You've finally got the kid's back to school after what seems like years of homeschooling... but now the big issue is what to cook for dinner? The stress of having to think of something new every day to suit the kids and their ever-changing dietary preferences. The madness of the after-school rush (which we'd sort of forgotten!) as you throw together a family dinner. But it doesn’t have to be that hard! Make your evenings easy by trying out these quick, healthy meal recipes at home.
Deliciously Easy Healthy Meals for the Family
We’ve listed some of our favourite easy family meals for you to try at home. Choose from a mix of flavours – there’s something for everyone.
- Spaghetti Bolognese It’s a classic. But bear in mind that the ragù tastes better when it cooks for longer, so prepping it on a Sunday for a Monday evening will offer a quick-fix solution for an after-school dinner. All you have to do is boil up some pasta, reheat the Bolognese and serve! Find our easy Spaghetti Bolognese here.
- Chilli con Carne As with the Bolognese, if you throw this together the night before or during the day, it’ll be ideal to serve up when the kids get back from school. Mix up your Chilli con Carne recipe by serving it with tortilla wraps or even nachos for a Friday treat. Top tip: Use Quorn mince for a vegetarian alternative to your chilli or spaghetti Bolognese.
- Fajitas Quick, easy and super tasty. Serve with all the trimmings, from guacamole and salsa, to sour cream and a light sprinkling of grated cheese. You can even make it veggie-friendly with our vegetarian fajitas recipe, and add some slices of grilled halloumi for extra flavour and texture.
- Anything in the slow cooker It may not be quick exactly, but if you get it going before you go out, then by the time dinner comes around, you can serve up in just a few minutes. Check out our slow cooker recipes for some dinner-time inspiration help lighten the load of the after-school rush.
Quick Dinner Ideas for Vegetarians
Whether you’re reducing your meat intake, or you’ve been veggie for a while and need some new inspiration, we’ve pulled together some of our favourite vegetarian, easy dinner ideas to make in minutes and combat the dinnertime rush.
- Easy pasta recipes - try our Courgette and tomato fusilli for a deliciously quick meal to whip up while keeping an eye on the kids. It’s a one-pot wonder and has an estimated cook/prep time of 20 minutes – you really can’t go wrong.
- Veggie omelette – a veggie omelette is a quick and easy family meal to make at home – and a great way to get in their 5 a day! Better yet, it’s super adaptable so you can include whatever you fancy – from broccoli and peppers to potato and onion. It’s an ideal way to use up those leftover vegetables in the fridge.
- Sweet and sour “chicken” – use Quorn chicken pieces, bell pepper, onion, garlic, cider vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup and sugar. Simply cook the chicken pieces and in a separate pan fry the pepper, onion and garlic with a drizzle of oil. Add your wet ingredients and sugar to make the sauce, and then stir in the “chicken”. Meanwhile, put your rice on to boil (or use some microwavable rice pouches for a quick fix).
- Cauliflower wings – coat your uncooked cauliflower heads in batter and panko breadcrumbs and cook in an oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes. Then, take some buffalo sauce and mix in some melted butter. Pour the mixture over the cauliflower and stick it back in the oven for another 20 minutes. Or, try our Honey & Garlic Cauliflower Bites recipe for a different spin on cauli wings.
Top tip: Make it vegan with a dairy-free batter (using onion powder, garlic powder, seasonings of your choice, flour and plant milk), and switch out the butter for a plant-based alternative.
If you’re looking for more vegetarian family meal ideas, take a look at our delicious low-carb vegetarian recipes and see what else tickles your fancy.
Easy Dinner Ideas for Vegans
Are you and your family trying out a new vegan diet? Or are you simply getting your little ones to try new foods? While the above recipes can be adapted to make them vegan, we’ve come up with some easy healthy meal alternatives for vegans below.
- Vegan curry – Try an easy curry recipe made with sweet potato, onion, pepper, courgette, peas and spinach (whatever veggies you have lying around, really!). Use a jar of curry sauce for ease or make your own if you have the time – the choice is yours. Or you could take our recipe for an easy Thai green curry as inspiration – minus the chicken, of course!
- Veggie traybake with vegan sausages – filled with goodness and easy to make, everyone will love this one. Throw some root vegetables, peppers, onions and meatless sausages into a tray, lightly drizzle in oil. Mix in your seasonings of choice (salt, pepper, paprika, Cajun), and bake in the oven. And by using vegan sausages, you get the added benefit of less fat.
- Mushroom and leek risotto – now this may sound crazy but making a risotto with vegetable stock and vegan parmesan can be just as tasty as the real deal – and much healthier for the kids. Fry up leeks and mushrooms (with low-calorie cooking spray) in a frying pan. Put your risotto rice in a separate pan and add boiling vegetable stick, bring to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes – stirring it as you go. Add the veggies and simmer for another 10 minutes (you may need to add more stock). Sprinkle with vegan parmesan cheese and this tasty family meal is ready to serve!
Pick Up Everything You Need for your Quick Healthy Dinners from SPAR
Looking for an even quicker fix? We offer a range of delicious ready-made foods that make for perfect easy dinner ideas. These are ideal for those with a full social calendar who may need a simple solution every now and then. Pick up everything you need to make our delicious quick healthy meals from your local SPAR ahead of the school rush so that you can be fully prepared.
Need some more foodie inspiration for easy healthy meals? Sign up to our E-newsletter so we can provide you with regular seasonal recipes, updates and deals. If dinner doesn’t go to plan and you need a few extra minutes to get it together, check out our low-calorie snack ideas to keep the little ones going.
Find your local SPAR