Pictured Recipe: Mozzarella, Basil & Zucchini Frittata
At EatingWell, we live for food. There are always yummy recipes being cooked up in the test kitchen and conversations about what we ate last night or will eat later—or are in the middle of eating right now! We're totally into food and how to make it healthy and delicious.
But, that doesn't mean we want to spend all our time in the kitchen (especially when we aren't at work). Enter, these quick and easy ideas to make for dinner when you don't feel like cooking. You don't need to default to take out, although that's always an option. Cooking at home tends to be cheaper and healthier, since you control the ingredients. But what to make when groceries are low or you're plain tired? These ideas can help you think outside the box and serve up a healthy meal without a lot of effort.
To inspire your dinner table, here's what our editors make when they don't feel like cooking.
Pictured Recipe: Romesco Sauce with Whole-Grain Pasta & Parmesan
Jessie Price, Editor-in-Chief: Most nights I don't have a plan. I like seeing what I have, then improvising. If I really have nothing in the house I might make a pasta carbonara (pasta, eggs, pecorino, bacon pulled from the freezer), pasta with a quick tomato sauce (pasta, garlic, olive oil, canned whole San Marzanos, maybe a little crushed red pepper or anchovy) or a tuna melt (bread, tuna, mayo, green olives, celery, Cheddar).
Devon O'Brien, Senior Food Editor: For dinner in a pinch, I have two secret weapons: canned tomatoes and chickpea pasta. I make a quick tomato sauce with—you guessed it—a little olive oil, garlic, salt, basil and a can of diced or crushed tomatoes, plus any other veggies I might have lying around: sliced mushrooms, chopped bell peppers, baby spinach, etc. And serve it over cooked chickpea pasta with a little grated Parmesan on top. This meal comes together fast, tastes great and has enough protein and fiber to satisfy.
Pictured Recipe: Sichuan Ramen Cup of Noodles with Cabbage & Tofu
Breana Killeen, Test Kitchen Manager: Fridge clean-out ramen featuring leftover Test Kitchen vegetables, frozen dumplings and the Japanese ramen my dad ships to me by the caseload. Or takeout sushi.
Pictured Recipe: Mediterranean Appetizer Board
Penelope Wall, Executive Editor, EatingWell.com: Picnic dinners are the best dinners! Some good cheese, charcuterie, crusty bread, whatever fresh fruit and veggies we have and a bottle of wine. I'll cut everything up and set it out in bowls and on cutting boards in the middle of the table and everyone fills their own plates.
Carolyn Malcoun, Food Features Editor: Sautéed greens with onion and garlic, tucked into warm corn tortillas with crumbled feta and salsa.
Victoria Seaver, Meal Plan Editor: Veggie stir-fry with rice and beans. There's sure to be a handful of veggie odds and ends in my fridge, and my pantry basket is never without onion and garlic. Pantry staples like brown rice and canned beans are perfect, shelf-stable additions for a well-rounded meal. Add some dried herbs and spices and a dash of hot sauce, and I have a delicious, healthy and stress-free dinner. Some inspiration: The Only Stir-Fry Recipe You Need and Farmers' Market Fried Rice.
Pictured Recipe: Spring Green Frittata
Shaun Dreisbach, Nutrition & Features Editor: A frittata loaded with whatever veggies we have in the fridge and maybe a bit of cheese and pancetta. Or a tartine with hummus, sprouts, carrots, avocado (natch) and tomato drizzled with aged balsamic and loads and loads of black pepper. Putting an egg on it: optional.
Jim Romanoff, Food Editor: Poached eggs (from a local farm) on top of almost anything, but especially sautéed potatoes, green beans and wild mushrooms.
Pictured Recipe: Pesto Pasta Salad
Lisa Valente, Digitial Nutrition and News Editor: I'll typically make a pesto pasta dish with whatever vegetables are in the fridge or a big stir-fry. Or it's grilled cheese and soup from the freezer.
Wendy Ruopp, Managing Editor: Bread, cheese, sausage, olives, wine—you know, Mediterranean.
Maria Emmighausen, Photo Director: Chop up whatever vegetables I have on hand for a simple soup or salad that I can easily and quickly prepare with my daughter. Ideally, I'll have a tin of sheep's-milk feta cheese and good olives on hand for those salads.
Pictured Recipe: Toaster-Oven Quesadillas
Sophie Johnson, Social Media Editor: Breakfast for dinner. Scrambled eggs plus whatever veggies I have around or toast with poached eggs. I usually keep a spaghetti squash in my pantry, so I'll roast that and whip up a peanut sauce (always have ingredients for peanut sauce on hand) or use marinara and add extra veggies. Or easy quesadillas with black beans and salsa.
Julia Westbrook, Associate Nutrition Editor: Frozen spinach (sautéed in oil and garlic, not boiled!) + frozen ravioli topped with an extra swirl of oil and salt.
Lucy Casale, Associate Editor: Burritos! I love Mexican food and always have canned beans on hand. I just add whatever veggies I have around, shred some cheese, drizzle on hot sauce and it's a wrap!