When autumn creeps up on you and the kids are back in school, the days became shorter, and cooking becomes harder.
We know how tricky it can be to get everyone around the dinner table at the same time, let alone finding the time and energy to cook – that’s why finding easy back-to-school recipes is essential.
For those of us on a 9-5, a good meal at the end of the day is important, and a home-cooked one is even better.
That’s why we’re sharing our favourite easy back-to-school recipes you can make in under 30 minutes, giving you plenty of chill-out time before bed starts calling!
These meals come from several of our most trusted recipe-makers, including Jamie Oliver and BBC Good Food.
Got a night off? No giant dinners to make?
You’ll find our very own Spiros ‘prawn risotto’ recipe at the end of this list, with ingredients and a ‘how to make it’ method included.
#1 Pasta Bolognese
Our kids’ favourite! They prefer pasta to spaghetti so we serve with either penne or rigatoni.
Remember – make enough so you have leftovers. We use the leftovers for another day, which is perfect for busy parents and tight schedules.
Mix your rigatoni pasta with the sauce. Follow the Spiros recipe (it’s extra tasty) by making a béchamel sauce to pour over the top, before sprinkling with cheddar cheese and baking in the oven for approx. 20 mins until the cheese bubbles. Serve with a green salad & garlic bread for a great meal that takes little to no effort.
#2 Beef Stew
Cooking time: 25 minutes prep (plus slow cooking time)
Beef stew in a slow cooker is always great, because you can prep everything the night before. Pop it in the slow cooker, and hey presto – when you get home from work, all the work is done!
The kids love it, especially if they have a chunk of fresh bread to dip in. Our tried-and-tested recipe takes 25 minutes to make (excluding the slow cooking time) and comes from Good Housekeeping, so you know it’ll taste great!
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Fajitas are one of the most brilliant back-to-school recipes when you’re up against the clock. Plus, the variations are endless – you could have chicken on Monday, beef strips on Tuesday, mince on Wednesday…
A quick, delicious tea and you can cram the veggies in too! We serve with corn on the cob on the side, but you can add just about anything, like guacamole, salsa, sour cream, cheesy potato skins, nachos – the list goes on.
#4 Stir Fry
Cooking time: under 15 minutes
If your evening’s tied up with after-school activities, a super-quick dinner should be on the menu.
Luckily, stir fry is possibly the easiest meal to make! You can pick and choose your meat, noodles, veggies and a sauce sachet from just about any supermarket, meaning there’s no thinking required – always a bonus after work!
If you do have a little time to hand, you can make it from scratch by prepping your own veg and selecting your own meats or fish.
#5 Prawn Risotto
If you’ve managed to score a night off from the kids, why not cook something delicious for two?
Our easy prawn risotto recipe is perfect for a relaxing night in – we recommend pairing with wine, of course!
Cooking time: 25 minutes
– 200g Arborio rice
– 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
– Half an onion, finely chopped
– 1 small glass of white wine
– 1 pint chicken stock
– 150g cooked king prawns
– 50g frozen peas
– 30g freshly grated parmesan cheese
– 2-3 knobs of butter
– Salt / black pepper
– 2 large pans
– Stirring utensil
#1 Heat the chicken stock in a pan to a very gentle simmer.
#2 Heat the olive oil in a large pan with a knob of butter. Gently fry the garlic and onion over a medium heat, until the onion is softened and translucent.
#3 Add the rice and coat with the olive oil, garlic and onion mix. Cook for 2 minutes.
#4 Pour in the white wine and cook until the liquid is absorbed. Once absorbed, add a ladle of the simmering stock and cook until absorbed.
#5 Continue until all of the stock is absorbed and the rice is al dente.
#6 Stir in the remaining butter, the parmesan cheese, prawns and peas and seasoning. Cook gently for a minute or so to warm the prawns and cook the peas.
#7 Serve and enjoy!
We hope you enjoy our easy back-to-school recipes! If you find one you particularly love, don’t forget to let us know in the comments below.
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