Feeding the family shouldn’t be a chore, but it so often can feel like one. Especially after a long day, you sometimes just don’t feel like cooking something elaborate. What’s more, when little voices chime up that they’re hungry, they don’t always appreciate a wait! 

With that in mind, I’ve put together a few simple, filling and tasty meal ideas that diners of all ages are sure to love. Best of all they only take a maximum of 20 minutes to prepare and cook. 


A wok, some oil, and some sloshing and stirring is a good way to use leftover meat bits and whatever fresh veg you have in. With straight-to-wok noodles and a whole host of recipes to choose from, a stir fry can get some healthy ingredients into the family diet, and all for not much expense. 


For a versatile dish that packs in some protein, together with any flavourful twist you want to add to the mix, an omelette is the way to go. It’s not just a breakfast dish, with lots of varieties that let you really go to town. Omelettes are pretty filling too. 

Loaded fries 

You can’t visit a modern diner without finding loaded fries on the menu. They’re basically cheesy chips turned up to eleven, with bits of bacon, pulled pork or chicken slathered over the mound of fried goodness. Better still, they’re just as easy to make at home if you’re a fan of frozen food. Just stock up on some McCain frozen products – my kids love the skinny fries – and some tasty meats or cheeses. 

Mac and cheese 

This comfort food staple is everywhere, but you should keep in mind that there are a lot of additives and artificial things in the pre-packed stuff that can be one to watch out for. Luckily, whipping this family favourite up from scratch is fast and easy, and sure to put a smile on lots of faces. 

Tortilla wraps 

Tortilla wraps are lovely and cheap in the supermarket, and often large enough to stuff in any combination of cheese, meat, fish, salad or even rice. They’re fantastic for adding plenty of variety into one package, and you can even put eggs and bacon into them for a brunch wrap. 

Stuffed roasted peppers 

The kids can’t complain about their veggies if they’re the edible bowl their dinner comes in! There are lots of stuffed roasted pepper recipes about, and the little ones will be even more up for trying it if they get to choose which brightly coloured pepper they eat. As for the filling, you can go crazy, mixing in grated cheese, rice, meat leftovers or anything else you can think of. 

Ham and egg muffins 

Here’s a fun recipe I chanced upon that makes little savoury cupcakes out of ham and egg! How fantastic to think we can give the kids cakes without worrying about sugar content for the very first time. Of course, I’d challenge any adult not to want to tuck into one of these as well. 

Lots to try and lots to eat, but best of all, these recipes promise not to take lots of time!