Macaroni and Cheese
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35 Delicious Recipes That Won't Heat Up the Kitchen

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Macaroni and Cheese
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Off the Rack

Whether you don't have access to an oven and stovetop or simply don't want to heat up your house in the summer, you can prepare diverse and satisfying recipes without those conveniences. Instead, rely on smaller appliances such as a microwave, a slow cooker, a pressure cooker, a multicooker like an Instant Pot, or a blender — or just a bowl, a fridge, and a little time. Here are 35 morning-to-night recipes to get you started.


Related: 50 Easy Recipes You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less

Loaded Potatoes
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Buffalo Chicken Wings
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Enchiladas
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Salmon
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Ravioli
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Ravioli

Ravioli makes an inexpensive yet complete meal — even in a microwave. A mix of ripe tomato and herbs complements the pasta well.

 

Recipe: Delish


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Mac and Cheese
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Mac and Cheese

You might think that, without a stove, the only option for mac and cheese is the packet of yellow powder and microwaved noodles, but there's a better way: A slow cooker recipe that turns out rich and creamy with the press of a button. Starting from scratch saves money compared with the box version. 


Recipe: Delish


Still prefer the boxed version? Mix things up a bit with 20 Super-Simple Twists on Boxed Mac and Cheese.

Pulled Pork
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Pulled Pork

Just five ingredients and eight to 10 hands-off hours of slow cooking makes piping-hot and indulgent pulled pork. 


Recipe: Southern Living

Tomato Soup
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Tomato Soup

This classic can be made in a blender from inexpensive pantry staples and enjoyed at room temperature, chilled, or warmed in a microwave on cold nights. 


Recipe: Serious Eats

Chili
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Dirty Rice
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Cajun Dirty Rice

A hearty mix of vegetables, sausage, and rice, this pressure-cooker meal yields perfectly cooked rice in a saucy blend of spices. The (optional) chicken livers in this recipe give the dish a distinct, authentic flavor. To ensure proper cooking time, be sure to use long-grain rice, which holds up better than short-grain varieties.


Recipe: Hip Pressure Cooking


Related: 30 Creative Rice and Bean Dishes From Around the World

Tortilla Casserole
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Spicy Jalapeno Mango Chicken
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Spicy Jalapeño Mango Chicken

This simple-to-prepare salad combines plenty of chilies with sweet mango to balance out the spice level and protein-rich chicken to make it a complete meal. Take the easy route and use a store-bought rotisserie chicken


Recipe:  BBC’s Good Food 

Ramen
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Ramen

Microwave ramen is a nostalgic food for an entire generation. If the bare-bones version seems a little elementary, add toppings such as fresh vegetables and sauces to make a satisfying meal


Recipe: wikiHow

Raw Zoodles With Pesto
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Crustless Quiche
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Baked Beans
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Couscous
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Couscous

Couscous is one of those magical foods that seems to tick all the right boxes: nutritious, inexpensive, versatile, and quick and easy to prepare. All it needs is boiling water, so a microwave works as well as any stovetop. 


Recipe: The Kitchn

Gazpacho
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Shrimp Risotto
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Shrimp Risotto

This dinner party dish is elegant and indulgent — and made entirely in a slow cooker. Add mushrooms and spinach as suggested for a nutritionally rounded meal. 


Recipe: Taste of Home

Veggie Taco Salad
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Veggie Taco Salad

This Southwestern-style salad combines fresh vegetables with taco condiments to create a crunchy, cheesy, and slightly spicy meal. Cheap and easy to make with just a bowl, it's a cheap, practical way to get a Mexican-food fix


Recipe: Taste of Home

Smoked Fish Spread
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Vegetable Sushi
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Vegetable Sushi

What can be cooler in the kitchen than sushi? While sushi is often expensive at restaurants and for takeout, it can be incredibly cheap to make at home from small amounts of rice, seaweed, and fillings. Stick to vegetable fillings to keep costs low and eliminate health risks. 


Recipe: The Green Plate 

BLT
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BLT

Bacon lovers would do themselves a favor to master the art of cooking bacon in a microwave. There are so many ways to turn simple dishes into satisfying meals with it. A classic bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich is just the most obvious.


Recipe: Food.com


Related: 22 Mouthwatering Bacon Dishes Across America

Chef's Salad
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Chef's Salad

Turn a no-cook salad into a hearty meal by adding plenty of lean protein. A traditional chef's salad contains ham, but you can try any combination of cooked meats, beans, and cheese. Use what's on sale at the local deli counter to keep the cost low.


Recipe: Epicurious


Related: 22 Quick and Easy Cold Salads for People Who Hate Lettuce

Deli Sandwich
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Deli Sandwich

Keep ingredients such as deli meat and cheese, mustard and mayonnaise, and sliced bread on hand to allow you to whip up a sandwich when hunger strikes with no kitchen appliances needed.


Related: 30 Best Delis Across America

Split Pea Soup
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Split Pea Soup

This soup can be whipped up with a blender until smooth and creamy and enjoyed cold or warmed in a microwave. Using frozen peas keeps the cost low.


Recipe: Wonky Wonderful

Overnight Oats
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Overnight Oats

Oats are one of the cheapest grains available and a true superfood, containing tons of beneficial fiber to keep you full for a long time. Let oats soak up moisture in a bowl in the fridge overnight, so a fresh portion is ready to enjoy in the morning with your favorite toppings. 


Recipe: Kath Eats Real Food


Related: 20 Ways to Jazz Up Your Oatmeal

Smoothies
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Smoothies

Smoothies can be enjoyed any time of day or act as a meal replacement. There are endless variations on blender smoothies that are cheap to make at home using seasonal ingredients as well as freezer and pantry staples.

Chia Pudding
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Chia Pudding

This cheap and nutritious alternative to rice pudding tastes like dessert for breakfast. It requires only three ingredients and takes just five minutes of active prep time to make a batch that could last all week — just soak and refrigerate. 


Recipe: Oh She Glows

Yogurt Parfaits
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Yogurt Parfaits

A yogurt parfait is a quick and easy way to assemble breakfast, dessert, or a snack for yourself or a crowd. Simply layer yogurt with favorite fruits, preserves, nuts, or cereal.

Popsicles
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Popsicles

To make popsicles, just blend fruit, yogurt, and sugar and pour into paper cups to freeze. Homemade popsicles have the benefit of being healthier and cheaper than store-bought and, of course, can be customized. 


Recipe: Allrecipes


Related: 13 Classic Ice Cream Truck Treats to Make at Home

No-Bake Cheesecake
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No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookie Balls
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No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookie Balls

These treats are an ideal stand-in for freshly baked cookies. They have a similar shape, size, and texture and can be customized in similar ways. Try using other nut butters or a combination of many. 


Recipe: Recipe Girl

Chocolate Bark
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Chocolate Bark

Chocolate bark tends to be expensive to buy but is so easy to make. The microwave melts the chocolate; the freezer sets trail mix into it.


Recipe: PBS Kitchen Explorers

Mug Cake
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