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Savory Main Dish Recipes – Entrees

savory main dish recipes

What’s cookin’? How about some mouth-watering Chicken and Cashew Lettuce Wraps, Honey BBQ Chicken Wings, Shrimp Fried Rice, or Chicken Burgers. Choose from these and other savory main dish recipes below!

Chicken and Cashew Lettuce Wraps

Different versions of this lettuce-enveloped, flavorful chicken dish have become popular in many restaurants. Lettuce wraps with chicken and cashews can be served as an appetizer or an entrée – it’s up to you!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Servings 6


  • 8-10 ounces uncooked chicken breast minced
  • 1 cup coriander chopped finely
  • 1 egg white
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • ½ tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon meat tenderizer
  • ½ teaspoon umami seasoning * MSG
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped cashews oven toasted
  • 6 big lettuce leaves for wrapping


  1. Mix minced chicken with egg white, water, cornstarch, salt, tenderizer, umami seasoning, and 1 tbsp. oil. Set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a fry pan.
  3. Place the meat, coriander, wine, soy sauce and pepper into the pan.
  4. Stir-fry until the meat is cooked.
  5. Remove from heat and place on a plate.
  6. Divide the meat mixture into 6 portions.
  7. Place each portion on a lettuce leaf.
  8. Sprinkle cashew nuts evenly over the meat. (Optional: sprinkle diced red or green pepper as well.)
  9. Wrap meat with lettuce and serve.
  10. * Note: Popular brands for umami seasoning that you can most likely find in your local grocery store in the spices/seasonings section: Ac’cent, Ajinomoto or Vedan brand.

Recipe Notes

Recipe courtesy of

Teriyaki-Style Noodles with Tofu

This rich, Japanese-style broth, flavored with vibrant fresh herbs, ginger, and garlic, peps up firm tofu and long strands of earthy buckwheat noodles.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Japanese
Servings 2


  • 5 ounces soba Japanese buckwheat noodles
  • 2 cups mixed vegetables asparagus tips, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, or green beans
  • ⅓  cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 ¼  cups vegetable broth
  • 4 Tbsp. rice wine or dry sherry sake or mirin
  • 10 ounces firm light tofu diced
  • 2 spring onions chopped
  • 1 fresh red chili seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove crushed
  • ½  teaspoon grated fresh ginger


  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and cook the soba noodles according to package instructions, or until al dente, about 6 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cut all of the mixed vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Add to the simmering pasta for the final 3-4 minutes of cooking.
  3. Drain the pasta and vegetables in a large colander. Place all remaining ingredients in the empty saucepan and return it to the heat. Heat until simmering, then reduce to low. Return the pasta and vegetables to the pan, and cook very briefly until they are reheated.
  4. Serve in deep soup bowls, with a spoon to drink the broth and a fork or chopsticks for picking up the solid ingredients.

Recipe Variation: Replace the tofu with 8 ounces peeled, cooked shrimp or diced, cooked chicken or turkey (without the skin).

Recipe Notes

Recipe courtesy of Reader’s Digest

Pepper Steak

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • pounds beef steaks sirloin, round, or London broil
  • 3 ⁄4 teaspoon meat tenderizer
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 green peppers cut in 1-inch squares
  • 3 scallions thinly sliced
  • cups celery diagonally sliced
  • cups water or beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 ⁄3 cup light molasses
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 ⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • teaspoons monosodium glutamate MSG
  • 3 ⁄4 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 4 cups cooked rice


  1. Cut beef into paper-thin slices; sprinkle with tenderizer.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet over high heat.
  3. Add beef slices; cook briefly, just until red color disappears.
  4. Add peppers, scallions, and celery. Cook 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Blend water or broth with cornstarch; stir in remaining ingredients, except rice.
  6. Add quickly to beef mixture, stirring constantly until slightly thickened and boiling.
  7. Serve with hot rice.

Recipe Notes

photo credit:

Chicken Burgers

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2


  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 1 lemon (juice only)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 2 slices cheese
  • 2 slices edam cheese
  • peanut oil as needed

Chicken Coating

  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground chilli
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon mild paprika
  • 1 teaspoon MSG

Secret Sauce

  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 3 gherkins finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Prepare the chicken the night before. Remove tenderloin, slice each breast horizontally in half. Add milk and lemon juice to sealable bag and soak chicken in refrigerator.

  2. The sauce can also be prepared the night before and refrigerated before use, simply combine all ingredients in a bowl - mix them together well.

  3. Prepare grill for direct high heat, preheat cast iron pan with a thin layer of peanut oil.

  4. Combine all chicken coating ingredients and spread on a large plate and coat each piece of chicken. Set aside until grill is ready.

  5. Cook bacon in pan until crispy, set aside and drain on a paper towel.

  6. Add more oil to pan as necessary, cook chicken for 2.5 minutes a side until it is golden brown and crispy, set aside and drain on a paper towel.

  7. Spread sauce on one side of each chicken breast half, place cheese, bacon, cheese and finally top with the remaining chicken. Place chicken back in grill in an oven proof dish and place the lid, heat until cheese has started to melt before removing from grill and serving immediately.

Recipe Notes

Courtesy of BBQ Like Its Hot

photo credit: by Pava (, via Wikimedia Commons

Shrimp Fried Rice

Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 1 pound can bean sprouts
  • 1 3 ounce can bamboo shoots
  • 1 4 ounce can mushrooms
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons cooking oil
  • 1 cup cooked shrimp chopped
  • 4 cups cooked rice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon MSG (umami seasoning)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon bead molasses
  • 1 7 ounce package frozen pea pods optional
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion


  1. Drain bean sprouts thoroughly on paper towel, change towels as needed. Drain bamboo shoots and mushrooms. 

  2. Partially scramble eggs in oil. 

  3. Add bean sprouts, mushrooms, shrimp, bamboo shoots and rice and toss with fork. 

  4. Stir in soy sauce, monosodium glutamate, sugar and bead molasses.

  5. Slightly mash mixture, then add barely defrosted pea pods, if desired. Continue stirring until pea pods are hot.

  6. Add lettuce and onions and toss until heated thoroughly. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Recipe courtesy of

photo credit: by Mk2010 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Honey BBQ Chicken Wings

This recipe calls for the chicken cooked in your deep fryer, but the sauce can also be used if you grill the wings.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 20 wings


  • 6 cups vegetable oil up to 8 cups
  • 20 chicken wings
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper fresh ground
  • 3/4 teaspoon MSG (umami seasoning)


  • 1 1/4 cups ketchup
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder


  1. Combine the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until ingredients are well-combined and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. As sauce is simmering, heat up 6 to 8 cups of oil in a deep fryer set to 350 degrees. Combine the beaten egg with the milk in a small bowl. In another small bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper and MSG.
  3. When oil is hot, dip each wing first in the flour mixture, then into the milk and egg mixture, and back into the flour. Arrange wings on a plate until each one is breaded.
  4. Fry the wings in the oil for 9 to 12 minutes or until light, golden brown. If you have a small fryer, you may wish to fry 10 of the wings at a time. Drain on paper towels or a rack.
  5. When the sauce is done, brush the entire surface of each wing with a light coating of sauce. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Courtesy of

photo credit:

More Delicious Savory Foods & Umami Recipes:

The MSGdish Team's goal is to provide timely and important information about glutamate, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and the many culinary creations inspired by “umami" while connecting these topics to facts about food, taste, and health. The MSGdish Team is comprised of TGA staff professionals who are recognized as experts in science-based nutrition communications. Read more on the About page.

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