Put Away Your Knife & Cutting Board, Still Get Dinner Done

What follows is a radical suggestion. You might call it "crazy" or even "silly." However, I will take this risk at the chance maybe it'll help a few of you out there get dinner on the table faster.

Here it is: Put away your knife and cutting board. For quick dinners, eliminate the chopping, dicing, mincing, and slicing. Instead, focus on ingredients on hand and how to prepare them in the most efficient, quickest (and best—don't forget best!) way possible given your time constraint and hunger level.

Here are 9 recipes that require less stuff, which actually, in a way, makes them so much more:

You'll need a nonstick skillet and 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (yes, you can use a butter knife for this—it's not the same as the chef's knife we're talking about).

Get out your frying pan and butter again. Toast is also welcome here, if you have it.

The bread-y component is included in the egg. Less work!

I promise this isn't just a compilation of egg recipes. They're just a weeknight, don't-know-what-to-make staple. Here, bread is fried, an egg is fried, and the two are, as you can guess, sandwiched together.

Cheese. Black pepper. Spaghetti. Done.

Leave the optional roughly chopped bacon off to keep within the no-knife parameters.

You can, and will, have this on the table in less than 10 minutes.

Don't worry your hungry little stomachs, it only slow roasts for 15 to 35 minutes.

When all else fails, have a smoothie for dinner. Peel the ginger the recipe calls for with a spoon—you'll save more of the actual ginger and still not use a knife.

Shop the Story

What do you cook sans knife or cutting board? Let us know in the comments!

Order now

A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

Order now

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • witloof
  • Whiteantlers
  • HalfPint
I fall in love with every sandwich I ever meet.


witloof February 28, 2017
I confess that most nights I have lacinato kale for dinner. I rip it off the stems, rinse it in a colander, shake it briefly so it's still wet, spread it on a baking sheet, and sprinkle it with nutritional yeast and olive oil. Bake 15 minutes at 350.
Whiteantlers February 22, 2017
I make a small pot of basmati rice, add butter to it when it's finished, fluff it, put a serving into a pre-heated rice bowl and top it with spicy kim chi and garnish that with sesame seeds. Perfect, satisfying dinner. If I have some in the house, I add pickled onions.

I am allergic to soy and detest eggs but if you like either one of them, you could put a fried egg or some tofu (or both) on top of this to fill your protein needs.
HalfPint February 22, 2017
My quick dinner is a no-recipe: cook spaghetti, drain, toss with creme fraiche & grated hard cheese, pinch or two of salt. Eat immediately.

Alternate quick dinner: cook a pot of rice (white usually), add a couple of rinsed eggs to the pot. By the time the rice is done, the eggs are cooked. Fluff rice, peel eggs, rough-mash eggs with a little fish sauce, then mix a small amount with hot rice. This is a Vietnamese childhood comfort food that I still eat when I don't want to do any major cooking.