Dinner Ideas for When You Don’t Want to Cook

Cooking dinner can be a long and tedious process, especially if you have to cook for a large family. Although cooking a well-rounded meal is essential for your health and well-being, there are certain days where you’re just too tired to pull it off.

You may be exhausted from a long day of work and just want to whip up something quick so that you can get to relaxing.

So in this scenario, what are the best options to create a meal that won’t require you to put a lot of effort into cooking? Here are some dinner ideas for when you don’t want to cook an extravagant meal. 

Meat and Cheese Platter

A very easy and simple solution to dinner without cooking is a meat and cheese platter. Typically used as a snack or appetizer, a meat and cheese platter can also be expanded upon and served as a part of dinner.

When serving one for dinner, you’re going to need a wide variety of cold meats such as turkey, ham, chicken, and roast beef. In addition, you should have several different cheeses like American, Swiss, and Provolone.

You can also add a variety of condiments such as homemade pepper jelly, mustard, and horseradish. Although not a traditional option, an extensive meat and cheese platter can fill you up for dinner with minimal preparation time

Loaded Salad

One of the easiest and healthiest ways to make dinner without actually having to cook is by whipping up a salad. Making a salad doesn’t take much effort at all, as it really is as simple as mixing various ingredients together.

In addition, including a variety of fruits and vegetables in your salad can make your salad very healthy, especially compared to other instant dinner options.

The only problem you might encounter when it comes to making a salad for dinner is it’s not the most filling of dishes.

However, you can circumvent this issue by including several meats and other filling ingredients into your salad, loading it up with plenty of nutrients. If you want a quick and easy solution to dinner, but don’t want to be unhealthy, then a loaded salad can be a great option. 

Mac and Cheese

Another classic instant dinner option that you can whip up quickly is mac and cheese. Although most homemade recipes of mac and cheese require some preparation and cooking, there are some instant variations that you can quickly make.

There are several instant mac and cheese variations out there that can provide you with some delicious cheesy flavor and are extremely cheap to buy.

These instant variations take little to no effort at all to make, making them the perfect quick dinner option. Just be warned, however, as most instant variations of this meal aren’t the healthiest thing out there.

That being said, if you really want a quick dinner this could be a great option. 


A classic quick and simple food option is a sandwich. Although typically made for lunch, sandwiches can also be made for dinner if you’re looking for something that is both filling but also quick to make.

There’s also a variety of different sandwiches you can make, meaning you can utilize whatever you have on hand to create one.

For example, you could make a basic peanut butter and jelly sandwich if that’s all you have, or you could get much fancier and use ingredients like chicken and avocado.

The big draw about sandwiches is that they take little time to make and aren’t difficult to construct. As a result, they are a perfect option for when you don’t feel like cooking. 

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