Even with my meal planning and a freezer full of food, there are days I’m just not in the mood to cook. There are several days where I stand in front of the fridge trying to motivate myself into coming up with a good idea to feed my family.
Sure, there are frozen pizzas. Or I could make chicken nuggets for the kids and make something else for myself later. But I just don’t want to cook anything.
Most of the time it’s not the cooking that drives me crazy. It’s coming up with the ideas. It’s one of the reasons I really like meal planning, because someone else gives you the meal ideas and you just have to do it.
So on those days when I don’t want to make a decision, there are still some great options – and most of them are probably in your fridge or pantry waiting for you to use them.
Think buffalo wings, but with shredded chicken. Toss some chicken breasts – frozen or thawed – into your cooking method of choice. You know I’m using my instant pot here! Cook them, shred them (use your Kitchen Aid stand mixer or shredding claws) and then add some Frank’s Red Hot. If you like a creamier buffalo chicken, mix in some ranch or mozzarella cheese.
You can serve this in a variety of ways ranging from a dip to a full meal. One of my favorite ways is over a baked sweet potato, that I made in my air fryer. I also have served this as a dip, on a sandwich, or on top of a salad.
Chicken Kale Salad
I’m a big fan of Costco and I try to keep one of their bags of sweet kale salad in my fridge. It usually goes quickly though, so it can be a challenge. It’s a great salad mix and is a great addition to any meal. But it can also be a meal, especially when I’m not in the mood to cook. I like to mix it with a can of chicken breasts – also from Costco.
An easy, cheap, and healthy meal. You could pair it with sandwich or soup if you wanted and it would make enough to easily feed a family of 5 with some leftovers.
Eggs are almost always in the fridge, but they aren’t just for breakfast! Scrambled eggs can make a great dinner. Add some veggies or some meat and there is a complete meal! Sweet potatoes or regular potatoes, or even some whole-grain toast would be a nice addition as well.
Any of these meals can be made in advance if you have time. If you’re interested in cooking meals ahead of time and learning more about the freezer cooking meal, my Guide to Freezer Cooking is a great place to get started!