Don’t Feel Like Cooking? Here are Some Ideas for Easy Meals You Can Make in No Time

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

We’re experiencing recession times, inflation vibes, and looking for ways to stretch the dollar.  Groceries are more expensive, and we are buying less food while dealing with high gas prices and overall malaise that has permeated the nation and, sometimes, the last thing you want to do is cook.

But rendering meals to be more bang-for-your-buck is easier than you think, and doesn’t have to involve anything fried or wrapped in paper, and stuffed into a bag emblazoned with a corporate logo.

The Kitchn’s Jesse Szewczyk has come up with a list of 20 easy dinners that you can make when you…just…can’t.  I’ve pulled out my three favorites with many ingredients that you already have at home and can stretch over several meals. They are all delicious and crowd-pleasing, and will put a smile on your family’s faces, not to mention your own.

For the first two recipes you’ll need to pick up a rotisserie chicken (or two); for the third you’ll need sweet potatoes.

Rotisserie Chicken Tacos

INGREDIENTS

  • 12 to 16 (6-inch) corn tortillas, or flour if you prefer
  • 1/2 rotisserie chicken
  • tablespoon chili powder, or ground cumin if you want it less spicy
  • teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • (10-ounce) bag tri-color slaw
  • 2 medium limes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 2 medium avocados
  • 1/2 (10-ounce) wheel queso fresco or other crumbly Mexican cheese
  • cup sour cream
  • cup salsa
  • Hot sauce

Shred half of the chicken (keep other half for another recipe) and throw into a large bowl with chili powder, cumin, slaw, toss, then squeeze lime juice on top along with salt and pepper and toss again.  Warm up tacos in low temp oven while you cut and prep the toppings (onion, avocado, cilantro, cheese, whatever you like.) Put out sour cream and salsa to serve.

Now with the other half of the rotisserie chicken you can make sheet pan nachos.

Easy Sheet Pan Chicken Nachos

INGREDIENTS

  • (15-ounce) can black beans
  • (2.25-ounce) can sliced black olives
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar or Monterey jack cheese, or a combination (3 cups shredded), either from a bag or shred your own
  • 1 small Roma tomato, or drained can of diced tomatoes
  • 8 medium scallions (green onions)
  • 1 small jalapeño
  • rotisserie chicken meat (1/2 of bird) 
  • salsa
  • 1 bag tortilla chips (restaurant-style works really well here)
  • Sour cream, for serving

Pre-heat oven to 425°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. While the oven is heating, shred the chicken, drain all of the cans, chop the tomato (if using) and slice the scallions and jalapeño. Arrange half of the bag of tortilla chips in an even layer on the baking sheet, then top with half of the chicken and shredded cheese. Repeat the layers and then sprinkle black beans on top. Bake until cheese is melted and chips are starting to brown. Top with tomato, jalapeños, sour cream and scallions.

Make sure you buy extra cans of black beans and another avocado so you can make this great meatless Monday dish:

Vegetarian Stuff Sweet Potatoes

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 large, sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds total), scrubbed and patted dry
  • tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow or white onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 finely chopped canned chipotle in adobo Chile
  • tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons sauce from can of chipotles in adobo, divided
  • 1 medium lime, halved, divided
  • 1/2 cup whole-milk plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 medium avocado, diced
  • tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems (optional)

Make sure your rack is in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and prick each sweet potato a few times with a fork and bake for 1 hour. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat and sautee onion for a few minutes, add salt, then beans, water, chili and adobo and stir, cover, and cook for 5 minutes or until water has evaporated. Squeeze lime juice. Cut sweet potatoes lengthwise, scoop out and smash a bit of the flesh and return and top it with black bean filling, yogurt, a bit more of the adobe, if you wish, and other toppings.

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