Wheelchair-Friendly Recipes

Many of our Lori's Hands clients use a motorized wheelchair for most or all of the day. The inaccessible layout of many houses and apartments can create challenges for people wanting to cook from their wheelchairs. High counters, deep ovens and cabinets, and other issues can make cooking more frustrating than fun.

Below is a collection of delicious and nutrient-packed recipes that can all be prepared using a toaster oven or another small kitchen appliance. Prepare the ingredients as shown in each recipe using a table or countertop at wheelchair level. Many of the ingredients are healthy and most are familiar items you can easily find at any grocery store. Of course, if you have dietary restrictions or follow a special diet, be sure to consult with a dietitian or another healthcare provider prior to launching a new cooking routine. 

We've also made an effort to include recipes for smaller portions. Many of our clients (and our college students) are unable to use typical recipes that produce serving sizes of 8-10. If you live alone or with one other person, these recipes may help you cut down on food waste or the need to eat leftovers all week long! 

Do you have a go-to wheelchair-friendly recipe? We'd love to hear it! Send us an email (contact@lorishands.org) and share your mouth-watering favorites! Happy cooking!

Recipe: Toaster Oven Greek Frittata

Source: Cooking Light
Serves: 4


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 5-ounce bag baby spinach
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 4 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces Feta, crumbled


  1. Heat toaster oven to 350° F. 
  2. Add the oil to a 2-quart casserole and transfer to oven for 5 minutes. 
  3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt, and pepper. Add the spinach, tomatoes, and scallions and combine. Gently stir in the Feta. 
  4. Remove casserole from oven. Pour the egg mixture into casserole. Bake until the frittata is browned around the edges and slightly puffed and a knife comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. 

Recipe: Toaster Oven Blueberry Cornbread Muffins

Source: Finding Radiance
Serves: 6 medium-sized muffins


  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 2/3 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries


  1. Spray a 6-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray (or use cupcake liners). Preheat toaster oven to 350 F.
  2. In a medium size bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, applesauce, and sugar.
  4. Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients.
  5. Mix until just barely combined and then fold in the blueberries. It is really important not to over mix this.
  6. Divide up into 6 muffin cups.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Let cool and enjoy!

Recipe: Toaster Oven Chicken Quesadillas

Source: Good Housekeeping
Serves: 4
Time: 35 minutes


  • 2 green onions
  • 2 c. shredded skinless rotisserie chicken meat
  • 1½ c. Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 pickled jalapeño chile
  • ¼ c. fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4 burrito-size flour tortillas
  • ¾ c. salsa verde
  • ½ c. reduced-fat sour cream


  1. Preheat toaster oven to 425°F. Thinly slice green onions; reserve 2 tablespoons dark green tops for garnish.
  2. Evenly divide chicken, cheese, jalapeño, cilantro, and remaining green onion on one side of each tortilla; fold other half over.
  3. In single layer on foil-lined toaster oven tray (working in batches if necessary), toast quesadillas 8 to 10 minutes, or until tortillas are golden brown and cheese is melted.
  4. Cut each quesadilla in half. Serve with salsa verde, plus sour cream if you like; sprinkle with reserved green onions. 

Recipe: Toaster Oven Pizza


Source: Carrots ‘n Cake
Serves: 1
Time: 25 min


  • 1/2 cup almond flour/meal
  • 1 tbsp liquid egg whites
  • 1 tsp ground flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch of salt


  1. Preheat toaster oven to 375 F.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl; blend well.
  3. Roll batter into a ball.
  4. Coat cooking surface with a non-stick spray and then spread the batter into a round disk. Be sure to keep better intact (no holes).
  5. Top crust with your favorite toppings (cheese, sauce, veggies, meat, etc.)
  6. Bake for approximately 15-17 minutes until crust is cooked all the way through. Use a spatula to remove pizza. Eat and enjoy!

Recipe: Baked Sweet Potatoes

Source: Nom Nom Paleo
Serves: 1
Time: 45 min-1 hour


  • Sweet Potatoes (as many as you want)
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Any other spices
  • 1 tsp (per sweet potato) oil of choice


  1. Preheat toaster oven to 400 F.
  2. Coat potato in 1 tsp of oil
  3. Sprinkle with salt/pepper/seasoning of choice.
  4. Pierce with a knife multiple times.
  5. Bake for 45 min-1 hour
  6. Let cool, open and enjoy!

Recipe: Single Peanut Butter Cookie

Source: Chocolate Covered Katie
Serves: 1-2 Cookies


  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1.5 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/16 tsp baking soda
  • very scant 1/16 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1.5 tbsp maple syrup (Or use 3/4 tbsp each sugar and brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp applesauce
  • optional: add some chocolate chips if you wish!


  1. Preheat toaster oven to 350 F
  2. Mix dry ingredients.
  3. Add pb and wet ingredients.
  4. Mix well and form into one or two cookies.
  5. Flatten into cookie shapes and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Pork Chops with Mushrooms and Carrots

Source: Cooking Light
Serves: 4 (1 pork chop; ½ cup noodle mixture)


  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Cooking spray
  • 3/4 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 2-in. pieces
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps quartered
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 2 oregano sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 (6-oz.) bone-in center-cut pork chops
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 6 ounces uncooked whole-wheat egg noodles
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves


  1. Combine stock, vinegar, and flour in a 6-quart slow cooker coated with cooking spray. Stir in carrots, mushrooms, onion, garlic, thyme sprigs, and oregano sprigs.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Sprinkle pork chops with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add pork chops to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side. Place pork chops in slow cooker.
  3. Add wine to skillet over medium-high; cook 30 seconds, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Spoon wine mixture over pork chops in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours or until vegetables are tender.
  4. Cook egg noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.
  5. Remove pork chops from slow cooker, and keep warm. Remove and discard herb sprigs. Add heavy cream, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper to vegetable mixture in slow cooker, stirring to combine. Stir in cooked egg noodles.
  6. Divide noodle mixture among 4 plates; top each with 1 pork chop, and drizzle with any remaining sauce in slow cooker. Sprinkle evenly with thyme leaves.

Recipe: The Best BBQ Chicken

Source: Family Fresh Meals
Serves: 4-6
Time: 4 hours 5 min


  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless, chicken breast
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • ¼ cup Italian dressing
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt to Taste


  1. Season chicken breast lightly (a small pinch per breast) with some sea salt and place in your crockpot
  2. In a mixing bowl combine BBQ sauce, Italian dressing, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Stir until well combined.
  3. Pour over chicken, cover and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours
  4. Once time is up, you can serve the breast whole, or shred with 2 forks. If shredding, recover and let cook in sauce for about 10-15 more minutes to soak up all the flavor.
  5. Serve on buns, over rice, in wraps, on a salad or eat plateful as is! An example would be fresh rolls topped with coleslaw.

Recipe: Pesto Lasagna with Spinach and Mushrooms

Source: Cooking Light
Serves: 8*
Time: 5 hours 30 min
*Freezes well


  • 4 cups torn spinach
  • 2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup commercial pesto
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded provolone cheese
  • 1 (15-ounce) carton fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 (25.5-ounce) bottle fat-free tomato-basil pasta sauce
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 (8-ounce) package precooked lasagna noodles (12 noodles)


  1. Arrange the spinach in a vegetable steamer; steam, covered, 3 minutes or until spinach wilts. Drain, squeeze dry, and coarsely chop. Combine spinach, mushrooms, and pesto in a medium bowl, stirring to combine; set aside.
  2. Combine mozzarella, provolone, ricotta, and beaten egg in a medium bowl, stirring well to combine. Stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan, and set aside. Combine the pasta sauce and the tomato sauce in a medium bowl.
  3. Spread 1 cup pasta sauce mixture in the bottom of a 6-quart oval electric slow cooker coated with cooking spray. Arrange 3 noodles over pasta sauce mixture; top with 1 cup cheese mixture and 1 cup spinach mixture. Repeat the layers, ending with spinach mixture. Arrange 3 noodles over spinach mixture; top with remaining 1 cup cheese mixture and 1 cup pasta sauce mixture. Place remaining 3 noodles over sauce mixture; spread remaining sauce mixture over noodles. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan. Cover with lid; cook on LOW 5 hours or until done.

Compiled and edited by UD Nutrition/Dietetics students: Emma Newell, Kim Whitbeck & Alexa Nichols

Tips for Cooking with Mobility Limitations

We hear from many of our clients about the frustrations of trying to cook in a standard-layout kitchen when using a mobility device such as a wheelchair or a walker. Many of our clients also have reduced stamina due to symptoms or treatment side effects, and standing for hours at the counter or stove just isn't feasible. Our nutrition and dietetics students researched and compiled the following tips that may be helpful for clients or others who have mobility limitations. 

Plan Ahead:

When making a grocery list, plan out the meals that you want to have for the upcoming week.

Try to purchase some ingredients for easy, healthy meals that do not not require a lot of additional preparation – For example, tuna salad on whole wheat bread.

Get GOOD microwave food – A lot of microwave dishes contain a lot of extra sodium. Beware frozen, prepared meals. Even those marked "healthy" may just be low in fat or calories, but be packed with sodium or preservatives. However frozen vegetables are in many cases as or almost as nutritious as fresh vegetables, and are easy to prepare using a microwave. You can also cook sweet potatoes and oatmeal in the microwave.

Use sources of protein that do not need to be cooked – For example, beans and nuts.

Stick with easy, grab-n-go snacks – yogurts, nuts, fresh fruit and protein bars are all good healthy choices but require no preparation and can be on-hand all the time! Also, cutting up raw veggies and fruits make for a healthy, fiber-filled snack!

creative Use of Appliances:

Use a toaster oven – Good for toasting bread, vegetables, and even meats!

Crockpots come in handy! – You can make a delicious one pot meal without using an oven. Often, crockpot meals can serve you for the whole week or last well when frozen.

Different types of ovens – If you're able to make more significant modifications in your kitchen, wall-mounted ovens with side opening doors are ideal for persons whose mobility is limited. Purchasing an oven with controls on the front of the oven is also helpful. 

Cook food in bulk:

Cooking food in bulk is a good way to make sure that you always have some food on hand.

If you can, ask someone (like your Lori's Hands students!) to come over and help you prepare large batches of food that you can enjoy over the course of the week, or freeze for easy microwaving in future weeks. Your own home cooking, frozen, will almost always be a healthier option than purchased, prepared microwaveable meals. 

Compiled and edited by UD nutrition/dietetics students: Emma Newell, Kim Whitbeck & Alexa Nichols