5 ridiculously easy recipes for when you have to cook but really don’t want to


Today we are talking recipes! Not many people know this about me, but I love cooking. It is one of my biggest hobbies. And, since eating is another of my main hobbies, this is indeed a happy coincidence.

Since I mostly see cooking as a relaxing hobby rather than a chore, I give no two thoughts to making long, fussy, complicated recipes. I enjoy making my own stock, slow-cooking stuff overnight, cooking from first principles and painstakingly chopping and mincing and grinding a whole bunch of different ingredients.

But, let’s be honest, sometimes you can’t be bothered.  

Maybe you had a crazy day at work, maybe you have a bad cold, or maybe you simply just don’t feel like fussing over dinner. If this is your life, then these five recipes are for you:

The quickest way to impress for the minimum fuss: Salmon Tikka with Cucumber Yoghurt

My partner stole this recipe directly from Jamie Oliver and I can vouch that it only takes between 10 and 15 minutes, depending how fast you chop.

You simply pop store-bought naan into a warm oven. While these are heating up, you slice the raw salmon into pieces, cover well with tandoori paste and let it rest. Then you pour a slug of oil in a pan, and while you wait for it to heat, you chop some cucumber and a bit of chili and stir it in a cup of plain yoghurt mixed with a squeeze of lemon. Then you fry the salmon for about 3 minutes and serve on top of warm naan with the cucumber yoghurt on the side. That’s it. Promise. Check out the recipe here.

Feel like a moreish risotto but don’t feel like standing over the stove for 30 minutes: The Cheat’s Mushroom Risotto

It’s a risotto with no stirring required! Now this might sound like sacrilege to some (I nearly had a heart attack when I first stumbled across this recipe) but it is perfect for when you have better things to do than stirring a pot of rice.

Basically, you just fry the onions, mushrooms and garlic, add the rice and fry for a couple of minutes, then transfer to an oven proof dish, add the liquid, and cook for 25 minutes and voila! You might not impress Gordon Ramsay with this risotto, but it’s perfectly fine for family and friends. Check out the recipe here.

Comfort food for when you just want to chill out and watch series: One pot mac and cheese

This recipe has the added bonus of leaving you with only a pot, a fork and a bowl to wash. Winner, winner, mac and cheese dinner!

Bring 3 cups of stock (your choice which), 2 cups of milk and a large knob of butter to boil. Add pasta shells and stir until they are cooked (about 7 min) and turn down the heat. Add about a cup of grated cheese of your choice. Stir. Eat. Be happy. If you want to add bacon, try this recipe from Food24.

When you have a bit of time to spare, but little to no energy: Perfect Roast Chicken

Did anyone ever tell you making a healthy winter roast is the easiest thing in the world? For some or other reason I always used to think that it took skill and effort to make a good roast. I was so wrong. You literally throw a chicken in the oven and then an hour later you have a nice dinner.

Seriously. Take a chicken, stuff the cavity with herbs and lemon zest. Season liberally with salt and pepper on the outside and bake for about an hour, depending how hot your oven is. Enjoy with lots of crisp white wine and swan about the house like you’re Nigella.

Of course there are many variations, but if you feel like something warming, simple and delicious, try this recipe.

What if I told you, you could make a chocolate cake in 5 minutes? 5 minute choc mug cake

This cake in a mug is like a magic trick. You can wait for it to cool and ice it, or you can have it warm with some ice cream.

Mix 4 tablespoons flour, 4 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, 1 egg, 3 tablespoons milk, 3 tablespoons oil and a bit of vanilla essence in a cup. Microwave for 3 minutes and BOOM. Cake. I am not joking. See the recipe here.

What are your fool proof, no fuss, easy peasy recipes? Share it with us, and we’ll send you a Women24 t-shirt.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.