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Quickest meals to get on the plate(90 Posts)
I'm looking for the holy grail of family meals - plates of food (not necessarily recipes just combinations of things that go together) that are next to instant to make, fairly wholesome, kids will eat, can be scaled up to feed a horde! Looking for things that cook themselves in the oven or slow cooker with no need for chopping or prepping or standing over a pan. Or ready made things that throw together in a pleasing way!
Current meal plan since start of term still leaves me feeling like I'm spending too long in the kitchen - too many other demands in our busy house - and I feel run ragged by the time meal time is over!
Beans/egg on toast.
Soup and crusty rolls.
Frittata, quick to make from scratch, or you can buy ready made and just heat up, serve with salad or fried potatoes.
Use things such as pouches of microwave rice or lentils, packs of gnocchi which cook in moments, frozen mashed potatoes, frozen vegetables, prepared onions, soup pasta, etc to speed up your meal preparation.
Frozen chopped veg is a game changer (onions, peppers etc) for not chopping stuff.
We’ve found some “new combos” now normally I cook from scratch almost everything and I just can’t be arsed anymore I will for most meals but not everyone.
Gammon, mac n cheese, spring greens/cabbage and garlic bread
Gammon oven ready joint can be cooked in advance or even buy a ready made one the mac n cheese is a bachelors pasta n sauce packets and spring greens take minutes to cook and throw some garlic bread in went down really well in our house DD3 DS5 me and DH
Chicken curry and rice
Mayflower curry paste can get it from Iceland/home bargains/b n m and it is super easy to make up and throw some cook from frozen chicken and any veg you might want it and serve with rice.
Crumpets beans and eggs
Big crusty bread, bagged salad, pate all plonked on the table is a nice tea we all like as well.
Ratatouille and couscous. Either pre-made and heated up or straight out of a tin (this is my store cupboard emergency dinner and with cheese on it's really tasty)
Yes to frozen veg I hated it until I tried it I’ve found the best things are
And my all time favourite is mash!!! Never again will I stand mashing spuds just grab frozen it comes in little cylinder shapes I even throw it over a cottage pie still frozen then throw in the oven
Pasta and pesto
Fajitas with ready cooked chicken and a tin of three bean chilli, sour cream, cheese etc
Egg /chicken/ prawn/ vegetable fried rice
I make chilli in the slow cooker that is based on a Jamie Oliver recipe (I think it's called something like chunky beef chilli). I use minced beef rather than steak chunks and leave out the cinnamon stick. I don't add the water either as it makes it too watery in the slow cooker. (I think his version is a stovetop dish so there's more evaporation). I also use chilli powder rather than fresh chilli which cuts down the chopping time. The only prep I do is to brown the mince - I have chucked it in raw and it cooks perfectly well but it makes the dish a bit watery.
I made it yesterday and it took about 15 minutes to put together. It bubbled away all day and then needed another 15 minutes at the end to cook some rice.
Fresh pasta make sauce while kettles boiling, then three mins to the table. If you’re feeling fancy some salad and dressing on the side. Less than ten mins
Same with baked potatoes plus toppings but they have to sit in the oven while I school run so obviously not strictly speedy.
Eggs, scrambled on toasted muffin with bacon or cheese.
Soup and bread
Baked potatoes (assuming you’re in the house for the hour before they’re needed)
My embarrassing one that’s no good for lots of mouths but great for one or two is 2 minute rice with tuna stirred through
Carrots & parsnips take less time than potatoes to peel. Rub some oil on them & roast. Use baking paper to minimise washing up
Flat fish such as sea bass - baking paper, spoonful of oil, in the oven, ready in 10-12 minutes
Once you’ve fiddled with the chopping & peeling of veg fir a casserole there’s nothing left to do other than throw it in the oven
but you knew that
Omelette, pretty much anything eggy.
Microwaved baked potato plus topping and salad.
Yes, they’re not quite as nice as proper ovened ones, but they’re still nice.
My kids love French toast with ketchup,
Minimal effort and everyone cleans their plates
Cous cous is ridiculously easy. Put it in a bowl and add spices, raisins, almonds etc. Pour hot water over it and cover it, about 2 minutes later take cover off and fluff with a fork.
You can put something stew like (chicken or lamb) with Marrocan spices and dried apricots etc in a slow cooker anc when it's ready do the cous cous. Lots of flavour but very little chopping or faffing.
Tin of tuna
Tin of sweetcorn
Pouch of rice
Mayonnaise and salt/seasoning
Mix it all up in a bowl and put in the microwave for 2 mins.
we make it through the week with a dinners that range from batch cooked at the weekend and frozen stuff (bolognese sauce, chilli, curry etc) and quick throw together stuff - fajitas (use frozen prechopped peppers & onion). Frozen mash is amazing and just pings in the microwave, v handy for topping fish / cottage pie etc too.
Not healthy but a quick favourite here is 2 tins of chicken in white wine sauce, put in a tray with lipped sides - add sauted onion, leek etc or bits of leftover gammon if you have it. Readymade puff pastry sheet on top, egg wash and bake. Meanwhile peas / sweetcorn from freezer in one pan and frozen mash. So easy.
Gammon or a whole chicken also excellent with the frozem mash and veg - bung into slow cooker on low through the day with a little water.
Gnocchi - and satisfying when they pop up too!
Omlettes are easy. Put ham, onion and peppers in. Onion and peppers from frozen veg bag. Only takes a few min. Can serve with salad or a bread roll.
Scrambled egg and brown bread toast is good as a snack with apple at the side. I have given this for playdates but not really a dinner.
I find chicken, roasted potatoes/wedges and broccoli handy. Pop chicken in the oven with potatoes for 35 min and then brocelli in pot(frozen pre cut). Seasoning of meat/potatoes only takes a few min.
I precook Shepard's pie also and have some in the freezer for five minutes meal.
Frozen baked potatoes. Into the microwave and ready in minutes.
Lidl sometimes has frozen schnitzel - there's big ones that are great for a proper dinner or just with some of their excellent coleslaw. And there's little ones that are great on a bun.
Buy a side of salmon (Tesco has reopened it's fish counters locally). Get them to cut it into portions and bag up each individually and freeze (you can also buy prefrozen but I like to choose mine). When you know how many you need to feed you pull out that many pieces, drop them on to a lightly oiled (I use the spray stuff) foil sheet and pop in the oven for about 20 - 30 minutes. No need to thaw. Lovely. Just needs some nice sliced tomatoes to keep me happy.
But my fav go to is to bbq. Anything onto the bbq then onto the plate so all you have to wash up is the plate and cutlery. I've got a humunkous Weber propane that is used year round. Great for fish, roasts, burgers, veg, potatoes....almost anything. Nothing easier than a pork chop and a courgette (top, tail, split lengthwise, cooks as quickly as the chop).
Beans on toast with a fried egg.
Pasta, pesto, broccoli, bacon.
Cook the broccoli with the pasta so only 2 pans. Cooked chicken chopped into it instead of bacon is even less hassle.
Dolmio Creamy tomato pasta bake. You don't even need to cook the pasta first even when it says you do, just add a jar of water and double the cooking time to use dry pasta.
I throw some Tuna in there, maybe some onions and it's the easiest dinner. Genuinely 3mins prep time.
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