When I’m in a foul mood, my sister will always ask me two questions: “Are you tired?” and “Are you hungry?” It’s almost always a “yes” to one or the other—and on days following the switch to Daylight Saving Time, it’s usually both. Tonight, I don’t want to mess with 15-step recipes or tons of dishes. I want a meal that requires only a handful of ingredients and minimal active cooking, like speedy grits, bubbly bakes, or done-in-a-flash fish. That way I can chow down, jump in the shower, and then into bed.
If you’re looking for your own easy dinners, check out these 11 short, simple dishes. And then get some rest.
The stew starts simple: oil, onion, lentils, tomato paste, curry powder, salt, water. And the process involves chopping one vegetable, pouring some stuff in a pot, and stirring every so often. Really, that’s it.
This “slow” roasted technique takes 30 minutes, tops, and results in a beautifully tender, evenly cooked, not-one-bit-dry piece of fish.
Goat cheese makes the dish creamy and soft and adds a bright, tangy flavor. Feel free to add fresh herbs, or top your grits with spinach, tomatoes, or leftover roasted broccoli.
Honestly, a bowl of this crispy, garlicky broccoli is all I need as a main course, but if you’re looking for a little more oomph, top it with a fried egg.
High heat browns the eggs’ exterior and crisps up the cheddar, while the kimchi helps keep the insides nice and runny. If it’s been a looong time since lunch, feel free to add another egg in there.
Macaroni, make way for tater tots. For this dish, you smother your tots in cheese sauce, then broil until bubbly and golden.
If steak’s not one of the fastest ways to improve someone’s mood, I don’t know what is.
Creamy scamorza cheese melted obligingly into tomato sauce and slathered onto toast is basically lazy (but oh-so-satisfying) pizza.
“This is a dinner you can fish out of your bare kitchen and cook in 10 minutes that will make you feel whole, with nothing more than modestly proportioned dry pasta, butter, chicken stock, pepper, and lemon.” —The Genius herself, Kristen Miglore
Creamy sweet potato and tangy goat cheese get a little help from chickpeas to make a flavorful, belly-filling meal.
Okay, maybe you want something really easy, like a sandwich. That’s fine! Make this golden grilled cheese, no regrets.
What do you make when you’re too tired to cook? Share some ideas in the comments, PLEASE.
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