dinner recipes: toddler helping make dinner

Dinner Recipes

Sitting around the table with our loved ones to share an evening meal can seem like the stuff of dreams sometimes. Especially when it comes to mid-week dinners.

With a little forward thinking, we can cut the evening cook down to a fine art. As much as cooking can be relaxing, most of us would rather be spending time with our loved ones than with a stovetop.

Quick dinner ideas

The essence of quick dinner ideas is having most of the ingredients already to hand and a recipe that isn’t too fiddly.

Most of us have basic staples in the pantry – rice, pasta, instant noodles. But before you go pouring a jar of sauce over some spaghetti and calling it a day, take a look at some of these ideas:

Creamy carbonara – classic ham carbonara is quick and delicious, for something a little different, throw in some smoked salmon and wilt in kale or baby spinach.
Zucchini noodles – ‘zoodles’ are so quick and healthy. Cook ribbons of zucchini or leave them raw and add your choice of pesto, grated parmesan and baby tomatoes.
Pasta bake – with pasta as your base, add in leftovers, some frozen veggies, or a tin of tuna and some corn, season to taste, adorn with the cheeses of your choice (mozzarella is an excellent topping) and bake.
Lasagne pots – fresh or frozen lasagne sheets make a fantastic base for a pot of cheesy vegetables. For a delicious twist, add ricotta, peas, tomatoes and blue cheese. It’s lasagne without the layers – delicious and fast.
Instant ramen – 2-minute noodles might seem like a cop out, but they can be cheap and cheerful start to a deluxe ramen. You’ll be amazed by what adding spring onions and mushrooms can do. A knob of butter, some grated frozen veggies, or leftover meat, and change the flavour profile considerably. Top with an egg for some extra protein and sprinkle with bean sprouts for a succulent crunch.

For more information see Recipes or Parenting.