Ridiculously stupid-simple recipes you can't believe come out so tasty

You know 'em, you love 'em, now share 'em here.

Recipes that are simple, straightforward, don’t result in a sink full of dirty pans, but do result in food so good you’d eat it every day except for the fear of getting sick of your favorite nommy-noms.

Oh? Shall I get the party started?

The runner-up: Fried Pasta.

It involves bacon. Really, what more do you need to know?

Roughly chop onion and slice bacon strips. Fry in a frying pan along with some leftover (read: already boiled) pasta. Any shape or size pasta will do just fine - tubes, farfalla, linguine, orzo… it’s all good.

If you use really trimmed center-cut bacon, you may need to add a pat of butter so the onions and pasta brown without burning dry. But nice, white-ribboned, fatty bacon renders out all the fat you need.

It works best if you start the bacon by itself over low heat, so some fat melts out without actually cooking the meat, then turning the heat up a bit and adding the onion and pasta to the rendered fat … but if you’re drunk or a lousy cook or otherwise inattentive to detail, throwing it all in a pan together works fine. You can be sloppy about chopping the onion, too - tiny, neatly minced pieces of onion will burn anyway.

You will never throw out leftover pasta again. I often throw a little extra pasta into the boiling pot when making it (to serve with sauce) so I have leftovers to stash in the fridge. The pasta gets crispy and redolent of onion and bacon, and the whole house smells good after you make it.

And my personal favorite,
the winner,
the king of all stupid-simple recipes … is … <drum roll> Toaster Oven Chicken Breast <trumpets blare>

Line your toaster oven tray with thick foil - the good stuff, not the cheap, flimsy, grocery-store brand foil you bought on sale - and place upon it one or two bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. (Skin side up, bone side down.)

Sprinkle the skin liberally with kosher salt, and lay a few thin slices or shavings of butter evenly spaced over the skin. (Maybe a Tbs or so of butter per breast, maybe less, but I like butter and the chicken breasts they sell at my supermarket are so monstrously big that the Other Horseshoe and I often split one, so I kind of go to town with the butter.)

Add a small amount of water to the tray - just enough to fill the bottom but not to any appreciable depth. I dunno, less than a 1/4 cup water?

Bake at 400 F for 30-45 minutes, depending on how large your breasts are. Snicker at recipe instructions. If your toaster oven is small and the tops of the meat are close to the top burners, you may want to knock it back to 375.

Why the toaster oven?

Because it doesn’t heat up the whole kitchen (it gets over 100 here in the summer for weeks on end, so this is no small consideration) and because it’s been a long time since I’ve lived in a house where the oven has an actual window, and my toaster oven allows me to see what I’m doing and how brown the skin has become.

And the skin, man. It’s the best part. All that butter and dry heat make it crackling crisp. The meat stays juicy, without drying out like white meat so often can, because of the relatively short cooking time.

But the best part? The best part of all? The little bit of water you add keeps the fond at the bottom of the tray from burning. It protects the precious from that nasty burnings…s… sorry. But it’s amazing.

Once you take the meat out of the tray and put it on your plate, add a little more water to the tray, just high enough to cover the line of fond. (You’ll see it.) Let it sit and soak while you stuff yourself silly. Then come back, gently scrape every last chickeny brown bit off the foil (this is why you use the good foil) and tah-dah! the richest, tastiest, *fastest *chicken stock ever. It makes just enough to cook a small portion of quinoa in, and quinoa cooked in rich, tasty chicken stock is so good it’ll make you cry.
So, those are my two favorites.

What’s yours?

Nothing as fancy as described in the OP, but the following qualifies for the thread I believe:

Ham and cheese sandwich, with mayo and toasted bread.

Doesn’t get much more simple or tasty than that. Mmmmm.

Marinate boneless chicken breasts in Zesty Italian dressing (the longer, the better). Grill. Yummy.

Cheeseburger Macaroni (aka Hamburger Helper):

1 lb ground beef browned, drained.
1 lb elbow macaroni / small shells, cooked and drained but not rinsed.
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup milk
4 tbsp butter.

mix all but cheese in pan on medium low heat
slowly stir in cheese until mixture reaches desired consistency.
salt to taste

Chicken burritos or if you prefer quesadillas:

either buy a rotisserie chicken or bake chicken breasts in the oven and cut/rip them apart into small bits

sautee white onion and jalapeno together in a pan - chopped however finely you like and use however much you like, also feel free to add other veggies or spices

add chicken to veggies in pan

add however much you like of a packet of chicken burrito seasoning packet w/water, simmer until the water is mostly gone. we use less than half a packet for 2 people’s worth of meat

then either just warm up the tortillas and add the meat and other fillings - I like to use monterey jack cheese and sour cream for sure - or put tortilla into pan and put layer of cheese on first, then meat filling, then fold over and heat until lightly browned to make easy 1/2 circle tortillas, cut with pizza cutter, dip into sour cream or whatever you like.
They kick normal ground beef/turkey homemade tacos I’ve had out of the water.
My baked mostaccioli is also a hit with my friends - boil the noodles. Get a big casserole dish. Mix up your favorite tomato sauce with the noodles - feel free to add meat to your sauce, tastes better IMO. Then generously add sauce to the noodles in the dish. I like to use a lot of sauce. Then put a whole lot of cheese on top. My favorite is provel but it’s regional, but mozzarella and other white cheeses should be good. Bake until it’s hot and bubbly pretty much. Good comfort food.

This “chicken burrito seasoning packet.” Tell me about it. Is it made by Knorr? I don’t think I’ve seen it in the grocery aisles.

Potato and Avocado Salad - peel, cube, boil potatoes as for american potato salad; drain, add cubed ripe avocado; gently stir in mayonnaisse, done. It’s fantastic, and no, don’t add salt to the bowl. Sometimes I sprinkle salt after I plate it, but it’s fantastic just as is.

  1. Mince a clove of garlic (or use garlic press)
  2. Fry it in melted butter.
  3. Pour this butter/garlic combination onto toast.
  4. Eat.

You’ll die within 5 years of eating it, but damn is it worth it.

I’m not sure what else to call it, so I’ll call it Sausage & Potatoes. I made it last night.

Slice up some smoked sausage, kielbasa, whatever. Lightly saute it in the bottom of a stock pot/dutch oven until it’s just a little bit brown & warm through. Pull the sausage out & save it off to the side. Add diced/cubed potatoes to the pot & cover with hot water & seasonings (I use kosher salt, garlic powder & Penzeys Fox Point Seasoning). Boil the potatoes (covered) for about 10 minutes or so until cooked but not mushy.

This is where it gets different. My personal preference is to add roughly chopped cabbage at this point (as well as adding the sausage back in) and simmer for another 5 minutes or so. Noone else at my house likes cooked cabbage, so I usually throw in a giant can of cut green beans instead. Reseason to taste (for the beans/cabbage) and serve in a bowl.

Nom nom nom!

This, this is absolutely stupid good. I think it’s a complete protein and veggie, so it will work for a vegetarian meal (which is what I “conceived” it as), but could also be a side if you want to serve it with a chicken breast or something.

Bring a 8-10 oz bag penne pasta to a boil, while this goes on dump a can of cannelini (white) beans into a colander. Grab a “brick” of frozen spinach, score it halfway through with a steak knife, whack it on the counter, put half back in the freezer in a baggie and save for next time, and crumble the other half over the beans. Once the pasta is done dump it over the spinach (spinach looks more and more wrong the more you type it) and beans. Once all are drained dump back in pot and stir with a few tablespoons of jarred pesto. My fave: Classico Creations Pesto. (In the jarred pasta toppings aisle.) More or less depending on how garlic-y you like it. Eat. 10 minutes tops.

Just thought of this one, im thinking of having it tonight. (recipe not exact)

Chicken and Fruit Salad

3 cups cooked chicken cut into bite size pieces (I usually boil it)
1 celery heart, chopped
1 can mandarin oranges drained
a handful? of seedless grapes, (can be cut in half, I prefer whole)
1 can of cubed pineapple drained

1/3 cup of mayonnaise (might be 1/4, I cant remember)
a bit? of salt
broad leaf lettuce (Usually I use Iceberg)

gently mix chicken, oranges, pineapple, grapes and celery until evenly distributed. then mix mayonnaise throughout. chill. serve on lettuce leaf.

Friedo’s Meatloaf:

Two pounds of ground turkey
Half a white onion, chopped to hell
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Two glugs[sup]1[/sup] of steak sauce

Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and other seasonings to your liking.

Put a thin layer of ketchup on top if you like a crust.

Bake at 350 for an hour.

[sub]The glug is a standard unit of volume measurement equal to the amount of liquid necessary to pour out of a bottle so that it goes glug.[/sub]

Here’s my favorite appetizer:

Cream cheese roll-ups

One small jar dried beef (like the kind you’d use for cream chipped beef on toast, another absolutely wonderful food - does anyone eat that anymore?)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon Lawry’s
6 oz. cream cheese
1 can crescent rolls

Finely chop or blend the beef. Put the cream cheese into a small bowl, microwave for 30 seconds or until soft. Mix in garlic powder, Lawry’s and beef. On a cookie sheet, roll out the crescent rolls and press the edges together so the dough makes a flat sheet. Spread the cream cheese mixture to about an inch away from the edges. Roll it up like a jelly roll and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate one hour, then slice into 2-inch rounds. Put on the cookie sheet and bake at 375 until brown.

Edited to add: if you’re unsure whether some people might be vegetarian, just leave out the beef - it still tastes good.

Beer boiled bratwurst. Boil brats in beer, throw on the grill, place in slightly grilled roll, add mustard and onions and…DONE.

It’s usually in the aisle next to the taco shells and salsa. I believe Taco Bell & Old El Paso make some. They can come in pretty handy sometimes.

Buttons or 'bellas (stem removed) stuffed w/Laughing Cow or some variety of cream cheese topped witih pesto. Stick in the oven until cheese is melty. So easy…and people LOVE these!

In one of Giada DeLaurentis’ books, she has an easy Chicken Parmesan recipe. It takes all of 10 minutes to prep and stick in the oven, and everyone who’s eaten it drools in ecstasy. It’s better than any I’ve ever had served in a restaurant.

However much raw hamburger you need to make a meatloaf the size you want

your favorite salsa
Mix hamburger and salsa together until totally mixed

throw on a sheet pan and shape however you think meatloaf should look

350 until it’s cooked through (cooking time varies by size and shape)

I would like to. How is it made?

Is that what my dad used to call Shit on a Shingle from the Navy? I’ve always been curious about that.