Got Kitchen Gadgets? Make These 5 No-Stove, No-Oven Dinners

Break out the appliances! Use your slow cooker, air fryer, Instant Pot, sous vide, and panini press for a week of no-oven dinners.

This month welcome Sara Bir. Sara Bir is the author of two cookbooks, Tasting Ohio and the IACP award-winning The Fruit Forager’s Companion. She also moderates and replies to your comments here on Simply Recipes. Follow her @sausagetarian.

I love my gadgets and think they earn their keep. Or do they? I have a high-speed blender, a food processor, two Instant Pots, a portable induction burner, a waffle iron, a stand mixer, a sous vide circulator, a food dehydrator, an immersion blender, and…hmm. That’s a lot.

When was the last time I pureed food in a blender? Or grilled a panini? Okay, so maybe I don’t fire these up daily, but I like having them. It’s always inspiring to spy a cool recipe that reminds me to play with my toys.

This meal plan gives you a nudge to dust off a few of those nifty appliances you may be neglecting. And if you don’t have an Instant Pot, (or a slow cooker or sous vide machine, don’t worry—all the recipes below offer alternative cooking methods for your trusty old range.

One last thing: Looking for dinner ideas? You’re in the right spot! We have delicious meal plans to suit every taste and lifestyle—Healthy Eating, Family Favorites, and Vegetarian just to name a few. These one-month plans are $6.95 and, with them, you get a dessert and weekend prep recipe and a shopping list. They’re beautifully designed and perfect to print and save or simply load and cook right from your computer!

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How to Make Jambalaya in the Slow Cooker

This is truly a one-pot meal, with a bonanza of rice, sausage, shrimp, and chicken. Making it in a crockpot means you get simmered-for-hours flavor without tending to a pot on the stove. Plus, it’s easy to tailor to your liking by omitting or subbing any of the proteins. Add the shrimp about half an hour before serving so they don’t overcook. No slow cooker? Try Toni Tipton-Martin’s Classic Jambalaya instead.

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Crab Salad Panini

A sandwich is just a sandwich, but a panini is a treat. You can crank this out fast for those nights when half an hour chopping is just not in the cards. Not into crab? Use tuna salad or chicken salad instead, or buy your favorite kind prepared from the deli. See the recipe headnote for directions on making it panini-style in a cast-iron skillet. Serve with No-Mayo Slaw, or buy a slaw kit from the produce aisle.

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Pressure Cooker Saag Tofu

This is one of my favorite Instant Pot entrées. Lean, protein-packed tofu takes the place of harder to find paneer, a fresh Indian cheese. In fact, this recipe is both dairy-free and vegan! Coconut milk makes it just as rich as the conventional version and preparing it in the pressure cooker with frozen spinach makes for a quick weeknight meal. Look for stovetop instructions in the recipe headnote.

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Fried Chicken in Air Fryer

Air frying means way less oil, which translates to way less clean-up! If someone prefers boneless strips and others like bone-in thighs, everyone wins! An hour of marinating in buttermilk makes this fried chicken juicy and flavorful. No air fryer? Pan fry it on the stove instead, following the directions in the recipe headnote.

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How to Cook Steak Sous Vide

Big advantages for sous vide steak include its buttery texture and precise cooking—no guesswork! The magic of sous vide means you have a window of two to three hours to hold the steak perfectly cooked until you’re ready to sear and serve. Make baked potatoes and easy roasted broccoli to round it out. Not into sous vide? Cook your steak on the stovetop.

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Sara Bir

Sara Bir a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and the author of two cookbooks: The Fruit Forager’s Companion and Tasting Ohio. Past gigs include leading chocolate factory tours, slinging street cart sausages, and writing pop music criticism. Sara skates with her local roller derby team as Carrion the Librarian.

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No ImageGot Kitchen Gadgets? Make These 5 No-Stove, No-Oven Dinners

  1. Sarah

    So many of your recipes aren’t common lay-person food….the only one of this group that attracted me and my family was the fried chicken…. Maybe bring us some everyday food recipes!

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