8 Delicious and Easy Dinners to Prep for the Week
Sometimes, the last thing you want to do at the end of a long day is cook dinner. Whether you’re short on time, energy or both, cooking something new every night can be a tricky task for even the most organised of people.
So, we’ve done some research and found an easier way. Whether you plan to batch-prep a bunch of meals or want some simple dishes you can whip up in a few minutes, here are eight delicious and easy dinner recipes that’ll see you through the week.
1. Homemade pizzas
Homemade pizzas are really simple to make, and are a great way to get some extra veggies into your day as you’ll get to hand-pick (and place) whatever toppings you’d like onto a base. Once you’ve topped your pizza, it’ll take around 10 minutes to cook in an oven. If you’ve got a natural gas oven, make use of your temperature control settings to grill the cheese for a few minutes before serving.
2. Baked chicken seekh
A popular dish in Middle Eastern countries, these chicken kebabs are handy for dinners on the go, or a delicious accompaniment to a few side dishes at dinnertime. To prepare, mix a marinade of whisked egg, chilli powder, salt and pepper. Mix it into chicken mince and keep in the fridge for up to two hours. Then, thread balls of chicken mince onto skewers and place them onto a lined baking tray and into the oven for 10-15 minutes.
3. Herbed turkey breast
Turkey breast is a great, lean option for those looking to prep healthy dinners – and with a few delicious spices, it’ll become one of your go-to dinner recipes. To prepare, combine butter, lemon juice, soy sauce, green onions, sage, thyme and pepper in a saucepan and boil. Then, place your turkey in a shallow roasting pan, drizzle with your herbed mixture, and bake for up to two hours.
If you have an oven powered by natural gas, you’re in luck – your turkey will be more juicy and succulent than if it was baked in an electric oven, which often dehydrates food as it cooks. Once it’s ready, carve and portion it and serve with a side salad or baked potatoes.
4. Pasta bake
This no-nonsense dish is fresh, satisfying, and can be easily tweaked to suit vegetarians, vegans or those who prefer their pasta with meat or mince. Your first step is to boil pasta, and then prepare your pasta sauce in a separate pan. Here’s where you can get creative with filling – spinach, diced zucchini, fresh tomato and basil are all great options.
Once your sauce and pasta are ready, combine them both in a deep dish, sprinkle with cheese and place in the oven. It should take around 30 minutes to cook, and can be easily portioned into serves once ready.
5. Oven baked salmon
Salmon is rich in omega-3 and is a great source of protein – and luckily for beginner chefs, you won’t need many ingredients to whip up a delicious baked salmon dish. To prepare, place a long piece of foil in a baking dish and preheat your oven. If you have a natural gas oven, you’ll only need a few minutes for your oven to be warmed and ready to go.
On the foil, place your piece of salmon and put a few lemon slices, some rosemary twigs and a drizzle of olive oil on top. Fold up the foil and bake the salmon for 15-20 minutes, and then open the top of the foil and broil for three minutes to crisp up the skin. Easy as that!
6. Sweet potato and black bean quesadillas
These cheesy and crispy Mexican staples are delicious, easy to make and a great way to pack some extra veggies into your meal at dinnertime. To start, chop your sweet potato into small cubes and boil them until tender (about eight minutes). Then, mash your sweet potato with a mix of chilli powder, cinnamon, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. In a hot pan, combine your sauce ingredients (black beans, onions and other vegetables) and sauté until soft.
Line a deep dish with tortillas and layer your sweet potato and sauce mix on top, sprinkle cheese over the entire tray, and then cook in the oven until the cheese has melted.
7. Roast chicken and vegetables
Roast chicken is a staple for experience foodies and amateur chefs alike. It’s also an incredibly versatile dish – as once it’s been cooked, your chicken can be used for a variety of different dishes or leftover-style meals. To prep your chicken and vegetables together, line your roasting tray with your chopped vegetables and drizzle with olive oil and garlic. Next, season your chicken with spices and place on top of the vegetables. Adding slices of lemon and extra herbs to the top of your chicken is a great way to enhance its flavour.
You’ll want to cook your chicken for about 45 minutes, or until it’s roasted throughout and has a nice crispy skin on top. Those using ovens powered by natural gas will often find the best results here, as electric ovens require frequent food rotation and tend to dehydrate food instead of making it tender and succulent. Once it’s ready, cover your chicken in foil and let it sit for a few minutes before carving.
8. Eggplant lasagne
If you’re searching for a low-carb dinner option, this lasagne that replaces pasta sheets with thin slices of roasted eggplant is delicious and sure to satisfy. Start by roasting your eggplant in the oven, and then making your tomato-based sauce with a mix of mushrooms, oregano, diced tomatoes and garlic over a low heat. For a white sauce, mix ricotta, parmesan, an egg and salt and pepper in a separate bowl. Then, layer your eggplant slices and alternate each sauce for each layer. Bake for 30 minutes, then let it sit for a few minutes and garnish with fresh herbs.