Put away the finger foods and paper plates. As the cooler months approach, entertaining shifts from BBQs and picnics to three-course dinners, and that means you need to up the ante in the kitchen. But don’t panic! Making delicious, restaurant-quality dishes doesn’t have to be complicated or demanding. It is possible to whip up easy and impressive dinners at home, as evidenced by the five meals described below. The best part? Many of them can be cooked with just one pan, which means you can spend less time cleaning and more time mingling.
Let us inspire your next meal with these comfort-food classics and simple-but-sophisticated entrées:
Risotto is the epitome of comfort food: warm and filling. But with a couple special ingredients, like caramelized shiitake mushrooms, it can also be an elegant option for your next dinner party. The key to caramelizing the mushrooms is to make sure they don’t overlap too much in the pan. Our 10-inch stainless steel fry pan works great for this; plus, its rounded sides will allow you to gradually simmer and stir your risotto to perfection.
Learn more about what every piece in your stainless steel cookware set can do.
The best thing about this meal is that you can make all the components in one dish. Start by cooking your chicken on the stove in a large fry pan until the skin is golden and crispy. Then, remove it and use the same pan to make a sauce with butter, shallots, and garlic. Once the sauce is done, place the chicken back in the pan with your favorite vegetables and pop the whole thing in the oven to cook through — our stainless steel cookware is designed to withstand up to 500°F. Your guests will see a feast, but you’ll only have one pot to wash.
This is another one-pot wonder that’s a cinch to make. Boil water in a large stock pot, and then add your noodle of choice with a bunch of garlic, lemon zest, basil, salt, and pepper. Cook the pasta as usual, drain, and then toss with lemon juice and parmesan cheese. It tastes divine, looks impressive, and takes just 15 minutes, six ingredients, and one pot to whip up. We’d call this one a winner.
Want to make more sustainable choices in the kitchen? Learn more about what you can do to minimize food waste.
Seafood done right is always impressive, and cooking salmon is next to foolproof. Follow our tips for roasting, grilling, and baking salmon to perfection and then make your dish dinner-party ready with a delectable sauce.
In a sauce pan, melt a bit of butter and sauté some garlic; then, add some vegetable stock and lemon juice. Once that has simmered for a bit, add more butter for richness and a touch of honey for sweetness. Drizzle the sauce over each salmon fillet, sprinkle with parsley, and serve alongside some rice and vegetables. That’s it! That’s all you need to do to make a restaurant-quality meal.
This might just be our favorite meal of the bunch — the beautiful fragrance, color, and presentation are what makes it so memorable. And the best part is, you need just one sauté pan and a few fresh ingredients to bring it all together. To start, cook some garlic, onion, chorizo, and saffron over medium heat. Then add bomba rice, tomatoes, and chicken stock; season well and cook uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. When it’s just about done, toss in the shrimp and peas, and cook through (turn up the heat near the end to get the edges nice and crispy!).
We recommended plunking the entire pan onto the table for guests to serve themselves. It makes for a truly delicious and rustic centerpiece. Remember to put a silicone trivet under the pan to protect your table.
These one-pot dishes and other easy-to-make meals keep things stress free in the kitchen, and have the power to wow guests. The secret is to pick simple but top-quality ingredients, and to use cookware that’s versatile and easy to handle. Shop our collection of stainless steel pots and pans so that you have everything on hand to make easy, impressive dinners everyday.
Photos: Halfpoint / Shutterstock, Josie Grantt / Shutterstock, Brent Hofacker / Shutterstock, Brandless