Melissa d’Arabian’s Game Night Recipes

The “Ten Dollar Dinners” host shows us how her family does dinner and snacks for a night in on a budget!

Savory and Sweet Tartlets with Chopped Chicken Salad and Fruit Salad

Recipe courtesy Melissa d’Arabian

Tartlet Shells

8 slices white bread, crusts removed
1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the bread on a cutting board and use a rolling pin or the underside of a large spoon to flatten the bread slices until they are very thin and almost doughy. Brush both sides of the bread with the olive oil and press the slices into the cups of a muffin tin to form shells. Bake until the tartlets are golden and crusty, 12 to 13 minutes. Remove the muffin tin from the oven and set aside to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan (use your fingers) and placing them on a wire rack to cool completely.

Chopped Salad

Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4

3 cups chopped lettuce, such as iceberg, green or red leaf lettuce, or romaine
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (one 15-ounce can), rinsed
3 scallions (white and green parts), trimmed and finely chopped
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2/3 cup chopped cooked chicken (about 1 breast)
1/2 cup chopped salami
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh basil or oregano leaves
Pinch of kosher salt
Ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil

Place the lettuce, chickpeas, scallions, tomatoes, mozzarella, chicken, and salami in a large salad bowl. Whisk the vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and then pour the vinaigrette over the salad. Toss gently to combine and serve.

Fruit Salad with Lemon-Mint Syrup

Preparation time: 20 minutes (plus 30 minutes to chill)
Cooking time: 2 minutes (plus 20 minutes to steep)
Serves: 4

3/4 cup sugar
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
6 fresh mint sprigs
1 orange, peeled and segmented
1 banana, sliced
1 cup sliced strawberries (about 1/2 pint)

In a medium saucepan, add the sugar, 3/4 cup water, and the lemon zest and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is fragrant and the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, turn off the heat, cover the pan, and set aside for 20 minutes.

Strain the syrup through a fine-mesh sieve and into a medium bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

Separate the mint leaves from the stems. Stack the mint leaves, roll into a tight cylinder, and slice crosswise into thin ribbons. Place the orange, banana, and strawberries in a medium bowl and toss with the mint and syrup. Serve in dessert bowls sprinkled with fresh mint.

Black Bean Hummus and Homemade Pita Chips

Recipe courtesy Melissa d’Arabian

Black Bean Hummus

Recipe courtesy Melissa d’Arabian

Total Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

1 cup cooked black beans
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, cut into wedges

Blend all the ingredients, except the lettuce, in a food processor until almost smooth. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving with iceberg lettuce wedges.

Cook’s Note: The hummus can also be served with variety of fresh, seasonal vegetables as well as Homemade Pita Chips.

Homemade Pita Chips

Recipe courtesy Melissa d’Arabian

Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4

Olive oil cooking spray, in a spritzing bottle
3 whole wheat pitas, each cut into 12 wedges
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly spray the foil with oil. Place the pitas on the foil. Spray each pita with oil. Sprinkle each sprayed side with the sesame seeds and oregano and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake the pitas until crisp, about 10 minutes.

Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Recipe courtesy Melissa d’Arabian

Total Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4


12 ounces ground turkey
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
8 ounces white mushrooms, chopped
3 scallions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
One 6-ounce can water chestnuts, chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

Drizzling Sauce:
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard or spicy mustard
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

8 to 12 large iceberg lettuce leaves, cleaned and dry
Shredded carrots, for serving
Bean sprouts, for serving
Chopped fresh cilantro, for serving

For the filling: Brown the turkey in the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Add the mushrooms, scallions, garlic and water chestnuts, and cook until the mushrooms soften. In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, brown sugar and vinegar, pour over the turkey mixture and cook 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

For the drizzling sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, honey, mustard, Sriracha, sesame oil and 1/4 cup water.

Serve the turkey mixture with the lettuce leaves, drizzling sauce and vegetables for lettuce wrap assembly.

Did you try these recipes? Tell us what you think below!