Top 5 recipes that take under 30 minutes to cook

Strapped for time? Don’t fancy slaving away in the kitchen for long? Check out these five delicious recipes which can be cooked in 30 minutes flat. And when we say 30 minutes, we mean 30 minutes from start to finish – or even less. That’s faster than ordering a takeaway!

1. Mexican Beef Taco Lettuce Wraps with Taco Fries

Want to make taco night healthier for your loved ones? Feast your eyes on this recipe. The lean minced beef is stir-fried with onions, sweet peppers, and a homemade taco seasoning. Simply add into Little Gem lettuces and top with your favourite taco toppings.

Prepare in:10 mins

Cook in:20 mins



· McCain Taco Fries

· Use 2/3 packet of taco seasoning (alternatively, you could or make your own. Just mix 1tbsp of cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, celery salt and garlic powder)

· 300g lean beef mince

· 2 tsp chilli powder

· 2 Little Gem lettuces

· 1 onion, thinly sliced

· 1 clove of garlic, crushed

· 1 green pepper, deseeded and sliced into strips

· Olive oil low-calorie spray

· Low fat sour cream

· Grated cheese, pickled jalapeños, chilli flakes and fresh coriander to serve


  • Cook McCain Taco Fries according to packet instructions. Set aside.
  • In a pan, sauté the onions, pepper and garlic until softened.
  • Combine the mince, seasoning and chilli powder. Fry until brown.
  • Using a few sprays of low-calorie oil, cook the potato slices until crisp and drain on kitchen paper. Season with more taco seasoning.
  • Serve the beef on the lettuce garnished with the cream, cheese, jalapeños, coriander and a few chilli flakes powder (optional).

2. Kale and Chickpea Indian Curry

In this dish, we’ve swapped the traditionally-used spinach with kale. It’s hard to think of a veg that’s more nutrient-packed than this one. Not only is it delicious, kale is a super green we should all try to include in our diets more often.

This curry is a wonderful, super-quick mid-week dinner, crammed with creamy and voluptuous chickpeas and kale in a slightly spicy tomato sauce. The coriander seeds give the whole dish a zingy lift. Why not mop it up with hot wholemeal chapatis?

Prep:5 mins

Cook in:25 mins



  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1-2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 plum tomatoes or 200g plum tomatoes
  • 800g/2 tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 heaped tsp coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 200g kale, chopped


  • Over a medium heat, warm the oil in a pan. Once it’s piping hot, add the mustard seeds and the cumin seeds.
  • Stir for a minute, then add the diced onions.
  • Sauté the onions for 15 minutes until they start to brown, then add the garlic.
  • Cook together for four minutes then add the tomatoes. Stir and leave to simmer for a few minutes. Add a little water if needed.
  • Combine the crushed coriander, green chilli, chilli powder, turmeric and salt, and simmer on a gentle heat for roughly 10 minutes until the tomatoes start to create a thick masala sauce.
  • If sauce hasn’t thickened enough, turn up the heat.
  • Insert the chickpeas and stir to coat them with the masala. Add a dash of water leave to simmer for a few minutes.
  • Combine the chopped kale, a handful at a time, stirring frequently. Cook for five minutes until kale is soft and tender.
  • Garnish with the sliced chilli and serve with some fresh plain yogurt.

3. Beef Noodle Chinese Stir Fry

If ever there were an easy stir-fry, it’s got to be this beef noodle version. This classic stir-fry combines rump steak and fresh vegetables. Just add in your favourite vegetables and it becomes the ultimate clean-out-the-fridge dish! Oriental cooking made easy.

Cook in: 30 mins



  • 250g pack egg noodles
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 350g rump steak, trimmed of fat and cut into strips
  • 1 large leek (or 2 medium leeks), trimmed and sliced
  • 250g mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 red peppers, sliced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp Worcester sauce


  • Cook the noodles as per packet instructions, then drain. Place in a large bowl and toss with the sesame oil. Set aside.
  • In a wok, warm one tablespoon of the oil. Stir-fry the beef for three minutes, then combine with the noodles.
  • Heat the remaining oil and stir-fry the vegetables for roughly four minutes.
  • Place the beef and noodles back in the wok with the soy sauce, oyster sauce and Worcester sauce. Stir-fry over a high heat until really hot.

4. Macaroni and Cheese

This time of year, it’s all about bringing on the comfort foods. And nothing screams comfort more than a creamy bowl of mac and cheese. It’s ideal for busy weeknights. Best of all, it’s packed with delicious Cheddar cheese and is ready in less than 30 minutes.

Prep in: 10 mins

Cook in: 20 mins

Serves: 4


  • 1 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
  • 25g butter
  • 10g flour
  • 425ml whole milk
  • 300g cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg, ground or freshly grated
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • 450g cooked pasta


  • Cook pasta according to instructions
  • Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan. Once butter has melted into the oil, add flour and combine.
  • Cook gently, beating flour and butter together for about three minutes until smooth.
  • Gradually add milk while continuing to whisk. Bring milk to a simmer, stirring often.
  • Once milk as thickened a little, stir in some of the shredded cheddar cheese, a handful at a time.
  • Season sauce with nutmeg and cayenne. Taste and add a little salt, if you fancy.
  • Add cooked pasta to sauce making sure it’s covered completely by mixing it again and again in the cheese sauce.
  • Move to a baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Place baking dish under a hot grill and brown.

5. Super-Quick Spaghetti Bolognaise

What pasta dish could beat the Italian classic spag bol? Not only is this recipe incredibly delicious, but it’s super-quick to make, too! Whether you’re new to cooking or a dab hand in the kitchen, this easy version of the Italian classic can be home-cooked from scratch and enjoyed by the whole family.

Prep in:15

Cook in:15



  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 450g minced beef
  • 1-2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 400g tin of crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 230g spaghetti
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for serving (optional)


  • In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cook the onions for a few minutes, stir-frying until lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
  • Combine the minced beef and cook for around eight minutes.
  • Add the oregano and tomato paste, mixing well with the meat.
  • Stir in the tomatoes and parsley then bring to the boil. Season with the salt and pepper.
  • Turn the heat down to low and cook for roughly 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions. Drain and serve and garnish with the sauce and cheese.

When you have a seemingly never-ending list of things to do, the last thing you need is to spend hour upon hour in the kitchen. Hallelujah for these five sub-30-minute meals. They’ll help you get food on the table fast.


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Top 5 recipes that take under 30 minutes to cook

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