10 low-maintenance recipes for when you just don’t feel like cooking

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10 low-maintenance recipes for when you just don't feel like cooking

Does the prospect of cooking dinner for the bazillionth straight night in a row exhaust you? These 10 hands-off recipes require very little hands-on time, and will yield maximum reward.

1. No-carve lemon-and-garlic roast chicken

Yes, this is another roast chicken recipe, but this one couldn’t be easier. Pop it in a casserole, add the veg, stock and wine and forget about it for an hour or so. Serving it is a breeze too, as it will be so tender you’ll be able to portion it out with a spoon.
Get the recipe here.

2. White bean confit

Confit might sound fancy, but this is actually just a way to turn a batch of beans into a deeply satisfying dish, with zero effort at all. If you’re using canned beans, it’s even easier: just combine the ingredients and place in the oven, and check on it after 45 minutes. Perfect on toast, or even stirred through hot pasta.
Get the recipe here.

3. Sausage, butter bean and tomato tray bake with crispy röstis

A handful of ingredients, thrown together and left to their own devices results in one of the heartiest meals imaginable. If you have the röstis, great, but if not, serve some crisp, toasted bread on the side.
Get the recipe here. 

4. Tomato, garlic and basil confit on pasta

This might sound like a lot of effort, but it’s the best (and easiest) way to turn a pile of tomatoes into dinner. Use on pasta as the recipe suggests, spread it on toast with a poached egg or serve on top of polenta.
Get the recipe here. 

5. “No-cook” soya-poached chicken

Don’t feel like cooking? This recipe is for you. Get it on the around lunchtime and you won’t need to think about it until dinner. Yes, it sounds crazy, but we promise it works!
Get the recipe here.

6. Best veg soup with amagwinya and gremolata

Buy pre-chopped veg next time you’re at the shops, and veg soup will be a cinch. If you’re feeling up to it, the amagwinya are excellent accompaniments, but if not, there’s nothing wrong with a slice of fresh bread and butter to mop up every last little bit of soup.
amagwinya Get the recipe here.

7. Asian-style slow-cooked pork shoulder

Pork shoulder is a great secondary cut, meaning it’s inexpensive and easy to cook for a crowd. This dish requires you to give the shoulder a little seasoning, and then cook it at a low heat for a few hours. Instead of the lettuce wraps, serve with the steamed rice only, or smushed into soft burger buns.
Get the recipe here.

8. Chicken tray bake with roast apples

If you find yourself with a glut of apples slowly going soft, this is a great way to use them up. Total hands-on time from you? The time it takes to slice a bunch of apples in half.

Chicken tray bake

Get the recipe here.

9. Chicken schnitzel salad

Yes, you could follow this recipe exactly, but given current national levels of cooking fatigue, we reckon you’ll probably just take it as a suggestion. The minimum needed from you: baking the schnitzels in the oven, and blitzing together the ingredients of this excellent dressing. Serve with a pre-made salad, if you’ve been to the shops recently, or use the dressing to transform even a heap of boiled frozen veg into something delicious.

10. Jammy roast chicken

Use up the dregs of whatever jam you have knocking about in the fridge in this low-commitment recipe. Simply baste your bird in jam and throw it (gently) into the oven. 30 minutes later, add some peppers, and 30 minutes after that, everything should be done and smelling delicious.
Jess Spiro Article by: Jess Spiro

Jess Spiro is a freelance food writer, chef and restaurant critic based in Cape Town, who can often be found in search of the next great plate of food. Follow her on Instagram @jess_spiro to see what she's eating.

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