We all know how it is. After a long day packed with activities ranging from work crises, catch-up drinks with friends, a gruelling workout, or having to sit through nightmarish rush-hour traffic –the very last thing that you are willing to do, is cook a decent dinner for yourself.
In these moments, it’s so easy to pick up your phone and order UberEats. While this might be the right solution after a particularly challenging day, it isn’t sustainable in the long term is it?! When you’re constantly on the go, it can help to have a reliable collection of easy recipes to turn to. When compiling your collection, it can help to simplify recipes down to ingredients, time, and simplicity. Does it contain staple ingredients that are almost always stocked in your cupboards? How long will it take you to prepare the recipe? Around half an hour and under is the ideal. Finally, you’ll want your recipe to be so simple, you could prepare it on muscle-memory alone. Whether your day was jam-packed or you’re just feeling burn-out, here are ten easy and quick meal ideas that will jumpstart your recipe repertoire.
Stove-top Macaroni and Cheese
Starting with a classic, macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. Although certain varieties of Mac and Cheese may call for fancy ingredients, the original recipe requires nothing more than the pantry staples of butter, milk, flour, cheddar cheese, salt, pepper, and macaroni spirals. This recipe from Genius Kitchen only requires the basics and is ready within half an hour.
Chipotle Chicken Fajitas
This next recipe from Country Living is all about adding spice and variety to your diet in the quickest way possible. It combines household staples like chicken, capsicums, onions, garlic, and mushrooms, with more zesty and exotic ingredients like cumin, lime juice, and chili powder. Best of all, prep and cook time combined is under half an hour.
Roasted Parmesan Chicken and Tomatoes
In another recipe by Country Living, this dish refines the home-cooking favourite that is Chicken Parmesan. By combining the chicken with ripe tomatoes that can be roasted on the same sheet pan, you minimize clean-up and cooking-time.
Egg-drop Noodle soup
In a dish that transports you straight to the Far East, you’ll get the combined goodness of eggs and fragrant soup made with ginger and soy sauce, in only twenty minutes. Although traditionally made without noodles, their presence provides added texture to this comforting dish.
If you enjoyed the Chipotle Chicken recipe, you’re in luck, as this dish features the same heart and spice in a recipe that is different, but still flavourful. Just swap out chicken for steak, add a whole lot of pepper, and you’re in business.
For all the fish-lover’s out there, this recipe is the perfect flavour hit of flaky fish and Mexican zest and spice from the lime juice and cayenne pepper. Although it has a total prep and cook time of 35 minutes, it tastes so good, you may just be willing to push the boat out on this one.
General Tso’s Chicken
A delicious stir-fry take on the fried-chicken classic, this recipe is healthy and flavourful thanks to the use of hoisin sauce, red pepper flakes, and garlic.
Vegan Thai green curry
This recipe is ideal for all the vegetarians and vegans out there, who are looking to add spice and variety to their recipe repertoire. With traditional Thai ingredients like coconut milk, potatoes, and coriander, along with tofu as a meat substitute, this recipe contains the best of both worlds.
Made using nothing more than egg yolks, parmesan cheese, pancetta, spaghetti, garlic, and olive oil – this dish is ready ten minutes and is perfect for impressing or unwinding with at the end of a long day.
For those days when you’re truly exhausted, it’s time to return to the ultimate lazy dish – the humble sandwich. But there’s no need to be stingy – this Reuben sandwich from Delish is tasty, while containing simple ingredients like swiss cheese and corned beef, and a total prep and cook time of 15 minutes!
As you can see from the short selection above, tasty dishes and short prep times are not exclusive to each other. Feel encouraged to examine new cultures and flavour profiles for meal ideas that are both quick and easy, while also being flavourful. Because no matter what area of the world you are from, everyone loves a meal that tastes like it took a five-star chef two hours to cook, while in reality only taking half an hour to make by a complete amateur.
Written by Vicky Evans
When she is not thinking about her next overseas trip, Vicky can be found with her head buried deep in a book, writing, or binging on Netflix. Her obsessions include adorable cats, interior design, and indulging in ALL the sweet things.