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  5. Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes

10 Lightning Fast Dinner Recipes

It’s important for parents to have a bank of lightning fast dinner recipes. Every parent knows the challenges created by “witching hour” and the need to be able to prepare dinner while dealing with the demands of small children or babies.

This series of recipes require few ingredients, limited preparation time and are quick and easy to cook. It will really help in make evening time more enjoyable for everyone involved. Each of these dishes takes about 15 minutes to prepare and about half an hour to cook. They will typically serve 4 people but you can always freeze or save leftovers for lunch the next day.

1. Easy burgers


  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 1 cup low fat grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
    5 Burger buns


  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
  3. Roll into patty shapes (approx a handful per patty)
  4. Place on lined baking tray
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes and make sure to turn over about half way through cooking time.
  6. Check to ensure it is thoroughly cooked through.
  7. Place in buns with salads or extra veggies of your choice

(Top tip: you can substitute beef for chicken mince if you prefer a lighter flavour in your burger).

2. Beef Stroganoff


  • 600g beef strips
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 30g butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 250g mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup beef stock
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 250ml carton light sour cream
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 2 cups cooked rice


  1. Coat 600g beef strips with 2 tbsp oil. Preheat a large, heavy based frying pan until moderately hot; cook the beef in two batches until just done.
  2. Remove beef and set aside.
  3. Add 30g butter to the pan and a small finely chopped onion, cook until soft, then add 250g of thinly sliced mushrooms, cook until tender.
  4. Add 2/3 cup of beef stock and 2 tbsp of tomato paste, stir to combine and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in a 250ml carton of light sour cream combined with 1 tsp of cornflour. Stir until well combined, simmer for 1 minute. Return beef to pan and simmer for 2 minutes.
  6. Serve with warmed rice.

3. Warm lamb salad with potatoes and capsicum


  • 4 Trim Lamb steaks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 500g boiled chat potatoes, quartered
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red capsicum, thinly sliced
  • 200g baby spinach leaves


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Cook Lamb steaks for about 3 minutes each side. Set aside to rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining oil and balsamic vinegar to the pan, stir to combine and remove from heat.
  4. Slice the Lamb steaks. Combine the warm Lamb with remaining ingredients. Pour warm dressing over salad and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    (serves 4)

4. Chicken stir fry


  • 500g chicken tenderloins
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup salt reduced soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 carrots finely diced.


  1. Combine chicken, soy, honey in a bowl and leave for fifteen minutes.
  2. Heat pan with olive oil
  3. Remove chicken from marinade
  4. Stir fry chicken in pan and set aside.
  5. Fry carrots for two minutes
  6. Return cooked chicken and leftover marinade to the pan.
  7. Simmer for 5 minutes and then serve.

5. Quick carbonara


  • 3 beaten eggs
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 400g packet fettucine
  • 5 rashers bacon with fat removed and finely diced.


  1. Combine eggs and cheese together and set aside.
  2. Follow pasta packet instructions and cook.
  3. While pasta is cooking, fry bacon in separate pan.
  4. Add egg and cheese mix to the hot pasta then stir in bacon.
  5. Serve immediately with vegetables or salad of your choice.

6. Sausage and vegetable mix


  • 8 sausages (any flavour)
  • One jar pasta sauce
  • 1 can of beans (borlotti or cannellini)
  • 1 cup mixed frozen vegetables.
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Brown the sausages.
  3. Combine the vegetables, pasta sauce and water and simmer gently on stove for five to ten minutes.
  4. Place sausages, vegetable and pasta mix with ¾ cup of water in a casserole dish.
  5. Cover and place in oven for 30 minutes (or until sausages are completely cooked through).

7. Salmon and avocado pasta


  • 1/2 tin pink salmon
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 2 tsp flour
  • 1/4 C milk
  • 1/2 cooked small pasta shells
  • 1/8 C frozen baby peas
  • 1 tablespoon grated cheddar cheese (optional)


  1. Melt butter in saucepan, and flour and stir to a paste.
  2. Add milk and stir until combined and thickened.
  3. Mash avocado in a bowl with a fork, then add flaked salmon and mash into the avocado.
  4. Stir avocado mixture into milk mixture over low heat until combined, add pasta and peas and continue to heat for approx 5 minutes, or until peas are heated through.
  5. Add cheese if desired and serve.

8. Vegetable and Bacon Pasta


  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1/4 pumpkin
  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 2-4 mushrooms
  • 250g bacon pieces
  • 350g pasta
  • 1 large & 1 small tin Evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • cracked pepper & parmesan to serve.


  1. Peel zucchini & pumpkin; chop in small pieces and place in boiling water along with cauliflower. (Use same water you will for pasta, it saves boiling two lots).
  2. When soft, place in large jug with mushrooms, evaporated milk and cornflour. Blend with stick mixer. (use slotted spoon to remove from water rather than drain).
  3. Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente.
  4. In separate saucepan, fry off bacon. Stir in blended veggies / milk mixture & cook until slightly thickened.
  5. Drain pasta and stir in sauce.
  6. Serve with grated parmesan (and cracked pepper for the adults).

9. Quiche


  • 4-5 Zucchinis
  • 2 large Carrots
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 300g Ham
  • 3 cups Cheese
  • 1 cup S.R. Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Oil
  • 5 Eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Grate all vegetables into a bowl.
  3. Add cheese and flour.
  4. Beat Eggs in a separate bowl.
  5. Add oil and beaten eggs to the vegetables and flour and mix thoroughly.
  6. Bake in a Med/hot Oven at 195c for 40-45 mins.
  7. Serve warm.

10. Homemade fish fingers


  • 800g white fish fillets (boneless)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese (cheddar or parmesan)
  • Cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 220° C and line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Cut fish into 2cm-wide fingers.
  3. Place egg into a shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs and cheese in a separate shallow dish.
  4. Dip fish fingers into egg then coat with breadcrumb mixture.
  5. Place onto baking tray, spray lightly with oil.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until fish is golden and cooked through.