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7 Light Meal Ideas from Tyler Florence

Food Network Fancy

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As the temps are rising and we're lightening up on those layers, inevitably, our meal choices tend to lighten up too. We're swapping out cold-weather comfort foods with light, zesty dishes that are sure to please any palette, especially when they come from Tyler Florence.

Forget flipping burgers and roasting dogs on the grill. We got the Food Network favorite to dish up seven gourmet meals that'll pack a flavorful punch on your picnic table.

Potato and Chorizo Frittata

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Made with Alexia Hashed Browns (Yukon Gold Potatoes with Seasoned Salt)

Think diner fare—only better. Hashed browns never tasted so, well, tasty!


4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 fresh chorizo sausages

1 bag Alexia Hashed Browns

1 medium onion

8 large eggs

1/2 cup milk

Kosher salt

Fresh ground black pepper

1 cup mixed baby greens

1/2 lemon, juiced


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Pour 3 tablespoons olive oil into a 12-inch non stick, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Cut the chorizo into slices and add to the pan; fry for 5 minutes. Chop the onion and add to the skillet along with the Alexia Hashed Browns. Fry until the onions start to soften, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat and cover the skillet. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes.

Remove the cover, raise the heat back to medium-high, and cook until the potatoes are brown and crispy, about another 4 minutes. Meanwhile, break the eggs into a large bowl and add the milk. Season the egg mixture with salt and pepper, then whisk until frothy. Pour the egg mixture into the pan, shaking the pan to distribute the eggs evenly. Put the pan into the oven and cook until puffy and set, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Turn out onto a cutting board and let it cool to room temperature. Toss the baby greens with the remaining oil and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Place the greens on top of the frittata, cut it into thin wedges, and serve.

Makes 10-12 servings

Roasted Chicken with Warm Lettuce and Spring Peas

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Not your average baked chicken, this dish is low in fat, but high in flavor.


For the chicken:

1 3-4-pound chicken, rinsed and patted dry

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 lemon, halved

1 head garlic, halved crosswise

1/2 bunch fresh thyme

4- 6 bay leaves

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

For the warm lettuce and spring peas:

1 cup dry white wine

1/4 red onion, finely chopped

1 bay leaf

6 black peppercorns

Kosher salt

4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

Freshly ground pepper

1 cup spring peas (frozen peas can be substituted)

1 large head butter lettuce, leaves separated


Prepare the chicken: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Season the chicken cavity with plenty of salt and pepper; stuff the lemon halves, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves inside. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Drizzle the skin with olive oil and rub all over; season with plenty of salt and pepper. Place the chicken breast-side up in a roasting pan; roast for 1 hour, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 165 degrees. Let rest for 15 minutes before carving.

While the chicken is roasting, prepare the lettuce and peas. Combine the wine, red onion, bay leaf, peppercorns, and a pinch of salt in a saucepan; simmer over medium heat until the mixture is syrupy and just coats the bottom of the pan. Whisk in the butter cubes, a few at a time, to thicken the sauce and give it a shine. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm. (Remove the peppercorns and bay leaf before serving.)

Place the peas in a small pot of salted boiling water until heated through; drain. Toss the peas, lettuce, and beurre blanc (warm butter sauce) in a bowl until the lettuce wilts slightly. Serve with the chicken and enjoy!

Makes 4 servings

Grilled Shrimp with Homemade Barbecue Sauce

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Toss those boring burgers aside and grill up some savory shrimp instead!


For the shrimp:

16 large jumbo shrimp

1/2 cup olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

For the barbecue sauce:

1 slice bacon

1 bunch fresh thyme

Extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 cups ketchup

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup molasses

2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon paprika (or smoked paprika if available)

Freshly ground pepper


Use a pair of scissors or paring knife to slit the backs of the shrimp and remove the vein. Combine the shrimp and olive oil in a bowl and toss evenly to coat. Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to grill. Prepare homemade barbecue sauce (directions below).

Prior to heating, wipe down the grates of a large outdoor grill with oiled paper towel to create a nonstick surface. Next, heat the grill to medium-hot. Season shrimp with salt and pepper and place on the grill. Baste with the homemade barbecue sauce and grill for 3-4 minutes on each side. Brush with more sauce just before serving.

Direction for the barbecue sauce: Wrap the bacon slice around the bunch of thyme and tie with kitchen twine so you have a nice bundle. Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the bacon-wrapped thyme and cook slowly for 3 to 4 minutes to render the bacon fat and give the sauce a nice smoky taste. Add the onion and garlic and cook slowly without coloring for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, give the sauce a stir and turn the heat down to low. Cook for 20 minutes to meld the flavors. Once the sauce is done cooking, remove the thyme bundle and discard. Take about 1 1/2 cups of the sauce and reserve for serving alongside the shrimp.

Makes 4 servings

The Perfect Omelet

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Make the morning more exciting by serving up this mouthwatering omelet made with watercress and roasted mushrooms. Overnight guests will feel like they're at a fancy bed and breakfast!


1 stick butter

18 eggs (3 per person)

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon crushed white peppercorns

1 bunch chives, finely chopped

1 bunch chervil, finely chopped

1 tablespoon sea salt

Roasted mushrooms and watercress

Special equipment:

1 (9-inch) non-stick sauté pan

Heat resistant spatula

4-ounce ladle

Cook's note: The individual omelets (3 eggs) need to be cooked individually


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

To clarify the butter, put it in a small pot over low heat and slowly bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat until the butter separates. When the milk solids fall to the bottom and the golden butter-fat rises to the surface, remove from heat. Set aside.

Cook's note: I like to clarify the butter because whole butter has milk solids that will burn. This gives your omelet dark spots.

Crack the eggs into a medium mixing bowl and pour in cream. Add pepper and whisk until well incorporated and foamy. Preheat the pan over medium heat. When the pan is heated, add 2 or 3 tablespoons of clarified butter. Turn the heat down slightly. Using a 4-ounce ladle, add 1 ladle of eggs into the pan. Using a spatula, start stirring quickly.

Cook's note: This is to heat the eggs through so they set like custard. Keep swirling them around so the eggs aren't in one spot long enough to burn. Once the eggs begin to set, stop stirring.

Put the pan in the oven and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. When you remove the omelet from the oven it should still have a soft custard touch.

Sprinkle with chopped herbs, a pinch of sea salt and cracked white pepper. Cook's note: Using an oven glove to hold the handle, tip the pan sideways and roll the omelet onto a plate with a spatula. Add roasted mushrooms and watercress to the top of omelet and serve.

Makes 6 servings

Turkey Meatloaf with Tomato Relish

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Try this healthier alternative to the classic comfort food.


For the tomato relish:

Extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion, finely diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 bay leaves

2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and finely diced

2 tomatoes, halved, seeded, and finely diced

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 (12-ounce) bottle ketchup

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the meatloaf:

3 slices white bread, crusts removed, torn into chunks by hand

1/4 cup whole milk

2 1/2 pounds ground turkey

2 eggs

Leaves from 2 fresh thyme sprigs

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 to 4 bacon slices


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a skillet with a 2-count of oil and place over medium heat. Saute the onion, garlic, and bay leaves for a few minutes to create a base flavor. Throw in the red peppers and cook them for a couple of minutes to soften. Add the tomatoes; adding them at this point lets them hold their shape and prevents them from disintegrating. Stir in the parsley, ketchup, and Worcestershire; season with salt and pepper. Simmer the relish for 5 minutes to pull all the flavors together. Remove it from the heat; you should have about 4 cups of relish.

For the meatloaf: Place the torn white bread in a bowl and add the milk to just barely cover, swish the bread around in the milk, and let it sit while you get the rest of the ingredients for the meatloaf together.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground turkey with 1 1/2 cups of the tomato relish, the eggs, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Squeeze the excess milk from the bread and add the soaked bread to the meat mixture. To test, fry a small "hamburger" patty of the meatloaf until cooked; the patty should hold together but still have a soft consistency. Taste the patty for seasoning.

Lightly oil a cookie sheet. Transfer the meat mixture to the center of the cookie sheet and form into a log about 9 inches long and about 4 inches wide. Coat the top of the meatloaf with another 1/2 cup of the tomato relish. Lay the bacon across the top lengthwise.

Bake the meatloaf for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the bacon is crisp and the meatloaf is firm. Rotate the meat loaf while it's baking every now and then to insure that the bacon browns evenly. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it cool a bit before slicing. Serve with the remaining tomato relish on the side. Unbelievably moist!

Makes 6-8 servings

Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Spicy Coleslaw

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This Southern fave serves up a great sandwich alternative to deli meat.


1 (5 to 7 pound) pork roast, preferably shoulder or Boston butt

12 hamburger buns

1 batch Spicy Slaw (recipe follows)

Pickle spears

For the dry rub:

3 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon dry mustard

3 tablespoons coarse salt

For the cider vinegar barbecue sauce:

1 1/2 cups cider vinegar

1 cup yellow or brown mustard

1/2 cup ketchup

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Mix the paprika, garlic power, brown sugar, dry mustard, and salt together in a small bowl. Rub the spice blend all over the pork and marinate for as long as you have time for, as little as 1 hour or up to overnight covered in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Put the pork in a roasting pan and bake for about 6 hours. Basically, roast the pork until it's falling apart and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 170 degrees F. (As an alternate cooking method, place pork in a crock pot on low heat for 6-8 hours).

For the barbecue sauce: Combine the vinegar, mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, salt, cayenne, and black pepper in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer gently, stirring, for 10 minutes until the sugar dissolves. Remove the pork roast from the oven and transfer to a large platter. Allow the meat to rest for about 10 minutes. While still warm, take two forks and "pull" the meat to form shreds. Using two forks, shred the pork by steadying the meat with 1 fork and pulling it away with the other. Put the shredded pork in a bowl. Pour half of the sauce on the shredded pork and mix well to coat.

To serve, spoon the pulled pork mixture onto the bottom half of the hamburger bun, and top with the spicy slaw. Serve with pickle spears and the remaining sauce on the side.

Makes 12 servings

Spicy Coleslaw

A great side dish for pulled pork, turn up the heat and serve it up nice and spicy!


1 head napa or Savoy Cabbage, shredded

4 carrots, shredded

2 Granny Smith apples, cored but not peeled, and thinly sliced

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

For the dressing:

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

3/4 cup mayonnaise

Juice of 1 lemon

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Leaves from 1 bunch of fresh mint, for garnish


Throw the cabbage, carrots, apples, onion, and pecans into a large mixing bowl. Mix ingredients well with hands and set aside. In a small bowl, stir together the mustard, sugar, cayenne, cumin, mayonnaise, and lemon juice until blended. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Taste again for seasoning, then mound onto a platter and garnish with mint leaves.

Makes 6-8 servings