- Simply impressive
- Chilli king prawns
- Open lasagne with mushrooms
- Masala chicken pepper pie
- Grilled nectarine and burrata salad
- Balsamic pork kebabs with pesto dressing
- Fried halloumi with lemony honey
- Spaghetti puttanesca
- Parmesan chicken traybake
- Prawn noodle soup
- Margarita chicken fajitas
- Skirt steak with chimichurri
- Mushroom and spinach en croûte
- Roast peppers with burrata
- Parma ham and Cheddar toastie
- Pasta shells stuffed with herbed ricotta
- Peanut satay chicken
- Roasted cod with a coriander crust
- Tomato, Gouda and pesto tart
- Sticky soy and honey roasted salmon
- Sweet potato curry noodle soup
- Salade Niçoise
- Sichuan water-cooked beef
- Italian roast chicken with rosemary potatoes
- Roasted cauliflower shawarma with pomegranate and tahini
- Fish tacos
- Sweet potato shakshuka
- Pan-fried salmon with pine nut salsa
- Tomato galette
- Mexican-style corn on the cob
- Chicken with pesto, Taleggio and roasted tomatoes
Dishes that are simple to put together, but look impressive, are definitely a winner for every cook. Our collection of recipes not only look great, but taste fabulous as well. From tasty midweek meals, easy brunches and lunches, and lighter salads and starters, to ideas for entertaining, there’s something here to inspire meat lovers, fish fans, veggies and vegans alike. All recipes are ready in around an hour or less.
Chilli king prawns
Dinner for two in under 20 minutes? Right here! This simple stir-fry, with juicy king prawns tossed in Chinese five spice and pepper, is perfect to serve with rice or noodles, or even on toast. Add in chopped peppers, garlic, onion and chilli, then drizzle a little sesame oil over for a wonderfully nutty flavour.
Open lasagne with mushrooms
A vegan lasagne with a lighter touch, the “cheese” is smartly made with soaked cashew nuts, nutritional yeast, garlic and cider vinegar to give a savoury taste that’s similar to regular cheese. For non-vegans, use whipped ricotta cheese instead. Piled up with fresh pasta sheets, sautéed mushrooms and kale, then served with a little truffle oil and toasted nuts, it’s on the table in 30 minutes.
Masala chicken pepper pie
What better comfort food for a chilly day than this fragrant, warming chicken curry, topped with crunchy filo pastry? The chicken filling is lightly spiced with gentle heat from chilli in a tomato base, with cream adding richness. Fresh coriander really lifts it to the next level of flavour.
Grilled nectarine and burrata salad
Pretty as a picture with wonderful textures, this salad has crunch from garlic croutons, creaminess from burrata cheese and intense fruitiness from griddled nectarines. Dressed with a sweet, sour and sticky vinaigrette, it would make a perfect lunch or lovely side dish to pair with grilled meat or chicken.
Balsamic pork kebabs with pesto dressing
Cubes of pork leg are marinated in balsamic vinegar, sugar, garlic and smoked paprika to give soft, tender meat. The recipe is very simple, but it’s best to marinate the meat overnight for maximum flavour. Threaded on skewers with spring onions and dressed with pesto, this is a great barbecue dish, though you can also cook the kebabs on a griddle pan or under the grill if you like.
Fried halloumi with lemony honey
What’s not to love about fried cheese, with its crisp exterior and melting, gooey centre? Once cooked, it’s dressed with lemon and honey then scattered with a sesame and chilli salt. Served with a crisp green salad, this makes a lovely starter or lunch.
This vibrant Southern Italian pasta dish is so quick to make and is packed with flavour. Anchovies add a savoury rather than fishy taste to the sauce, so do include them. Add in fresh or canned cherry tomatoes, a hint of chilli, capers and black olives, and it’s ready in under 30 minutes. Some freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese will make it sing.
Parmesan chicken traybake
This dish looks great and tastes amazing, and it’s all made in one tin with very little effort. Chicken breasts are stuffed with red pesto, then coated in a Parmesan crumb. The vegetable base is simply cauliflower florets, peppers and onion. Once the chicken is baked to a crisp crumb, it’s topped with fresh basil. Serve with steamed new potatoes and a green salad.
Prawn noodle soup
The key to this Singaporean-inspired laksa? Use a shop-bought Thai red curry paste. Add in creamy coconut milk, a hint of chilli, juicy prawns and noodles with a squeeze of fresh lime for a fragrant, warming and filling meal. Best of all, it’s a 15-minute recipe.
Margarita chicken fajitas
Upgrade your everyday fajitas with this recipe, where the chicken is marinated in a heady mix of tequila, lime and orange. It does need time to marinate, but the rest is easy. The chicken is coated in a coriander and lime sauce, served on warm flour tortillas with mashed avocado, onion pickle, chillies and fresh lime.
Skirt steak with chimichurri
Skirt, hanger or onglet steak is a cheaper cut of meat that’s packed with flavour. For the best results, it should be served rare and cooked over high heat on the barbecue or on a griddle pan. What makes it even tastier is the Argentine-inspired sauce, an intense blend of fresh herbs, garlic, chilli, oil and lemon. The sauce works well with chicken, too.
Mushroom and spinach en croûte
This stunning vegetarian centrepiece is ready for the oven in just 30 minutes. Bought puff pastry encases a wonderful mixture of mushrooms, spinach, ricotta cheese and Gruyère (use mature vegetarian Cheddar for strict veggies – Gruyère is made with animal rennet). The filling can be made in advance, too. Just serve with a simple green salad.
Roast peppers with burrata
This dish may be simple, but it looks great and tastes so good with all its flavours of Southern Italy. Burrata is a soft cheese made with mozzarella and cream. It’s combined with ‘nduja, a soft, spicy pork paste. Add these to roasted peppers for a creamy, spicy, sweet result. Serve as a starter or light main with crusty bread and a green salad.
Parma ham and Cheddar toastie
A simple cheese toastie is taken to the next level with sweet, salty Parma ham and lashings of cheese and apple, with chutney adding sweetness. The clever trick here is to cook the toastie in a frying pan, using a heavy pan on top to ensure it’s all melting and delicious – no need for a sandwich toaster.
Pasta shells stuffed with herbed ricotta
The giant pasta shells (or conchiglioni) don’t need any pre-cooking in this recipe as the rich tomato sauce (made easy with bought passata) covers them sufficiently to cook them. Stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella and fresh basil, it’s an easy one-pot dish that goes well with crusty bread and a green salad.
Peanut satay chicken
Inspired by Southeast Asian flavours, this lovely chicken dish sounds complicated and fancy, but is on the table in 30 minutes. The flavoursome satay sauce is made from crunchy peanut butter mixed with coconut milk, lime, ginger and lemongrass. The chicken is coated in spices, cooked, then mixed with the sauce. Served with a crunchy salad and rice, it’s so simple.
Roasted cod with a coriander crust
Chunky fillets of cod are coated in a spiced coriander and garlic paste, topped with fresh bay leaves, then baked in the oven and served with a tahini sauce. You could replace the cod with salmon, and any leftover sauce works a treat on salad or vegetables. It’s all done in 20 minutes, to serve with potatoes or couscous on the side.
Tomato, Gouda and pesto tart
A combination of buttery puff pastry, melted cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes and basil makes this delightful tart a winner every time. It uses shop-bought pastry so it’s quick to assemble and bake. Use Cheddar in place of Gouda if you prefer. It’s best served fresh from the oven with a green salad.
Sticky soy and honey roasted salmon
In search of something new to do with salmon? This easy one-tray dish may be the one! The salmon is roasted on four different greens – peas, asparagus, broccoli and sugar snaps (but of course, you can vary according to your preference). The cooked dish is drizzled with a sesame oil, lime and ginger dressing. If you find sesame oil too strong, substitute it with peanut or sunflower oil.
Sweet potato curry noodle soup
Inspired by a dish from Northern Thailand, this fragrant, spicy, hearty vegan soup is a meal in itself. It uses a bought Thai red curry paste for ease, with ginger, coconut milk and stock making the base. Add in some sweet potatoes, sugar snap peas and plenty of fresh lime and coriander for a flavour sensation.
Bring Southern French sunshine to your table with this vibrant, classic salad. With very little preparation to do, this dish is all about using the best ingredients you can – tuna in olive oil, really great olives and super ripe tomatoes. It’s high in protein and packed with vegetables, but if you’d like to make it even more substantial, add some baby new potatoes to the mix.
Sichuan water-cooked beef
This dish is a real stunner that’s perfect for an impressive dinner party. The vegetables and sauce are cooked first and added to a heatproof serving dish. Then, slices of raw beef are layered over and sizzling hot oil is poured on top to cook the beef on the dish. It looks great and tastes amazing.
Italian roast chicken with rosemary potatoes
This dish looks so good, yet it’s easy enough to make for a midweek meal. Chicken breasts are stuffed with mozzarella and basil, wrapped in pancetta or Parma ham, then baked in the oven. The accompanying crisp, garlicky rosemary potatoes shouldn’t be missed out – they’re too moreish for words.
Roasted cauliflower shawarma with pomegranate and tahini
This show-stopping veggie centrepiece takes the humble cauliflower to the next level, Middle Eastern-style. The cauliflower is coated in a spiced butter, roasted, then topped with a garlicky tahini sauce, pomegranate seeds, chilli, parsley and toasted pine nuts. It’s best served hot from the oven, though you can make the butter and sauce ahead of time.
These Mexican-inspired tacos have real crowd appeal. Fish fingers are cooked in a lightly spiced batter, stuffed into flour tortillas with a creamy chipotle mayonnaise, and served with crunchy onions, cabbage and lettuce. A squeeze of lime lifts the tacos. The best thing? You do the cooking and your guests can assemble them.
Sweet potato shakshuka
This recipe puts a lovely twist on the classic Middle Eastern dish, substituting sweet potatoes for the traditional tomato base. The eggs sit in a cheesy spiced sweet potato mash, topped with crunchy sweet potato skins, pickled red onion and a chilli butter. A perfect weekend brunch dish for four.
Pan-fried salmon with pine nut salsa
Transform a salmon fillet with a punchy salsa: a mixture of cooked celery, toasted pine nuts, olives, capers, currants, saffron, parsley and lemon. It’s sharp, sweet and aromatic. Serve with steamed new potatoes, quinoa or wholegrain rice.
This gorgeous free-form tart couldn’t be easier, using shop-bought pastry with no fiddly tin-lining or blind baking involved. The tempting filling consists of courgettes, grated cheese, tarragon and tomatoes. Served hot from the oven, it’s especially good looking when different heritage tomatoes are in season.
Mexican-style corn on the cob
A twist on a favourite Mexican street food, elote, this dish makes a perfect barbecue starter or side. The grilled corn is coated in a lime, coriander and chilli butter, topped with garlic and herb soft cheese and lots of fresh coriander, then served with lemon wedges. Messy to eat, sure, but worth every bite.
Chicken with pesto, Taleggio and roasted tomatoes
This tasty traybake has enough wow factor for entertaining, but is easy enough to cook on a weeknight. Tender chicken breasts are baked with cream cheese, melting Taleggio, pesto and cherry tomatoes, with a lovely, crunchy crumb topping. If you can’t find Taleggio (a washed-rind, fruity, mild cheese from northern Italy), use Camembert or Brie.