Many people have Sunday night dinner traditions. Be it a classic roast chicken, spaghetti and meatballs, or simple pizza and wine, it’s safe to say that family members like to indulge in a meal together at the end of each week. Sunday dinners don’t have to be fancy to be enjoyable, but they do have to be tasty. If you’re the next designated cook at your family’s Sunday soiree, we have seven classic recipes that will impress without causing you stress. These recipes are warm and comforting, and written with carnivores in mind, so serve these to your meat-eaters and whip up a different meal for the vegetarians.
1. Easy Roasted Chicken
First up is a classic Sunday supper that most novice chefs don’t think they can master at home. Think again with this Easy Roasted Chicken recipe from Martha Stewart. The recipe requires only 3 ingredients and an hour of cooking time. Prepare ahead and put your poultry in the oven before guests arrive. Your apartment or house will smell great as they walk through the door and as you slice into the tender chicken, you’ll have Martha to thank for this one.
- 1 whole chicken (about 3 ½ pounds), rinsed and patted dry
- 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
Directions: Preheat oven to 425° Fahrenheit. Tie chicken legs together with kitchen twine. Place chicken on a rack set in a roasting pan (or on a rimmed baking sheet).
Rub chicken all over with butter; season with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Roast until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees when inserted in the thickest part of a thigh (avoiding bone), 45 to 50 minutes. Serve, or let cool before refrigerating, up to 3 days, covered.
2. Pork Tenderloin with Pears and Shallots
This next recipe from Bon Appetit stars pork. Pork Tenderloin with Pears and Shallots is perfect for the fall and winter when pears are in season and consumers are turning their grills off and their ovens on. Pork is also a fan favorite for carnivores and a nice reprieve from chicken and the other red meat. Serve this pork tenderloin that takes only 10 minutes to roast and impress your guests with its taste and its presentation. The flavors of the pork blend perfectly with the tart pears and salty shallots, and the dish couldn’t be easier to prep.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme plus fresh thyme sprigs for garnish
- 1 (1¼-pound) pork tenderloin
- 3 large shallots, each cut into 6 wedges through stem end, peeled
- 3 unpeeled small Bosc or Anjou pears, quartered, cored
- 4 teaspoons butter, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons all purpose flour
- 1½ cups low-salt chicken broth
- ¾ cup pear nectar
Directions: Preheat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix oil, garlic, and chopped thyme in small bowl. Rub mixture over pork, shallots, and pears. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and shallots; brown on all sides, turning, about 7 minutes. Transfer shallots to platter. Transfer pork to baking sheet (do not clean skillet). Roast pork until thermometer inserted into center registers 145 degrees Fahrenheit, about 10 minutes.
3. Spaghetti and Meatballs
Keeping with the classics, we come to this recipe for Spaghetti and Meatballs from Taste of Home. Traditions last for a reason, and this dish is quintessential comfort food that comes with a side of nostalgia. Serve it to your friends and family and relish in the ease of knowing everyone will enjoy it. The ingredients list might be long but the prep time is short, and everyone knows that classic Spaghetti and Meatballs is always worth it.
- 2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1½ cups water, divided
- 3 tablespoons grated onion
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1¼ teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic, divided
- ¾ teaspoon pepper, divided
- 6 slices day-old bread, torn into pieces
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 1 pound ground beef
- Hot cooked spaghetti
- Additional Parmesan cheese, optional
Directions: In a Dutch oven, combine the tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 cup water, onion, sugar, oregano, bay leaf and ½ teaspoon each of salt, garlic and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 1¼ hours.
Meanwhile, soak bread in remaining water. Squeeze out excess moisture. In a large bowl, combine the bread, eggs, Parmesan cheese, parsley and remaining salt, garlic and pepper. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into thirty-six 1-½-in. meatballs.
Place meatballs on a rack in a shallow baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until no longer pink; drain. Transfer to spaghetti sauce. Simmer, uncovered, until heated through, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaf. Serve with spaghetti with additional Parmesan if desired.
4. Beef Stroganoff
More Sunday comfort food is coming at you and this kind takes only 30 minutes to prepare. Enter: Beef Stroganoff from Gimme Some Oven — the dish consumers can’t help but crave. As long as you have some beef and mushroom-lovers on your hands, you’re good to go. This dish is all about the egg noodles, steak, mushrooms, and mushroom sauce. You can use any kind of steak you want, and a mixture of mushrooms as well. Just make sure you take your time on the creamy mushroom sauce, because that’s undeniably the best part.
- 1 pound wide egg noodles
- 4 Tablespoons butter, divided
- 1.5 pounds thinly-sliced steak
- salt and pepper
- 1 white or yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound sliced mushrooms
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1.5 cups beef broth
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoon flour
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt or light sour cream
- Chopped fresh parsley
Directions: Cook the noodles in boiling salted water, according to package directions, until al dente.
As the pasta water heats up, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Season the steak with salt and pepper, then place it in a single layer in the pan. Allow it to sauté without touching it for about 3 minutes to sear it. Flip the steak, and once again sear it for about 3 minutes. Remove the steak from the pan and set aside.
Return the pan to the heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Once melted, add onions and cook for about 3 minutes. Add garlic and mushrooms, stirring to mix completely. Cook the mixture for another 5-7 minutes, or until the mushrooms are cooked and the onions are soft. Pour in the white wine, deglazing the pan by using the cooking spoon to scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Allow the mixture to reduce for another 3 minutes.
While the mushrooms and onions are cooking, whisk together the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and flour until smooth. Pour the mixture into the pan, stirring to combine. Allow the sauce to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add Greek yogurt and mix well, then add the steak. Season with salt and pepper to taste, if necessary.
Serve over egg noodles, garnished with parsley if desired.
5. Perfect Pot Roast
If you think only the matriarch of the family can perfect pot roast, think again. Follow this recipe from The Pioneer Woman and prepare to surprise yourself. The great thing about pot roast is that once your prep work is done, the oven does the work for you. The Pioneer Woman has fool-proof instructions on how to prep your meat and then it’s into the oven for 4 hours. As long as you plan ahead and give your roast enough time to cook, there’s no reason you can’t expect to thoroughly impress the 10 guests this recipe serves.
- 1 whole (4 to 5 pounds) chuck roast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 whole onions
- 6 whole carrots (up to 8 carrots)
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 1 cup red wine (optional, you can use beef broth instead)
- 2 cups to 3 cups beef stock
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme, or more to taste
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, or more to taste
Directions: Choose a nicely marbled piece of meat. Generously salt and pepper your chuck roast.
Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Then add 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
Cut two onions in half and cut 6 to 8 carrots into 2-inch slices (you can peel them, but you don’t have to). When the oil in the pot is very hot (but not smoking), add in the halved onions, browning them on one side and then the other. Remove the onions to a plate.
Throw the carrots into the same very hot pan and toss them around a bit until slightly browned, about a minute or so.
If needed, add a bit more olive oil to the very hot pan. Place the meat in the pan and sear it for about a minute on all sides until it is nice and brown all over. Remove the roast to a plate. With the burner still on high, use either red wine or beef broth to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom with a whisk to get all of that wonderful flavor up.
When the bottom of the pan is sufficiently deglazed, place the roast back into the pan and add enough beef stock to cover the meat halfway. Add in the onion and the carrots, as well as 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary and about 3 sprigs of fresh thyme.
Put the lid on, then roast in a 275° Fahrenheit oven for 3 hours (for a 3-pound roast). For a 4 to 5-pound roast, plan on 4 hours.
6. Chicken Pot Pie
Feast your eyes on this Chicken Pot Pie recipe from Saveur and then preheat your oven. Chicken Pot Pie is a comfort food dream and you don’t have to be an experienced chef to master it yourself. Take a shortcut with premade Pot Pie Pastry and then grab your veggies, chicken, and heavy cream. You can never go wrong when heavy cream and carbs are involved, and this recipe that serves 6 to 8 is surprisingly forgiving.
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 (3–4-lb.) chicken
- 1 pint pearl onions, blanched and peeled
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut in ½-inch slices
- ½ pound potatoes, peeled and cut in 1-inch dice
- ¼ pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- ¼ pound white mushrooms, quartered
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon Tabasco
- 1 recipe Pot Pie Pastry
- 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Directions: Chop enough parsley to fill ¼ cup; set aside. Place remaining parsley, chicken, and half the onions in a large pot with water to cover; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat; simmer 30 minutes. Remove chicken; cool. Pull off meat in like-size pieces; place in a large bowl. Return bones to pot; simmer 1 hour. Strain stock; return to pot over medium heat. Cook carrots, potatoes, sugar snaps, and remaining onions in stock, in batches, just until tender, adding as cooked to chicken.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook garlic and mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of the butter in a small skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add to chicken mixture. In the same skillet, melt remaining 3 tbsp. butter and sprinkle in flour. Stir constantly over medium heat, 2–3 minutes. Stir in 1 cup stock until thickened. Remove from heat and add cream. Add chopped parsley, and season to taste with salt, pepper, and Tabasco. Gently stir sauce into chicken mixture.
Prepare pastry. Line a 9-inch pan with pastry, fill with chicken mixture, and cover with top pastry. Crimp edges, cut a vent in top, and brush with egg wash. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, and continue baking until crust is browned, about 35 minutes.
7. Meat Lasagna
Last but not least: Lasagna – cheesy, meaty, carby goodness. Rachael Ray’s recipe will make a lasagna expert out of you, and pretty soon, your dinner guests will request it time and time again. Unsurprisingly, the star ingredients in the traditional food formula include butter, sausage, tomatoes, three types of cheese, and noodles. Serving 12 and taking 1 hour and 15 minutes to bake, this dish is one that will feed a family and appease everyone. Serve it with garlic bread and treat your guests to a carb coma come Sunday night.
- 7 tablespoons butter
- 1 ½ pounds bulk sweet Italian sausage
- 7 cloves garlic–5 smashed and peeled, 2 finely chopped
- 2 35 ounce can crushed Italian tomatoes
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cups milk
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
- 1 pound dried ruffled lasagna noodles
- 2 pounds ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
- 1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
Directions: In a large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat, until no longer pink, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl. Add the smashed garlic to the pot and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour; season with pepper.
Meanwhile, heat the milk in a microwavable measuring cup for 90 seconds. In a medium saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the flour, then gradually whisk in the warm milk and bring to a simmer. Cook, whisking, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2/3 cup parmigiano-reggiano and season with salt and pepper.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and the lasagna noodles. Cook, stirring often, until al dente; drain and rinse with cold water.
In a bowl, combine the remaining 1/3 cup parmigiano-reggiano, the ricotta, eggs, basil and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 10-by-15-inch baking dish and a 10-by-15-inch piece of parchment paper. Coat the bottom of the dish with tomato sauce. Top with a slightly overlapping crosswise layer of lasagna noodles. Layer with half of the cooked sausage, 1 ½ cups tomato sauce, half of the ricotta mixture and one-third of the mozzarella. Arrange another single layer of noodles crosswise in the dish. Spread evenly with the white sauce. Layer with more noodles, the remaining sausage, 1 ½ cups tomato sauce, the remaining ricotta mixture, half of the remaining mozzarella, a final layer of noodles and the remaining tomato sauce. Top with the prepared parchment, greased side down. Cover with foil, place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour. Discard the foil and parchment; top with the remaining mozzarella and bake for 15 minutes. Let stand before serving.