Weeknight Gourmet Dinner

October 31, 2014

As a mom of young kids, I like to save my “fancier cooking” for the weekends when I have more time to prepare and really make it special. When I worked outside of the home, I loved easier, weeknight meals because I didn’t want to be in the kitchen for hours after work preparing fancy food.

But I recently found a dinner that will impress your family, make you feel proud, and can be done on a regular Tuesday night. The best part of this meal is that it doesn’t require a lot of time in the kitchen and the preparation is simple.

Below I’ve listed a complete fancy weeknight menu with recipes: Brown Sugar Apple Pork Roast, Chicken Broth Green Beans, and Garlic Parmesan Dinner Rolls. Don’t click off of this post just yet, I promise, it’s easier than it sounds!

pork roast

This recipe was shared by a friend on Facebook and I was so intrigued that I had to try it! I’ve changed the recipe up some for my family’s taste preferences. If you’re going to be gone all day, you can easily put it in the crockpot, or if you want to roast it you can do that too. My crockpot is broken so I didn’t have that option, so I went the roasting route.

Brown Sugar Apple Roast Pork


1 pork roast
7-10 green apples, sliced, core discarded
1/2-3/4 cups of brown sugar
1-2 tbsp cinnamon


Cut slits about the size of an apple slice all over your roast and press an apple slice into each slit. Place the roast in your roasting dish or crockpot, depending on your cooking method.

Take your remaining apples and arrange them around your roast.

Sprinkle the roast and apples with brown sugar and cinnamon and a small amount of salt.

If you’re roasting in the oven you’ll cook this for 1 1/2 to 2 hours at 400 degrees, the time will depend on the size of your roast. If you’re using a crockpot then cook on low for 6-8 hours.

green beans

I use this green bean recipe often because the taste feels like I really worked hard on them, but really you get to prepare them and then forget about them while they cook. The thing that makes this recipe so simple is that you use frozen green beans!

Chicken Broth Green Beans


1 bag frozen French cut green beans
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 onion, diced
2 tbsp olive oil


Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat.

Add the onions and cook until the onions have become translucent and begin to brown.

Add the green beans and chicken broth and bring to a simmer.

Lower the heat, cover and continue to cook for 30 minutes.

dinner rolls

These rolls are ridiculously easy and bring a nice change to your usual bread and butter. My cheat for this dish is that I use store bought, already cooked rolls! That’s right, it’s that simple.

Garlic Parmesan Dinner Rolls


5-6 dinner rolls
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Olive oil
Grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees (if you’re roasting your pork then the 400 degrees will work just fine, no need to readjust the heat.).

Heat about a tsp of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook until the garlic begins to brown, remove from heat and add about a tbsp of butter, the butter will melt in the pan as you prepare the rolls.

Place the rolls in a baking dish, cut each roll in half, add a small amount of butter, and put the top back on each roll.

Take the garlic butter mixture and brush onto each roll. Sprinkle a small handful of parmesan cheese over the rolls and place in the oven for 10 minutes or until tops have begun to brown and the butter in the middle has melted. If you’re roasting your pork then throw these in the oven as your taking out your pork and slicing it. They’ll finish just as it’s time to sit down for dinner.

There you have it: an easy gourmet weeknight meal, full of cheats and simple techniques. Take that frozen pizza off of the menu this week and give this a try instead!