30 Minute Weeknight Meals

30 Minute Meals: Ideas for Weeknight Dinners

Not only can you cook a memorable meal more or less from scratch in half an hour – you can even do a couple of courses. Here are a few ideas for 30 minute meals!


A universally popular fast favorite is pasta and fragrant basil pesto. With a good pre-made pesto from a good deli, all you have to do is boil your pasta and mix with the pesto. It’s so easy it hardly counts as cooking, but it’s a classic meal in fifteen minutes. While you wait for the pasta you’ll have time to put together a dessert too.

Photo credit: Flickr

Potato Leek Soup

Soup is easy to make and a hearty bowl of chunky soup, with delicious bread on the side can be a full meal on its own. One of the easiest and most foolproof is leek and potato soup. If you use a big saucepan you can even do it in one pot, with minimum washing-up afterwards.

  • Chop some leeks and a medium onion. Dice some potatoes into small cubes. Fling the lot into a pan with some butter, salt and black pepper and cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes till the potatoes are soft.
  • Add stock – a good quality vegetable or chicken stock cube is fine – and milk. Simmer gently for another 15 minutes.
  • Blend it to a purée.
  • Add a splash of cream and garnish with parsley or chives.
  • Eat with delicious crusty bread or crostini. Hot or cold, it’s tasty, filling and fast to prepare.

Photo credit: Flickr


Ready-made pastry makes quick meals a cinch. For a speedy taste of the Mediterranean, try spanakopita in puff pastry.

  • Preheat the oven to about 400F.
  • Boil some frozen chopped spinach and drain well.
  • Add dill, parsley, seasoning and half and half feta cheese and ricotta to taste. Throw in some pine nuts.
  • Line a greased metal dish with the puff pastry, spoon in the filling and cover with another layer of pastry.
  • Glaze the top with beaten egg if you like.
  • Put the pie in the oven for twenty minutes and you have a little taste of heaven in no time at all.
  • For quick homemade tzatziki to go with it, just mix sliced cucumber and yogurt with a dash of olive oil, lemon juice and some crushed garlic.

Photo credit: Flickr

A flavorsome and imaginative meal can be made in no time if you have the right recipe and are organized enough to have the ingredients to hand. Test yourself – it really is possible and the results will be thrilling!

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