10 Low-Effort Dinner Ideas For When You're Just Not Feeling It

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Cheap Meals Reddit
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Just Not Feelin' It ... But Still Hungry ...

If you're plagued with the dual responsibility of coming up with an idea for dinner and cooking it, chances are there are a handful of nights you just don't feel like being in the kitchen. Takeout relieves the pressure of having to cook and replaces it with strain on your wallet. It's almost like you can't win. 

Have no fear: There are a myriad of low-effort recipes that will fill your belly without overflowing your stress levels. 

On a recent Reddit post asking for easy meals that don't require much energy or standing around the stove to make, commenters sounded off with tons of great ideas. Here are 10 of our favorite suggestions.


1. When in Doubt, Have a Sandwich

Sandwiches are practically the holy grail of low-effort meals (and they can be pretty cheap, too!), and they're completely customizable to both what you're craving and how much work you feel like putting into building your Sammie. 

Just feeling a little sluggish? Muster up just enough energy to put an assortment of veggies with some meat, cheese, and condiments between two slices of bread. Absolutely depleted? Bologna and cheese with a squiggle of mustard will get the job done.


2. Double-Time on Good Days

This Redditor's philosophy is genius. If you find yourself face to face with a great day where you just feel like slaying in the kitchen, bonus up. 

Start meal prepping, making freezer-friendly meals, or chopping and freezing veggies for easy mix-ins to future recipes. You can also opt for foods that go a long way, like rotisserie chicken, which you can typically get more than one meal out of.


3. Bring on the Barley

Now this is something we never thought to do. We love a good vegetable beef barley soup, so why not throw some barley in with a can of tomato soup to make it heartier? Makes perfect sense. 


5. Makeshift Sushi?

This is giving us some serious sushi vibes and we dig it. Plus, most of these ingredients (except the cucumber) have a long shelf life and can therefore be fridge and pantry staples, making this a reliable go-to.


6. Save on Dishes Too

Not only are sheet pan recipes ideal if you're looking to save time in the kitchen, but you'll wind up with fewer dishes to do. We can't imagine a better idea on those nights when you're feeling run-down. 


7. Might As Well Feel Good About It

This Redditor brings up a good point: If you're not feeling up to snuff, you should try to find an easy meal that gives you that, "I'm eating something that's good for me" feeling. Fish and veggies is as good a choice as any.


8. The Quintessential College Meal

We know we're not alone with this one. Adding a little extra razzle dazzle to ramen noodles got many of us through our college years. Throw in some canned or frozen veggies, precooked chicken, shredded cheese, extra seasonings, egg ... the list goes on.


9. Hard to Go Wrong Here

If you're entering into a chili cook-off, maybe you'll want to spend a little TLC on your pot, chopping hard-to-find hot peppers and infusing different spices into an assortment of meats and beans. But if you're running on fumes, you can throw together an A-OK chili using simple canned ingredients and some ground beef (which is probably the easiest meat to cook). 


10. Pretty Hard to Go Wrong with Breakfast for Dinner

There are lots of low-effort breakfast recipes, from French toast to scrambled eggs. Instead of plain scrambled eggs, go for a skillet instead, weaving in different vegetables, cheese, and meat if you're feeling up to it.