Better Ways to Cook a TV Dinner

America's taste for pre-made, frozen dinners may have plateaued in recent years, but for many families, they are still a great way to cook a good, affordable meal fast. To have your family asking for seconds, there are several ways to add some spice—literally and figuratively—to a TV dinner.

Unconventional Cooking Times With Convection Ovens

Microwaves are fast, but typically cook frozen foods unevenly, leaving you with scalding vegetables and cold potatoes. An oven cooks evenly, but takes much longer and rather defeats the goal of not spending a lot of time in a hot kitchen. Pop your frozen dinners into a convection microwave oven instead. These appliances, such as the Samsung Over-the-Range Convection Microwave, combine the speed you expect from a microwave with the even cooking you get from the oven.

Select, Heat and Combine

If you're feeding more than one person or just have a big appetite yourself, there's no reason to limit yourself to the offerings in any frozen dinner package. Instead, take two dinners that complement each other and combine them. Add a macaroni and cheese dinner to chicken cacciatore or pile some chili onto your pizza.

Spice It Up

While your frozen dinner is cooking, take a look at the ingredients and compare what's listed there to what you have in the spice rack. If you like a little more basil to your spaghetti or lasagna, mix a bit in while the food is still hot. If you enjoy spicy meats, add a bit of steak sauce to your roast beef or gravy to give it a bit of zing.

Watching TV ... Restaurant Style

There isn't a big difference between meals served in a restaurant and those served on a plane, except the presentation. Instead of serving frozen dinners on airline-style containers, transfer the food to your good plates. While the food is cooking, warm up some garlic bread. Slice up some tomatoes, add a garnish of parsley or toss a small salad to go, depending on what's in the fridge.

Photo Credits: Sarah VanTassel/Demand Media

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