12 Quick and Simple Dinner Recipes for Busy Evenings

12 Quick and Simple Dinner Recipes

Explore a curated selection of 12 effortless dinner recipes perfect for busy nights. From comforting classics to creative twists on family favorites, these dishes are quick to prepare, delicious to savor, and sure to satisfy even the pickiest eaters. Simplify your mealtime routine with these easy-to-follow recipes that will leave everyone at the table asking for seconds.

1. Tuna pasta bake

Ah, the timeless classic that is tuna bake—a dish that never fails to satisfy. It’s a culinary hero, boasting simplicity, affordability, and crowd-pleasing qualities. This particular tuna bake recipe holds a special place in my heart, with its clever tweaks for a healthier twist.

What sets this recipe apart is its perfect balance of carby goodness, creamy texture, and cheesy delight, all achieved through a few smart substitutions. It’s a dish designed to cater to the whole family, even those picky eaters who shy away from vegetables. Of course, a side salad or steamed greens can always accompany it for a more balanced meal.

One of the joys of this tuna bake is how the tender flakes of tuna intertwine with the macaroni pasta, creating a harmonious bite with every forkful. Plus, it’s a lifesaver on busy days, ready to be served in just over thirty minutes.

And let’s not forget its versatility—this tuna bake freezes like a dream, making it a convenient option for meal prep. Whether enjoyed piping hot or chilled the next day for lunch, it never fails to hit the spot.

Now, onto the star ingredients: macaroni pasta forms the hearty base, but feel free to swap in any small pasta shapes you have on hand. Salted butter adds depth of flavor, complementing the low-fat dairy products that still manage to provide that irresistible creamy richness.

With just a touch of flour to thicken the sauce, and the magic of low-fat milk and cheese, this dish strikes the perfect balance between comfort and health consciousness. And let’s not forget the star of the show—the tuna, packed in springwater for a lighter, yet equally satisfying, option.

If this recipe has won you over, why not give it a try yourself? It’s sure to become a staple in your recipe repertoire.

2. Our best pad Thai recipe

Transport your taste buds to the vibrant streets of Southeast Asia with every forkful of this delectable pad Thai recipe. Crafting this beloved dish at home is easier than you might imagine, and this recipe encapsulates all the quintessential flavors of traditional Thai cuisine. Whether it’s a casual weeknight dinner or an impressive centerpiece for a dinner party, this pad Thai never fails to dazzle.

What makes this recipe our go-to for easy pad Thai? It’s like bringing your favorite Thai take-out straight to your kitchen. Picture this: flat rice noodles enveloped in a tangy pad Thai sauce, generously studded with succulent chicken and prawns. Every bite is a symphony of nutty, salty, and sweet notes, thanks to the harmonious blend of peanuts, brown sugar, and fish sauce—the holy trinity of pad Thai sauce.

And let’s not forget about the heat—this recipe includes chili in the pad Thai sauce, allowing you to tailor the spice level to your liking. Whether you prefer a subtle kick or a fiery explosion of flavor, the choice is yours.

If you’re a fan of flavorful noodle dishes, you’re in luck. Explore our repertoire of tantalizing pad Thai variations, from sticky pork pad Thai to a vegetarian rendition with firm tofu. Feeling adventurous? Try our spicy prawn pad Thai for an extra kick, or indulge in our innovative pad Thai egg rolls. And for a unique twist, delve into our pad Thai rice recipe, complete with all the bold flavors of traditional pad Thai sauce.

3. Warming chicken soup recipe

Throughout history, chicken soup has held a revered place in culinary traditions around the globe. Dating back to the 2nd century AD, diverse cultures independently discovered the magic of combining chicken, water, and a medley of vegetables to create a dish that embodies flavor, warmth, and a sense of nourishment.

What sets our homemade chicken soup recipe apart as the ultimate choice? In this express recipe, we bypass the lengthy process of simmering a whole chicken in water, streamlining the preparation while preserving all the comforting qualities that make chicken soup a beloved classic.

4. Corned beef

Nestled in the countryside, Sundays were synonymous with the timeless tradition of the Sunday roast—a ritual that transcended seasons. Yet, as the crisp chill of autumn descended, our culinary repertoire would shift, making way for another cherished dish: corned beef, affectionately known as silverside in our household. It was a comforting transition, heralding the arrival of cooler weather and cozy family gatherings.

With the crackle of the fire warming the kitchen, Mum would diligently prepare the corned beef, setting it to simmer early in the morning.

5. Creamy garlic prawns recipe (with video)

The mere mention of “garlic prawns” already had us hooked, but when we saw the word “creamy,” we were positively swooning. And then, to top it off, discovering that this recipe requires just 10 minutes to prep and 10 minutes to cook? It was a culinary love affair in the making. We cherish the opportunity to glean inspiration from our readers, and this recipe is a testament to the wealth of culinary wisdom within our community.

6. Baked jacket potatoes

Achieving the perfect baked potato is an art form—a delicate balance of achieving a crispy exterior while maintaining a fluffy, tender interior. Explore the endless possibilities by experimenting with these suggested toppings or crafting unique combinations of your own.

7. Our go-to easy paella recipe

Paella stands as an iconic symbol of Spanish cuisine, cherished for its rich tapestry of flavors, hearty satisfaction, and versatility. With each vibrant bite, it encapsulates the essence of Spain’s culinary heritage, making it a beloved favorite both domestically and internationally.

8. Easy oven-baked frittata recipe

My most enchanting encounter with frittata unfolded amidst the charming streets of Florence. Serendipitously stumbling upon a quaint lunch spot, I was captivated by the sight of panini brimming with delectable frittata fillings on display. With a simple smear of mayo and a sprinkle of rocket, I embarked on a culinary journey, reveling in what seemed like the epitome of sandwich innovation. Since that memorable moment, I’ve been on a quest to perfect my own frittata recipes, and I’ve struck gold with this baked frittata creation—a hearty, cheesy, protein-packed delight.

What makes this baked frittata recipe such a standout? The inclusion of potatoes adds a comforting carb element, rendering it a satisfying dinner option. What’s more, its adaptability knows no bounds; I can effortlessly tailor it to suit whatever ingredients happen to grace my fridge. As long as I have eggs and cheese, I’m armed with the essentials for a scrumptious meal.

Another aspect I adore about this recipe is its baking method, which frees me from the stove’s watchful eye. With the oven taking the reins, I can simply sit back and await the magic to unfold. And the leftovers? They’re a treasure trove of possibilities, perfect for crafting enticing panini lunches or enjoying as a wholesome breakfast.

Key to the frittata’s flavor profile are Sebago potatoes, thinly sliced and layered amidst a symphony of red onions, pancetta, and spinach. This medley of ingredients infuses each bite with depth and complexity, ensuring a culinary experience that is as satisfying as it is unforgettable.

9. Curtis Stone’s stir-fried rice noodles with chicken and vegetables

Whip up a delectable weeknight feast in no time with Curtis Stone’s tantalizing 30-minute chicken, vegetable, and noodle stir-fry.

10. Our favourite lentil dhal recipe

India is renowned for its rich tapestry of vegetarian cuisine, boasting an array of delectable dishes that captivate the senses. From the crispy delights of onion bhajis and vegetable samosas to the creamy indulgence of saag paneer and aromatic vegetable korma, the culinary landscape is a testament to the country’s vibrant culinary heritage.

11. Delicious and simple savoury mince recipe

Upon reflection, it’s rather peculiar how we label dishes with the term “savoury mince,” considering that most mince-based recipes inherently lean towards savory flavors (unless, of course, you’re Rachel from Friends).

12. Spinach and ricotta cannelloni

Spinach and ricotta cannelloni stands as our reliable ally on those hectic school nights, effortlessly meeting all the criteria for an easy dinner: kid-friendly, veg-packed, and guaranteed to elicit empty plates by night’s end. It’s no wonder we keep one batch ready to serve and another stashed in the freezer at all times.

What sets this recipe apart is its ingenious shortcut—no need to painstakingly fill individual cannelloni tubes. Instead, we opt for fresh lasagne sheets, slashing prep time without compromising on flavor. For an extra veggie boost, serve alongside crisp salad leaves or, for the little ones, a side of chopped carrot sticks and cherry tomatoes.

And for those craving a meaty twist, fear not. We’ve got plenty of variations on cannelloni, from beef to lamb fillings. Just check the notes below for the link to explore these tantalizing options.

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