“No Thought Dinner” – What’s Yours?

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on October 9, 2013

I’ve been working what feels like round the clock, preparing for the release of the new grocery savings app, Favado. (Read more about it here.) I’m working with an amazing team at Savings.com, to get this app out into the world and into the hands of grocery shoppers across the country!

That being said, I have less than the tiniest sliver of brain space left for meal planning and cooking. We’ve had fish sticks already this week, and hot dogs last night…so the “you need to cook something healthful and delicious” guilt is settling in…so I need a “no-thought dinner” tonight.

Because they are mindless.

It takes little to no mental energy to make these meals. It takes no thought when it comes to actually putting them together. There is no double, triple and quadruple checking the recipe for missing ingredients or funky directions or cooking methods.

But what are some other mindless meals that you can add to your meal rotation?

Obviously this depends on your “cooking level,” what you’ve made over and over in the past, and what your family enjoys! (And food allergies/intolerances too.)

In an attempt to help myself through the blurry days of newborn-hood, I’ve put together a list of “No-Thought Dinners” that can be quickly thrown together on a moment’s notice and without having to use too many brain cells. Some are the “Load N Go” variety, some are variations of the mindless meals mentions above, and others are just family favorites that we all enjoy and don’t require too much thought to toss together.

What meals do you love to throw together for your family, using little to no brain power?!

Please share links and recipes below!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa October 9, 2013 at 5:36 pm

Homemade rice-a-roni with hamburger, green beans and applesauce. Super fast, super easy!

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Lizanne October 9, 2013 at 6:45 pm

3-ingredient Italian beef in the slow cooker! Soooo easy!! http://www.theblawgyall.com/2013/05/easy-yummy-dinner-idea.html

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Vynette Arnell October 9, 2013 at 9:32 pm

My husband introduced me to this little gem when we got married. We call it our 3 pot meal and truthfully, it comes in handy. Our married kids even make it now if you can believe it. Bring two pots of water to a boil. In one, cook Minute Rice, in the second heat either Little Smokies or smoked sausage links cut in chunks. In a steamer over this same pot steam chopped cabbage. There you go, sausage, rice and cabbage!

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Nancy October 10, 2013 at 1:29 am

My easy dinner is pulled pork sandwiches. Just put a pork butt or shoulder in the crock pot with a little water and a few cloves. Cook on low for 7-9 hours. Remove meat and shred with two forks. Return to the crock pot and add a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce. Heat on high while you make whatever side dishes you want. Serve on hamburger buns.

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Barb @ Frugal Local Kitchen October 10, 2013 at 5:53 am

Spaghetti and Meatballs is a no-thought dinner for us. In fact, I can have the kids help me make it if I need to do several things at once. About once a month, my dh makes a huge pot of sauce and meatballs and then packages them in individual meals. All I need to do is defrost the sauce and meatballs, warm them up, and cook the pasta. If I’m feeling adventurous, I’ll ask one of my kids to make small salads.

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Laura October 10, 2013 at 7:29 am

My easiest, and frugal no brainer recipe is chili and cornbread. You need a 9×13 dish, 3 cans of chili and a bag of Marie Callendar’s honey butter cornbread. Chili on the bottom and pour the prepared cornbread on top. Follow the baking directions on the package and wahlah, dinner is done.

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Caleb January 29, 2014 at 10:41 am

Great recipes, thanks for sharing.

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Ara May 14, 2014 at 9:00 pm

Macaroni and ground beef. Brown the ground beef with a chopped onion or two, mix with elbow macaroni or other small pasta, mix in a beaten egg and top with shredded cheese.

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Diane Thompson June 30, 2014 at 3:02 pm

My easy go to is Shrimp alfredo. Thaw out half of bag of medium size peel and eat shrimp under cold water (takes five minutes). While that is going on bring water to a boil for your linguine noodles, cook those for about 7-8 min. In a separate skillet bring olive oil to a med high heat put the shrimp on to sear each side, then add the noodles, a jar of alfredo, and some basil and stir. Voila! Easy dinner!

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