The Easiest Recipes Ever for Lazy Cooks

Skillet Mac and Cheese with Crispy Breadcrumbs
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez

Sometimes there simply aren't enough hours in the day, Keurig K-Cups in the kitchen, or inspirational quotes to transform a regular old guy or gal into one of 'those' superhumans. You know the ones—those genetically blessed folks who ace Sunday afternoon meal planning, find time to squeeze in their OrangeTheory workout and bible study before arriving half an hour early to work (just in case), and somehow have a Pinterest-perfect meal awaiting their loving families at 6:30 on the dot. If you're one of those people, more power to you—but frankly, we think you could stand to learn a thing or two about instant mac and cheese.Not to promote an Us vs. Them confrontation, but we snooze-hitters are pretty sure we've got it made—and we proudly carry our skills all the way to the kitchen. While others tend to their massaged kale like a newborn child, we'll be kicking up our feet to catch up on Sex and the City while our Crock Pots do all the handy work for us."Lazy" is not usually a complimentary term, but in this case, we're owning it. As the smart, savvy, low-maintenance chefs we are, these super simple recipes are a Godsend. From simple sheet pan dinners to 30-minute slow cooker meals, these fuss-free favorites will be ready faster than you can say "takeout." Season, toss, bake? Sounds like a plan to us.

01 of 28

Soulful Chicken Soup

Soulful Chicken Soup
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Soulful Chicken Soup

It's good when you're sick; it's good when the temperatures drop; it's good for the soul, we swear it.

02 of 28

Spinach Ravioli Lasagna

Easy Pasta Recipes: Spinach Ravioli Lasagna
Van Chaplin

Recipe: Spinach Ravioli Lasagna

This top-rated lasagna uses convenient ingredients for your quickest, easiest one-pot dinner yet. Pesto, Alfredo sauce, Italian cheeses, and spinach join cheese-filled ravioli for a creamy, melty bake.

03 of 28

One-Pot Beef Stew

One-Pot Beef Stew
Greg DuPree

Recipe: One-Pot Beef Stew

Red wine, whole-grain mustard, and garlic add richness to this stew, and the tender cubed beef chuck roast makes it satisfying enough for a great weeknight dinner.

04 of 28

Spaghetti Casserole

Spaghetti Casserole
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Spaghetti Casserole

This slow-cooker version of our classic spaghetti casserole makes this dinner more satisfying and easier than ever before.

05 of 28

Skillet Mac and Cheese with Crispy Breadcrumbs

Skillet Mac and Cheese with Crispy Breadcrumbs
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Skillet Mac and Cheese with Crispy Breadcrumbs

This version of mac and cheese features three kinds of cheese for the dreamiest dinner your kids will beg you to make.

06 of 28

Quick Beef Chili

Quick Beef Chili
Becky Luigart Stayner

Recipe: Quick Beef Chili

Tender steak makes the base for this quick recipe that's packed with flavorful seasonings and chopped green chiles. A couple spoonfuls of cornmeal will help thicken it up perfectly!

07 of 28

One-Pot Pasta with Tomato-Basil Sauce

One-Pot Pasta with Tomato-Basil Sauce
Becky Luigart-Stayner

Recipe: One-Pot Pasta with Tomato-Basil Sauce

This one-pot recipe is a wonder, but we aren't going to question it! You only need to throw it all together in a pot, then find a perfectly cooked pasta dish coated in a creamy tomato-basil sauce just 20 minutes later.

08 of 28

One-Pot Shrimp and Grits

One-Pot Shrimp and Grits
Greg Dupree

Recipe: One-Pot Shrimp and Grits

We love any recipe that takes a classic dish and gives it a user-friendly twist. This shrimp and grits recipe does just that with its one-pot mindset. Spicy andouille, sautéed shrimp, and old-fashioned grits pack this dish with plenty of flavor.

09 of 28

Garlicky Beef-and-Bean Stir-Fry

Garlicky Beef-and-Bean Stir-Fry
Photo: Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Garlicky Beef-and-Bean Stir-Fry

We let the bold ingredients do the talking in this beefy stir fry. Soy sauce, lime juice, sugar, crushed red pepper, and garlic make a amazing marinade for the steak, while fresh green beans add a great crunch.

10 of 28

Sloppy Joe Casserole

Sloppy Joe Casserole
Southern Living

Recipe: Sloppy Joe Casserole

We always love an old-school classic with a twist, and this casserole has all of the sweet-savory blend and hearty ground beef of your childhood Sloppy Joe, but in a slightly more refined presentation.

11 of 28

Skillet Spinach Lasagna

Skillet Spinach Lasagna
Greg DuPree

Recipe: Skillet Spinach Lasagna

We bet you didn't see this one coming—all the homemade comfort of a casserole-style lasagna made quickly and simply in a skillet. Weeknight genius.

12 of 28

Whole Wheat Pesto Pizza

Whole Wheat Pesto Pizza Recipe
Greg Dupree

Recipe: Whole Wheat Pesto Pizza

With whole-wheat crust and fresh toppings, this skillet pizza is a healthy dinner that only feels indulgent.

13 of 28

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Pasta and Pesto

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Pasta and Pesto Recipe
Photo: Greg Dupree

Recipe: Crispy Chicken Thighs with Pasta and Pesto

You can substitute storebought pesto if you're in a crunch, but we can't get enough of this homemade Arugula Pesto. This chicken gets perfectly crisp, dark-golden skin and juicy, tender meat (which paired with the one-pot ease, is too good to pass up).

14 of 28

Chicken Bog

Chicken Bog
Greg DuPree

Recipe: Chicken Bog

This old-fashioned recipe has been filling up Southerners as long as time. Chicken and rice are equal power players in the dish, while vegetables and garlic add even more flavor.

15 of 28

Sheet Pan Nachos

Sheet Pan Nachos
Greg DuPree

Ready in 30 minutes
Recipe: Sheet Pan Nachos

We used ground chuck and piled on the toppings to create a sheet pan supper that your family will be asking for time and again.

16 of 28

Quick and Easy Spaghetti Bolognese

Quick and Easy Spaghetti Bolognese
Greg DuPree

Ready in 25 minutes
Recipe: Quick and Easy Spaghetti Bolognese

Fake a slow-simmering Bolognese by using store-bought tomato sauce such as Barilla or Classico.

17 of 28

Open-Faced Tomato Sandwiches with Creamy Cucumber Spread

Open-Faced Tomato Sandwiches with Creamy Cucumber Spread
Alison Miksch

Ready in 20 minutes
Recipe: Open-Faced Tomato Sandwiches with Creamy Cucumber Spread

If you're light and fresh summer dinner recipe, you've found it. The creamy cucumber spread is a cool and creamy addition to these sandwiches.

18 of 28

Chicken Stir-Fry

Chicken Stir-Fry
Greg Dupree

Ready in 10 minutes
Recipe: Chicken Stir-Fry

This Chicken Stir-Fry recipe comes together quicker than you can order takeout.

19 of 28

Heirloom Tomato and Chicken Toss

Heirloom Tomato and Chicken Toss
Greg DuPree

Ready in 20 minutes
Recipe: Heirloom Tomato and Chicken Toss

Serve this light dinner recipe with crusty bread to soak up the juice from the tomatoes. We also recommend a glass of rose—if you're so inclined.

20 of 28

Southwest Chicken Tortillas

Southwest Chicken Tortillas
Greg DuPree

Ready in 30 minutes
Recipe: Southwest Chicken Tortillas

Use microwaveable basmati rice, pre-shredded Mexican cheese, and rotisserie chicken to make these chicken tortillas in a flash.

21 of 28

Easy Chicken and Dumplings

Kid-Friendly Chicken: Easy Chicken and Dumplings
Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Recipe: Easy Chicken and Dumplings

Watch the Video: Our Easiest Chicken and Dumplings

Arguably the ultimate comfort food, this meal is a perennial cold-weather favorite.

22 of 28

Easy Brunswick Stew

Easy Brunswick Stew
William Dickey

Recipe: Easy Brunswick Stew

Okra, pork, lima beans, corn, and a bevy of other veggies make for a hearty stew that can be thrown in a slow-cooker and left alone for hours (making for an easy afternoon for you!).

23 of 28

One-Pot Pasta with Tomato-Basil Sauce

One-Pot Pasta with Tomato-Basil Sauce
Becky Luigart-Stayner

Recipe: One-Pot Pasta with Tomato-Basil Sauce

This one-pot recipe is a wonder, but we aren't going to question it! You only need to throw it all together in a pot, then find a perfectly cooked pasta dish coated in a creamy tomato-basil sauce just 20 minutes later.

24 of 28

Honey-Soy-Glazed Salmon with Veggies and Oranges

Honey-Soy-Glazed Salmon with Veggies and Oranges
Alison Miksch

Recipe: Honey-Soy-Glazed Salmon with Veggies and Oranges

25 of 28

Tomato 'n' Beef Casserole with Polenta Crust

Tomato ‘n’ Beef Casserole with Polenta Crust
Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Recipe: Tomato 'n' Beef Casserole with Polenta Crust

The cornmeal-based crust sets this cheesy dish aside from other Italian casserole recipes.

26 of 28

Black Bean Chili

Black Bean Chili
Southern Living

Recipe: Black Bean Chili with Steak

Ready in under an hour, this quick, black bean chili proves that a bean chili doesn't have to be meatless. The recipe makes 12 servings, so it's great to make when you have company, or if you make it for a weeknight supper you'll have plenty of leftovers to eat for lunch. Top with a dollop of sour cream, corn chips, and chopped fresh cilantro just before serving.

27 of 28

Pizza Spaghetti Casserole

Pizza Spaghetti Casserole
Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Recipe: Pizza Spaghetti Casserole

Two Italian favorites—pizza and spaghetti—come together in this casserole that's ready in 40 minutes.

28 of 28

All-In-One Spaghetti

All-In-One Spaghetti
William Dickey

Recipe: All-In-One Spaghetti

This recipe allows you to cook the meat, sauce, and noodles all in one pot.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles