What to Cook When The Cook Deploys

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I do not like to cook. I know a lot of military spouses love it but I have never been able to get on board. I try, but I feel like I fail so many times. My husband is the main cook of the family. He doesn’t mind cooking and this arrangement works well for us. However, my husband is also in the military. 

So what’s a girl to do when she hates cooking and her husband deploys or is away for any type of military training? I can’t just feed my kids pizza every night…can I?

I think it is important to say that as much as I hate cooking, I can still make some basic meals. They don’t usually come out wonderful or anything to write home about, but I can still feed my family. 

Are you in this situation too? Here are some ideas to help when the main cook is deployed or gone for a period of time. 

Basic Meals

Keep things simple. What does your family like? See if you can come up with a list of 4-5 meals and rotate them out. You don’t have to cook elaborate meals to feed your family. 

Pizza, We All Love Pizza

Have a weekly pizza night. Pick Friday as the night to celebrate getting through a new week. Not only does this help with making dinner a little more fun, but you can countdown the deployment this way. 

Make Your Own Sandwich, Etc 

This might not work if you have tiny kids, but if they are old enough, have a make your own sandwich night. Kids can make their own PB&J, turkey, or ham sandwich. This means less cooking for you, and something your kids can do on their own. 

Look For Free Food Nights 

On our post, they sometimes have USO dinner nights where you can go for a free meal. If you live close to post, this can be something you can take advantage of once a week. Look for these types of opportunities in your local area. 


I know, I know. You don’t like to cook, and you have tried. I know I have. But, what if you took time this deployment to experiment? Try a new recipe from your grandma’s old cookbook, or sign up to try a meal plan like Hello Fresh. If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out but maybe you can add a new meal to your schedule, one that your whole family loves to eat. 

What works for you? 

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Julie Provost
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