A Week of Lazy Summer Dinners Because I Just Don’t Feel Like Cooking

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Emma Hayes

There I was in a hot yoga studio with plenty of bright natural light and bending myself into pretzel like positions for the very first time.

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It felt like warm, sunny summer days were never going to get here. And now they are, and at the end of the day when I finish up with work, the last place I want to be is standing over the stove. I’d so much rather be working in the garden, going for a walk with my family, or just sitting outside. So right now, I’m really craving meals that — in addition to being equal parts wonderfully delicious, summery, and kind of wholesome — are ridiculously simple to pull off and require minimal prep and the least amount of dirty dishes possible. Here are the five dinners I’m leaning on this week.

Monday: One-Pot Pesto Tortellini with Broccoli

Tonight’s dinner hits on everything I want: a jar of my favorite pesto, green vegetables, carbs, and barely any dirty dishes. I love that the broccoli first cooks in the pot of salted boiling water, followed by the tortellini, then a little of that starchy water is used to help the pesto cling to the tortellini like a magnet. It’s just the kind of comfort I want on a hot summer Monday night.

Get the recipe: One-Pot Pesto Tortellini with Broccoli

Tuesday: Greek-Style Tuna Salad

Tonight’s dinner is 100% inspired by wanting to turn the olives in the fridge into dinner, plus my oregano plant is really starting to flourish. This salad is filling and feels more dinner-y than classic mayo-based tuna salad. I’ll serve it over a bed of arugula with some crumbled pita chips sprinkled over top.

Get the recipe: Greek-Style Tuna Salad

Wednesday: Chicken Fajita Foil Packets

I’m craving chicken fajitas, but don’t quite have the energy to stand at the stove and make it happen. These foil packets, which I’ll cook on the grill, are the best solution I know. They have the spiced chicken and tender peppers and onions I love, but they’re easy in a way that makes me feel like I’m getting away with something. I’ll round out dinner with some warm tortillas, guac, and Greek yogurt.

Get the recipe: Chicken Fajita Foil Packets

Thursday: Quinoa Salad with Cucumber, Red Onion & Herbs

Summer has barely started and I’ve already reached the point where I could eat salads for dinner almost every night. Tonight I’m swapping the couscous for protein-rich quinoa and piling on the leftover chicken from the night before. Best of all, it will leave us with some leftovers for lunch.

Get the recipe: Quinoa Salad with Cucumber, Red Onion & Herbs

Friday: Sauerkraut and Sausage Roll

Of all the ways to turn chicken sausage into dinner, this is hands-down my favorite. Both because I can’t resist the combination of spicy mustard, tangy kraut, and sweet roasted peppers, and also because this dinner is dead simple and can be pulled together in five minutes. The recipe suggests a pretzel roll, but I’ll be sticking with a pack of fluffy potato rolls.

Get the recipe: Sauerkraut and Sausage Roll

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author

Emma Hayes

There I was in a hot yoga studio with plenty of bright natural light and bending myself into pretzel like positions for the very first time.

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