Easy Recipe Ideas For Busy School Schedules 

Trista - September 14, 2020

With everyone going back to school and our schedules filling up – it’s time to start thinking of easy and tasty meal solutions. We’re going to give you great ideas for everything from school lunches to quick dinners. Easy doesn’t mean it isn’t going to taste good – it just means that you won’t have to stress about spending hours in the kitchen. You’ll also find out some fantastic meals that can be made in bulk so you can do some excellent meal preparation. As our schedules start to fill up, meals are something that we need to be quick, affordable, and delicious. Check out these easy recipe ideas for busy school schedules.

Try peanut butter overnight oats with only 5 ingredients and 5-minute prep!

Instead of just serving up a plain bowl of oats in the morning, get creative, and make something like peanut butter overnight oats. You can prep this in the evening, which means there won’t be a massive rush in the morning. Buy a few glass jars or containers, and you can make a few servings that will last for a few days worth of breakfasts. You can make different variations like carrot cake overnight oats or a decadent chocolate version too. 

Try this recipe:

  • 1/2 cup Dairy-Free Milk
  • 3/4 Tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 1/2 cup Rolled Oats
  • Peanut Butter
  • Favorite Sweetener (maple syrup, honey, etc.)

Add all ingredients to a small jar or bowl (small mason jars are a great option) and let sit overnight in the refrigerator!

You can play with formula as needed, adding more dairy-free milk for wetter oats, or adding more chia seeds (or oats) for thicker, more pudding-like oats.

A breakfast casserole is an excellent option if you want to have your breakfast prepared for the week ahead. Shutterstock.

Instead of eating cereal, make yourself an easy breakfast casserole that can be prepared the night before…

If oats don’t take your fancy, but you like the concept of preparing a meal to eat instead of cereal – why not make a breakfast casserole? All you need is some pastry, some fillings, and an ovenproof dish.

You can add things like an egg mixture, sausages, and onions and then transfer this to your dish lined with your rolled out pastry. Pop it in the oven the night before and divide it up into portions for the week.

Try this recipe:

  • 1 pound pork sausages 
  • 6 large eggs 
  • 2 cups whole milk 
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp ground mustard 
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Brown the pork sausages in a skillet and chop them up into small or large pieces – this part is completely up to you. Next, you’ll beat the eggs, milk, salt, and mustard together in a bowl and then finally add in the cheese and cooked sausage. 

Pour the combined mixture into a casserole dish, cover, and leave in the fridge overnight or for 8 hours. Bake it uncovered at 350° for 40 minutes in the oven.

Instead of just having eggs and toast in the morning, mix it up and create a side that you can store for your eggs. Shutterstock.

Slice up some pumpkin and sausage as the perfect side to your eggs in the morning!

Suppose you do have some time in the morning to cook and enjoy eggs – this next one is for you! Make a side to have with your egg instead of putting it on a slice of toast – this will be a lot healthier and more filling! 

Prepare a mixture of roasted pumpkin and sausage pieces the night before. Dice it up and store it in an airtight container. All you have to do is fry or boil your egg and heat the mixture you have prepared in the morning. 

Try this recipe: 

  • A packet of diced pumpkin 
  • 1 pound beef or pork sausage
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar 
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Space out your diced pumpkin and sliced sausage in a casserole dish. Sprinkle over the 1 tbsp of brown sugar and then drizzle with olive oil. After this, use your salt and pepper to season the dish. Roast it at 400° for 40 minutes or until the pumpkin is delicious and soft. 

Yogurt parfaits are full of all the things we love the most about breakfast – yogurt, fruit, and muesli! Shutterstock.

You can create the most delicious yogurt parfait to enjoy in the mornings by following this simple layered recipe…

It’s the best when you get to visit a hotel, and you wake up to a glorious breakfast that includes yogurt parfaits! Why not make some yourself? You can also store this just like you do with overnight oats. 

Purchase some glass containers and create layers of yogurt, your favorite fruits, granola, or muesli. You can also add a drizzle of honey when you serve it. This recipe works as a quick breakfast; you can prepare it beforehand or in no time at all in the morning. 

Try this recipe: 

  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • ½ cup muesli or granola 
  • 6 strawberries washed and sliced  
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • 1 tbsp honey 

Spoon in a few tablespoons of Greek yogurt into a jar, then sprinkle a layer of muesli or granola. Add a layer of strawberries and blueberries. Do this repeatedly until your ingredients are finished, or your jar is full. Drizzle honey over the top of the mixture when you’re finished – it’s now time to enjoy your breakfast creation!

Change your usual pancakes to a slightly healthier option by adding oats and a banana to the mixture. Shutterstock.

The ultimate pancakes for breakfast are made with oats and banana – are you ready to try this tomorrow morning? 

Pancakes are the breakfast of champions, and the best thing is that they don’t take much time at all – preparation or cooking! If you’re looking for something a bit healthier than your ordinary pancakes, try out banana oatmeal pancakes instead. 

All you need is your pancake mix, a banana, and half a cup of rolled oats. It is as simple as that. Pancakes are also a great idea for breakfast on the go – these pancakes are tasty enough even without syrup. 

Try this recipe: 

  • 1 banana
  • ½ cup rolled oats 
  • Pancake mix 

Start by mashing up the banana in a bowl and then adding your rolled oats and pancake mix. Stir these up and heat your pan. You’ll cook them just like you do regular pancakes – take them off the heat and garnish with whatever takes your fancy that morning! 

Smoothies are made for on-the-go people, and the best thing is you can put all your leftovers in your blender. Shutterstock.

Serve up a smoothie for breakfast by using whatever leftover fruit you have inside your refrigerator…

Smoothies are one of the best ideas for a busy school schedule for you and your family. You can make this recipe the night before or quickly in the morning. Smoothies work so well for breakfast as you can use fruits, oats, and yogurt. 

Throw all your favorite things into a blender, blitz it up, and pour it into a glass bottle for each family member. Smoothies also keep you full for a long time so that everyone will be happy instead of hangry. 

Try this recipe: 

  • 1 cup strawberries 
  • 1 cup plain yogurt 
  • A banana
  • 1 tbsp honey 

Remember, with smoothies you can make them with whatever you have leftover in the fridge. But for a strawberry smoothie, use a banana and some plain yogurt. You can also add honey to make it sweeter if strawberries aren’t that sweet during the season. Blend it all up before pouring it into a glass or a jar to serve. 

Cereal bars are an easy snack to make over the weekend that you can grab in case of a busy morning with no time for breakfast. Shutterstock.

Making your own cereal bars is easy, and all you need is Cheerios, rice cereal, and peanut butter!

What about some cereal bars? Even better, you don’t have to bake these! Cereal bars are fun to make on the weekend with the kids to enjoy for the week ahead. Pick your favorite cereal and get started. 

For no-bake cereal bars, use something like peanut butter as the binding ingredient. Then throw in some sugar and corn syrup and mix this on a hot stove until dissolved. Take it off the heat, add your cereal, and spread out the mixture in a baking dish. Cool it in the fridge, slice, and enjoy!

Try this recipe: 

  • 4 cups Cheerios 
  • 4 cups Crisp Rice Cereal 
  • 2 cups light corn syrup
  • 1 ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 ½ cup peanut butter
  • 1 ¾ tsp vanilla 

Bring the corn syrup and sugar to the boil in a saucepan and then remove from the heat. You’ll then stir in your peanut butter and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mix your two cereal and then pour the syrup mixture over this and then toss to make sure it is coated evenly. Grease a baking pan and spread out the mixture before putting it in the fridge to set.

As we move towards pumpkin spice season, take inspiration from this recipe and put it into your pancake mixture. Shutterstock.

Gingerbread pancakes are the best, and you can make them by just adding some cinnamon and cloves to your usual pancake mix! 

Now that we are moving towards pumpkin spice season – add this to your easy recipe list for breakfast: gingerbread pancakes! It’s not quite pumpkin spice, but it has the same seasonal element to it. 

You can use your usual pancake mix but add extra flavoring with molasses, cinnamon, ginger, and ground cloves. This seasonal treat will bring a big smile to your face on a busy morning with the family. 

Try this recipe: 

  • Pancake mix 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp ginger 
  • ½ ground gloves 

Mix this all together in a large bowl and then heat your pan or pancake tray. Pour on the mixture and cook as usual. If you have gingerbread man molds, you can place these in the pan and pour the mixture into the mold to cook in an adorable and festive shape. 

Lunchtime can be a tricky one when you have young kids – try cheering them up with rainbow-inspired food. Shutterstock.

Bring a bit of color to your morning routine with these rainbow fruit skewers that are delicious and nutritious! 

Thinking you also need some easy ideas for your child’s packed school lunch? We have you covered for that as well. Kids can be fussy, and it’s hard to please them – but with these snacks, they’ll be happy and full! 

What about some rainbow skewers? Kids love colorful things, and that includes their food as well! Take a wooden skewer stick and slide on prepared and cut fruit like strawberries, melons, mangoes, and even blueberries.

Try this recipe: 

  • 1 punnet blueberries 
  • Another punnet strawberries 
  • A third punnet raspberries 
  • 1 pineapple 
  • 3 kiwi fruits 
  • 1 orange melon 

Not all of these fruits will be in season but find an assortment of rainbow-colored fruit, and you can also use them in this recipe. Slice each fruit into a cube shape and lay them out in colors. Use a wooden skewer stick and place the fruit on it in order of the rainbow colors. Lay these out for breakfast or keep them in the fridge for a few days worth of snacks. 

Providing a dip to mask the flavor of vegetables is a genius idea — it gets your kids to eat healthy at school. Shutterstock.

This carrot and cucumber snack is the easiest and quickest meal you’ll ever eat!

Kids aren’t the biggest vegetable eaters by choice, but they won’t be able to resist this next option. Make a homemade hummus using chickpeas or buy a store-bought version if you are short on time. 

Get a small container to fill up with hummus to put in their lunch box. Slice up some carrots and cucumber so they can dip it into the hummus at lunchtime. This recipe is a much healthier version of chip and dip and can be prepared in advance!

Try this recipe: 

  • A packet of carrots 
  • 1 large cucumber 
  • 1 store-bought hummus container

Start by peeling your large cucumber and then slicing it into quarters. You will then slice up smaller pieces of cucumber into long strips. You can do this with the carrots as well. Some grocery stores sell these ingredients pre-cut if you want it to be even easier. We recommend buying hummus in store as this will save you much time and it tastes just as good as homemade. 

Yogurt parfaits are also a tasty idea for lunch if you don’t have them for breakfast. Shutterstock.

Prepare another version of the most delicious yogurt parfait to gobble up at lunchtime with chocolate chips!

If they aren’t having the yogurt parfait for breakfast – this recipe can function as a great lunch option. Put it in a container with all the delicious layers and feast on it during their lunch break. 

Yogurt contains many good things for children, and it’s a lot more filling for them with other bits added like fruit and granola. It can also serve as a yummy “dessert” in their lunchbox instead of chocolate or sweets. 

Try this recipe: 

  • 1 cup strawberry yogurt 
  • ¼ cup of chocolate chips 
  • ½ cup granola 
  • 6 sliced strawberries 

This recipe is a slight variation of the previous yogurt parfait, and you can do anything with it. Instead of using plain yogurt and honey, use strawberry yogurt and chocolate chips instead! It will give it an added sweetness and still be filling. You will put everything in layers until you run out of the ingredients. 

Crisps are an easy snack option, but these crisps are healthy, delicious, and easy to make! Shutterstock.

Your life is about to be changed with these two-ingredient apple crisps that are baked and ready in no time!

A packet of crisps is an easy option to add to your child’s lunch bag – but it isn’t the best for them. We understand that children love crisps – so here’s an idea that is delicious, healthy, and a quick snack option. 

Make spice apple crisps. All you need to do is cut your apples into thin slices, throw on a cinnamon’s sprinkling, and roast them in the oven for an hour. When you pull them out, you’ll have perfect apple crisps. 

Try this recipe: 

  • 4 apples (you can decide on what type)
  • Cinnamon 

This two-ingredient recipe could not get any easier or more delicious. Thinly slice your apples and spread them out on a baking pan. Sprinkle some cinnamon over the apple slices. Bake these in the oven for an hour at 280 degrees for 40 minutes and then enjoy!

Apples are a great ingredient to add to muffins as it provides a naturally sweet element to the snack. Shutterstock.

Muffins are one of the best lunch snacks, and these are made with delicious and seasonal apples. 

Apples are terrific for providing a naturally sweet element to food – that’s why we love these apple and sultana muffins. Muffins are the perfect thing to make when you have a busy schedule, as one batch will last a while. 

Make your muffins on the Sunday before the school craze starts, and you’ll have plenty of snacks to add into your little one’s lunch bag. The combination of apples and sultanas will make the muffins sweet and tasty. 

Try this recipe: 

  • 2 cups of sugar 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup oil 
  • 1 tbsp vanilla 
  • 3 cups flour 
  • 1 tsp baking soda 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 3 cups peeled, cored, and diced apples 
  • Brown sugar for the topping

Start by creaming together the eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla. Once this is done, whisk together the rest of the dry ingredients. Add these two mixtures together before adding in the apple pieces. Fill up paper liners in a cupcake tray to about ¾ way. Sprinkle brown sugar on the top and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. 

Cheesy meatballs are always delicious, and finding them in your lunchbox is the best treat! Shutterstock.

Cheesy meatballs are the perfect snack to enjoy hot or cold, and they’re easy to freeze and store for later too. 

What about some cheesy meatballs for lunch? Your kids will go crazy for this at lunchtime, and so will you. It’s an easy meal for the whole family to enjoy throughout the week in their lunches that you can prepare in advance. 

Make your meatballs with mince, cheese and onions. Once these are complete, wrap them in your favorite type of dough and let them cook. Keep these stored in an airtight container, and they’ll last throughout the week. 

Try this recipe: 

  • 3 slices white bread 
  • ½ cup milk 
  • 500g ground beef 
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • Salt to taste 
  • 1 tsp dried basil and oregano 

Place the bread into the milk and let this soak while you mix up the rest. Add all of the meatball ingredients into a bowl and mix. Add in the soaked bread and milk as well. Roll out your meatballs and cook them up in a frying pan! You can finish this off by adding even more cheese to them or a homemade tomato sauce. 

Meatloaf is perfect for dinner and is an easy dish to make if you are on a tight schedule during the week. Shutterstock.

Make yourself some meatball muffins to easily pack in your work lunchbox or for your kids at school. 

From meatballs to meatloaf – this timeless classic is ideal for lunchtime snacks made by on-the-go parents. Instead of making meatloaf, why not make meat muffins that are the perfect size to fit into a school lunch bag? 

It’s just another great idea of a meal that can easily be made in advance and stored for ease throughout the week. Even though this is an easy dish, your children will be so happy when they sink their teeth into this treat at lunchtime. 

Try this recipe: 

  • 1 pound ground turkey or beef
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs or oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A few handfuls of leftover fridge vegetables

Simply mix all your ingredients in a bowl together and then press the mixture into the muffin tins. You’ll manage to get about 10 meatloaf muffins out of this. Add a dollop of ketchup to the top of each one; cook for 30-35 minutes in an oven at 350 degrees. 

Mason jar salads are the way of the future and the perfect addition to kids’ lunch boxes — and yours too. Shutterstock.

Mason Jar salads are easy to pre-make and are a very healthy and delicious lunch to take anywhere you go. 

A mason jar salad is the way to go this year for your kids and you as well! Your kids will have so much fun shaking up the jar as they get ready to tuck into the goodness inside the container from all the nutrient-packed ingredients. 

You can pre-make this the night before or even prepare a few at a time. Add things like lettuce, spinach, cooked chicken pieces, cherry tomatoes, avocado slices, and even add a hard-boiled egg into the mix. 

Try this recipe: 

  • 1 cup shredded lettuce 
  • ½ cup halved cherry tomatoes 
  • 1 sliced avocado 
  • ⅓ cup of corn 
  • 2 grated carrots 

Ensure your mason jar is clean and then start putting each of the ingredients in layers on top of each other. To keep your avocado fresh, either squeeze some lemon juice over it or wait to add it when you eat it. You can then add your favorite salad dressing to it before shaking it or mixing it at lunchtime. 

Mac and cheese is so quick to make, but how to take it for lunch? Make it into a muffin, of course. Shutterstock.

Serve up mac and cheese in muffin form as the perfect snack to eat during the day!

Mac and cheese is a real favorite for kids and adults alike! It’s one of the quickest meals you can make in its original form and even faster when you make mac and cheese muffins in paper liners. 

All you need to do is create the filling, cook the pasta, and put them into the muffin tins to bake away in the oven. This recipe is the perfect way to snack on this classic dish at lunchtime without needing to take a big container of it. 

Try this recipe: 

  • 300g Macaroni 
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 25g flour
  • 500ml milk
  • 2-3 cups grated mature cheddar 
  • Salt and pepper to taste

If you already have a macaroni cheese recipe you swear by, you can use this instead and just put the mixture into the muffin tins to bake in the oven! Make sure you cook the macaroni first and then make the white sauce to add to it before putting your combined mixture into the greased muffin tins. 

Pizza is one of our favorite meals, and perfect mini bite-size versions are great for busy school schedules. Shutterstock.

Make some mini pizza bites using tortillas and your favorite toppings in just a few easy steps! 

Kids love pizza. Well, we all do, amiright? Maybe because pizza is easy to make yourself! You can make some delicious mini flatbreads with the help of some store-bought canned crescent dough. You’ll also need some pizza sauce and toppings. 

These don’t even need to be reheated, which means they make a great lunch option. You can ask your kids to pick out their favorite toppings and add them to these flatbreads before you bake them. 

Try this recipe: 

  • 3 tortilla 
  • Marinara sauce 
  • Cheddar cheese 
  • Toppings of your choice!

Cut out circle shapes from your tortilla and then place these on a baking sheet. Place several spoonfuls of marinara sauce on top of the tortillas and then sprinkle on some grated cheese. You can then add whatever toppings your heart desires to these delicious pizza bites. Bake them in the oven until they’re crisp. Enjoy! 

Dinner time is made easy with these simple and delicious zucchini slices that you can make quickly. Shutterstock.

These zucchini slices can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or even dinner – it’s as simple as slicing up your ingredients and putting it in the oven to cook!

Now for dinner! Dinner can be quite a mission if you have a whole family to feed but don’t have the time. That’s where these quick meals will come in handy, and you can even freeze them to use again later in the week. 

Zucchini slices are delicious and nutritious! It may be a humble dish, but it is packed with flavor and is super easy to make. All you need is cheese, grated zucchini, eggs, flour, and another addition like bacon. Pop it in the oven, and your dinner will be ready in no time. 

Try this recipe: 

  • 1 can crescent rolls
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 4 cups chopped zucchini
  • 3 eggs
  • Herbs
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese

Grease a baking pan and then press the crescent roll into the pan. Fry up your chopped zucchini and onion in a pan with some butter. In a separate bowl, beat your eggs and then stir in spices. Add small amounts of the zucchini and onion mix to the eggs and mix them. Finally, add in the cheese. Pour it into your baking tray and cook in the oven for 25 minutes at 400 degrees. 

Soup freezes so well, and you can defrost it quickly to serve up in time for dinner with a slice of toasted bread. Shutterstock.

Here is the easiest butternut soup recipe you’ll ever find and one of the most delicious to make at home!

As you start to head into the chilly months, a great dinner idea is soup. There are many tasty soups out there that you can make, and if you have a slow cooker – your job will be made even more straightforward. 

Soups also freeze well. You can make a whole batch and freeze them in smaller portion bags that you can defrost if the day gets away from you, and you need a quick solution for dinnertime with the family. Toast up some of your favorite bread as well! 

Try this recipe: 

  • 2 pounds pre-cut butternut
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

It couldn’t get easier than this (apart from buying soup from the store). Throw all your ingredients except for the cream into a pot, bring it to the boil and let it simmer away for 35 minutes. You’ll then use your handheld blender to blitz it into a smooth soup-like consistency. After this, stir in the cream and bring it to the simmer again. It’s now ready to eat or to freeze!

Mac and cheese is a fantastic option if you are short on time for dinner preparation. Shutterstock.

We love that there are so many ways to serve up mac and cheese – simply add a few extras, and it becomes a whole new dish to enjoy!

Like Mac and Cheese muffins are good options for easy lunches; mac and cheese is excellent for easy dinners. This simple dish requires only a few ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. 

This recipe will save you time in terms of grocery shopping and cooking. If you need something extra to go with your mac and cheese – use leftovers in your fridge like sausages, onion, or even a mince mixture that needs to be used. 

We shared a mac and cheese recipe with you earlier, which you can use again for this one! For this, it will just be different because instead of cooking it in muffin tins, you’ll bake it in a casserole dish. You can also add extras such as a mince and onion mixture to your cheese and pasta mix.

A bowl of fried rice is probably the definition of comfort food, and it won’t take much time at all. Shutterstock.

A bowl of fried rice is the perfect option if you haven’t had time to go grocery shopping this week!

Who doesn’t love a bowl of fried rice? Fried rice falls into the same category as mac and cheese. You most likely already have the ingredients in your kitchen so that you can whip it up in no time at all. 

Fried rice is also something that you can add easily to – add bits of onion, peppers, or even pieces of cooked bacon. This recipe is comfort food to the max, and it’s also a one-pot dish, so you save time on recipes. 

Try this recipe: 

  • Cooked rice
  • Eggs
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Garlic
  • Soy Sauce
  • Butter

Start by scrambling your eggs and then transfer this to a new plate or bowl. Then, saute your vegetables and garlic until they are soft. Push the veggies to one side of the pan and then add butter and your rice to the remaining space to cook this up. Mix it all and then remove from the heat before adding your eggs, green onion, and soy sauce (to flavor). 

Lasagna can serve you well for many meals, and you can also freeze it if you want to make a large batch. Shutterstock.

Beef lasagna is a winner in the kitchen because you can make a lot of it at once, and you can even freeze it if you can’t eat it all in one go. 

This next dish might not seem like an easy one because it does take a lot of preparation and cooking time – but once it’s done, it will feed you for quite a few meals. We’re talking about beef lasagna. 

Well, you could make any lasagna for that matter! It freezes so well, too, and is the perfect dinner meal when paired with a fresh side salad. It’s a wholesome meal that you’ll love to come home to and eat.

Try this recipe: 

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small diced onion
  • Herbs (oregano or basil)
  • Salt to taste
  • A jar marinara sauce
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 jar white/cheese sauce
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 12 lasagna sheets
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese

Cook up your ground beef, herbs, onion, and salt in a pan until it is cooked through. Add your marinara sauce and water and mix. Bring it to the boil. Get your casserole dish ready to start layering up your lasagna. Put a layer of the mince mix first. Add a few of the lasagna sheets on top of this. Then pour over some white sauce and sprinkle a portion of the two slices of cheese over this. Repeat this until you finish your mixture. Bake it in the oven for an hour at 375 degrees. 

Spaghetti Bolognese is a timeless Italian dish that we love and can make in just half an hour. Shutterstock.

If you have unused spaghetti, mix up this very simple spaghetti Bolognese with ingredients you probably already have at home. 

We all love a bowl of pasta – especially when it is spaghetti. This easy dish will make the whole family happy, and you can cook it up in just half an hour when you get home and store the mince for other meals. 

Spaghetti won’t store as well since it involves pasta, but the great news is that pasta only takes about 10 minutes to cook, so you can quickly cook up a fresh patch of pasta just before you want to serve dinner.

Try this recipe: 

  • Cooked spaghetti 
  • 1 tin chopped tomato 
  • 500g ground beef 
  • Tomato paste 
  • 1 onion 
  • 1 garlic clove 
  • ½ cup cream 

Pour some olive oil into a large pot and cook the ground beef until there are only a few bits of pink left. Add in the onion and the garlic and mix it all. You can season it with salt or herbs of your choosing. Add the chopped tomato and tomato paste. Mix this all in and let it simmer. Remove it from the heat before adding the cream and serving it on top of the spaghetti. 

There are so many options for quick dinners if you have leftover mince mixture from a previous meal. Shutterstock.

Nachos are one of the best dishes because it is all things you can buy from the store without making any of it yourself!

If you’re looking for an idea of what to use your leftover mince mixture for… look no further than beef nachos! This recipe is the ultimate fast dish that you can put together in just a few minutes if you have your protein prepared. 

All you need are nacho chips, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, and salsa. Place the chips on an oven dish and top with grated cheese. Let this melt in the oven and then dish it up for everyone to enjoy and help themselves. 

Try this recipe: 

  • 1 packet nacho chips 
  • As much cheese as you want 
  • 1 tub pre-made guacamole 
  • 1 tub sour cream
  • A jar of salsa (whichever heat floats your boat)

Turn on your oven’s grill setting and start to layout the nacho chips on a baking tray. Sprinkle as much cheese as you want over the nachos and then put them in the oven. Once the cheese has melted, take them out of the oven and dish them onto a plate to serve. Put all your toppings out on the dinner table, and you are ready to feast. 

Make your burgers and turn it into a fun family dinner where everyone makes their own creation. Shutterstock.

Build your own burger with just a few ingredients and let everyone make their meal for the night. 

Another fantastic option made with mince if you’re looking for a quick dinner is some basic beef burgers. You can make the patties yourself quite easily, or you can buy pre-made burgers that you can fry up on the grill or the pan. 

Slice up some buns, put some butter on, and you’re good to go. Top it all off with some onion slices, sliced tomato, and some lettuce for garnish. Put out an assortment of condiments, and dinner will go down a treat. 

Try this recipe: 

  • 1 box pre-made burgers (chicken/beef or vegetarian)
  • Burger buns 
  • Butter
  • Onion slices 
  • Tomato slices 
  • Lettuce 
  • Condiment assortment 

You can make your own patties but if you’re short on time, use store-bought burgers. Fry these up in a pan and then place them onto a buttered burger bun. Put all your garnishes on the table and let everyone have fun creating their own burger. This recipe is a fantastic idea for a weekend meal or if your kids have friends over. 

Pasta bakes are a great time saver dinner and will make sure everyone is full after dinner. Shutterstock.

Fill your tummy with a delicious pasta bake made with shredded chicken and bacon for an easy dinner option. 

Pasta bakes are a fantastic option for a busy school schedule family and will fill everyone to the brim, so you don’t even need to spend time figuring out what to serve them for dessert. How to make it? 

There are many different options, but all you need is some cooked pasta, toppings like ham or bacon, and a delicious white sauce to pour in between the pasta. Place it in the oven and let that beautiful crisp happen. 

Try this recipe: 

  • 1 packet fusili pasta 
  • 1 jar tomato sauce 
  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken 
  • ½ cup cooked bacon pieces 
  • Salt to taste

Pre-cook your fusili pasta and then in a pot combine the pasta, tomato sauce, shredded chicken, and bacon. Season it with salt and pepper and some herbs if you’d like. Pre-heat your oven and then pour the mixture into a casserole dish, and spread it out evenly. Cook this in the oven for about 25-30 minutes or until it starts to crisp on top. 

Make your spinach and ricotta cannelloni with leftover lasagna sheets, so they don’t go to waste. Shutterstock.

Spinach and ricotta cannelloni is so quick and easy, and it’s a great way to use up some of your leftover lasagna sheets. 

If you decided to make the beef lasagna we spoke about earlier – you might find that you have quite a few leftover lasagna sheets. Instead of letting these go to waste, use them to make your spinach and ricotta cannelloni. 

You’ll need to cook up the lasagna sheets as usual and make your spinach and ricotta filling. Place a spoonful on one end of the lasagna sheet and roll it up before placing it into an oven dish. Once it’s all filled up, pour over a delicious marinara sauce and bake in the oven.

Try this recipe: 

  • 10 lasagna sheets (cooked and cut in half)
  • A 200g bag of spinach 
  • 1 ricotta tub 
  • 1 jar Marinara sauce 

Start by wilting your spinach in hot water and then draining it completely. Chop up the wilted spinach finely and then mix it in a bowl with the ricotta. Layout your halved lasagna sheets and place a dollop of the spinach ricotta mixture on the one end and then roll it up into a tube. Place this on your casserole dish. Do this until your lasagna sheets are finished. Pour the marinara sauce over the rolled-up cannelloni and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. 

Dessert is also one of the most important meals of the day, and there are some effortless but delicious ideas out there. Shutterstock.

Chocolate Oreo truffles are a quick treat you can enjoy at home – you don’t need to go to a patisserie to enjoy this decadence! 

You didn’t think we’d forget about easy dessert recipes, did you? Not all of us have the time to create a Master Chef worthy dessert, but these simple and time-saving desserts will hit the spot for you and your family. 

Truffles are a lot easier than they may seem, and they can be the perfect bite of something sweet after dinner. Try mixing cream cheese and crushed Oreos in a bowl, making them into balls, and coating them with melted white chocolate. 

Try this recipe: 

  • 1 packet Oreos 
  • 1 tub cream cheese 
  • ½ cup icing sugar 
  • 1 slab white chocolate 

Crush your Oreos in a ziplocked bag and then add them to a bowl with cream cheese. Mix this and then sift your icing sugar into the mixture. Mix and then roll it into bite-size balls. Let these set in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Melt your white chocolate in the microwave and then pour it into a bowl. Dip your Oreo truffles into the white chocolate and then place on a baking tray to set in the fridge until eating time. 

Oreos make an excellent base for desserts, and you can even just cover them in melted chocolate to make them more delicious. Shutterstock.

Chocolate-covered Oreos are a great dessert if you have to whip one up quickly for dinner guests or hungry kids on the weekend!

And since we’re on the topic of Oreos… there are many ways to use them for your dessert. Oreos are great on their own with a glass of milk – but you can take them to the next level. 

Coat them in your favorite chocolate – white, milk, or dark. Simply melt the chocolate, dip your Oreos, and then let them set on a baking sheet in the fridge. Once they’ve hardened, you can dish them out with a glass of milk to enjoy. 

Try this recipe: 

  • 1 packet Oreos 
  • 1 slab chocolate (white, milk or dark)

Melt your chocolate of choice – or all three (we aren’t going to judge you!). Take an Oreo, one by one, and coat it all over in the chocolate. Place the Oreo onto a baking tray with baking paper on it. Place the baking tray with the Oreos on the fridge to set. Take them out of the fridge 10 minutes before you want to eat them and serve with a glass of milk! 

This dessert can be prepared in advance and stored in your freezer to enjoy whenever you need dessert. Shutterstock.

Cookie dough ice cream sandwiches are so easy to make, and you just need two ingredients to enjoy this delectable dessert. 

This recipe is the dessert version of a pasta bake or lasagna – it’s cookie dough ice cream sandwiches! Start by making your cookie dough or using store-bought. Flatten it out in a baking tray on baking paper to prevent sticking. 

Do this in two baking trays to make two layers. Once this has been set in the fridge, take out the vanilla ice cream from the freezer and spread it across its own layer. Place the second layer of cookie dough on top and let it set in the freezer. You can then cut it into squares, serve, or store!

Try this recipe: 

  • 1 can cookie dough 
  • 1 tub vanilla ice cream 

Roll out your cookie dough in a baking tray on baking paper (make sure you have enough left for the top layer as well). Place this in the fridge to set and harden a bit. Take your vanilla ice cream out of the refrigerator and let it soften a bit. Once it is soft enough, take out the cookie dough from the fridge and put a layer of vanilla ice cream on top of this. Place the second layer of cookie dough on top of this and put it in the freezer to set. 

Don’t let leftover or stale cake go to waste – turn them into these delicious cake pops for a delicious dessert option. Shutterstock.

Use your leftover cake to make cake pops so that it doesn’t go to waste – all you need is icing, old cake, and a chocolate slab to dip the balls into. 

If you ever find yourself with a leftover cake that you don’t want to waste, you can repurpose them into this fabulous dessert – cake pops! This recipe is also perfect for cakes that are about to go stale. 

Crumble up the cake into a bowl and mix in a cup of icing – chocolate or vanilla. Mix it all and then roll into small balls. You’ll then need to melt chocolate and dip the cake balls is attached to a wooden skewer. Set these in the fridge, and you have your dessert ready!

Try this recipe: 

  • Leftover cake 
  • Chocolate/vanilla pre-made icing 
  • 1 chocolate slab (your choice of chocolate)

Crumble up your leftover cake into a bowl and then add in a spoonful of pre-made icing at a time. When there is a good ratio of icing to crumbled cake, roll it up into small balls. Stick each ball onto a wooden skewer. Melt chocolate of your choice in a bowl and then dip each cake ball into the chocolate. Place these onto a lined baking tray before putting it into the fridge to set. 

The microwave mug cake has become one of the most popular desserts this year because of its ease. Shutterstock.

The microwave mug cake is the perfect midnight snack that can be whipped up in no time and with very few ingredients! 

And for the easiest dessert of all time that is perfect for a busy family – the microwave mug cake! All it needs is a few minutes in the microwave, and it’s ready to serve. It also creates the perfect portion per person. 

Many varieties are available to choose from vanilla, chocolate, and even some mug cake brownie recipes. These recipes also require very few ingredients, so they’re perfect for a last-minute dessert too. 

Try this recipe: 

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp chocolate spread
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Whisk all your dry ingredients together before mixing in the milk and oil. Pour the mixture into a safe microwave mug and then add your chocolate spread to the middle of the batter in the cup. Microwave for 70 seconds on high and enjoy!