Making dinner can seem like a chore. And a lot of the time, the last thing you feel like doing after a long day is cooking. But whether you’re tired, sick or simply can’t even for no particular reason at all, there’s always an alternative to hitting the Easy Button and ordering takeout. Here are 12 great-tasting recipes that you can throw together, even when you have practically no energy to spare.
Grilled cheese is so simple, the instructions for cooking it are basically in the name: a cheese sandwich plus a grill equals happiness. This recipe enhances the classic, easy-to-make sandwich with some Havarti and Brussels sprouts.
Dal is an Indian staple traditionally made from any split beans, peas or lentils. This recipe from One World Kitchen goes for a combo of yellow split peas, split mung beans, split chickpeas and red lentils, tossing them all into the slow cooker with some toasted spice seeds and other ingredients you probably have in your cupboard. Set it at lunch and it’ll be ready by dinner.
Since feta cheese is protein, this is one salad that can stand on its own as a main course. Plus, you won’t have to slave over a stove and cook anything. And although this recipe calls for fresh oregano, dried will do too… just so long as you don’t have to go to the store to buy it.
Couscous is a great choice when there’s a shortage of time since you can make it so quickly. This couscous salad with radish, cucumber, black olives and a chili vinaigrette takes just 15 minutes to prepare.
Sandwiches are always a quick and easy option. The heaviest lift in this crispy calamari sandwich recipe is beating the three eggs. Just fry up the calamari (which will take hardly any time), blend up the sauce and then slap everything on a bun — you don’t even need to dirty any cutlery, just your hands.
There are some nights where all you can manage to do is throw a few ingredients into a pot. Luckily, that’s all this black bean soup requires. The recipe calls for soaked beans, but canned will do just fine too. Serve it with store-bought tortilla chips for an added bonus.
Not quite a salad, not quite a sandwich, but still a totally viable option for a healthy dinner that’s easy to put together. Flavours like ginger, tamari, sesame oil and honey make a sweet sauce for the sauteed mushroom and glass noodles inside.
It’s not quite as easy as a box of Kraft Dinner, but it’s 1,000 times better. The pumpkin puree mixes perfectly into the sauce with some butter, whipping cream, milk, vegetable broth and cheese, and its mild sweetness works well with the bite of the jalapeno.
Sometimes the best dinners aren’t an actual meal at all, but more of a buffet to graze on. This zesty guac and spiced pita chip recipe will make you feel like you’re on a Mexican vacation, even though you’re just in your ordinary kitchen. Consider making a fresh and easy salsa too, by dicing up tomato, onion and cilantro.
Pie doesn’t normally fall into the “simple” category, but this Crazy Simple Fish Pie is, well, simple. You just need five ingredients and thirty minutes to make this hot, savoury dinner — and it’s also Jamie Oliver-approved.
This vegetable pot pie soup is sure to hit the spot after a busy day — the best part of pot pie is the filling anyhow. Sweat the onions and leaks, and use frozen carrots, broccoli and peas if you’re pressed for time (or lacking energy). Then finish it up by adding in some mushrooms, butter, flour and milk. Take a moment to enjoy the relaxing motion of whisking the soup for 10 minutes until it thickens, and then dig in.
This vegetarian dish is warm, simple and satisfying. Canned lentils will cut down the prep time, and once you’ve got the ingredients simmering in a pan, all that’s left to do is wait.