If you are in the middle of building your recipe bank, I know it can be challenging to find recipes that are relatively easy to cook, aren’t too complicated to plan for, and actually taste good 🙂
To help, I have gathered some of the meals that made me feel more confident in my early days of regular cooking and meal planning. I hope these will help you in the same way!
I’ve included a variety of recipes: one-pot, 30-minute , crockpot/slow cooker, meatless, and even some meals that rely heavily on frozen/canned goods so you can stretch out your groceries.
1. Chickpea & Spinach Stew
This is a great meal you can easily adapt to have an almost non-perishable meal. You can use canned chickpeas and tomatoes, instant rice, or frozen spinach (or you can pre-cook dry ones and freeze them), and BOOM, this meal is in your back pocket for any time you need it 🙂 Also, I normally don’t use harissa because I just use red pepper flakes.
2. Chicken Tortilla Soup
Such an easy and flexible soup! You can add corn, spinach, extra beans, or whatever you want. This is actually one of the very first meals I started cooking in college, and it’s still one I look forward to every time I plan it! Plus, I can’t complain that it takes less than 10 minutes to throw together the night before.
3. White Chicken Chili
Another Mexican soup but it is SO. GOOD. and could not be any easier! I also am a huge fan of Ali at Gimme Some Oven so do yourself a favor and spend some time looking at other recipes on her site.
4. Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu
Alright, I’m gonna let you in on a secret with this one… I don’t even make the sauce. I took this “Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu” and made it “Practically Foolproof Chicken Cordon Bleu.” I’m sure it’s awesome with the sauce, but I kind of forgot it was even part of the recipe, and it totally rocks on its own! It is amazing with some rosemary potatoes and veggies, and I still feel a little fancy every time I make it. (Is that embarrassing?)
5. Italian Chicken Pasta Soup
Very easy soup, although I tend to crank up the spices for flavor. You just can’t beat a good crockpot meal!
ENDLESS DINNER IDEAS
If you often have trouble brainstorming meal ideas, my hero is Elisa from Meal Planning Blueprints. She is so smart and down-to-earth, and she offers so many solutions!
Ultimate Theme Nights Recipe list – the perfect starting point if you’re often stuck on what to cook
Original theme nights + freezer meal options – perfect for adding flexibility to your schedule
Full bundle – includes cold-weather options, Keto options, and more! At a great discount.
6. Caribbean Jerk Salmon Bowls
I found this more recently, and it does have a few moving parts, but it is SO fresh and very good.
7. Rustic Ratatouille
I love, love, love this recipe, and added bonus- my husband likes to make it for some reason? It is so much simpler than the perfectly-lined version, and (just to reveal how committed I am to easy recipes & easy grocery store trips) I often just use extra zucchini if I can’t get eggplant conveniently or cheaply. Sometimes we eat this over rice, pasta, or mostly just by itself!
8. Lentil Tacos
This is an incredibly simple & tasty meatless meal, which quickly became a staple around here. I’m not going to say that lentils can actually replace ground beef or turkey, but lentils are a neat and very cheap variation.
9. Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos
I know, I know- so many Mexican recipes- but this one is different! Sweet potatoes are way more versatile that given credit for, and this recipe is the perfect example.
10. Sweet Potato Fries
This isn’t a meal (although I have no judgment if you make it one) but they make an incredible side to just about anything. These are really easy to make and keep my fast-food cravings in check!
SAVE TIME ON GROCERIES
The COVID pandemic converted me completely to Grocery Pick-Up.
By quickly adding what I need on the app, I can pick up my groceries in less than 10 minutes. Plus, the items are saved when I need to order them again.
Here are several options depending on your favorite stores. ($10 off minimum orders.)
Get $10 off your first Walmart pick-up order (no fee!)
Get $10 off Instacart to shop at places like Aldi or Earth Fare.
Use Target’s curbside pickup with no minimum order!
Use Amazon Subscribe & Save or Amazon Pantry to put things on “autopilot”.
I hope this helps as you gather recipes you love! Stick with what is easy and has ingredients you like as you start, then branch out later once you feel more confident.
Also check out:
► 20 Meals to Take to Others – When They Need It Most
► 7 Essential Strategies to Get Better at Meal Planning (+ templates)
► Your Guide to Reusable, Rotating Meal Plans (+ free workbook!)
►4 Time-Saving Ways to Batch & Freeze Meals (+12 Recipes)
►9 Solutions to Meal Planning for Multiple Diets
PS – don’t miss my free, full “resource directory” here.
Some resources are my own, and some are from other creators. ALL of them will help you overcome what is holding you back from enjoying peace of mind and a home you love.