Here’s an incredibly unrelated moment: sitting down to the dinner table with friends and family, knowing your loved ones are about to love the food you prepared. Even if you’re supremely confident in your food, there’s usually a few-second period of panic – until the first person takes a bite and loves the taste.

Nailed it. 

Well, you don’t have to be a good cook to impress your dinner guests. Unless your job is that of a chef, you’re not making a living delivering game-changing, tasty meals. Your job is simple – follow the recipe’s instructions, taste as you go and hope for the best.

Don’t believe it? Try these simple recipes and see if you don’t end up surprising yourself. 

1. Cajun Sweet Potato Rice Bowl 

The beauty of this recipe lies in the colors of the ingredients and the fact that the details are entirely up to the discretion of the creator. It calls for sweet potatoes, black beans, rice, avocado, onions and bell peppers, but if you wanted to throw some grilled chicken or shrimp into the mix, no one’s here to stop you. Quinoa could be substituted instead of rice, or regular potatoes instead of sweet potatoes. With cajun seasoning, olive oil and some optional Tahini sauce, you’re not only getting a healthy recipe, but a delicious one you’ll want to meal prep for weekly lunches again and again.

2. Chicken Gyro 

Get in touch with your Greek side with this mouth-watering chicken gyro recipe. Loaded with fresh cucumbers, onions and iceberg lettuce, this dish will leave you feeling refreshed and satisfied. Even though the ingredients list is lengthy (it’s all those spices which give the gyro its unbeatable flavor), the whole process only takes about 30 minutes to complete. When you layer your veggies and chicken on the pita, and drizzle some homemade tzatziki sauce over the top, you’ll wonder why gyros aren’t on the menu every week.

3. Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup  

Talk about a low-maintenance recipe. All this soup requires of you is tossing all the ingredients into a slow cooker and letting it think about what it’s done for a couple of hours. Voila! Dinner is served. Plus, odds are you have most of these ingredients sitting in your pantry already (and if not, most can be found in the canned section of the grocery store). The recipe calls for chicken, enchilada sauce, black beans, corn, green chiles, diced tomatoes, chicken broth and salt and garlic seasoning. Top it with shredded cheese, guac, crushed tortilla chips and/or cilantro for a taste of Mexico right in your kitchen. 

4. Rosemary Fries with Roasted Garlic Dip 

This one is a guaranteed showstopper. Ditch the bag of frozen fries the next time you plan burgers for dinner, and give them the sidekick they deserve with these rosemary fries and their ever-present best friend garlic dip. Now, there are quite a few steps to this recipe, but don’t get overwhelmed! They’re simple steps if you follow them closely, which is well worth the effort. Plus, these fries are vegan and gluten-free, so you can feel completely guiltless when piling them up next to your burger. 

5. Cinnamon Roll Pancakes 

These pancakes can’t necessarily be considered ultra-healthy, but they’re nothing short of your new favorite Sunday brunch treat. Plus, they look extra fancy and taste straight out of a bakery, so the grandparents are guaranteed to be impressed when the scent of cinnamon comes wafting into the living room. Simply whip up a batch of homemade pancakes, swirl the cinnamon drizzle in a signature curlicue, and top with cream cheese glaze. Breakfast will never be the same. 

6. Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps 

Ridiculously easy and seriously refreshing, these wraps are perfect for a light summertime lunch or dinner. Simply cook up a couple chicken breasts, fry up some bacon, chop a little lettuce, add a sprinkle of parmesan and wrap it all up into a tortilla. It’s truly that easy. Perhaps serve it with freshly-cut veggies or some potato chips for a nice texture. This meal is also great for on the go, or even in a picnic lunch! Prepare ahead of time and thank yourself later. 

Easy, simple, happy

Preparing a meal doesn’t have to be a day-long task. Dinner can take you fifteen minutes to whip up and still taste amazing. And if your day can include a little bit of healthy, hearty eating along the way, that’s even better. Give these few recipes a try the next time you’re fighting the clock to finish a meal, or you’re simply looking to impress a few house guests!

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