We all know that fast food should not be relied on as our staple, but life is hectic and busy, and many of us either don’t have the time or the energy to cook when we finally get home from a long day of work. It turns out that you don’t have to eat junk food to avoid cooking; there are several meals that have the vibe of a home-cooked dinner without all the effort. The following will explore four tasty meal options for people who simply don’t want to cook.

During meal selection, emphasis was placed on the minimal amount of time required to get the meal in front of you, and bonus points were given out for meals that were easy to clean up as well. (Is it safe to assume that people who don’t feel like cooking also don’t feel like doing the dishes?)

Traditional Cornish Pasties

If you’ve already heard of Cornish pasties, you probably don’t need any convincing. If you haven’t, you’re about to discover something new and wonderful. Cornish pasties are beloved across Great Britain and are thought to have originated when Cornish tin miners (who couldn’t go up to the surface at lunchtime) wanted to be able to eat something hearty that they also didn’t have to touch too much (as they were fairly filthy). Pasties are meat pies that are handheld, and the Cornish variety tends to contain diced beef, rutabaga, potato, and onion. These delicious, hearty Pasties by Post from Proper Pasty can actually be ordered online for home delivery. Not only does that cut out the cooking step, but also the going to the store step.

One-Pot Pasta

One-Pot Pasta

While this meal does require a smidgeon of effort on your part, the cooking time is pretty minimal, so those who hate spending time in the kitchen won’t be too bothered by it. A one-pot pasta recipe is the lazy chef’s dream. All you have to do is toss all the ingredients into a single pot and let it boil. There’s no draining. No mixing. No stirring. No adding things at different points throughout the cook. No unnecessary steps at all. It all goes into the pot and comes out cooked twenty minutes later. Of course, this means your water level needs to be accurate, so there are no extra steps involved. To make this even more appealing, you have only one dish to wash after meal prep. 

Slow-Cooker Meal

Slow-Cooker Meals

Similar to one-pot pasta, slow cooker meals are ideal for those who don’t like to prepare food. All you have to do is toss everything in the pot at once and then leave it alone as you go about your day. Something like honey-garlic meatballs is actually pretty easy to attain without any extended effort on your part. And, slow cookers have the added benefit of keeping cooked food warm, so you don’t have to worry about reheating portions when you go back for a second helping. To make things even more wonderful, slow cookers are notoriously easy to clean as the material they’re made out of is truly non-stick, not just advertised as non-stick but difficult to clean after three or four uses wears off that poisonous Teflon coating that floats around in your food and contributes to cancer risks.

Charcuterie Board

Charcuterie Boards

Charcuterie is beloved every time it is broken out, it’s an instant favorite for everyone, and the best part is that a meal-sized charcuterie board doesn’t require any cooking! It’s a simple as taking items out of the fridge or cupboard and putting them on a large board or plate. Common ingredients include easy-to-eat meats like prosciutto or salami, chunks of cheese, dips like tzatziki or hummus, crackers, nuts, seeds, jams, pieces of bread, olives, pickles, fruits, honeycomb, and literally anything else you would like. This meal looks and feels and tastes fancy but is comically easy to have ready in just a few minutes. And don’t let the fact that some of these ingredients are commonly snack foods make you think charcuterie isn’t a filling meal. You can have a full feast in the form of a charcuterie. You also have next to no clean-up (just one board to wipe down) if you treat the platter like the finger food it is.

The above meals should have gotten your mind reeling. Once you see how many options there are for minimal intervention meals, you’ll begin to notice that you have far more food choices than you previously thought. Many of the above meals can be tweaked to suit taste preferences and moods.