Approx 580 words. 3 mins to read.

School’s out. The kids are at home. And on top of everything else you have to think about this week, there’s the added pressure of meal-planning. But cooking wholesome meals for the family shouldn’t be a chore.

In fact, half the battle is deciding what to cook – which is why I’ve done the thinking for you. To save you time, hassle and unnecessary stress, I’ve put together seven dinner recipes that are all easy, budget-friendly and ready in 30 minutes or less! From tacos or shakshuka to chicken and chips, these dishes will be popular with kids and adults alike.


Recipe: Storecupboard falafel with couscous salad

Ready in 25 minutes
Feeds 4

Looking for some vegetarian inspiration to kick off the week? Have a rummage in your storecupboard to make these easy falafel, using dried spices, tinned chick peas and a little plain flour. Simply pulse all the ingredients together, then fry until crisp. They’re served here with a 10-minute couscous and vegetable salad.

Tip: Make extra falafel for stuffing inside wholemeal pitta breads for lunch the next day.


Recipe: Salmon linguine

Ready in 30 minutes
Feeds 4

I often turn to this super-easy bowl of salmon linguine when I need a quick and satisfying meal. All you need are five ingredients – salmon, linguine, sun-dried tomato pesto, cherry tomatoes and oil – then it really is a flash in the pan.

Tip: For some extra veg, stir through 150g wilted spinach at the end, or serve with your choice of green veg on the side.


Recipe: Green goddess shakshuka

Ready in 25 minutes
Feeds 4

You may have had shakshuka before, but just wait until you try this gorgeous green version. It’s low in saturated fat, packed full of veg and looks impressive served in the pan. Enjoy with a few slices of toasted wholemeal bread for dipping in the runny baked eggs.


Recipe: Jerk-style prawns with rice and beans

Ready in 30 minutes
Feeds 4

Move over jerk chicken – these jerk-style prawns might be even better, served with kidney beans, peas and creamy coconut rice. It makes a satisfying dinner and uses mostly storecupboard staples.


Recipe: Fish finger tacos with tartar sauce

Ready in 25 minutes
Feeds 8

Tacos are always fun to make, and these ones are based on a classic British combo: fish, tartar sauce and mushy peas. Put a twist on Fish Friday and give them a go.

Tip: If the kids don’t like tartar sauce, serve them with ketchup instead. This recipe makes enough to feed eight people, so you can half the amounts if you’re feeding a family of four. Or, save any leftovers for lunch the next day!


Recipe: Tikka roast chicken and chips

Ready in 30 minutes
Feeds 4

Chicken and chips! You can’t beat it. This winning meal sees tikka-spiced chicken breasts served with Co-op American fries and a side of greens. Yum. Plus, it’s low in fat and saturates.

Tip: Swap the fries for homemade sweet potato wedges – they’ll count towards your 5 a day!


Recipe: Chicken with olives

Ready in 30 minutes
Feeds 2 (adjust quantities to feed 4 people)

Double the quantities of this roast chicken traybake to feed the whole family. The best bit is the garlicky lemon dressing, which really adds a new dimension to the dish. It’s brilliant – and so simple!

Aoife Mckernan
Assistant Diet and Health Manager

Other food inspiration you might like:

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Are these “easy and thrifty” meals really meant to be accessible to families, who may be living on 80% of their minimum wage salary, whilst trying to do the best for their families. Come on parkrun! Let’s get real!


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