Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook but even this meal planning mama has those those days when the last thing she wants to do after a long day is cook it up in the kitchen. I have those days at least once a week so I always plan a “no cook” type meal into my family’s weekly meal plan.
So, what does one cook when you don’t want to cook? Check out the list below and rotate one of the meal ideas into your plan once a week to give yourself a night off from cooking.
What To Cook When You Don’t Want To Cook
1. Snack Board
Snacks for dinner! Who doesn’t want that? Laying out a huge snack platter as the main meal is one of my favorite ways to feed the family when I don’t want to cook. Add a variety of vegetables, dips, crackers and fruits for texture and color.
Turn taco leftovers into big, fat burritos the next day. I love this easy meal solution that repurposes last night’s dinner into something new. I get the huge flour tortillas for easy stuffing and load leftover rice, beans, and filling on top. It’s like our own in house Chipotle!
3. Pasta Bar
Take a little help from store-bought sauces to get an epic pasta bar on the table in less than 30 minutes. Heat up some store bought sauces, boil some pasta and spoon a few add-ins into bowls. My family loves this DIY spread that I serve with sliced ciabatta and a simple salad (or buy a salad in a bag for even more ease).
4. Sushi Bowls
These are simple to make if you buy frozen rice and reheat it. I chop baked tofu, cucumber and avocado for toppings and serve alongside edamame (cooked and shelled from the store) along with shredded carrots, peanuts and sesame seeds. Super easy and the kids love it. They often ask for leftovers to eat for lunch the next day. There’s no cooking involved (unless you count reheating the rice) and everyone makes their own bowl.
Instead of cooking, press it! My family loves our panini press. It makes an appearance for dinner at least a couple of times a month when I don’t want to cook. I lay out breads, toppings and sauces and let everyone do their own thing. It’s dinner and an activity! If I’m feeling fancy, I may serve it with a slaw or salad I’ve prepped or batch cooked on the weekend. Otherwise, it’s potato chips and fruit for sides.