The Easiest Meals to Cook at Home 2021

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Cooking is one of the great joys of life. Despite what many think, cooking can be easy with a little preparation and the right ingredients.

Here’s the truth: you don’t lack the ability or the willpower to cook great meals at home. You know how to shop for groceries, and JOW makes it easy with our optimized shopping lists tailored to your household’s needs, so you don’t even have to worry about heading to the grocery store. If you’re having trouble making meals every week, you probably aren’t finding recipes that inspire you and guide you using reasonable, clear instructions.

Discover more than a dozen easy meals that can take you from morning to night, all featuring fresh ingredients and quick cook times. Every recipe is easy to follow, with minimal cleaning and maximum flavor. Let’s get started.

Begin with Breakfast

Coffee cakes and pastries are not exactly a breakfast of champions, and they’re not the healthiest option for your loved ones. Try these quick and easy recipes instead to start each day on the right foot.

Smoked Salmon Brunch Platter

Rather than overspending on restaurant brunch every weekend, you can master this smoked salmon arrangement at home.

This lovely breakfast platter features eggs cooked in butter, smoked salmon, heirloom lettuce, avocado, and English muffins, so there’s something for everyone in your family to enjoy. This platter only takes 10 minutes to prepare, and it will energize you for the day to come.

Gourmet Avocado Toast

We live in the golden age of avocado toast, and everyone has their own twist on this classic recipe. It all starts by toasting two slices of your favorite country bread and topping it with family-favorite ingredients. Our version has a Mediterranean twist, sprinkled with feta, mint, lemon, and pomegranate seeds.

Remember that avocado toast is very flexible and supports a wide range of savory ingredients. Switch things around with different veggies, herbs, seasonings, or fry an egg on top for added protein.

Eggs, Bacon, and Pancakes

Everyone gets nostalgic for their hometown diner, where you can expect big stacks of pancakes with plentiful portions of bacon and eggs, any way you want them.

Thanks to pancake mixes and stove top griddles, it has never been easier to cook a diner-style breakfast on a Saturday morning. The wonderful scent and crackling sounds of the griddle will fill your house with joy.

In under 30 minutes, this pancake recipe will help you make perfect flapjacks from scratch using just a few ingredients.

What’s for Lunch?

Skip the fast food and plan ahead by making lunch on your own. These recipes provide your household with healthy, tasty options that you can grab and go with ease. 

Club Sandwich

This isn’t your typical greasy-spoon club sandwich! With top-quality roast chicken, young swiss cheese, romaine heart lettuce, and glorious Canadian bacon, this could be the most elegant club sandwich you’ve ever made – and you can feel good about eating it.

Not to mention, this recipe only takes three minutes to prepare with quick layering and slicing skills. Your culinary artistry will quickly improve with practice, so let this sandwich be your first masterpiece.

10-Minute Banh Mi

A fusion of Vietnamese and French cuisine, the Banh Mi is a globally celebrated sandwich, well deserving of its celebrity status.

This recipe only takes 14 minutes to assemble a sandwich filled with tremendous flavor and enjoyment.

The key to success is a fresh mini baguette that sets the stage for sweet and spicy sauteed chicken, crunchy veggies and herbs, and a sriracha mayo sauce to top it all off. Bon appetit!

Lemon and Avocado Tuna Wrap

You’ve made a tuna wrap before, but not like this. JOW’s elevated wrap recipe has loads of fresh flavor thanks to top-tier ingredients and intelligent preparation. We test all of our recipes to ensure that they use the best ingredient combinations and the easiest preparation for your whole household to enjoy!

Start with a can of tuna, introduce cream cheese and chopped shallot, then roll it all together on a wheat tortilla with freshly sliced avocado and crisp lettuce mix. Don’t forget a squirt of lemon for extra zest!

Simple Salads and Sides

Do you find yourself in between meals, in need of a quick and healthy snack or a side dish to accompany an upcoming dinner? It happens all the time!

Here are some simple and versatile salads and sides for any occasion.

Lyonnaise Salad

This is the light salad you’ve been craving. Easy and quick to make, loaded with flavor from the mustard salad dressing, and an ideal balance of carbs, proteins, and healthy fat. It’s a gourmet salad that hits the mark on nutrition and taste – what else could you ask for?

This recipe is a great place to learn how to piece together beautiful salads from scratch and get comfortable experimenting with arrangements of your own. It’s a delicious place to start.

Rustic Salad

For a salad with a bit more substance, the Rustic Salad can easily be a complete meal at lunch or an afternoon snack to stop hunger in its tracks. Roasted potatoes and hearty bits of bacon accompany tiny quail eggs, goat cheese, and tender leaves of lettuce.

You can also craft your own homemade vinaigrette or simply add a few dashes from a store-bought bottle. Best of all, this salad can be made in less than 20 minutes!

Melon and Ham Bruschetta

This simple bruschetta with melon and ham is something you have to experience for yourself. The sweetness of the melon contrasts marvelously with the salty ham, the creamy cheese, and the crunchy bread!

With less than a 5-minute prep time, this will become one of your new favorite treats.

Easy Lebanese Hummus Plate

Store-bought hummus is a simple and tasty dip for chips and carrots, but a homemade hummus plate is always going to be the healthiest, tastiest choice for your loved ones.

In this recipe, you’ll learn to make your own hummus with chickpeas, garlic, cumin, lemon, tahini, and olive oil. You’ll also make a fresh, crunchy veggie salad to place on top of the hummus for a gorgeous presentation. 

No-Nonsense Pastas

What’s not to love about pasta? It can be the perfect supporting cast member for protein and veggies or stand on its own with robust flavors and nutrition. Plus, it's so easy to make: Just boil, drain, and repeat. Check out our most beloved easy pasta classics here.

Springtime Pasta Salad

A gourmet summer pasta dish is less than 15 minutes away if you follow this simple recipe, featuring prosciutto and green peas alongside crunchy lettuce and al-dente elbows.

While the pasta is cooking, simply shred slivers of lettuce and pop some fresh green peas from the garden into a dish. Once the pasta is drained, add everything together – including the prosciutto.

Rigatoni with Burrata and Prosciutto

Enjoy a slice of the Italian countryside with this beautiful and flavorful pasta dish that takes no more than 12 minutes to prep and cook. Fresh cherry tomatoes make a tomato sauce that will be your foundation, paired with tender rigatoni, torn prosciutto, and creamy burrata that elevates the entire dish.

Your family and friends will think you’re a gourmet chef when you cook this pasta in the blink of an eye, so brace yourself for a barrage of compliments.

Pasta Alla Carbonara

This is a dish you’ve seen in magazines, on cooking shows, and on gourmet Italian menus. Perhaps you’ve been intimidated in the past by Pasta Alla Carbonara, but this recipe is incredibly easy to make and only takes 15 minutes.

This dish is all about technique, learning how to create a delicate egg and cheese sauce without overcooking the mixture in the pan with pasta and pancetta. It might take a couple of tries before you perfect the art of carbonara, but once you do, you’ll have an astounding dish in your arsenal for life.

Broccoli Pasta

For those that like a lighter pasta, this Broccoli Pasta recipe offers spectacular flavor with a lightning-fast cook time and plenty of fresh ingredients.

Our recipe calls for broccoli and garlic, but feel free to add any other family-favorite garden veggies to the mix. Bell peppers would make a pleasant guest in this dish, as would bite-size pieces of asparagus or zucchini. And don’t forget the anchovies!

Delicious Evening Entrees

Dinner can seem like the most intimidating meal of the day. You’re probably tired after a long day, expectations are high, and you may need more components to create a multi-faceted meal that satisfies everyone’s needs.

No worries – we’ve got your back with plenty of simple and savory entrée items that won’t take the whole afternoon to prepare.

Tomato Zucchini Cod

Pairing cod with fresh summer veggies in this one-pan dish is a simple, no-mess dinner with something for everyone.

Find a sizable piece of quality fish from your local grocery shop (fresher the better) and include plenty of veggies and fresh herbs like parsley from your garden or the farmer’s market. With just five minutes of prep time and 20 minutes in the oven to avoid drying out the fish’s natural juices, you can make a healthy, wholesome meal with quick and easy cleanup.

Chicken Piccata

A staple on Italian menus everywhere, chicken piccata is a legendary dish bursting with lemon, capers, and white wine. This 10-minute recipe makes chicken piccata unbelievably easy.

We like our chicken piccata with long tagliatelle, but the pasta choice is yours. Don’t forget to squeeze fresh lemon over the top before serving, as well as plentiful fresh cracked pepper.

Chipolata and Roasted Vegetables

It can be tricky to showcase quality sausage in an elegant dish, but this recipe is a wonderful showcase for the chipolata you have in the fridge.

Small yellow potatoes, yellow onions, and red bell peppers form a nice and colorful foundation for the meat, with plenty of garlic and white wine to add those excellent aromas.

This dish takes 45 minutes to cook, and the result is a memorable dish that you can execute easily any time of year.

Quinoa Peanut Sesame Bowl

There’s a reason bowls are such a popular dinner choice. Add a variety of components to a single dish and bring big flavors together to create something magnificent.

This quinoa-based bowl is great for vegan households, incorporating eggplant, broccoli, chickpeas, and a lovely peanut-sesame sauce. There is always room for some sautéed chicken breast as well, for any meat-eaters in the family.

Rapid-Fire Beef Fajitas

These simple fajitas are a wonderful opportunity to showcase some red meat, and it could not be any faster off the pan. The recipe takes no more than 10 minutes to prepare and doesn’t compromise a pinch of flavor in the process.

Let the beef simmer and layer on the spices if you have any extra time. You get out what you put in!

Don’t Forget Dessert

A simple and sweet treat is the perfect conclusion to an extravagant meal. These recipes will give you great desserts without a maze of measurements or complex baking techniques. Just like all of JOW’s recipes, these desserts are simple, quick, and tested to perfection.

Caramelized Banana

Three ingredients, five minutes, and smiles all around. That’s a winning recipe in our minds. Besides, you’ve always got bananas in the pantry. Put them to good use!

Pear Chocolate Bowl

Sure, you can scoop ice cream out of the container, but why not create a lovely and healthy dessert with a personal touch?

It takes just a few minutes to make this beautiful dish, and everyone in your family will love its unique textures and flavors.

Commit to Cooking and Eating Well

It’s so easy to cook amazing meals once you have clear instructions and a basic skill set. If you’ve been hesitant to cook in the past, delay no further. JOW’s recipes will keep you on track and spark your interest in other areas of culinary exploration with simple, proven meals and an optimized shopping list to help get you started.

We’ve given you the roadmap to easy and effective cooking for life – enjoy the journey.