Easy Vegetarian Chilli Recipe. Our best canned beans recipes. Copyright © 2021 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Easy Sunday Dinner Ideas if the State of the World Has Sapped Your Energy and Enthusiasm, Even for Cooking

We’ve got six easy Sunday dinner ideas if the state of the world has sapped your energy and enthusiasm for life, let alone cooking. In recent weeks, we’ve shared ideas for Sunday night dinners for those seeking comfort food. Today I’ve got quick and easy recipes if you’re like me and struggling to move far from the TV.

Our recent round-ups of Sunday night dinner ideas for comfort food and Sunday dinner ideas for challenging times proved to be the most popular of our recent recipe collections. And I get it. I’m completely exhausted by the state of the world yet I can’t stop doom-scrolling Twitter and switching between Al Jazeerah and CNN.

I don’t want to cook at all tonight but the last thing we want to do is waste money on disappointing take-away or home-delivery, so we will continue to cook and tonight I’ll re-heat my amazing spaghetti and meatballs from a shoot today. Re-heating is about all I can do right now. If you relate, do browse our easy Sunday dinner ideas below.

I’ll share the spaghetti and meat balls recipe next week. In the meantime, here are 6 easy Sunday dinner ideas for tonight, but before you scroll down, I have a favour to ask.

Grantourismo is reader-funded. If you’ve cooked our recipes and enjoyed them, please consider supporting Grantourismo by supporting our epic Cambodian cuisine history and cookbook on Patreon, which you can do for as little as the price of a coffee. Or you could buy us a coffee and we’ll use our coffee money to buy cooking ingredients for recipe testing.

Another option is to use links on our site to buy travel insurancerent a car or campervan or motorhome, book accommodation, or book a tour on Klook or Get Your Guide. Or buy something on Amazon, such as these cookbooks for culinary travellersJames Beard award-winning cookbookscookbooks by Australian chefsclassic cookbooks for serious cookstravel books to inspire wanderlust, and gifts for Asian food lovers and picnic lovers. We may earn a small commission but you won’t pay any extra.

Lastly, you could browse our Grantourismo store for gifts for food lovers, including food themed reusable cloth face masks designed with Terence’s images. Now let me tell you all about these 6 easy Sunday dinner ideas for you to cook tonight.

6 Easy Sunday Dinner Ideas If the State of the World Has Sapped Your Energy and Enthusiasm, Even for Cooking

Thai Pad Kra Pao Recipe for Stir Fried Ground Pork and Holy Basil with Fried Egg

Our Thai stir-fried minced pork with holy basil recipe makes a staple of street food stalls in Thailand. A garlic and chilli paste is mixed with pork mince and a rich sauce before being served with fragrant and refreshing Thai holy basil and a fried egg.

To top it off, a classic Thai condiment, prik nam pla, further enhances the flavour of this popular Thai street food dish when served with steamed jasmine rice.

It’s not only one of our best easy Sunday dinner ideas, it’s also very versatile. Thai holy basil is essential – that’s the ‘kra pao’ in the title, also written as ‘kra pow’ and ‘gaphrao’, while ‘pad’ or ‘phat’ is ‘stir-fried’ – however, you could easily use ground beef or chicken mince.

Whichever kind of mince you use, you need a reasonable percentage of fat. You can also crank up the heat if you like things hot or serve a more gently spiced stir-fry if you prefer.

Thai Pad Kra Pao Recipe for Stir Fried Ground Pork and Holy Basil with Fried Egg

Easy Vegetarian Chilli Recipe for Chilli Con Carne Sin Carne (Without Meat) and It’s Vegan Too

This easy vegetarian chilli recipe makes a chilli con carne sin carne (without meat) and it’s vegan if you eat it without dairy accompaniments such as sour cream and cheese. While this bean chilli is a cinch to make and comes together quickly, it’s full of so much flavour thanks to the spices that even meat-lovers won’t miss the beef mince.

This recipe is so easy, I only have a couple of quick tips: firstly, the flavour of this chilli comes from the dried spices, so give them a quick roast in the pan to wake the spices up. If you don’t use a lot of spice in your cooking, perhaps start with half of what the recipe calls for, let the flavours meld together, taste, then add the rest if you like.

Like a bowl of ful or congee, for me a chilli is best enjoyed with a variety of garnishes so each person can customise their bowl to their liking. Sliced chillies or jalapenos, fresh coriander, pickled onions, pickled cabbage, spicy tomato salsa (link above), hot sauces, sliced spring onions, lime quarters, and sour cream or Mexican cotija (white cheese) are all musts.

Serve with tortilla chips or corn chips or make some Mexican red rice for a really filling meal. And if you have leftover chilli, top it on my nachos (link above) or spread it on these quesadillas, and for that you should also make some authentic guacamole. Wash it all down with classic margaritas or micheladas.

Easy Vegetarian Chilli Recipe for Chilli Con Carne Sin Carne (Without Meat) and It’s Vegan Too

Tasty Thai Larb Gai Recipe for a Spicy Minced Chicken Salad from Thailand

This easy recipe makes a classic Thai larb gai or ground chicken salad – gai or kai is chicken in Thai and laab, also written as laab, laap, larp, lap, and lab, are the Thai, Lao and Khmer names for this type of minced meat salad that’s found right across northern Southeast Asia.

Made with minced chicken breast that’s quickly stir-fried in chicken stock, fish sauce, lime juice, salt, sugar, garlic, and shallots, this light Thai ground chicken salad is combined with loads of fresh fragrant herbs and sprinkled with chilli flakes and toasted rice.

Served with crunchy vegetables such as cabbage, cucumbers, and snake beans, and eaten with steamed jasmine rice or sticky rice, it’s another one of our easy Sunday dinner ideas.

We use a round bottomed wok to make this Thai larb gai, stirring the minced chicken continuously to ensure it all breaks apart, so that it isn’t lumpy. You need to work quickly as you want the chicken just-cooked, which should only take a few minutes.

If you prefer more heat, either add more chilli flakes or serve some finely sliced medium-sized chillies (the ones we get here can be very fiery but generally they’re mild), or even some hot birds eye chillies, on the side, which you can add when you sit down to eat.

Tasty Thai Larb Gai Recipe for a Spicy Minced Chicken Salad from Thailand


Easy Southern Thai Chicken and Rice Recipe for Khao Mok Gai, a Thai Style ‘Biryani’

Our easy Southern Thai chicken and rice recipe makes the incredibly delicious khao mok gai – ‘khao’ means rice, ‘gai’ is chicken, and ‘mok’ means to bury underneath or within in modern Thai.

Interestingly, ‘khmok’ is also an old Khmer word that means to cook within banana leaves, which is how this dish was probably once cooked, and to find out more about that you’ll have to wait for our Cambodian cookbook.

All you need to know until then is that this Southern Thai chicken and rice recipe for khao mok gai will make you a Thai Muslim specialty from Southern Thailand which consists of moist chicken pieces braised in a wonderfully aromatic and rich curry-like gravy of dried spices.

It’s served atop a yellow turmeric-tinted rice, sprinkled with crispy fried shallots, simply garnished with crunchy cucumber slices or spears, and fresh mint, coriander and chillies, and comes together in 45 minutes.

Southern Thai Chicken and Rice Recipe for Khao Mok Gai, a Thai Style ‘Biryani’

Best Instant Ramen Noodles Recipe and the Secret Formula to Upgrading Instant Noodles

Our list of easy Sunday dinner ideas wouldn’t be complete without the easiest of all. An instant ramen noodles recipe for a quick, satisfying instant noodle dish that begins with discarding those tiny packets of seasoning and spice paste and making your own sauce, a popular Southeast Asian dipping sauce.

Add crunch from fried shallots or fried garlic and fragrance from fresh herbs and you’ve got seriously delicious instant noodles. These instant ramen noodles are so easy to make that after you make this once you’ll never need to look at the recip again.

They’re also delicious and like all good instant ramen dishes very versatile. If you follow my now-not-so-secret formula to upgrading instant ramen, you’ll always make satisfying instant noodles – even if you’re not an instant ramen noodle lover and have always been disappointed after resorting to a late-night meal of packet noodles and wished you’d made nachos or a cheese toastie instead.

That’s you? Then you definitely need to try my best instant ramen noodles recipe. I guarantee it will convert you – as will my tried and true formula for making any instant noodles more than merely edible.

Use your favourite instant ramen noodles. I actually think most instant ramen noodle brands are dreadful but I really like MAMA instant noodles, a Thai brand, and we love Nongshim Shin Ramyun Noodles, which is Terence’s favourite brand. Not necessarily for the soup seasoning but the noodles.

Best Instant Ramen Noodles Recipe PLUS Secret Formula to Upgrading Instant Noodles

Best Korean Instant Ramen Noodles Recipe – How to Jazz Up Nongshim Shin Ramyun

Terence’s best Korean instant ramen noodles recipe jazzes up Nongshim Shin Ramyun, which are the best instant ramen noodles as far as he’s concerned. Terence likes the spicy soup seasoning of Nongshim’s Shin Ramyun, especially the Shin Black Noodle Soup, so all he does is add slices of pork, blanched bean sprouts and Chinese greens, a boiled egg, chilli oil, and fried shallots.

The spicy soup base of Nongshim’s Shin Black Noodle Soup hits the spot, so I just add melt-in-your-mouth slices of char siu pork, crisp Chinese greens, blanched bean sprouts, a boiled egg, deep-fried shallots, and my heady homemade chilli oil. We generally don’t find instant noodles very satisfying, but with a little planning, you can easily turn instant ramen noodles into a ‘real’ meal.

Terence cooks the noodles for four minutes, having added about half the soup powder first, and having blanched any extras that need cooking before that, such as the Asian leafy green vegetables and the bean sprouts.

For sauces, we add our homemade chilli oil for some extra oomph but a dash of Sriracha will also get your tastebuds tingling. We prefer the original Thai Sriracha sauces but the American-Vietnamese Rooster Sriracha brand will also do the trick.

Best Korean Instant Ramen Noodles Recipe – How to Jazz Up Nongshim Shin Ramyun

Please do let us know if you’ve made any of our 6 easy Sunday dinner ideas in the comments below as we’d love to get your feedback and hear how our recipes turned out for you.


Lara Dunston Patreon


Photo of author
A travel and food writer who has experienced over 70 countries and written for The Guardian, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Feast, Delicious, National Geographic Traveller, Conde Nast Traveller, Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia, DestinAsian, TIME, CNN, The Independent, The Telegraph, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, AFAR, Wanderlust, International Traveller, Get Lost, Four Seasons Magazine, Fah Thai, Sawasdee, and more, as well as authored more than 40 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, DK, Footprint, Rough Guides, Fodors, Thomas Cook, and AA Guides.

Leave a comment