Cooking is one of my greatest passions in life—spending time in the kitchen makes me feel creative and calm, and the best part is the end result to share with the people I love. But you know what I don’t love? Trying to cook dinner when I’m in a rush or when there’s something else I want to be doing instead (like hanging out with my kids if I haven’t seen them all day. Or taking a bubble bath.) This is why I always have some easy dinner recipes in my back pocket that come together faster than you can say “takeout delivery.”

Just because I don’t have time to whip up a culinary masterpiece every night doesn’t mean we can’t end our day around the table enjoying something healthy and delicious.

Scroll on for my go-to quickest dinners, and I’d love to hear in the comments what you make when there’s no time to cook!

Oatmeal With Lots of Filling Toppings

Back when I was in college, a big bowl of oatmeal topped with fruit and nuts was my favorite (cheap) way to make dinner for one. Now when I have zero energy to make a proper dinner after a longgg workday, a cozy bowl of oats always leaves me happy. And bonus points that my kids are always into the idea of breakfast for dinner.

A Big Roasted Sweet Potato

This one’s a tie with oatmeal for my favorite speedy dinner. I’ll roast a couple of sweet potatoes in the oven on Sunday, wrap them in foil and stash them in the fridge, then during the week I can just give it a quick warm in the oven or microwave and add whatever toppings are hanging out in my kitchen. Sometimes a little butter and salt are all I’m craving!

Avocado and Egg Wasa Cracker Toasts

This is the perfect combo of yummy fat and protein. If I’m doing it for dinner, I’ll usually toast some good seeded whole grain bread instead of the crackers. Give me two of those on a plate and I’m the happiest camper.

Hoisin Chicken Cabbage Tacos

Pick up a rotisserie chicken on your way home from work, shred a few veggies, and you’re good to go.

Mexican Baked Eggs

Yeah, there’s a little cooking involved here, but it doesn’t get easier than this. Sauté a few veggies in a pan, then crack some eggs in with them. You’ll have time to go put on your comfy pants while it all bakes itself in the oven. Easy peasy!

Thai Chicken Salad

Rotisserie chicken + chopped veggies and you’re pretty much there. I’ll use a store-bought peanut sauce in a pinch.

Roasted Butternut Squash Stuffed With Goat Cheese & Figs

I roast the squash before work and stick it in the fridge, then when I get home, all that’s left to do is add toppings and pop in the oven for five minutes. Dinner’s done!

This post was originally published on January 17, 2020, and has since been updated.

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Comments (5)
  1. 1
    Jessica Camerata January 28, 2019 at 7:56 am

    Think I need to try the last one, looks delicious!

    xo Jessica
    My Style Vita

  2. 2
    susanna January 28, 2019 at 9:08 am

    Roasted veggies are my no time to cook dinner hack! I always roast all sorts of veggies on Sunday and have them in hand for salads, burritos, tacos, to load (such as potatos or squash) with quicnoa, tomato and some cheese maybe. Anything can be done with a big batch of roasted veggies. They are life savers on busy weeks.

  3. 3
    Ashley January 28, 2019 at 10:40 am

    These all look so great! I love quick dinner ideas for busy weeknights!



Kristen Kilpatrick