25 Recipes for When You Don’t Feel Like Cooking

What do you cook when you just can’t? That is, when you can’t handle doing much of anything—whether that’s thinking, watching the news, scrolling through Facebook, or just following an elaborate recipe with perhaps one too many steps and ingredients.

These 25 recipes are for when you can’t: ones that require little attention after they’re on the stovetop, in the slow-cooker, or in the oven, or have so few ingredients they come together without much thought.

We know, sometimes everything is too much. These aren’t. We promise.


Ground Meat Ragu ("The Butcher's Ragu")

Ground Meat Ragu (“The Butcher’s Ragu”)
Jamie Oliver's Chicken in Milk

Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk
Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Soup
Braised Oxtail Ragu

Braised Oxtail Ragu
Marcella Hazan's Rice and Smothered Cabbage Soup

Marcella Hazan’s Rice and Smothered Cabbage Soupby Genius Recipes

Carrots Cooked Forever, à la Roy Finamore

Carrots Cooked Forever, à la Roy Finamoreby Merrill Stubbs

Short Rib and Pumpkin Chili

Short Rib and Pumpkin Chili
Whole Slow Cooker-Poached Chicken

Whole Slow Cooker-Poached Chicken
Southern Slow Cooker Choucroute

Southern Slow Cooker Choucroute



Sweet and Savory Overnight Roast Pork

Sweet and Savory Overnight Roast Pork
Chicken Thighs Confit

Chicken Thighs Confit
Pork Belly Carnitas

Pork Belly Carnitas
Slow Roasted Lemon Chicken

Slow Roasted Lemon Chicken


Victoria Granof’s Pasta con Ceci

Victoria Granof’s Pasta con Ceci
Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter
Maria Speck's Shortcut Polenta

Maria Speck’s Shortcut Polenta
Parker & Otis' Pimento Cheese (+ Grilled Sandwiches with Bacon & Tomato)

Parker & Otis’ Pimento Cheese (+ Grilled Sandwiches with Bacon & Tomato)
Grilled Chocolate Sandwiches

Grilled Chocolate Sandwiches
Diane Kochilas' Pasta with Yogurt and Caramelized Onions

Diane Kochilas’ Pasta with Yogurt and Caramelized Onionsby Genius Recipes

Daniel Patterson's Poached Scrambled Eggs

Daniel Patterson’s Poached Scrambled Eggsby Genius Recipes

Sally Schneider's Slow-Roasted Salmon (or Other Fish)

Sally Schneider’s Slow-Roasted Salmon (or Other Fish)
Canal House's Chicken Thighs with Lemon

Canal House’s Chicken Thighs with Lemon
Roger Vergé's Fried Eggs with Wine Vinegar

Roger Vergé’s Fried Eggs with Wine Vinegar
The Best Pan-Roasted Potatoes

The Best Pan-Roasted Potatoes

What do you make when you don’t want to think about cooking? Tell us in the comments.

Roasted Salmon Glazed With Brown Sugar and Mustard

  • Salmon fillets, preferably wild or farmed organically
  • Dijon mustard
  • Brown sugar
  • Salt and black pepper


  1. Heat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Make a mixture of Dijon mustard and brown sugar to the degree of spicy-sweetness that pleases you. Salt and pepper the salmon fillets.
  3. Place the salmon fillets skin-side down on a lightly oiled, foil-lined baking sheet. Slather the tops of the fillets with the mustard and brown sugar glaze and slide them into the top half of your oven. They ought to be done in 12 minutes or so, and they pair beautifully with simple braised greens.

7 Ways To Eat Healthier This Week

1. Add lentils to spaghetti sauce for extra fiber and protein.

Here’s a vegetarian version — but you could easily do this with a meat-based sauce, too.

2. Pick one night this week to prep an easy, make-ahead salad for the next day’s lunch.

Pick one night this week to prep an easy, make-ahead salad for the next day's lunch.

Taylor Miller / Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

To get you started, here are a dozen go-to salad ideas that BuzzFeed readers swear by.

More: 12 Make-Ahead Salads To Fuel Your Workweek

3. Switch up your hummus game by DIY’ing these versions that are equal parts delicious, colorful, and good for you:

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

This hummus trio blends protein-packed chickpeas with spicy roasted carrots; fresh green herbs and garlic; and lemony beets.

More: This Rainbow-Inspired Hummus Is Almost Too Gorgeous To Eat

4. Fire up your slow cooker and try one of these better-for-you ideas for dinner:

Fire up your slow cooker and try one of these better-for-you ideas for dinner:

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Find Crock Pot-ready recipes for chili, chicken soup, spaghetti squash, and more here.

More: 15 Slow Cooker Recipes That Are Actually Healthy

5. Freeze leftover Greek yogurt or pureed greens into ice cube trays for ready-to-use boosters that you can pop into smoothies.

Cheers to smoothies that basically make themselves. More on yogurt bites here, and freezing greens here.

6. Curb cravings by snacking on foods high in healthy fats — like toast with peanut butter or avocado.

Curb cravings by snacking on foods high in healthy fats — like toast with peanut butter or avocado.

@fitmencook / Via instagram.com

As Liz Moody, healthy food blogger and founder of Sprouted Routes, explained to BuzzFeed Health: “This may sound counterintuitive but when trying to lose weight, many people make the mistake of cutting fat from their diet, which can leave them feeling super hungry, cranky, and less likely to stick to the plan long-term (which is key!). Adding in healthy fats boosts satiation and keeps you from noshing on simple carbs and sugar, or giving up too soon.”

More: 23 Surprising Weight-Loss Tips That Are Actually Doable

7. For a seasonal, oven-baked sweet treat, stuff pears with pecans + cinnamon, then drizzle with honey.

For a seasonal, oven-baked sweet treat, stuff pears with pecans + cinnamon, then drizzle with honey.

If you don’t have pecans, walnuts or granola would work perfectly too. Find the full recipe here, and find out what else is in season this month here.

More: How to Make Honey Cinnamon Baked Pears

|BuzzFeed Staff

20-Minute Meals You Need In Your Life This Week

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

1. Thai Basil Beef and Lemongrass Rice Bowls

Thai Basil Beef and Lemongrass Rice Bowls

Tieghan Gerard / Via halfbakedharvest.com

Don’t forget to top it with fresh basil, it takes the dish to a whole new level.

Get the recipe here.

2. Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara

Chung-Ah Ree / Via damndelicious.net

This dish only needs five ingredients and while the pasta cooks, you’ll toss together the quick sauce of eggs + bacon + parm.

Get the recipe here.

3. Ancho Chicken Tacos

Ancho Chicken Tacos

Lindsay / Via pinchofyum.com

Ancho chicken is delicious but it’s really all about the toppings.

Get the recipe here.

4. Greek Pasta Salad

Greek Pasta Salad

Ashley Manila / Via bakerbynature.com

Prep the veggies while the pasta cook and you’ll only need twenty minutes to put this one together. Also, it has a tzatziki dressing

Get the recipe here.

5. Easy Shrimp and Broccoli Stir Fry

Easy Shrimp and Broccoli Stir Fry

Chung-Ah Ree / Via damndelicious.net

Yes please!

Get the recipe here.

6. Tabasco & Honey Roasted Salmon

Tabasco & Honey Roasted Salmon

Ashley Manila / Via bakerbynature.com

Roasted salmon is the (super fast and easy) answer to all your problems.

Get the recipe here.

7. Healthy Chicken Parmesan

Healthy Chicken Parmesan

Lindsay / Via pinchofyum.com

It may look complicated but this dish only requires seven ingredients and if you prep the zoodles while the chicken is baking, you won’t need more than 20 minutes to finish the whole thing.

Get the recipe here.

|BuzzFeed Staff

These One-Pan Recipes Make Cooking (And Cleaning) A Cinch

Now this is how it’s done.



Getting into the kitchen after a long day and making a delicious meal (and lotsa mess) is not what most of us want to be doing — especially once you’ve changed into your comfies and your favourite show is on.

Luckily there is an easy way around this: one-pan dinners.

These one-pan dinner recipes by Jessica Sepel — nutritionist, health blogger and cookbook author — are easy to prepare, make hardly any mess and are packed full of delicious flavour.

1. Roast pumpkin and chickpea one-pan with hummus dressing

By JSHealth.

“I’m obsessed with these easy one-pan dinners — as simple as throwing some veggies and a protein onto a baking tray and roasting until delicious,” Sepel said.

“This is the perfect vegetarian dinner option and so easy. Pumpkin and carrots are great starchy veggies too — really low GI and full of antioxidants from the beta-carotene.”

Serves two as a main, or four as a side.


  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ pumpkin
  • 3-4 carrots
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5-6 mint leaves, torn
  • ¼ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • Sea salt


  • 1 tablespoon hummus
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • ¼ cup vinegar (white balsamic, white wine or apple cider)
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 180°.
  2. Chop pumpkin into small wedges. Slice carrots thinly. Arrange on baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Season with sea salt generously.
  3. Add baking tray to the oven and roast for 35-40 minutes, until golden and slightly caramelised.
  4. To make the dressing, combine hummus, mustard, vinegar and maple syrup in a small jar. Whisk until combined.
  5. Remove roasted vegetables from oven and add chickpeas to tray. Drizzle over dressing and top with pepitas, chilli flakes and mint leaves.

2. One-pan healthy chicken pesto pasta

By JSHealth.

“Who doesn’t love pesto pasta? I like to use a brown rice, gluten free brand of pasta, which I cook whilst the chicken is sautéing in the pan,” Sepel said. “Top with some grated Parmesan if you like.”

Serves two.


  • 2 organic chicken breasts, cut into thin slices
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped into florets
  • 2 cups cooked whole grain or gluten free pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 heaped tablespoons good quality pesto
  • Basil leaves, to garnish
  • Sea salt


  1. Heat olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the sliced chicken breasts and one tablespoon of pesto to the pan, season generously with salt and sauté until cooked through.
  3. Once chicken is cooked, add the chopped broccoli and continue to sauté for another 3-4 minutes.
  4. Stir through cooked pasta and add two tablespoons of pesto.
  5. Stir and top with fresh basil. Serve.

3. One-pan teriyaki chicken

By JSHealth.

“This one-pan dinner is so simple to make, requires virtually no washing up and tastes amazing,” Sepel said. “Not to mention, it is completely nutritionally sound. Enjoy.”

Serves two.


  • 2 organic chicken breasts
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 eggplant
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt


  • ¼ cup tamari sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 180°.
  2. Chop carrots and eggplant into slices. Chop broccoli into florets. Arrange vegetables on a lined baking tray, leaving space for the chicken breast.
  3. Drizzle vegetables with olive oil (or olive oil spray) and salt generously.
  4. Add chicken breast to the middle of the tray, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
  5. To make marinade, whisk all marinade ingredients together until smooth.
  6. Spoon two tablespoons of marinade over each chicken breast. Spoon remaining marinade over vegetables.
  7. Place pan in oven and roast for 30-35 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Serve with brown rice, if desired.

4. One-pan healthy fish and chips

By JSHealth.

“Fish and chips is such a classic summer meal. There’s nothing better after a day at the beach, but often the oils and batters used can be high in saturated fats. So I created a healthy version for you guys, as a one-pan dinner, of course,” Sepel said.

“Crispy parsnip and sweet potato chips paired with a simply roasted white fish, plus the most divine herb-nut topping.”

Serves two.


  • 2 fillets white fish (e.g. John Dory or Ling)
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 2 parsnips
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1 cup mixed herbs (parsley and basil are best)
  • ½ cup almonds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 180° degrees.
  2. Chop sweet potato and parsnips into thin wedges and arrange on a lined baking tray. Drizzle with one tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle over coconut flour. Season with sea salt. Roast in oven for 25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, to make the herb-nut topping, finely chop mixed herbs with almonds. Add one tablespoon olive oil and a generous pinch of sea salt and continue to chop until combined.
  4. After 25 minutes, remove sweet potato and parsnip from oven and add the fish to the pan. Spoon over the herb-nut topping.
  5. Return tray to oven for a further 20 minutes, until fish is cooked and wedges are golden.


For more easy and nutritious recipes, go to Jessica Sepel’s website or follow Jess on Instagram.


17/01/2017 12:18 PM AEDTJuliette Steen Associate Food Editor, HuffPost Australia