Baked beef taquitos

Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 10

Ingredients:

  • 450g minced beef
  • 1 onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 520g salsa
  • 2 teaspoons chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 10 shop bought tortillas
  • 85g shredded cheddar cheese

Quick and simple, but looking like it just arrived from a restaurant, this recipe will have you serving up delicious dishes with a bit of spice in no time.

You can find the full method here.

Roasted vegetable lasagne

Time: 1 hour and 35 minutes

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 3 red peppers
  • 2 aubergines
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ jar passata
  • 300g lasagne sheets
  • ½ jar bechamel
  • 125g ball mozzarella
  • Handful cherry tomatoes

vegetable lasagne

Not a meat-eater? No worries, there’s no shortage of flavours here.

You can find the full method here.

Harissa chicken with roasted sweet potatoes

Time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 900g sweet potatoes
  • 1 large red onion
  • 4 chicken thighs

Harissa marinade:

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 130ml olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle powder
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar

Quick green harissa sauce

  • 245ml plain yoghurt
  • 1 bunch fresh oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried coriander
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 – 3 jalapenos from a jar (optional)

Another tray bake masterpiece, this is perfect for serving at a large party that can either be enjoyed as a sit down meal or as part of a buffet.

You can find the full method here.

So, now that you don’t have to worry about the kitchen situation, it’s time to pick a dish, send out the invites, set the table, and prepare to wow your friends and family with your cooking.

Nido Student offers award-winning student accommodation in cities across the UK. Our fully furnished, modern en-suite rooms and studios are only the beginning. You’ll find everything you need to host dinner parties, get-togethers and social events in our stylish accommodation.

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