Everyone’s been there: you get home from work and want nothing more than to change into sweatpants, turn on your favorite TV show, and order some takeout. But the truth is that food delivery services are not always the best for your wallet, so turning to some lazy dinner recipes is your best bet for being financially conscious, even if you have a big appetite. All you need is a roster of meals with ingredients that aren’t too complicated and steps that are easy to follow, and you’ll be set on the path to becoming a home chef in no time.
There are plenty of recipes for one person that will cut down on the amount of ingredients that you have to buy, as well as the amount of leftovers you’ll be left with. A big batch of lasagna may be thrilling at first, but really, who wants to eat exclusively lasagna for days on end? As long as you stick to simple recipes that don’t yield massive quantities of food, you can happily enjoy a different dinner every night without spending all your time in the kitchen, wasting money, and throwing away leftovers that have gone bad long ago.
These 18 recipes for lazy cooks will help you to become a chef without too much effort at all.
1. Baked Cheesy Apple Sandwiches
Sandwiches make great lazy dinner options, especially when they're warm and covered in cheese. A Beautiful Mess' baked apple sandwich is a more gourmet version of your favorite grilled cheese with not a ton of prep required.
2. 10-Minute Lemon-Butter Fish Tacos
Grouper fish fillets are easy to heat in a pan and toss in some warmed taco shells. A Cozy Kitchen brings out its flavor with Dijon mustard and honey.
3. Cheesy Avocado Quesadillas
Just because Damn Delicious' quesadillas are no-fuss doesn't mean they aren't impressively tasty. Taco seasoning gives them just the right amount of kick.
4. Savory Steel Cut Oatmeal
Oatmeal for breakfast? Cookie and Kate shows it doesn't have to be boring. Mix in whatever vegetables you have on hand, and put an egg on it.
5. Southwestern Egg And Black Bean Skillet
This protein-packed meal by Cara's Cravings is filled with plenty of healthy ingredients — just mix them in a skillet, let them simmer, and enjoy.
6. Curried Chickpeas With Spinach
Chances are, you already have the pantry and freezer staples necessary to make Budget Bytes' vegan curry. It's done and ready to eat in just 25 minutes.
7. Cashew Chicken Salad Wraps
The Kitchn adds nuts to chicken salad to give it some much-needed texture, but it's the addition of mandarin oranges that really takes this dish to the next level.
8. 15-Minute Spinach Pesto Quinoa Bowl
All you need is pesto to totally transform an otherwise basic bowl of quinoa, but Table for Two takes it to the next level with spinach and parmesan, too.
9. Speedy Shakshuka
This tomato dish by Five and Spice makes an easy, savory meal for any time of day. Serve it with crusty bread and you're set.
10. One-Pot Creamy Broccoli Past
You've heard of one-pot spaghetti, but A Beautiful Mess essentially works magic with a creamy white sauce in this recipe. Broccoli adds some much-needed green to the mix.
11. Ranch-Chicken Vegetable Skillet
Toss some fresh green vegetables with chicken and ranch dressing, and you've got a meal. A Cozy Kitchen shows how it's done in just 15 minutes.
12. Asian Salmon In Foil
Packing salmon in tin foil with ingredients like Sriracha, soy sauce, and ginger is an easy way to get maximum flavor in minimal time, as Damn Delicious shows. Serve it up with some steamed veggies.
13. Sun-Dried Tomato, Spinach, and Quinoa Salad
Making a salad that tastes good doesn't have to be complicated or expensive, as Cookie and Kate shows with this tasty vegan dish.
14. Asian Tuna Salad
Sure, tuna salad is usually relegated to lunchtime. But Cara's Cravings adds in plenty of vegetables, cashew butter, ginger, and soy sauce to make it tasty for any time of day.
15. Chorizo Sweet Potato Chili
This warming meal will keep you satisfied all night long. Budget Bytes uses two types of beans, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and chorizo in this simple chili.
16. Scrambled Eggs With Lazy Salsa
When in doubt, you can never go wrong with breakfast for dinner. The Kitchn shows how to make scrambled eggs taste less basic.
17. Teriyaki Chicken And Broccoli
This 20-minute meal can be on your table faster than takeout. Table for Two makes a simple yet delicious variation of the classic.
18. Tomato, Basil, And Burrata Spaghetti
One-pot spaghetti gets a twist when burrata adds a creamy touch. I Am A Food Blog nails the classic pasta dinner.