We've all had those nights — the ones when you get home and the last thing you want to think about is what to cook for dinner. The easy answer feels like reaching for those takeout menus or heading straight to Seamless, but I know I'll always feel better if I suck it up and pull even the simplest thing together instead. These are the 15 low-effort recipes I always lean on when I really don't feel like cooking.
Eggs for Dinner
Even when I have zero motivation to get in the kitchen at the end of the day, I know I can muster just enough energy to scramble or fry a few eggs. I often stuff them into a tortilla, add them to a piece of avocado toast, or partner my eggs with a simple sautéed mix of beans and greens.
- Crispy White Beans with Greens and Poached Egg
- Scrambled Eggs with Lazy Salsa
- Avocado & Egg Breakfast Pizza
- Huevos Rancheros Tacos
Boiling a pot of water for noodles is one of the most low-effort meals I can think of. When you toss pasta with some brown butter, Parm, and crispy breadcrumbs, or partner soba noodles with smoked salmon and chopped veggies, you'll feel like a real dinner superhero.
- Brown Butter Parmesan Pasta
- Miso-Buttered Mushrooms & Noodles
- Garlicky Soba Noodle Bowls
- Smoked Salmon Soba Noodle Salad
Quesadillas and Tacos
I know I can also count on having tortillas, cheese, and a random assortment of leftovers in the fridge, as well as beans in the pantry, which means a quick batch of tacos or quesadillas is a breeze to pull off.
- Chickpea and Cheddar Quesadillas
- Spinach and Refried Bean Quesadillas
- Cilantro-Lime Chicken Quesadillas
- 10-Minute Black Bean Tacos
When my interest in cooking hit a serious low, I know I can at least layer some Brie, apple slices, and Dijon on a nice piece of bread and call it a day, or heat up a chicken sausage link partnered with some tangy kraut.