17 No-Chop Recipes You Can Make on Even Your Busiest Weeknights

mediterranean salad mini naan chickpeas
Photo: Brie Passano

Time-consuming chopping has stretched out your dinner prep for the last time. With these easy no-chop recipes, you can make a fast and healthy meal in no time. We can't promise you won't need a knife at all—some of these recipes still require a simple slice or two, like cutting a lemon in half for the juice. But trust us, when we say no chop, we mean it.

01 of 17

Warm Shrimp and Baby Dutch Potato Salad

warm shrimp baby dutch potato salad in bowl
Andy Lyons

Peeling and chopping potatoes can be a pain, so skip it! These baby yellow potatoes taste just as good when you cook them whole with the skins on, and it'll save you tons of time on dinner. In fact, even though this shrimp, green bean, and mixed greens salad looks complicated, it'll only take you 30 minutes.

02 of 17

Hurried Gazpacho and Handheld Quesadillas

Hurried Gazpacho and Handheld Quesadillas
Andy Lyons

If you like making and canning your own fresh salsa, this is the perfect recipe to put it to good use. It gives you a jump start on making the gazpacho for this recipe, since you only need to add in a few extra ingredients (including fresh cilantro). Then, use black beans and sliced olives to make delicious and nutritious no-chop quesadillas. Your Mexican-inspired no-chop feast will be ready to eat in just 30 minutes.

03 of 17

Chicken Tender Kabobs

chicken tender kabobs skewers
Brie Passano

Instead of chopping chicken breast to fit your skewers, just buy chicken tenders the next time you're in the meat section. As this recipe proves, they're great for threading on skewers with fresh mushrooms and mini bell peppers. While they're on the grill, stir together a quick spicy yogurt sauce for dunking.

04 of 17

Vegetable Fried Rice with Red Curry Nut Sauce

Vegetable Fried Rice with Red Curry Nut Sauce
Andy Lyons

Fried rice has always been a go-to meal on busy weeknights, but this version rises above the rest. To keep everything moving in your kitchen and avoid any chopping, purchase broccoli florets and shredded (or julienned) carrots for adding to your skillet. And the no-chop secret to our creamy, spicy curry nut sauce? A spoonful of peanut butter!

Buy It: Blue Diamond Toxin Free Ceramic Nonstick Safe Open Frypan($20, Walmart)

05 of 17

Chicken Tortellini Toss

Chicken Tortellini Toss
Andy Lyons

Pasta dinner in 20 minutes? Absolutely! Purchased cut broccoli and/or cauliflower florets and pre-cooked chicken breast strips make this no chop recipe a breeze. Jarred tomato pesto brings a rich flavor to the dish. Add some fresh Parmesan for a nutty bite.

06 of 17

Mediterranean Salad on Mini Naan

mediterranean salad mini naan chickpeas
Brie Passano

One of the best parts of getting your protein from beans like chickpeas is that there's no chopping involved. Crack open a can of garbanzo beans, then dress it up for dinner with fresh mozzarella balls, arugula, basil, and Kalamata olives. Then, you can scoop up bunches of this salad and eat it with naan to make a fast, healthy, no-chop dinner.

07 of 17

Asparagus, Chicken, and Green Pea Salad with Mint

Asparagus, Chicken, and Green Pea Salad with Mint
Brie Passano

Add more green to your plate than you've ever seen before with this fresh and easy recipe. Instead of plain lettuce, serve shredded rotisserie chicken on a bed of asparagus, peas, and mint leaves. Especially when you toss goat cheese and a dash of crushed red pepper into the mix, no one will ever accuse this recipe of being boring.

08 of 17

Pan-Grilled Mahi Mahi with Avocado Sauce

pan-grilled mahi mahi with avocado sauce
Brie Passano

Unlike a lot of veggie sides, spinach doesn't need to be chopped to make it easy to eat (especially when you serve it wilted). Fish fillets have the same advantage, so we spiced them up with chili powder before pan-grilling. Serve with a super-simple buttermilk and avocado sauce, and this mouthwatering dinner can be yours in just 20 minutes.

09 of 17

Grilled Okra Tacos

Grilled Okra Tacos
Andy Lyons

We're willing to bet you've never tried tacos like this before, and once you do, you might never look back. Filled with fresh okra and a juicy berry salsa, this recipe will make vegetarians and meat-lovers alike look forward to taco night. Naturally, you can't just top off these tacos with any old cheese—use crumbles of tangy feta to keep them utterly delicious and unique.

10 of 17

Spicy Shrimp and Sugar Snap Pea Kabobs

Spicy Shrimp and Sugar Snap Peas Kabobs
Blaine Moats

There's usually a lot of chopping and slicing involved in making veggie kabobs, but not this recipe. Pairing sugar snap peas and cherry tomatoes with shrimp makes for a super-delish kabob without much prep at all. And in addition to the smoky flavor from the grill, these kabobs are also brushed with a mix of mayo, Asian chili sauce, and fresh ginger, giving each bite extra zip.

11 of 17

Lemon-Basil Pasta

Lemon-Basil Pasta
Kate Mathis

Five ingredients, 25 minutes, AND no chopping? Sign us up, because this recipe has it all. Linguine and cannellini beans make this recipe hearty enough for dinner, and stirring in homemade lemon and basil pesto makes it so tasty you'll want to have it for dinner every night. If you have extra basil after making this recipe, just add a few additional leaves to your plate for even more fresh flavor.

12 of 17

Mexican Skillet Dinner

mexican skillet dinner limes
Jason Donnelly

When you use chorizo sausage, frozen corn, and canned tomatoes, you can toss together this tasty Mexican skillet dinner in a snap with no chopping at all. Pinto beans and rice will help this recipe stick to your ribs, so you won't need to sneak down for a midnight snack later. If you're a cilantro lover, you can also add a few fresh sprigs on top (but if it tastes like soap to you, you're also free to leave it off).

13 of 17

Turkey Meat Loaf Pockets with Peach-Barbecue Glaze

Turkey Meat Loaf Pockets with Peach-Barbecue Glaze
Jacob Fox

You can probably make most meat loaf recipes without much chopping, but not every recipe has a serving of veggies hiding inside. Use dry bread crumbs and tangy barbecue sauce to hold the ground turkey together, then fill the center with mixed vegetables and shredded cheese. Then, when everyone at your table cuts into their individual loaf, they'll find a cheesy, healthful surprise inside.

14 of 17

Macaroni Alfredo with Pumpkin and Kale

Macaroni Alfredo with Pumpkin and Kale
Hannah Bigot

You'll never need to chop canned pumpkin, and as a bonus, it makes pasta deliciously creamy and savory. Almost like pumpkin mac and cheese, this no-chop recipe also has torn fresh kale to make it a little healthier than your average macaroni. To really keep this an easy no-prep meal, use purchased minced garlic instead of mincing your own.

15 of 17

Greek Spinach-Tortellini Salad

Greek Spinach - Tortellini Salad
Courtesy of Shawn Syphus

Quick, easy, tasty, and healthy—this tortellini salad hits all four. Dress up your usual dinner salad by adding cheese tortellini, dried tomatoes, and a trio of fresh herbs (oregano, lemon thyme, and dill). But while you'll get your share of healthy greens, this 15-minute dinner recipe also has Parmesan and feta cheese to make your salad just a little decadent, too.

16 of 17

Sheet-Pan Chickpeas and Eggs

Sheet-Pan Chickpeas and Eggs
Andy Lyons

are one of our favorite ways to get dinner on the table with little mess. In this 4-ingredient no-chop recipe (though we do recommend snipping some fresh parsley or chives to make the dish pop), we toss chickpeas in a bit of oil and smoked paprika before roasting. Crack a few eggs on the pan the last 5 or so minutes and you've got a delicious meatless meal ready to go.

Buy It: Nordic Ware Naturals Quarter Sheet Pan($10, Target)

17 of 17

Lemon-Caper Tuna and Noodles with Alfredo

Lemon Caper Tuna and Noodles with Alfredo
Karla Conrad

For a simple one-dish dinner everyone in the family will love, look no further than this no-chop recipe. Well, we do require cutting a lemon here, but we promise the brightness it brings to the dish is worth it. This is also a fresh way to use the canned tuna in the pantry.

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