30-minute Meal Recipes

Short for time? Or simply exhausted by cooking so much? These mid-week dinner recipe ideas are fast and delicious.

Coconut Fish Curry

Coconut Fish Curry

A curry in under 30 minutes? Believe it! I found this one from BBC Good Food and it’s a one-pot wonder full of Thai and India-inspired flavours.


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • thumb-sized piece ginger, finely grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • 1 small red chilli, shredded (deseeded if you don’t like it too hot)
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, split, then bruised with a rolling pin
  • 1 heaped tbsp medium curry powder
  • 1 heaped tbsp light muscovado sugar
  • small bunch coriander, stems finely chopped
  • 400g can coconut milk
  • 450g skinless hake fillets, cut into rectangles, roughly credit card size
  • 220g pack frozen raw whole prawns
  • 1 lime, halved
  • cooked rice, to serve


Heat the oil in a wide, lidded frying pan, then soften the onion for 5 mins. Increase the heat a little, stir in the ginger, garlic, shrimp paste, chilli and lemongrass, and cook for 2 mins. Add the curry powder and sugar, and keep stirring. When the sugar starts to melt and everything starts to clump together, add the coriander stems, coconut milk and 2 tbsp water, then bring to a simmer.

Add the fish to the sauce, tuck the prawns in here and there, then squeeze over half the lime. Pop on the lid and simmer for 5 mins more or until the hake is just cooked and flaking, and the prawns are pink through. Taste for seasoning, adding a squeeze more lime to the sauce if you like. Scatter over the coriander leaves and serve with rice.

Devil Chicken Francese

Devil Chicken Francese

The queen of 30-minute meals, Rachel Ray is always reinventing the recipe wheel, and I love this particular dish which combines Calabrian chile paste and sharp Pecorino Romano cheese for a fast dinner that does not scrimp on taste.


  • 4 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast (no tenders)
  • Salt and pepper
  • AP flour, about 1 cup
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 scant tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil or vegetable oil (light in color olive oil or safflower oil)
  • 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large cloves garlic, 1 crushed or chopped, 1 halved
  • About 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon Calabrian chili paste, harissa or sriracha
  • About 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • A handful flat-leaf parsley, for serving
  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread, 12 to 14 inches long, halved
  • EVOO, for drizzling
  • Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
  • 1 large bundle arugula, cleaned, or boxed leaves


Gather your ingredients and a gel board to prepare chicken.

Halve the chicken breasts horizontally and butterfly them. Use a mallet to thin meat or even it out if needed — it depends on the size of the chicken breasts. Season meat with salt and pepper.

Set a station up: Flour in shallow dish; eggs beaten with mustard, milk, salt, pepper and cheese; large frying pan with oil (4 to 5 turns of the pan); a baking sheet with wire rack inserted and lined with parchment paper to remove the chicken to.

Preheat the oil in skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Coat chicken 2 at a time in flour, shake of excess, then in egg and allow excess to drip off. Cook chicken 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Repeat, removing cooked chicken to wire rack. Once chicken is cooked, slice and lightly brown 1 lemon; add to pan with chicken. Wipe excess oil from pan, return to heat and add butter. When it foams add 1 clove crushed garlic, juice of 1 lemon, wine and chili paste and reduce about 3 minutes. Add stock and reduce 5 minutes more. Pick and chop the parsley.

Char the bread over gas burner or under broiler. Rub charred bread with halved garlic, drizzle with EVOO, sprinkle with flaky sea salt and cut bread into chunks.

Add the chicken back to sauce and heat the meat through, 3 to 4 minutes, turning occasionally. Add the sliced lemons and coat with sauce. Add parsley and transfer to plates. Serve cutlets with a small handful of arugula leaves alongside and some charred bread for mopping.

Asian Salmon in Foil

Asian Salmon in Foil

I visit this site almost weekly: Damn Delicious is a fabulous destination for the home cook, and her recipes are always inventive but easy on the budget, too. Chungah has plenty of recipes that go from 15-minutes to longer, and this particular dish is light, fragrant and good for you!


1/4 cup honey

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

1 teaspoon Sriracha, optional

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 pounds salmon

2 green onions, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil.

In a small bowl, whisk together honey, garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, Sriracha and pepper, to taste.

Place salmon onto the prepared baking sheet and fold up all 4 sides of the foil. Spoon the honey mixture over the salmon. Fold the sides of the foil over the salmon, covering completely and sealing the packet closed.

Place into oven and bake until cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. *Open the packet and broil for 2-3 minutes, or until caramelized and slightly charred.

Serve immediately, garnished with green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.

Eggplant Teriyaki Bowls

Eggplant Teriyaki Bowls

If you have a Wok collecting dust in your kitchen, time to pull it out! This dynamic vegan recipe from Olive magazine is loaded with fresh flavour and a ginger and zesty lime finish. It’s a fantastic plant-based bowl to make for those nights you just want something healthy and quick.


  • jasmine rice 120g
  • 1 large eggplant (or two, depending on size), cut into chunky pieces
  • vegetable oil 1½ tbsp
  • I large carrot, shredded
  • 2 spring onions, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ginger (a thumb sized piece), finely grated
  • soy sauce 2 tbsp
  • caster sugar 1 tbsp
  • frozen edamame beans 75g
  • radishes a handful, thinly sliced
  • lime 1, ½ juiced, , ½ sliced
  • sesame seeds 2 tsp, toasted


Put the rice into a small pan with 240ml of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, cook for 1 minute then put on a lid, turn the heat down to low and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to steam for another 10 minutes.

Toss the eggplant(s) with 1 tbsp of the oil in a bowl. Heat a wok until hot then for 5 minutes, tossing regularly, until charred and beginning to soften. Tip in the carrot, spring onions, garlic and ginger, and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes or until softened.

Whisk together the soy sauce and sugar with 200ml of water, pour in and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes or until the eggplant is really soft and the sauce has reduced.

Meanwhile, blanch the frozen edamame beans in a pan of boiling water, drain well and rinse under running water until cold. Drain again, then tip into a bowl with the radishes and a little seasoning, squeeze over ½ a lime and toss well.

Spoon the rice into bowls, top with the eggplant and sauce, the beans and radishes, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with the slices of lime to squeeze over.