Weeknight dinners should be tasty and involve minimal effort on behalf of the chef. Instead of reaching for ready-meals packed with nasties, why not add these budget meals into your weekly menu.
- DIY Pizzas
Pizzas are quick to prepare, fast to cook, and popular with children. That’s a win on all levels in our house! Homemade pizzas are also a fantastic way to involve kids with cooking and teach them healthy habits from a young age. You can either make them using pitta bread bases, or throw together a no-rising-required pizza dough. As well as being a clever way to incorporate vegetables, pizzas are useful for using up things like leftover chicken.
- Quick Vegetarian Curry
Having a meat-free day is an effortless way to reduce your grocery bills, and no one will miss meat if you serve them a delicious curry made using a can of chickpeas, fresh or frozen spinach, red lentils, and pureed tomatoes. Start by gently frying your chosen curry spices in a saucepan before adding the pureed tomatoes, a few heaped tablespoons of red lentils, chickpeas and a can of coconut milk (or half the amount of coconut cream), and simmer until the lentils are tender. Stir through a can of drained chickpeas and spinach. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and rice or naan bread.
- One-Pan Roast
Catch up with your family around a mid-week roast dinner without the washing up. Line a roasting tin with greaseproof paper, or rub it with olive oil and put in chicken thighs. Add carrots, potatoes, and onions that have all been chopped to roughly the same size. Throw in a few whole garlic cloves and season it all with salt and pepper. Toss everything in olive oil and bake until the chicken is cooked and the vegetables are tender, which should take around 60 minutes at 190C.
Other favourite fast dinners in our house include anything in a tortilla wrap; fridge frittata (basically a baked omelette made with onions and whatever is in the fridge that needs using up); pasta with homemade tomato, courgette, and pepper sauce (pureed to hide the veg); spicy stir fry, and warm salads. On weekends I sometimes cook some chicken breast (either roasted or in the slow-cooker with some liquid stock) and shred the meat so I have it handy for things like wraps, and pasta bakes. I love my slow cooker, but that’s a whole other blog post!
Share your favourite weeknight dinner by leaving a comment below.