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 that there’s an 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.) Which is why I’ve always got 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!
image: kristen kilpatrick
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 my happy. And bonus points that my kids are always into the idea of breakfast for dinner.
This one’s a tie with oatmeal for my favorite speedy dinner. I’ll roast a couple sweet potatoes in the oven on Sunday, wrap them in foil and stash 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 is all I’m craving!
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.
Pick up a rotisserie chicken on your way home from work, shred a few veggies, and you’re good to go.
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!
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 5 minutes. Dinner’s done!