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3 Best European Dinners: Recipe Guide, Tips, and Calories

3 Best European Dinners: Recipe Guide, Tips, and Calories, Spanish Food Vs Italian Food - The Best Recipes For You To Decide, 5 Most Popular Recipes in Spain To Try (Recipe Guide) Tips And Calories

Our full guide on the Best European Dinners from Paella to Lasagna the most popular dishes to try on your next trip in Europe.

European cuisine offers a diverse array of flavors and dishes. Here are recipes for three classic European dinners: Italian Lasagna, French Coq au Vin, and Spanish Paella. Each recipe includes tips and calorie information.

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Best European Dinners

1. Italian Lasagna

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12 lasagna noodles
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound Italian sausage
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (15 ounces each) tomato sauce
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 eggs


Prepare the Meat Sauce

In a large skillet, cook the ground beef, sausage, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Drain excess fat.
Stir in tomato sauce, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, sugar, basil, 1 teaspoon salt, Italian seasoning, fennel seeds, and black pepper. Simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Cook the Noodles

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook the lasagna noodles for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.

Prepare the Cheese Mixture

In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with eggs, parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Assemble the Lasagna

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Spread 1 cup of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Place 6 noodles over the sauce. Spread with half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with 1/3 of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

Cover with foil (to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese).


Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.


Prevent noodles from sticking together by adding a tablespoon of olive oil to the boiling water. Use fresh, high-quality ricotta and mozzarella for the best flavor and texture.

Approximately 450 calories per serving (assuming 12 servings).

Read here how to make Lasagna

2. French Coq au Vin

3 Best European Dinners: Recipe Guide, Tips, and Calories


1 whole chicken (about 3-4 pounds), cut into 8 pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup flour
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups red wine (Burgundy)
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon thyme
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
1/2 pound pearl onions, peeled


Prepare the Chicken

Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then dredge them in flour. In a large Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon and set aside, leaving the fat in the pot.

Brown the Chicken

Brown the chicken in the bacon fat, working in batches if necessary. Remove and set aside.

Cook Vegetables

Add chopped onion, carrots, and garlic to the pot. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Deglaze and Simmer

Stir in the red wine, chicken broth, tomato paste, and thyme. Bring to a simmer, then return the chicken and bacon to the pot. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

Cook Mushrooms and Onions

In a separate pan, melt butter and sauté the mushrooms and pearl onions until golden brown. Add to the chicken pot for the last 15 minutes of cooking.


Serve hot, with mashed potatoes or crusty bread.


Use a good quality red wine that you would drink; it enhances the dish’s flavor. Avoid boiling the stew too vigorously to keep the chicken tender.

Calories: Approximately 500 calories per serving (assuming 6 servings).

Read here how to make Coq Au Vin

3. Spanish Paella

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1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups paella rice (such as Bomba or Arborio)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 pound seafood mix (shrimp, mussels, clams, squid)
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)


Sauté Vegetables

Heat olive oil in a large paella pan or skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic, and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add Rice and Spices

Stir in the rice, smoked paprika, and saffron. Cook for 1-2 minutes to toast the rice.


Add chicken broth and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for about 15-20 minutes, or until the rice is almost cooked through.

Add Seafood and Peas

Arrange the seafood mix and peas on top of the rice. Cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until the seafood is cooked and the rice is tender.

Rest and Serve

Remove from heat and let the paella rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with lemon wedges and fresh parsley before serving.


For the best flavor, use high-quality saffron. Soak the threads in a little warm water before adding to the dish. Use fresh seafood if possible. Adjust the cooking time based on the type and size of seafood used.

Calories: Approximately 450 calories per serving (assuming 6 servings).

Read here how to make Paella

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