This page is dedicated to my son, Michael and a friend of ours, Eric – both bachelors.
I’ve been collecting recipes for Michael for a while and recently Eric sent me a recipe he invented. It included Kraft Mac & Cheese, instant mashed potatoes, and a package of bratwurst. Isn’t that just the epitome of bachelor cooking? Since I’m committed to kitchen-testing every recipe I publish, we had to try this dish, and it was quite good.
I know there are a lot of boxed and frozen meals happening out there in bachelor (and bachelorette) land, so I’ve tried to be realistic and include some super easy dishes made with prepared foods, like cream of mushroom soup. But I’m also offering some ‘real’ food ideas that are not only easy to prepare but that are elegant enough to impress the ladies, should you be interested.
When I was single, a fellow I dated actually served me a dinner of microwaved frozen corndog on a paper plate, no less, and room-temperature V-8 Juice in the can. Another guy I know of served acorn squash for the appetizer and for the main course. Really? Uh…well…I’d like to help you do better than that!
My partner, Tom, was single for seven years before we met and he often cooked for the women he dated, so I am putting his expertise on how to make a great impression to use. He had two favorite dishes which he says were both “real panty droppers”, Chocolate Mousse…
and Pasta Puttanesca , (the name means ‘the Pasta of the Sidewalk Cinderella’), which is very fitting, since the name of the dish refers to the ladies of the night in Italy. 😉
On one of our first dates, he cooked dinner for me and, I confess, I was very impressed when he made a fresh green salad and dressed it right in the bowl without a recipe. He even used fresh garlic, which he smashed with the side of a knife, something I didn’t learn until I’d been cooking for decades, and I had never made a salad dressing without a recipe! I finally captured his secret in Authentic Italian Salad Dressing.
When Tom first started cooking, he would only use recipes that had 5 ingredients, or less, so he’s been really helpful in this area, as well. A man he worked with challenged him to make Almond Lemon Chicken
When he took up the challenge, he not only found that he could handle more than 5 ingredients, but that it was fun and gratifying. I hope you, too, will venture out beyond your comfort zone in the kitchen once in a while.
Even if you’re only cooking for yourself, why not experiment with some of these easy recipes? I promise they are delicious and you might even have FUN preparing them!
Here are some super-easy recipes that require no expertise in the kitchen. If you’d like to see the Pictorial Index, click here, or click on the title to see the individual recipe. ENJOY!
- Awesome Reuben Sandwiches – Mmmm…corned beef (or pastrami) with sauerkraut and Swiss cheese!
- Bacon Cabbage Skillet Dinner – so easy, and delicious!
- Bean & Cheese Burritos – make a big batch for the freezer so you can heat & eat on the run.
- Black Bean Tex-Mex Casserole – ground meat, beans, salsa & cheese.
- Buffalo Chicken Wings – bake ’em, sauce ’em. Yum!
- Calico Baked Beans – mostly from a can and very yummy!
- Cheesy Popcorn – use the packet from Kraft Mac & Cheese on hot buttered popcorn – it’s addicting!
- Chile Relleno Casserole – only 5 ingredients and awesome!
- Chipotle Beef Burger – either on the grill or fried, these are great!
- Chipotle Mac & Cheese – doctor up Kraft’s boxed mac & cheese for a change of pace.
- Easy Hamburger Soup – just throw it all in the pot, ready in 30 minutes.
- Easy Chili Soup – start with canned ingredients and this hearty dish is ready in less than a half hour.
- English Muffin Pizzas – open a jar of Ragu, grate some cheese, add whatever else you like and broil it.
- Eric’s Mac-n-Tater Casserole – this recipe is totally a bachelor thing. Not healthy, but easy and fills the hole.
- Hash Brown Hamburgers with Avocado Sauce – ground beef and hash browns on an English muffin with yummy avocado sauce.
- Hobo Grill Pack Dinner – everything goes in a foil packet and over the grill, OR in the oven.
- Italian Sausage with Peppers and Onions – this is a favorite food at the fair, but easy to make at home.
- Italian Slow Cooker Meatloaf – put it all in the pot and turn it on.
- Juicy Roast Pork Loin with Garlic & Rosemary – Honest, this is EASY. You’ll be impressed with yourself. Freeze the leftovers and you’ll eat for weeks.
- Meatloaf Favorite – one of the first things I learned to make as a kid.
- Nachos – can’t get any easier than this!
- Parmesan Baked Chicken – impressive for such a simple recipe.
- Perfectly Grilled Steak – oh, yeah!
- Salsa Chicken – 3 ingredients and super tasty!
- Simple Potato Soup – basically potatoes and water, but delicious. It can be doctored with bacon, milk and/or cheese.
- Slow Cooker Chicken Marengo – put 6 things in the pot and let ‘er cook.
- Slow Cooker Easy Pork Pozole – open some cans, dump ’em in the cooker and turn it on.
- Slow Cooker Mexican Beef – simmered with chiles & spices in beer – yum!
- Taco Salad with Pico de Gallo – make your own version – it’s easy.
- Tex-Mex Meatloaf – Jazzed up ground beef.
- Yummy Chicken – only 3 ingredients – I used to make this a lot when I was a kid – that’s how easy it is.
Do you like to grill?
Tom is the grill-master in our house and although he doesn’t cook a lot, he’s always eager to prepare any of these excellent recipes.
- Beer Brined Grilled Chicken – the brine keeps it moist and tender – ’nuff said.
- Bulgogi (Korean Beef) – marinate it, then grill or fry it. Easy. You can make this ahead of time in the freezer or refrigerator.
- Carne Asada – authentic Mexican, grilled or fried. Make it ahead of time and freeze or refrigerate it.
- Fireman’s Chicken – the firemen in New York State use this for their fundraisers.
- Grilled Asian Chicken Thighs – marinated in Asian flavors & fantastic.
- Grilled Fish with Dill Sauce – this is a killer sauce and easy to make.
- Grilled Lime Chicken Thighs – marinate then grill – another recipe from Tom.
- Grilled Lobster Tails with Herb Butter – Okay, now THIS is impressive!
- Hash Brown Hamburgers with Avocado Sauce – an “official” bachelor recipe from Eric.
- Hobo Grill Pack Dinner – just put it all in a foil packet and grill or bake.
- Italian Sausage with Peppers and Onions – like you get at the fair.
- Juicy Brined Grilled Pork Chops – truly juicy loin chops – it’s a miracle!
- Perfectly Grilled Steak – just well-seasoned beef…mmmm.
- Pork Steaks Adobo – grilled chops with an excellent Mexican seasoning.
- Spicy Barbecued Pork Ribs – every man needs a good rib recipe.
- Spicy-Sweet Barbecued Chicken – another winner for the grill!
- Whiskey Sauced Steak – either grilled or pan seared, it’s fabulous.
For the “gourmet” bachelor who is willing to be more adventurous to WOW the women in his life.
NOTE: You might want to serve Tom’s semi-famous Best Ever Margarita with one of these starters.
- Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers – OMG, so delicious!
- Caprese Appetizer – One of the men in our family introduced me to this fabulous Italian appetizer, and it’s super easy.
- Ceviche – A man we knew in Mexico made this for us and was kind enough
to share the recipe.
- Cheddar Bacon Dip – Bacon & Cheese, what’s not to like?
- Cheese Ball Appetizer – Easy, but impressive. Serve with crackers.
- Chex Party Mix – way better than from the store!
- Classic Deviled Eggs with Assorted Toppings – make ’em plain or fancy.
- Eight Layer Fiesta Dip – a Tex-Mex favorite
- Glazed Meatball Appetizer – only three ingredients and delicious!
- Great Guacamole – got avocados? Easy and a real winner.
- Green Chili Dip – a Tex-Mex flavor, serve with tortillas chips.
- Pico de Gallo (Fresh Salsa) – authentic Mexican appetizer – serve with tortilla chips.
- Refried Bean Dip – open 3 containers and mix ’em together…super easy.
- Salsa Verde – you’ll need a blender to purée the tomatillos – excellent!
- Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms – only 2 ingredients…I think you can handle it.
- Shrimp Cocktail – this is the BEST sauce! (Or you can use commercial.)
- Tex-Mex Refried Bean Dip – 5 ingredients and 5 minutes is all you need.
- Tortilla Pinwheels – these can be any flavor you like and make them way ahead of time.
ENTREÉS: (See the grilling and super-easy sections above for more entreés.)
- Almond Lemon Chicken – you HAVE to make this for your date!
- Baked Parmesan Fish Fillets – Chicken with Mushrooms, Wine and Mozzarella – who can resist these ingredients?
- Bangers & Mash with Onion Gravy – bar food from the U.K.
- Chicken Marbella – this is truly impressive and delicious!
- Coq au Vin – a French classic that is easier than its name.
- Easy Creamy Shrimp Pasta – reminiscent of a fancy restaurant, but really simple to prepare.
- Easy Guinness Beef Stew – if you can brown the beef, you can make this famous dish.
- Easy Irish Stew – the meat is marinated to give it extra flavor.
- Fish Fillets au Gratin – only takes a few minutes and a great way to turn inexpensive fish into a gourmet meal.
- Herb Baked Fish Packets – turn inexpensive fish into a gourmet meal.
- Juicy Roast Pork Loin with Garlic and Rosemary – very impressive and so easy!
- Meatloaf Favorite – one of the easiest entreés ever.
- New England Boiled Dinner – not quick, but easy.
- Parmesan Baked Chicken – not hard at all and very delicious!
- Pasta Puttanesca – Tom impressed more than one date with this dish.
- Pork Braised in Milk – an OMG! An Italian dish to serve with either pasta or potatoes ‘cuz the gravy is fabulous.
- Quick Chicken Mushroom Alfredo – just like a fancy restaurant.
- Ratatouille – yes, this vegetarian dish can be an entreé. Serve it with salad and French bread.
- Roast Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic – you will LOVE this!
- Salsa Chicken – Tom introduced me to this wonderfully easy dish.
- Shrimp Alfredo with Pasta – one of our favorites!
- Skinny Chicken Divan – a healthier version of the classic dish.
- Slow Cooker Chicken Marengo – great flavor! Serve on rice or egg noodles.
- Slow Cooker Chipotle Sauced Ribs – easy and fabulous! You can brown them on the grill after they’re cooked, or not.
- Slow Cooker Easy Pork Pozole – just open some cans for this easy recipe.
- Slow Cooker Mexican Style Chicken Stew – satisfying with excellent flavor.
- Tex-Mex Meatloaf – jazz up an ordinary meatloaf with some south-of-the-border flavor.
SALADS & SALAD DRESSINGS:
- Asparagus Tomato Salad with Yogurt-Cheese Dressing – fresh and light, sure to please.
- Beautiful Chunky Vegetable Salad – a great departure from plain ol’ lettuce.
- Best Ever Coleslaw – make this ahead, it’s better the next day.
- Blue Cheese Dressing – fabulous!
- Cabbage Apple Slaw – a sweet change from ordinary coleslaw.
- Chef Salad – a complete meal in itself.
- Chipotle Chicken Salad – a main-dish salad with some pizazz.
- Classic Green French Salad – goes with anything and everything.
- Classic Potato Salad – a perfect side dish and keeps well.
- Crab Louie Salad – a classic favorite & you can use imitation crab.
- Cranberry Broccoli Salad – an unusual and delicious flavor combination.
- Garbanzo Bean Sweet Pepper Salad – one of my personal favorites.
- Greek Salad – my brother taught me how to make this – so simple and unique.
- Ham and Peas Patio Salad – great to have on hand for lunch.
- Italian Chicken Salad in Lettuce Cups – looks fancy, but it’s easy.
- Oriental Chicken Cabbage Salad – a classic & delicious main-dish salad.
- Salad with Oil Free Dressing – for the calorie counter lady-friend.
- Shrimp Salad – for the seafood lover – yum!
- Skinny ChickenCranberrySalad – great as a salad or in a sandwich.
- Summer Bell Pepper Salad – colorful and delicious.
- Taco Salad – build it how you like it.
- Tangy Spinach Salad – honey mustard dressing jazzes up this light salad.
- Zucchini, Tomato and Corn Salad – a great side dish, too.
- Fresh Corn on the Cob – perfect with grilled meat or poultry.
- Orange Gingered Carrots – a nice change of pace.
- Sautéed Chard or Kale – a little garlic and onion makes this terrific.
- Summer Squash with Tarragon – a delicious, light vegetable dish.
- Sweet & Sour Green Beans – just doctor some canned green beans for this unusual taste treat.
- Authentic Irish Soda Bread – no yeast, no rising, no kneading!
- Calico Baked Beans – a guy we know brought this to a potluck and I just had to have the recipe!
- Cheesy Chile Rice – only 4 ingredients and so delicious.
- Crispy Smashed Potatoes – one of our favorites! Serve with sour cream.
- Glorious Garlic Bread – not your ordinary garlic bread!
- Irish Beer Bread – no kneading, rising or yeast – super easy.
- Mexican Rice – no tomatoes, but still authentic.
- Mushroom Thyme Quinoa – easy with a little bit of elegance.
- Parslied Potatoes – easy, and a nice presentation.
- Rice Pilaf – if you can chop a few veggies, you can make this excellent side dish.
- Roasted Potatoes with Garlic & Rosemary – terrific with grilled meats or poultry.
- Skillet Cornbread – put all the ingredients in one pan and bake – easy!
- Skinny Potatoes Hollandaise – don’t worry, you don’t have to make a sauce for this…it’s easy.
DESSERTS: How to really impress!
- Chocolate Mousse – no cooking required.
- Chocolate Pudding Cake – one of our favorites!
- Double Chocolate Brownies – from scratch, but easy.
- Easy No-Bake Key Lime Pie – no baking. All you need is a blender.
- Hot Fudge Sauce – to put on your ice cream.
- Toffee Nut Bars – so good!
- Pecan Pie Bars – start with a cake mix and end up with an absolutely yummy, gooey dessert!
BREAKFAST: Because ya’ never know!
- Dutch Baby Pancake – easy, if you have an electric mixer, and very impressive!
- Homemade Granola – if you’ve got a timer and patience, this is easy to make and SO much better than store-bought!
- Italian Sausage Scramble (or Omelette or Frittata) – a really great breakfast.
- Make Ahead Bacon & Egg Bake – make the day or night before and refrigerate, then bake in the A.M. for an hour while you’re having coffee.
- Muesli – homemade and healthy breakfast cereal.
- Triple-Berry Green Smoothie – healthy and delicious, but you need a good blender.