36 Things That'll Help You Get A Hot Meal On The Table With Minimal Effort
Let's feed the hunger so it doesn't become "The Hanger" — your debut in a grisly new horror thriller.
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1. Pre-made simmer sauces you can lean on when you're craving a yummy, saucey dish that'd require approximately 58 ingredients if you were whipping it up from scratch. Pour out some Thai Coconut Sauce for all those spices in your cabinet you used *once*.
2. A variety pack of A Dozen Cousins ready-to-eat seasoned beans, an extremely tasty recipe of a dinner staple already zhuzhed up for you, unlike the bulk bag of dried black beans you bought at the grocery store but have actively avoided because of all the extra work.
3. A bottle of Mike's Hot Honey that — I cannot emphasize enough — will make the most meh of leftovers taste like something you paid way too much to have delivered to your house. Heating up what's in your fridge and drizzling this all over it is way faster than cooking up some fresh. (And tastier thanks to this stuff.)
4. A produce dicer to transform those whole veggies you purchase to buy you extra time between grocery trips into the chopped wonders you can also buy at the grocery store BUT go bad lightning fast.
5. Or a manual food chopper that'll make quick work of herbs, boneless meats, fruits, veggies, and ice while actually feeling kinda fun?!
6. A Pig of the Month Club subscription – it comes with lots o' meaty options that are all but ready for ya'. Here's to the hard work having been already done for some amazing ribs that landed on your doorstep.
7. Individually portioned frozen fish for when you wanna whip up dinner for one (or four!) without having to run out to the fish market. Plus they're sustainably sourced so you get full transparency on where your food is sourced!
8. Freshly pre-cooked meals that'll help sub in for other grab 'n' go lunches you can shove in the microwave for something that doesn't *taste* like a microwave meal.
9. A rapid egg cooker to help you nail down a protein source in lots of different ways! Or just fix yourself a big batch of deviled eggs, which IMO could make for a great dinner.
10. An Instant Pot – it can handle 9 (!!!!) kitchen tasks in one precious lil' appliance body so dinner's ready as soon as you walk in the door. Reviewers call it their "secret weapon," which I guess isn't so secret anymore.
12. A rotating countertop oven for ~evenly~ cooking all sorts of frozen goodies. Will that frozen pizza ever taste homemade? Unlikely. But it sure can taste delicious thanks to this gadget that'll evenly cook it.
13. *Reusable* toaster bags for helping you achieve peak sandwich at home without firing up the stovetop *or* catching your toaster on fire! Gotta love a hot sandwich for dinner!
14. Or a panini press so you can get those covetable grill marks and the right amount of char. Your sandwiches, burritos, and quesadillas are going to get a delish upgrade.
15. A handheld veggie spiralizer to help pump those meals full of veggies without spending tons of time on a bigger zoodle contraption.
16. A batter-dispensing gadget that'll take out the hard part of breakfast-for-dinner. Now everyone can get evenly sized pancakes that are picture-perfect and hot off the griddle. Really, why aren't pancakes considered a dinner food?!
17. A lid opener to help you pop off some tops super fast so you can get to actually cooking. No more huffing and puffing, thinking this may be the time you sprain your wrist for a jar of premade marinara sauce (literally my thought every single time).
18. And speaking of sauce, a microwave pasta cooker that'll help you achieve al dente noods ready to top off with some jarred sauce. Who wants to turn on the stove and wait for that salted water to boil if you don't have to?! Not me.
19. A sous vide to mind your delicious feast for you thanks to its temperature-regulating prowess. Besides, you shouldn't have to babysit a steak to end up with a cut fit for a king.
20. A rice cooker so you can set it and forget it while you do other noncooking stuff — no more scraping burnt rice off the bottom of your pot!
21. A snap-on silicone strainer that'll help you *easily* drain a pot of basically any size without losing a single noodle.
22. An automatic pan stirrer with a built-in timer to do, well, the stirring for you! Besides, you've got some important catching up to do on Instagram.
23. A pair of herb scissors for quickly (and efficiently) clipping ingredients without having to pull out your cutting board or sharpest knife.
24. A food chopper you might think is just another kitchen tool you don't need. But! I used my mom's and then wished I had one the next time I was trying to evenly cook ground beef in my own home. It'll mash ground meat, fruit, and veggies with ease in glass bowls and skillets.
25. A Thaw Claw made to defrost your frozen meat 7x faster than if you just set it out to thaw. No more feeling a certain way about someone who forgot to take that chicken out of the freezer while you were at work.
26. A scrap collector that attaches to a drawer and you can push your scraps into quickly while you make way for other meal prep tasks.
27. A flip top to help you get every last drop out of that bottle of barbecue sauce your fam swears by for anytime you set chicken down on the dinner table.
28. A colander spoon to let you scoop food straight out of the pot for a speed trip to Flavortown. Plus it'll be much easier to hand wash than a regular old colander.
30. A Souper Cube, which is really just fancy talk for a silicone freezing tray for soups and stews. Each cube is a perfect portion you can meal prep, freeze, and then pop out and heat up as you want them. Future You is already thanking you.
31. A bamboo cutting board with color-coded mats so you don't have to keep washing the same cutting board over and over again while you're just cooking one dang meal. Oh and the mats? They're dishwasher-safe.
32. A pair of onion goggles in case your dinner recipe calls for onions, minus The Notebook-like waterworks.
33. A cauliflower prep tool to make quick work of that glorious veggie. The quicker you can get to covering it in olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper and then roasting it, the better.
34. And a compact air fryer can whip just about anything up into the most delicious version of said thing. Like...chicken wings, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes. All sorts of stuff! And this one is the perfect size for solo dinners if that's what you're after.
35. Silicone baking mats that won't require the time to grease your pan or pull out that roll of aluminum foil to line a baking sheet. Hey, that's a minute sooner that you get to eat. (Also these things do a really great job of helping cook your food.)
36. And some grain-free pizza bites that'll transform from frozen to hot and delicious in a mere few catchup rounds of TikTok videos your friends texted you while SOMEONE (meaning: YOU, not your friends) was working today. Seriously though, they're *so* scrumptious.
Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.