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.
- 3 “Load n Go” slow cooker meals – Beef Stew with Butternut Squash (8-10 hours on low in slow cooker), Slow Cooker Mango Chicken with Zucchini, Slow Cooker Sweet Potato and Chicken Curry
- Pantry Staples List
- Spaghetti sauces – eggplant, chunky bolognese, chunky sauce
- Slow Cooker Mac n Cheese
- Bacon and Egg Quesadillas
- Ham and Potato Saute with Baked Eggs
What meals do you love to throw together for your family, using little to no brain power?!
Please share links and recipes below!
Homemade rice-a-roni with hamburger, green beans and applesauce. Super fast, super easy!
3-ingredient Italian beef in the slow cooker! Soooo easy!! http://www.theblawgyall.com/2013/05/easy-yummy-dinner-idea.html
Vynette Arnell says
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!
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.
Barb @ Frugal Local Kitchen says
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.
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.
Great recipes, thanks for sharing.
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.
Diane Thompson says
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!
J. Valentine says
Easy, only a few common ingredients, quick to make, versatile and reheats well the next day for lunch. Plus if you mix the rice with the sauce in the skillet, it becomes a one pot meal.
J. Valentine says
Oops that is supposed to say it is a recipe for Fried Rice.
Lisa Cybul says
FROZEN 2-3 lb tri-tip in crockpot with a package of Lipton onion soup mix sprinkled on top. That’s it! Slow cooked 8 hours. Always a family favorite 🙂