The official standards or rules for missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encourages them to follow general guidelines for nutritious eating. It encourages missionaries to “eat balanced meals that include vegetables, fruits, grains, healthy fats, and protein” and to “limit junk food, carbonated drinks, processed foods, and restaurant fast food.” Therefore, future missionaries should learn in their early years how to follow recipes and make simple meals that they will be able to prepare and eat during their mission. This is one of the life skills that I point out in my mission prep checklist.
To further help missionaries, and my son who is leaving for college and a mission soon after that, I thought I should compile a list of ideas and links to recipes. Below you will find many of simple meal ideas and easy recipes that are in our family’s repertoire (thus many of the links go to my family recipe blog). Since these are meals my family makes a lot, I know my kids will like them and they have had practicing making them. Many of these meals are so simple they do not require recipes, but still, for many of them, you may want the recipe and you can follow the links for specific ingredients and cooking instructions.
I will likely add to this list in coming months and years, and if readers have additional ideas for meals or links to simple recipes for missionaries, please add them in the comments sections below. Thanks so much!
Pasta and Italian Dishes
- Ramen Noodles: No recipe required. Just follow the instructions on the package.
- Pasta Roni: No recipe required. Just follow the instructions on the package.
- Macaroni and Cheese: No recipe required. Just follow the instructions on the package.
- Spaghetti: Many people won’t need a recipe for this one, but if you do, here’s our one for Spaghetti with Meat Sauce.
- White / Cream Sauce, usually to put over noodles, a common meal in our family.
- If you’re feeling really adventurous, try our Alfredo Sauce recipe over noodles.
- Pizza. You can be frozen pizza to heat in the oven, just follow the package instructions. Or you can buy a pizza crust (or naan bread) and put pizza sauce, cheese, and your choices of toppings on it and cook it in the oven for a few minutes. I did that a ton during my mission to Argentina. Or, if you are feeling ambitious, try this family favorite, Bacon Ranch French Bread Pizza.
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner
- Chicken Quesadillas
- Pan-Grilled Chicken Tenderloins: may sound complex, but it is really quite simple.
- Chicken Roll-Ups: can be complicated, but there are also ways to simplify it.
- Waffles (you can put fruit on it to make it more healthy)
- Pancakes (put fruit on it to make it more healthy)
- German Pancakes
- French Toast
- Cold Cereal with Milk (put fruit on it to make it more healthy)
- Oatmeal: Lots of options here. You can buy instant oatmeal that cooks in the microwave. You can also buy Quaker Oats that cook on the stove in just a few minutes. In either case, just follow the package instructions. And again, you can put fruit on it for added flavor and healthiness.
- Grilled Cheese: You shouldn’t need a recipe, but here’s one in case you do.
- Peanut Butter and Jelly: I hope no recipe is needed.
- Hamburgers: These can be made at home in your apartment.
- Sloppy Joes: I like Manwich brand Sloppy Joe mix where you just add ground beef. Here also is a family recipe for homemade Sloppy Joes.
- French Dip Roast Beef Sandwiches
- Spanish Rice Bean Wraps / Burrito
- Chicken Quesadillas: Obviously, you can make this without chicken to keep it even simpler.
Desserts / Treats
- No Bake Cookies. I think these are reasonably easy to make. I made them a time or two on my mission.
- Rice Crispy Treats
- Peanut Butter Corn Flake Cookies
- Salad: NO specific recipe here. But you can certainly buy lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and other simple ingredients to make simple salad.
- Fried Rice: Again, this can be complicated, but there are also ways to simplify it.