Whether it’s because of your busy work schedule, college tests just don’t provide the time, you hate fiddling about in the kitchen or no matter how hard you try your turkey comes out as dry as the one from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, we’re here to provide you with a “dummy” proof way to make dinner any day of the week. You don’t have to have a bunch of fancy gadgets or culinary techniques, just a quick trip to the grocery store for some ingredients instead!
From each throw-in-the-crockpot-and-go idea to recipes with just a few ingredients, here’s a list of dinner ideas for people that just can’t cook – for one reason or another. Some are healthy-ish, some are comforting, some are light, some are savory and all are delicious, so dive in a enjoy getting busy in the kitchen!
14 Chorizo, Cheese & Tomato Pizzas
Grab some naan and start stacking them up with some delicious and fresh ingredients. This Redbook recipe shows us how to create a chorizo-inspired dish but you can easily cover your flatbread with a host of other easy ingredients. From BLT bits to turkey & ranch to classic pizza ingredients, there are so many different ways to serve these up for you and the fam.
13 10-Minute Tostadas
When you don’t have much time to whip up dinner, these quick and easy bites from Yellow Bliss Road will become a classic go-to weeknight meal. Pile the tostadas high with all of your favorite ingredients; refried beans, pico de gallo, scrumptious cheeses, sour cream, sliced avocado or guacamole, corn salsa, pulled chicken, ground beef – the possibilities and combinations are endless. Then, just pop them in the oven for a quick crisping!
12 Crockpot Ranch Chicken Tacos
Eat Drink Love has an incredibly easy recipe that you can literally throw in the crockpot around lunchtime and have it ready at the dinnertime of your choice. With just a few ingredients, even if you’re a mess in the kitchen, it’s nearly impossible to mess it up. Use the chicken for your tacos, in salads or on those tostadas above!
11 Make-Ahead Cheesy Broccoli and Rise Casserole
If you’re looking for something that’s hearty and filling, check out this vegetarian casserole from eHow! You can always add chicken to add some extra protein to the mix and make it a family-friendly choice or, of course, use it as a side to a bigger meal. It’s truly easy to just throw together in a casserole dish, bake for a bit and serve up nice and warm.
10 Fast Fish Skillet
For those that like fish, you’ll want to take a peek at this fast fish skillet recipe from Kraft. It’s kid-friendly, it’s college apartment-friendly, it’s flavorful and nutrient-packed too. This one is not only a beautiful dish plated but there isn’t much too completing it or putting into it – better for those that get turned around pretty easy in the kitchen.
9 15-Minute Shrimp, Snow Pea & Ginger Stir Fry
A Beautiful Plate brings us this super quick dinner idea that will work any day of the week. This one may only take 15 minutes but it’s healthy too and full of fresh ingredients. If you like shrimp, there are tons of recipes to try out that won’t take too long or too much kitchen know-how either since these little seafood treats don’t need a lot of time to cook!
8 Meatball Sub Bubble Up
Here’s a fun one for the family that doesn’t involve much “cooking,” but just the skill of being able to put together a few ingredients and create something super scrumptious. It’s also great for when you have a few friends stopping by and need to whip up something filling, easy and quick! Life With The Crust Cut Off gives us all the details on creating the bubble up, which is basically a fan-favorite sandwich made into a casserole!
BBQ Chicken Cobb Salad with Ranch Dressing
Damn Delicious shows us how to make a salad that’s both healthy and filling enough to satisfy your taste buds after a long day. You won’t have to do much work, you can prep beforehand and with this recipe you’ll also learn how to many some yummy and creamy homemade ranch dressing.
7 Italian Chicken Bake
With only four ingredients, The Pinning Momma shows off her delicious and simple Italian chicken bake that works as a family meal, one-person entree or even something to whip up for date night as well. Chicken, pesto, tomatoes and cheese is all you need to get started. Serve it up with a mixed salad, baked potato or any other quick side of your choice.
6 Quick Miso-Glazed Salmon
Over at Dinner, A Love Story, you’ll find this salmon recipe that will fill your tummies and ease your frustrations in the kitchen. It’ll look and taste like the home cooked meals you’ve been missing but without all of the confusion, time and mess. There’s a tiny bit of multi-tasking involved in this meal, but we have faith in you.
5 Homemade Pizza Rolls
Late night studying, Friday night with the gals, a sleepover for your kids or just something for you and your beau to enjoy, these homemade pizza rolls are easy, scrumptious and satisfying. Add a side salad if you must but know that these bites are just fine on their own as well. Find the recipe over at Bev Cooks.
4 Spaghetti Carbonara For One
It can be hard cooking a meal for just one and may be why you hate spending a bunch of time in the kitchen. But this recipe, of course can be revised for more, is truly perfect for those that want to indulge a bit but not sweat it out too much over the stove either. Eat Live Run has all the answers on this bacon-involved pasta masterpiece.
3 Avocado Spinach Strawberry Salad with Poppyseed Dressing
What’s great about this meal is that it can be prepped beforehand and then enjoyed in an instant. If you’re looking for a healthy and light meal then check out this salad and homemade dressing recipe from Gimme Some Oven. Make it the night before and when you come home from work you’ll have everything you want all within a hand’s reach.
2 One-Pot Chicken
One pot, one pan, one skillet or one big ole crockpot recipes are the absolute best because you can just throw in your ingredients and essentially let everything work on its own. And this one-pot chicken dish from Food.com has so much to love about it. It’s student-friendly, family-friendly and date night-friendly too … meaning it’s a versatile dinner idea that needs to be saved in the recipe box.
1 Single-Serve Microwave Mac and Cheese
Here’s another recipe that works great for meals on your own. You don’t really have to “cook” but it’ll taste like you did! Just grab your recipes and follow the more than simple directions on how to concoct a bowl of creamy, dreamy mac and cheese for yourself. You’ll find all the details over at Ella Claire including the fact that you can make this right inside your favorite mug!