Even when you can't muster the energy for an elaborate cooking session, embrace your inner culinary explorer and indulge in these globally-inspired, low-effort delights with easy recipes
Welcome to the ultimate guide to culinary laziness and taste bud satisfaction! We've all been there—those days when the mere thought of cooking a gourmet meal sends you into a tailspin. Fear not, because we've compiled a list of 15 easy, low-effort comfort foods that'll soothe your soul and save your sanity.
These recipes span across continents and cultures, offering a world of flavours at your fingertips. So, let's embark on this delicious journey, where no culinary skills are required, and every bite promises to be a warm hug for your palate.
1. Slow-cooked Italian bolognese
Originating from the heart of Italy, bolognese sauce is a classic comfort food. You could travel all the way to Bologna to savour its authenticity, but why bother when you can whip it up in your own kitchen?
In a slow cooker, combine ground beef, chopped onions, garlic, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, a splash of red wine, and a medley of Italian herbs. Set it and forget it for six-eight hours on low. Serve over al dente spaghetti, and you'll have an Italian masterpiece right at home.
2. Indian butter chicken
From the bustling streets of Delhi to your dinner table, butter chicken is a North Indian delicacy that's bound to satisfy your taste buds without breaking a sweat.
In a slow cooker, toss in boneless chicken, diced tomatoes, garam masala, turmeric, and a dollop of butter. Cook on low for six hours, then stir in heavy cream and let it simmer for another 15 minutes. Serve with naan or basmati rice, and you'll have a feast worthy of Bollywood's approval.
3. Spanish patatas bravas
Prepare to say "¡Olé!" to these Spanish spuds. Patatas bravas are crispy, golden potatoes with a fiery tomato sauce, all without having to jet off to Barcelona.
Toss diced potatoes in olive oil, salt, and paprika, and air fry until they're crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. For the sauce, combine canned tomatoes, garlic, red pepper flakes, and a touch of vinegar in a blender. Pour it over the potatoes and dive into a taste explosion that'll make you dance the flamenco.
4. Thai red curry
If you're in the mood for a spicy Thai delight, our slow cooker Thai red curry is a ticket to flavour town—no passport required.
"If you're in the mood for a spicy delight, this slow cooker Thai red curry is a ticket to flavour town"
In a slow cooker, place sliced chicken, red curry paste, coconut milk, and an array of veggies. Cook on low for four-six hours. Serve over jasmine rice and garnish with fresh cilantro and lime wedges.
5. Tex-Mex chilli
Saddle up for a Tex-Mex flavour extravaganza with this easy chili recipe. No need to don a ten-gallon hat; a slow cooker will do.
In a slow cooker, combine ground beef, beans, diced tomatoes, chilli powder, cumin, and a hint of cocoa powder (yes, you read that right). Let it simmer on low for eight hours. Top with cheese and sour cream, and you'll have a chilli that even cowboys would ride home for.
6. Greek gyro sandwiches
Transport yourself to the charming streets of Athens with a gyro sandwich. If you can't pronounce it, don't worry; you can still make it.
In a slow cooker, combine sliced lamb or chicken, garlic, oregano, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Cook on low for four hours. Serve the meat in warm pita bread with sliced onions, tomatoes, and Tzatziki sauce. You've got yourself a taste of Greece, minus plate smashing.
7. French onion soup
Craving a bowl of comforting French cuisine? With our easy French onion soup, you can dine like a true Parisian in the comfort of your own kitchen.
In a pot, melt butter and sauté thinly sliced onions until they caramelise. Sprinkle some flour and stir in beef broth, a bit of white wine, and a bay leaf. Let it simmer for 30 minutes. Ladle the soup into oven-safe bowls, top with a slice of baguette and Gruyère cheese, and broil until golden and bubbly. Voilà! Your very own slice of the City of Love.
8. Italian Caprese salad
For a fresh and effortless Italian appetiser, look no further than the caprese salad. It's the perfect dish for a low-effort, high-impact meal.
"For a fresh and effortless Italian appetiser, look no further than the delicious caprese salad"
Slice ripe tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese, then arrange them alternately on a plate. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with fresh basil leaves, and season with salt and pepper. This caprese salad is like a work of art that even Da Vinci would appreciate.
9. Chinese fried rice
Skip the takeout and whip up a batch of delectable Chinese fried rice right at home. With a wok or a large skillet, you can stir-fry your way to an authentic Asian feast.
Start by cooking day-old rice to reduce moisture. In a hot wok or skillet, stir-fry diced vegetables, chopped garlic, and cooked protein of your choice. Add the rice and drizzle with soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil. Toss until everything is well combined. Top with green onions and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. This Chinese fried rice will have you wokking and rolling in no time.
10. Moroccan chicken tagine
Take a magical journey to the heart of Morocco with this simple yet exotic dish, chicken tagine. No flying carpet required!
"This dish will make you feel like you've just stepped into the bustling, fragrant markets of Marrakech"
In a slow cooker, place chicken thighs, chopped onions, garlic, and a blend of Moroccan spices such as cumin, coriander, and cinnamon. Add dried apricots and olives for a sweet and savoury twist. Let it cook on low for four-six hours, and serve it over couscous or rice. This dish will make you feel like you've just stepped into the bustling markets of Marrakech.
11. Japanese miso soup
Finally, let's take a stroll through the land of the rising sun with a comforting bowl of Japanese miso soup.
In a saucepan, bring water and dashi stock to a simmer. Stir in miso paste until it's dissolved. Add tofu cubes, sliced green onions, and seaweed. Simmer for a few minutes until everything is heated through. Serve this soothing broth in small bowls, and you've got a taste of Japan right in your kitchen.
Banner credit: Miso soup (Roman Odintsov)
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