Weeknight cooking is one of the best things you can do to decompress from a day, but it can often feel like a time-consuming process that takes away from your downtime. It’s so much easier to turn to Postmates at the end of a long day than it is to prepare a meal.
Luckily, we’ve compiled a few extremely easy, low maintenance dinners that will help you stay on track if you’re trying to be quick, healthy, and cost-effective with your weeknight cooking excursions. As a bonus, a lot of these recipes can be tweaked to suit your dietary needs.
1. Rice Bowls (With as Many Veggies as Possible)
Rice is one of the most adaptable foods at our disposal. It’s cheap, you can buy it in large quantities, and it comes in many, many varieties (even cauliflower rice). Jasmine rice is a personal favorite, and while there’s some debate over whether or not brown rice is more nutritious than white rice, we prefer brown rice for its richer, nutty flavor (brands like Lundberg Family Farms stock Brown Jasmine Rice).
Rice bowls are perfect solutions for an overcrowded fridge. Cut up carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, kale or whatever you’ve got that sounds good and sauté them with your favorite spices and seasonings. We tend to brown mushrooms in a bit of butter and garlic, combine kale until wilted and then add in brown rice with some olive oil for a quick, savory meal that can come together in almost no time.
To make a rice bowl richer, fry up an egg and use the yolk as a makeshift sauce—if you’re feeling particularly ambitious, making a sauce in advance can let you enjoy rice bowls all throughout the week. Check out these recipes for rice bowls that you’ll want to make every day.
2. One-Pan Roasted Fish and Vegetables
Some red potatoes drizzled in olive oil and roasted to crispy perfection. Brussel sprouts browned to within an inch of their life and tossed with honey and breadcrumbs and a little bit of goat cheese. Asparagus with parmesan cheese and tons of pepper and lemon. Hungry yet?
There are a million ways to prepare this dish. Make this one-pan dinner solution a full meal by adding in your favorite protein. Fish plays nice with any vegetables it’s cooked with and can be bought frozen to be truly cost-effective.
If you’re new to cooking fish, tilapia and cod are neutrally flavored and easy to punch up with lemon, rosemary, and garlic. The best part about recipes like the ones below is that they’re easy to adjust for your preferences. Just be sure to source your fish ethically if you can.
- 5-Ingredient One-Sheet Salmon Dinner
- Baked Cod Sheet Pan Dinner
- Sheet Pan Salmon and Squash with Miso Mojo
3. Naan Pizza
Nothing is better than pizza for dinner, and it’s especially fun when you can put together a pizza yourself. Naan pizza is an easy way to whip up a delicious meal without too much prep, and it can be customized and tweaked until you have a blend of flavors that’s perfect for you.
What’s more, most versions of naan pizza have about four ingredients, tops. It’s a perfect dish for dinner in a pinch and a favorite at Mobee for parties, as the pizzas come together in almost no time.
Naan is a perfect base for almost any topping—it’s delicious and retains a great texture when cooked in the oven. Try using ricotta as a base and adding caramelized onions on top or go for a classic and use pizza sauce with mozzarella or whatever cheese blend you prefer.
Allow your naan pizza to cook on the cooking rack to give the underside of your naan a crispy texture and try making your pizza with garlic naan for even more flavor.
Check out these naan pizza ideas or experiment with your own topping combos.
- 10-Minute Naan Pizza
- Caramelized Onion Naan Pizza with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Goat Cheese
- Fig, Blue Cheese, and Arugula Flatbread
4. Breakfast for Dinner (Brinner!)
This is a classic way to clear out a fridge and to infuse a weeknight dinner with a little whimsy. Cooking up a classic breakfast in the evening is simple, cost-effective, and customizable in a big way—it’s also perfect if you don’t make a lot of breakfast foods as part of your daily routine.
Whip up scrambled eggs, bacon, or sausage (or veggie sausage), and drizzle some seasoned potatoes in olive oil and throw them in the oven for a quick meal that will leave everyone satisfied. Even better, chocolate chip pancakes are both dessert and a meal, so feel free to go crazy and really explore your options. Who says cinnamon rolls can’t be a meal?
Looking to make something a bit more complicated? Check out these recipes that bring together the best breakfast foods in new ways.