A Life Less Complicated

14 Quick and Easy Dinners

If you ever find yourself stuck for inspiration for what to have for dinner, I’ve got you! Here are 14 quick, easy and (mostly) healthy recipes ready to go. That’s your next 2 weeks sorted!

1. Mixed Bean Chilli with Freezer Jacket Potato

This one is ripe for batch cooking and freezing so you have an easy dinner in reserve. I love frozen jacket potatoes – you can buy them in most supermarkets but I make my own as it’s much cheaper. Just bake a load of potatoes as you usually would, then freeze them once they’ve cooled. Pop them in the microwave to bring back to life (if you have time, finish them off in the oven to keep the skin crispy).

2. Carbonara

Click the link for the recipe – but don’t worry about doing half and half pecorino and parmesan, either will do the job!

3. Leftovers/Freezer Risotto

Here’s what’s been changed or added:A great go-to when the fridge is starting to look bare. Frozen prawn and pea risotto is a staple in our house but use whatever you have – leftover meat, mushrooms, green veg…anything goes. 

Ignore any recipes that say you have to add the water little by little – just fry up some onion and garlic, add your rice and splosh a load of water and a stock cube in. If you’ve got some white wine, pour a glug or 2 into the pot too. Stir occasionally and top the water up if it’s starting to dry up and the rice isn’t cooked yet. Then add your extra ingredients and warm through before serving. Garlic bread and added cheese are both optional yet highly recommended.

4. Super Simple Veggie Enchiladas

Most of these ingredients are store-cupboard ingredients which makes it one of my faves. If you can’t get hold of taco mix beans, any kind of beans will work – just add some paprika and a touch of cayenne pepper to give it extra flavour.

5. Teriyaki Salmon Parcels with Rice

This recipe is written for kids so you know it’s easy! Shortcut: you can buy readymade teriyaki sauce if you don’t want to make your own. This recipe includes broccoli but most veg works – we often add carrots (cut really thinly) and sliced pepper.

6. Sweet Potato, Lentil, and Spinach Dhal with Freezer Paratha

Another prime candidate for batch cooking and freezing and excellent for your 5-a-day. The day I discovered frozen paratha was a great day! Just fry for a minute or 2 on either side and you’ve got a quick and tasty side dish ready to go. And they are exceptionally good with chocolate spread for dessert.

7. Gnocchi Traybake

Chuck whatever veg you have in the fridge in a roasting tray (peppers, courgettes, tomatoes etc) along with the gnocchi. Pop in the oven until the veg is cooked, and add basil and mozzarella, or even pesto, 5 minutes before serving.

8. Full English Breakfast Dinner

Bacon, sausages, eggs, baked beans, hash browns (the BEST bit!), mushrooms…easy, treatsome and not too bad on the veg count either.

9. Pasta with Freezer Mediterranean Vegetables and Tomato Sauce

Have you spotted the freezer theme yet? REALLY easy and REALLY tasty. Just tip the veg into a baking tray and pop in the oven. Mix with pasta and a jar of Dolmio, and top with a generous portion of cheddar.

10. Thai Chicken Curry

A jar of curry paste, a tin of coconut milk, some chicken, veg (e.g. baby corn, mange tout) and rice. That’s all there is to it! And don’t forget the prawn crackers.

11. Freezer Vegetable and Sausage Traybake

More of that delicious Mediterranean veg, butternut squash, sweet potato, onion, whatever you fancy. And yes, you’ve guessed it…whack it in a baking tray with some sausages and chuck it in the oven!

12. Picky Dinner

Some call this a cheat, I just think it’s ingenious. All simply grab anything that is edible and in date from your fridge/cupboards/freezer and serve it up buffet-style. Bread, cheese, dip, veg, fruit, crisps, tinned sweetcorn, chips…literally anything goes. The kids will have fun piling up their plates and you get to use up the dregs of the weekly shop.

13. Deconstructed Chicken and Leek Pie

We’re a big fan of a chicken and leek pie in this house. We prefer to cook the pastry separately as it’s easier to get it crispy and to avoid soggy bottoms! You can prep the filling in advance then just reheat it in the microwave (or covered in the oven) while the pastry cooks. Mix it up with bacon or mushrooms and don’t forget to carve comedy images or messages into the pastry before you cook it. If you have leftover pastry, you could whip up some cheese straws with the offcuts.

14. Hummus and Halloumi Wraps with Sweet Potato Wedges

Fry up some halloumi and serve it with a pot of hummus, vegetables (I like spinach, pepper and avocado) and sweet potato wedges which you can often buy ready to bake from the supermarket. A healthy, tasty, EASY midweek dinner.

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Hi, I’m Lesley

I'm the blogger behind A Life Less Complicated. I’m passionate about simplifying busy lives and reducing your mental load. Keeping on top of modern life doesn’t have to be so hard - stick around to find out how!

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