I'm a big fan of the slow cooker. "Fast" here means that I spend a minimum amount of time preparing the food that goes into the cooker -- not that the meal is ready to eat quickly. One of my favorite (and very inexpensive) crock pot meals is to take a whole chicken, put him into the crock pot with his neck down and feet up. Then fill the cavity with barbecue sauce; cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 1/2 that time. This works best in the deep/narrow style cookers rather than the low & wide ones.
Another quick dish that we will eat is the ever-changing casserole. This relies on a "formula" rather than a recipe as such:
1 to 2 cups starch
1 cup primary ingredient (protein)
1 cup secondary ingredient (protein or vegetable)
1-1/2 cup "sauce"
1/4 to 1/2 cup "goodie"
1/4 to 1/2 cup topping
seasonings/spices/herbs to taste
Starch can be potatoes, rice or other grain, or pasta. Sauce can be a white sauce (bechamel), tomato sauce, condensed soup, milk, etc. The goodie should provide color contrast or texture contrast. Examples: pimientos, slivered almonds, olives, dried tomatoes, or water chestnuts. Topping can be shredded cheese, bread crumbs, crushed potato chips, oats, or even cereal flakes.
Example: Turkey pasta casserole
2 cups cooked spaghetti noodles
1 cup cubed left-over turkey (or chicken)
1/2 cup shredded Mozarella cheese
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup sauteed fresh mushrooms or small can sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1/4 cup bread crumbs tossed with 1 Tbsp. melted butter
You can stir everything together and put into a greased casserole dish, topping with the crumb/butter mixture. Bake at 350 degrees until it is hot and bubbly throughout. Or, if you like a "pretty" casserole, mix the soup with the noodles, put 1/2 in the casserole, top with 1/2 the turkey, 1/2 the cheese, 1/2 the olives, then repeat the layers and top with the crumb/butter mixture and bake as above. Because the cheese, soup, and olives have a decent enough amount of salt and the left-over turkey may have been seasoned when cooked, I don't add any salt. You might add some chopped sauteed onion or some chopped fresh parsley to the soup when you stir it in if you want to kick up the taste.
I like to make a version of this with sliced potatoes, ground beef (vegetarian could use meatless crumbles), sliced carrots, sliced onions, and milk. With raw carrots and potatoes, it requires a little bit more time (45 minutes to one hour) in the oven to get the veggies all done, so my topping is usually a little bit of shredded cheddar added near the end of the cooking time. You'll need to add salt (and pepper if you like) since the potatoes will require some. A bit of garlic is an excellent addition as well.