Cooking Dinner With David Burtka And Neil Patrick Harris

This megawatt power couple’s recent collaboration with Hello Fresh delievers a tasty peek into the celebrity kitchen. We’re so there for that.

Getting started

Far from the first star-studded partnership, this Burtke and Harris collab synced up with the debut of Uncoupled on Netflix. Granted, the story lines on that clever comedy rarely shines a light on what’s for dinner. It’s more about the drinks, and, wow, NPH’s character sure got bombed on Fireball-fueled cocktails while on a ski weekend with his BFFs.

This limited edition series of meals was partially based on Burtka’s cookbook, Life Is A Party, and on the couple’s busy schedule. Hello Fresh’s mission is to make cooking more fun, less of a chore. The publicly traded meal-kit company is based in Berlin, Germany, with operations in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Europe and Japan.

For the “Neil Patrick Harris Approved” meal I sampled — Cheesy Chicken and Bean Enchiladas — the instructions were straightforward, all the ingredients assembled in a paper bag that’s delivered to your doorstep. Still, I was skeptical about the 15 minute prep time the directions described, so I decided to time myself.


Skipping the time-consuming shopping step is a huge part of the draw of meal kit services like Hello Fresh, Blue Apron and plant-based Purple Carrot. For the Cheesy Chicken and Bean Enchiladas, the ingredients were tucked into a bag, with the chicken breast strips packaged separately.

While much of the measuring is taken care of, there’s still plenty of slicing and chopping, even some dicing that’s required. Sauté skills are going to come into play. And you’d better be okay multi-tasking.

I’m a seasoned home cook, but in the heat of trying to hit that target 15 minute prep time, I got a little bit off track. Those onions in the Tomato Rice turned extra crispy while I was focused on finishing the enchilada filling. No big deal.

The mixture of onions, peppers, seasoned chicken and black beans were neatly tucked into flour tortillas and ready to get sauced when a minor disaster struck. I decided to add a little extra spice to the mild sauce and when blindly reaching in the cupboard, a bottle of apple cider vinegar crashed to the counter. Ugh. Well, stay cool, accidents happen, right? But clearly, I am not quite ready for my own cooking show! (Though I was a semi-finalist for the first season of Gordon Ramsay’s Master Chef.)

Even with that messy hiccup, I managed to get the enchiladas in the oven in about 30 minutes. While the rice simmered, I chopped onions, the tomato and cilantro for the pico de gallo and adding lime juice to sour cream to create a tangy crema finishing sauce. I was ready to plate as soon as the oven timer started beeping.

How’d it taste?

If you sat down at a South-of-the-Border inspired restaurant and were served this meal, it’d likely be considered a good experience. The spice blends included delivered some surprisingly complex flavors. Burtka’s chef background nudged the meal in some delicious directions.

The combination of sauteed veggies, black beans and chicken was inspired. The final plate scored high marks for the pico de gallo, which added bright, citrus notes. If you’ve got cilantro sensitive guests joining you for dinner, hold back on that divisive herb.

If you like your enchiladas spicy, this version is pretty tame. Kinda wish there were some bonus hot pepper sauce recommendations from Neil Patrick Harris, especially after watching his searing performance on Hot Ones.

Coming up next in the Celeb Chef series:

  • Herb-Roasted Chicken Legs with Brown Butter Veggies and Rice
  • Zesty Shrimp & Slaw Tacos with Creamy Guac, Salsa and Blue Corn Chips
  • Grilled Steak & Asparagus Salad with Farro, Mushrooms and Lemony Ricotta

Also, would really love to see more fully fleshed out cooking demos from this engaging duo. Here’s a teaser that’ll leave you craving more:

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