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10 Dinner Recipes to Make When You Are Tired of Cooking

Simplify life with these easy recipes that require minimum effort

Jackie Freeman

Published on: June 24, 2020

10 Dinner Recipes to Make When You Are Tired of Cooking

At the end of a long day of work and school, sometimes the last thing you want to do is put together a complicated dinner. If you’re looking for a meal that’s healthier and cheaper than takeout or a box from the freezer, we’ve got you covered. These simple dinner recipes require just a bit of assembly, using staple ingredients, and will please the whole family. Take the time and effort out of dinner without compromising on flavor or nutrition. Scroll through the arrows above for some easy recipes. 

1. Pizza grilled cheese

Spend With Pennies turns everything you like about pepperoni pizza into sandwich form. You can up the effort level (just a tad) with a pepperoni crust, or keep it simple with the fillings on the inside. If you’re feeling fancy, add a few of your favorite toppings (on the inside), such as sliced black olives, canned artichoke hearts or fresh basil.

2. Tropical hot dogs

Gussy up one of the world’s humblest dinners with Taste and Tell’s tropical hot dog recipe. If you don’t have a fresh pineapple (or don’t want to take the time to cut one), it’s perfectly okay to pop open a can (hint: buy the rings as they are easier to grill than the chunks). Top with a little bottled barbecue sauce and some minced red onion, and you’ve just upped your hot dog game!

3. 15-minute creamy pasta primavera

Kids love creamy pasta and parents love balanced meals. This quick and easy one-pot dish from Easy Cheesy Vegetarian sneaks in lots of veggies, coated in an irresistible cheese sauce (cream cheese is the key to the extra silky texture). If you’re not a fan of asparagus or green beans, swap them out for other veggies your kids will eat, such as shredded carrots or zucchini.

4. Meatball sliders

Let your freezer come to the rescue with meatball sliders from I Heart Naptime. The sliders are cheesy, saucy, easy and filling, plus they fit perfectly in little hands. Though any kind of roll will do, Hawaiian rolls are especially soft and sweet. Make a double batch if you’re especially hungry or want leftovers for lunch the next day.

5. Quick naan pizzas

Yes, we know we already mentioned pizza once, but why fight a good thing? All you need are four ingredients and eight minutes to whip up personalized mini pizzas from A Simple Palate. Keep the toppings easy — just sauce and cheese — or add a few extras like leftover sausage or fresh or frozen (and thawed and drained) spinach.

6. Quick rotisserie chicken tacos

We love rotisserie chicken because it can be stretched across several meals. Pick up a fresh, hot bird on your next grocery trip and use the leftovers for taco night using this Two Healthy Kitchens recipe. Mix and match your favorite salsa and cheese, and use the chicken hot or cold (it’s great either way). If you don’t want to make the pickled onions, don’t! Just use thinly sliced raw onions, soaked in water for 15 minutes then drained (to take away some of the raw onion “bite”).

7. Easy tortellini soup

Leite’s Culinaria's hearty and warming soup is packed with cheesy tortellini and comes together with just a few ingredients. You can grab (almost) all of the ingredients from your freezer (including the tortellini, spinach and peas) or your cupboard (chicken stock, and yep, dried tortellini works great, too!). Once you have gathered all of the ingredients, the whole recipe only takes about 15 minutes to cook, but is packed with flavor and goodness to fill up tummies.

8. Sheet pan nachos

The best part of this fun family dinner is that it comes together in just a few minutes and feeds a crowd. A favorite around our house, sheet pan nachos can be dressed up or down with your favorite toppings (or whatever happens to be left over in the fridge or cupboard). Use ground beef, as in this recipe from Damn Delicious, or cut back on the cooking and swap the meat out for an additional can of black or refried beans.

9. Healthy spring rolls

No need to tell the kids that fresh spring rolls from A Sweet Pea Chef are super healthy — they’ll just love the colors and the hands-on process. Ranging from savory to sweet, you can customize the rolls to your heart’s content. No cooking is involved (except for some warm tap water) and you can use bits and pieces of whatever leftovers are in your fridge.

10. French toast bites

Breakfast for dinner gets multiple points: It’s easy to make, it’s quick to cook, and it’s fun to eat. Plus, who doesn’t like breakfast for dinner? You can prep the bread the night before or in the morning before the rush of the day starts. If strawberries aren’t on hand, use whatever fruit is available in the fridge (we love grapes, cubed melon or orange slices). Check out the full recipe at A Beautiful Mess.

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