No Oven Required: A Month of Meals by Slow Cooker, Microwave, and Blender


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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, slow cooker, or blender -- or just a bowl, a fridge, and a little time. Here are 31 morning-to-night recipes to get you started.

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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 favorite toppings. Recipe: Kath Eats Real Food

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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

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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.

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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.

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This blended spread comes together quickly and easily with a packet of healthy and flavorful smoked mackerel or trout, both of which tend to be less expensive than salmon. Use this on crackers or bread as an appetizer with a glass of wine, or as breakfast or lunch. Recipe: Jamie Oliver

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Turning a fresh zucchini into long noodles is even quicker than boiling instant ramen. Tossed with a favorite jar of sauce or, better yet, homemade pesto, one inexpensive vegetable becomes an entire meal. Recipe: Fully Raw

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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

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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:

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A baked potato is one of the ultimate low-cost meals -- and microwaving works as well as baking in the oven. Top the steaming potato with just about anything, from indulgent cheese and microwaved bacon to virtuous broccoli and tahini. Recipe: The Kitchn

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This cold vegetable soup is a hybrid of a salad and a salsa. It's a popular dish for entertaining during warm weather, which means you can still have a signature dish to bring to summer parties with only a blender on hand. Recipe: Simply Recipes

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Layering fully cooked ingredients and finishing in the microwave allows for a complex casserole. Adapt the ingredients any way you like, using frozen veggies and a can of refried beans instead of meat and cheese, for example. Recipe: Southern Plate

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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

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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.

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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 fix. Recipe: Taste of Home

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Sometimes a dish of hot, bubbly enchiladas is the kind of comfort food you need. This recipe uses the microwave for every step of the cooking. Proteins such as eggs, tofu, beans, or mushrooms can stand in for beef. Recipe:

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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

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You can prepare a warm, satisfying brunch even without an oven. There are plenty of recipes for crustless quiche made in a slow cooker, including versions with chopped veggies, herbs, and breakfast meats. Use leftovers and frozen produce to keep costs low. Recipe: Betty Crocker

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The microwave actually does a great job of cooking salmon. It's super quick and easy and comes out consistently each time, taking the guesswork out of stovetop or oven cooking times. Recipe: Joy Bauer

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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

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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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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: Babble

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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 that's needed is boiling water, so a microwave works as well as any stovetop. Recipe: The Kitchn

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It doesn't get much easier or more satisfying than slow cooker chili. Drop in inexpensive pantry staples such as canned beans and enjoy a warming meal hours later. Recipe: Cooking Light Slow Cooker Tonight

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Wing lovers will save a lot of money on takeout once they realize how simple it is to make these spicy treats at home using nothing but the microwave. Recipe:

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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

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

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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

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This is an easy go-to when you need to make an indulgent dessert without an oven. Top with fresh fruit, caramel, or chocolate sauce. Recipe: Martha Stewart

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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

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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

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By mixing up cake batter from scratch in a microwave-safe mug, you can indulge a craving in just minutes. Recipe: Allrecipes