It can be an incredible defeating feeling to put a lot of effort in the kitchen, making a meal for friends or family, only to have it turn out subpar in the flavor department. According to Statista.com, more than 37% of people who live in the U.S. say they cook between three and five meals each week. With all of that cooking over the years, there have been many tips and tricks discovered along the way when it comes to dressing up a meal.
These are our top ways to make a bland meal a much tastier one.
Add Some Hot Sauce
One of the easiest ways to add flavor to a meal is by adding a little kick to it with some hot sauce. Even if you aren’t a fan of spicy food, just a pinch can make a big difference in the overall taste. Especially for meals like soups and stir-frys, using a splash of your favorite hot sauce can not only bring out some of the better flavors of the ingredients, but a spicy kick is also known to help you feel fuller and satisfied, so you won’t overeat.
Use Exotic Add-Ins
For those who are more adventurous cooks and eaters, adding a few exotic ingredients can be a fun way to spice up a meal. Salsas, fresh fruits, or even hot pepper jelly might sound strange to some, but it can create new combinations of flavors that you and those you’re cooking for will love. New recipes with unique ingredients can make cooking more fun, too, allowing you to get creative and perhaps come up with the next best thing.
Cook with Butter
Using butter instead of oil when cooking can make all the difference in the world when it comes to improving the taste of your meal. Butter has a way of making a dish silky and more savory. Sometimes that extra fat is the missing ingredient needed for more delicious results. Not only can a tablespoon or two of real, preferably grass-fed butter make a dish become more succulent, but it also has the ability to help other seasonings carry over and taste a lot stronger.
Play with Seasonings
It’s important to use a variety of seasonings when cooking, as many cooks will argue that it’s the only real way to turn a bland meal into a delicious one. Popular seasonings include Italian blends, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and paprika, which can all be ideal for savory dishes. To make seasoning flavors even stronger, try toasting them in your pan before adding them to your dish. You can also explore different combinations of seasonings until you find a blend that really works for you.
Add Fragrant Vegetables and Herbs
Many recipes call for adding sauteed onion and garlic, and for a good reason. These two ingredients are the staple of many great meals – if you’re cooking a savory dish, it almost never hurts to add them. Browning the onions and garlic in a frying pan first is key to enhancing the flavors of just about any cooked dish.