5 Great Recipes to Whip Up on National TV Dinner Day

If you're aware that today is National TV Dinner Day, you're either the inventor of the TV dinner or a swingin' bachelor with several Swanson's frozen meals in your freezer. READ: Is Your Frozen Dinner Making You Fat? As for the rest of us who were completely caught off guard by today's holiday — and don't have compartmentalized dinners in the icebox — there's no reason we, too, can't celebrate. Even if you shudder at the thought of a gelatinous microwaved meal served in a plastic container (and we can't blame you in the least), you can still commemorate the occasion with a homemade feast featuring all of the classic fare you might find in a boxed TV dinner. After all, if there was ever an excuse to indulge in a huge plate of comfort food, this is it. (Go ahead and invite Bachelor Barry from the apartment upstairs, too. He'd really appreciate a home-cooked meal.) Without further ado, here's five great recipes to help you recreate a classic TV dinner at home:

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    Meatloaf is one of the most popular mains in a TV dinner, but once you open that box, it almost never looks appetizing. Instead, try your hand at this meatloaf recipe from Nancy and James at She Cooks … He Cleans. They even threw a little bacon and barbecue sauce in there — two things that are always sorely lacking from the store-bought kind.
    She Cooks … He Cleans
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    Oven-Fried Chicken

    If meatloaf isn't your thing, there's really only one other option: fried chicken. More often than not, though, the pre-packaged kind is too small and bony, or it's more of a huge chicken nugget instead of a recognizable cut of meat. If you'd rather try something really special, check out this easy oven-fried recipe courtesy of Ashley of the Recipe Rebel. No bones, real meat, and perfect alongside a heaping helping of mashed potatoes.
    The Recipe Rebel
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    Garlic Mashed Potatoes

    Speaking of that, no frozen dinner is complete without a small square of white sludge, which we're pretty sure is supposed to be an approximation of mashed potatoes. But they never taste anything like real, homestyle mashed potatoes. For that, you need to whip up this creamy, buttery, garlicky recipe from Kristyn at Lil' Luna.
    Lil Luna
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    Parmesan Green Beans

    Almost every TV dinner contains a portion of flaccid, over-steamed green beans, included purely for color. But there's no reason they couldn't taste as amazing as the above beans from Lacey at A Sweet Pea Chef, made with garlic and Parmesan cheese. Learn her easy recipe here.
    A Sweet Pea Chef
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    When it comes to TV dinners, no dessert is more appropriate than a brownie, albeit one that's severely overcooked and smelling of salisbury steak. If you're OK with forfeiting those last two criteria, you can try this incredible brownie recipe from Erica at Canella Vita. (And if you still miss those crunchy overcooked edges, burn a corner piece under the broiler.)
    Canella Vita
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