"20 Extremely Easy Recipes for When You’re Burned Out"

The New York Times had an article, “20 Extremely Easy Recipes for When You’re Burned Out” [https://nyti.ms/3IFOZOH], which had a lot of amusing comments, such as:

Oh how I wish I had year round access to these quantities of fresh herbs. Now that would put all of these in the easy category for me.

Sure: all you have to do is live in a place where a lot of the ingredients are available, and have all of these things laying around for your use. This is not real world for those of us who do not live in the better gentrified parts of NYC

Looks like a lot of preparations for a “quick” and “easy” dinner when you are burned out. I doubt the masses would go through this work after a long day at the meat grinder.

It’s not that the recipes don’t look good, but they don’t even begin to resemble what I would call “a simple recipe for when I’m burned out from everything.”

Most of these sounded like work. When I’m burnt out, no effort at all, please. The most I’m willing to do is open some cans or jars.

These look delicious, and much more complicated than anything I’d try at my burnout/overwhelm tipping point.

These aren’t really all that “super easy”, and many of them are sides and not mains, so for dinner you’d still have to make something else. Too many of them have ingredients that I’m not likely to have on hand.

I love your recipes in principle, but wish you’d give a bit more thought to food that doesn’t always call for a 500 degree oven and/or a broiler on high. In these city apartments, a lot of your recipes are guaranteed to set off the fire alarm - and that’s not a time saver, and it doesn’t help with our burn out.

I’m going to read through these recipes as soon as I have the energy.


Thank you for posting this link. I’m enjoying the options and how to come up with ways to shake up a little of my usual goto options.

Perhaps it’s because I’m looking at different recipes to you, but I was relieved to see that fresh herbs were not prominent at all. A lot of the things required are in my pantry in general (gochuang paste, miso, sesame oil, chiles, soy, rice vinegar, tinned tomatoes, onions, garlic (cloves or paste) and I have dried spices for use as well).

A lot of these are very much: mix a bunch of things together and put them on this thing.


“Easy” is always relative . . .I do think of “I’m burned out and have no energy” meals as those that are 100% pantry driven . . . so some of these wouldn’t fit that criteria, but if you can handle a quick trip to a grocery store then many more seem pretty simple.

I’ve been meaning to try a version of that gochujang butter pasta dish that’s in that list though - seems pretty easy and it’s something I have in the fridge all the time.


My go-to is spaghetti with garlic, olive oil, and red pepper flakes. And a generous glass of whatever wine is on hand. Key is - is it in the pantry?


Who in the world, unless you live next to a boutique grocery, has immediate access to most of this stuff? I guess on Planet NY Times they don’t recognize their own absurdity . I’m lucky. I can get my hands on everything in the article (barring a pandemic) in one stop, but what if I’m pulling myself up off the floor in exhaustion and I don’t want to shop or do delivery of any kind? Or I live somewhere that doesn’t provide instant access to semi-exotic ingredients. I guess it isn’t edgy or hip enough to eat out of your own pantry (kind of like going shopping in you own closet), but to me a knowledgeable and creative cook could finesse this.

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This is always my gripe/criticism of this sort of thing. I’m looking at you America’s Test Kitchen. Loved the show when we watched it but sheesh, any time they did a “quick” dish I looked at the counter space that could stand in for the Great Plains of the U.S. & the battalion of prep workers.


Do Cuban socialites experience burnout?
It appears the answer is yes!

I should say that my “quick and easy” meals are frozen meals (e.g. Tattooed Chef, Healthy Choice), pasta with jarred sauce, and of course, leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer.

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Nice collection of easy recipes and in my world they are simple and mostly utilize stuff I have on hand or can get easily nearby. The udon with greens and sesame seeds might be happening very soon….

Seems to be behind a “you have to register to see this” wall. Can’t really tell if they are easy or not!

If you are a subscriber and you are sharing articles with non-subscribers, you need to use the “gift” option. Perhaps you can still change that?

That is what I would call “Aglio e Olio” and is a very common AND popular dish at Italian restaurants here in Japan and also in Japanese homes. I must admit that I had neither seen it in most “run of the mill” Italian restaurants back in the States nor had ever eaten it when I lived there.

I sometimes order it when in Italian restaurants here in Japan, but though it seems simple, too heavy a hand with any of the ingredients or using low quality ones (the quality of the spaghetti isn’t an issue at least for me) can easily ruin it for me and therefore I will usually only order it at at restaurant I can trust. I sometimes make it at home, but for some reason, I will usually make other pasta dishes instead.

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Here’s the paywall-less version…edited to add: to the main article only, not to individual recipes. It’s from April 2023.

Out of curiosity, I’m wondering which ingredients are “semi-exotic?” I guess it all depends on your perspective/lens, correct?



Looking at the article, the recipes seem on the easy side (clicking the actual links just brings a nonsubscribed reader back to the paywall), but everyone’s got a different amount of energy in the tank at the end of the day. I think some people just like to be curmudgeons in the comments because they can :woman_shrugging:


Doh! I don’t have time to gift all the recipes, but anyone let me know if there’s one you’re burning to see and your wish will be my command!


Oh, no! I wasn’t asking for that! LOL I appreciate the link to the article though!

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Thanks for sharing. I find the list is pretty typical of NYT Cooking in terms of assumptions and cuisines… as in, one of about every 10 main/side dish recipes are ones my family will actually eat. But the tomato rice sounds interesting, and definitely doable from our pantry/fridge.

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My recipe box on their site looks like economy class on flights: half chicken, half pasta dishes. Well, for the most part :joy:


I don’t really think any of these count as “exotic” but “your mileage may vary” . . . .

That said, there are several things that - for me - I don’t typically have on hand. (not hard to get, would just need to go to the store )

Things like (again, not exotic, just not staples for me)

  • Feta
  • Gnocchi (hand make when I’m in the mood)
  • Nori (I do actually have some right now, but not all the time), Furikake I have in the pantry
  • Cream Cheese (only something I have when I have a purpose for it)
  • tortillas, cabbage, avocado, crema, cilantro . . . all things that aren’t always stocked without a purpose
  • silken tofu
  • lemon -tahini dressing
  • buttermilk dressing and/or lavash

If I think of this list as “burned out” in the sense of give me something easy and/or different from what I normally cook - then I’m on board. If I think of it as “burned out” as in exhausted and don’t want to go to the store - then some of this just isn’t pantry friendly for my kitchen.

I think people put these lists together more to work people up and get them to post and engage, than to give practical advice that people just go “eh, yeah, I agree” and move on. So this is a fair mix IMHO.


I just remembered something. It seems that if one adds red pepper flakes or thinly sliced dried red pepper, the name of the dish becomes “aglio olio e peperoncino”. Here in Japan, most people simply then refer to the dish as “peperoncino”. And I don’t think it’s very common here for the dish to be served/eaten without the peperoncino added.