Whether it’s a packed schedule, sickness, or just plain fatigue, every mom has those occasional days when things didn’t go as planned and 5:00 finds her browsing Pinterest for simple dinner ideas or possibly just staring at open refrigerator and wondering she might be able to throw together to feed her family with a minimal amount of effort.
For some, that might mean a bowl of cereal or telling the family to just fend for themselves. But if you’re looking for a few simple dinner ideas that can be put together with a minimal amount of mess and stress, here’s a few no-cook dinner solutions that will satisfy your family.
Tuna Salad Wraps or Subs
For this no-cook idea, you just need hot dog buns and your favorite tuna salad recipe (quick idea: 1 can of drained tuna, 2 tablespoons mayo and 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish.). If your family loves cheese, line the buns with cheese and pop in the oven for a tuna melt. Load up the buns with the tuna salad and serve with a side of your favorite healthy chips and a pickle. You can also cut up a few veggies like radishes and cucumbers for some additional healthy crunch. An easy variation is to use some canned chicken or salmon.
Cottage Cheese and Fruit Salad
Cut up some fresh seasonal fruit, and put it in individual bowls. Top with about a ½ cup of cottage cheese. Add some chopped walnuts and raisins or other dried fruit and it’s a simple, refreshing meal that’s great on a hot day when you don’t feel like turning on the oven.
Pita Wedges and Hummus
With such a great variety of prepared hummus available at most stores now, hummus should be a staple item in any kitchen. Simply serve the pita wedges with hummus, and as a side have sliced cucumber salad: mix sliced or chopped cucumbers, thinly sliced onions, and chopped tomatoes with your favorite Italian or Greek dressing. Feta cheese is a great topping if your family likes it.
Luncheon Meat or Veggie Wraps
You can serve this simple dinner buffet-style. Lay out your favorite tortillas or flatbread at one end of the counter or table, and have a variety of spreads and veggies along the way for filling. Here are some ideas:
Everyone can make their own. Serve with a side of crunchy vegetables or mixed fruit.
Make Your Own Salad
This is a great way to clear out your produce bin. Using lettuce as a base, let your family choose their salad toppings and sides. Be sure to put out a variety of dressings or oil and vinegar too.
There’s something for everyone here, even if someone takes just cheese, olives, and raisins!
Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Salad
To serve 4, chop 2 large, fresh tomatoes and add 1 cup of cubed mozzarella (you can use grated mozzarella too). Stir in about 1 tablespoon of minced fresh basil and 2 teaspoons olive oil. Mix well and serve with some good bread on the side, or turn it into a panzanella by toasting some Italian bread and tossing it with the salad.
If you’re feeling a bit more creative, here are six more simple dinner ideas I found via Pinterest:
Italian Chicken Salad (uses rotisserie chicken)