Dinner ideas for new parents

A delicious selection of dinner ideas for new parents

Your evening meal can suffer when you first have a baby as you are so tired and exhausted by dinner time that you just can’t think straight. This list of dinner ideas means you can just pick a recipe and cook it, just click on the link for the type of meal you are looking for and find the ideal recipe. Most of the recipes are either items you have in the fridge/cupboard or items you can easily find at the supermarket. If you want to get super organised check out our weekly meal plan ideas

Pasta dinner ideas for new parents

Pasta is simple to cook and great when you are looking for a carb hit for energy, we have four of the best quick-cook pasta dishes perfect when you are short of time or just need some serious comfort food.

Camembert Pasta

A delicious pasta dish, perfect for cheese lovers, and great if you have leftover cheese board cheeses. The mixture of bacon and tomatoes with camembert is delicious, if you don’t have camembert, you can use brie or any other strong creamy cheese. If you want to make a veggie version leave out the bacon.

Gammon Pasta with Leeks

Gammon is a relatively cheap meat and quick to cook add it to pasta for the perfect comfort food. This recipe adds some leeks and spring onions for a great fresh oniony flavour to compliment the gammon. If you have leftover ham from a roast, you can use this in place of the gammon.

Bacon and Pea Pasta

This dish is great as you can get all the ingredients for this dish from the corner shop making it a great last-minute dish. Penne pasta, in a creamy parmesan sauce, with crispy bacon, spring onions and peas.

Tomato and Red Pepper Spaghetti

This dish is so quick to cook, and the sauce is packed full of vitamins and tastes deliciously. Fresh red peppers and fresh tomatoes pureed and flavoured with basil, mint and garlic form the sauce which is lightly cooked before adding the spaghetti, complete the dish with a sprinkle of finely grated parmesan

Freezer dinner ideas for new mums and dads

Cooking extra quantities and sticking them in the freezer is an ideal way of eating home-cooked food on extra busy or crazy days. All these recipes freeze perfectly giving you homemade ready meals and letting you take advantage of two for 1 or other supermarket offers.

Beef Bhuna with Naan

A spicy beef bhuna curry with tomatoes, ginger, garlic and chilli spiced with a mixture of amazing, toasted spices. This curry is relatively dry so can be eaten traditionally with rice or naan or eat it wrapped in chapatis or pooris bread and some onion relish.

Beef and Black Bean Enchiladas

This dish is delicious but does take a bit more time to prepare so it's more of a special treat if your short on time Soft wraps stuffed with minced beef, black beans and corn spiced with coriander and cumin coated in a spicy tomato enchilada sauce flavoured with garlic, oregano, cumin and chilli, the wraps are  topped with a layer of melted cheddar cheese

Beef Chilli Con Carne

Chilli con Carne is a great comfort meal, you can make extra chilli and freeze the sauce, so for a quick meal, you just need to cook the rice or use precooked rice and reheat the sauce. Our chilli is made with minced beef, red peppers, onions, tomatoes, and kidney beans the dish is flavoured with garlic, coriander, cumin, oregano, chillies, and a hint of dark chocolate.

Beef Lasagne

Lasagne takes a little longer to cook, but again is a delicious dish to pop in the freezer and eat whenever you want. If you are short on time you can buy a pre-made white sauce, but to get the real flavours of lasagne I would recommend making your own Bolognese sauce. Our Bolognese sauce is flavoured with minced beef, onions, celery, mushrooms, tomatoes, pancetta, red wine, oregano, Worcester sauce and garlic. Layer this delicious sauce with cooked lasagne pasta and top it with a creamy homemade white sauce and a crunchy Parmesan topping and served with a fresh green salad.

Cauliflower and Potato Curry

This veggie curry is simple to make and freezes well, it's ideal if you're on a budget as it's cheap to make. It is packed full of cauliflower and potatoes all coated in a sweet spicy tomato curry sauce, serve with brown rice and fresh cucumber raita

Chianti Baked Meatballs

This dish is easy to prepare and tastes great, we recommend freezing it as it takes a while to cook, so for the perfect quick dinner cook double freeze the remainder for another night. These Beefy meatballs are flavoured with parmesan, olive, paprika, fresh chilli and fresh parsley. They are oven baked in a Chianti, basil and tomato sauce. Simply serve with freshly cooked spaghetti

Spanish Chicken and Chorizo Stew

This delicious stew is something a little different for dinner, it is a traditional Spanish stew made with, chicken thighs, chorizo, red onions, tomatoes, and butter beans flavoured with smoked paprika, garlic and herbs Provencal slow cooked in the oven. It is quick to prepare but takes a while to cook so is perfect for freezing.

Lamb and Ale Stew

This tasty winter stew is the perfect dish for the freezer, again it's quick to prepare but takes a while to cook, so is another candidate for cooking extra for the freezer. This stew is packed with chunks of lamb, mushrooms, carrots, and parsnips all in a rich ale gravy

Spaghetti Bolognese

Beef Bolognese is a great sauce as it's so flexible so if you have some in the freezer you can add it to most pasta types. This Bolognese is made with minced beef, pancetta or bacon, onions, tomatoes, and carrots and flavoured with garlic, Worcester sauce, oregano, bay leaves and Chianti,

Quick pan-fry dinner ideas for new mums and dads

Pan fries are a great dinner idea when you are short on time or just too tired to make a meal, they are quick to cook so can be prepared and cooked mostly under 30 minutes

Beef Stroganoff

Beef stroganoff is a great quick pan fry, and delicious when you want something meaty. Slices of mushrooms and strips of sirloin or fillet steak are cooked in a brandy and sour cream sauce, flavoured with paprika and parsley. You can serve it with rice or a tagliatelle pasta

Chicken Stir Fry with Veggies

This stir fry is perfect for a quick dinner you can chop the vegetables yourself or if you don’t have time use a pre-cut vegetable stir fry mix, choose one with carrots and cabbage as this goes well with the sauce. If you are on a tight budget the vegetables with this stir fry are inexpensive, and you can add more veg and less chicken to keep the cost down. The recipe has goujons of chicken, chilli and garlic, stir fried with cucumber, carrots, spring onions and bell peppers, all coated in a Chinese black bean sauce. We serve this dish with noodles, but you can serve with rice or just eat it on its own

Chilli Pork Stir Fry

This delicious Chinese pork stir fry uses pork fillet which is reasonably cheap and is perfect for a stir fry, the meat is marinaded in wine, sesame oil, chilli flakes, soy and hoisin sauce, and stir fried with spring onions and peanuts serve on a bed of rice

Chinese Black Pepper Chicken

This is a hot dish with a strong but delicious flavour, strips of chicken marinated in soy, and five spice. The meat is stir fried in sesame oil, with onions, red peppers, spring onions and cashew nuts and coated with a Szechuan pepper, chilli, hoisin, wine and soy stir fry sauce.  We serve it with noodles, but it goes well with rice too

Chorizo, Red pepper and Manchego Spanish Omelette

Spanish omelettes or tortillas are a great quick pan fry, they are a meal in one or they just need a little salad on the side. This recipe is a traditional Spanish tortilla with sliced potatoes, onions chorizo and red peppers gently fried together till golden brown and then the egg and Manchego cheese are added to make the omelette

Crispy Chilli Beef

A delicious treat after a tough day, this simple-to-cook steak dish has strips of marinated steak in chilli, sesame oil and soy sauce coated in batter, and fried till golden brown. then stir-fried with stir-fried in a chilli, honey, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and tomato sauce. Serve with noodles or rice

Duck with White Bean Ragout

Simple pan-fried duck breast served on a bed of cannellini beans with cabbage, bacon and peas flavoured with garlic and thyme

Duck Stir Fry

A delicious stir fry with strips of duck breast stir fried with vegetables and coated in an orange, ginger and honey sauce

Jacket Potato with Spinach, Mushrooms and Bacon

Jacket potatoes are a great quick cook and this delicious pan fry topping is perfect, the bacon, mushrooms and spinach are stir-fried together with a cream sauce. Serve with some oven-roasted cherry tomatoes

Mexican Chipotle Chicken

Chicken goujons pan-fried in a tomato and chipotle Mexican sauce served with lime and coriander rice

Tarragon Chicken

Chicken thighs poached in a creamy cider and tarragon sauce served with traditional sides of mashed potato and steamed broccoli

Teriyaki Chicken

This recipe is easy to prepare, it does require slow cooking so does take a little longer than some of the other pan fries but it's worth the wait. The chicken thighs are marinated in garlic and ginger and then gently pan-fried in teriyaki sauce with honey and soy. Serve with rice

Steak Fajitas

Fajitas are a quick and tasty dinner, the steak is marinated in garlic and fajita spices, pan-fried with red peppers and onions wrapped in a tortilla with tomato salsa and chipotle cream. Serve with an avocado and lettuce salad

Grilled Chicken Gyros

Gyros are a great dinner when your busy, but the chicken into the marinade the night before and then simply grill the chicken on skewers add the salad and chips and wrap it up in a Greek flat bread. We use a bought tzatziki dip to make it easier, and if your totally exhausted add the chip marinade to frozen chips 

Quick salads for new parents

Salads are a great quick meal and are packed full of vitamins and minerals and perfect for the summer. We have a delicious selection of salads with freshly cooked meats sliced and served on a bed of fresh salad.

Greek Prawn and Feta Rice Salad

Simple prawns fried with lemon juice and served with an onion, olive, feta and tomato rice salad

Greek Stuffed Chicken Salad

Chicken breast stuffed with feta, sun-dried tomato and herb filling, gently cooked till golden brown and then sliced and served with a simple green salad and tzatziki.

Chinese Duck Salad

Duck breast marinated in Chinese five spice sliced and mixed into a salad of watercress, watermelon and roasted cashews. The salad is lightly coated with a chilli, mint and lime dressing

Chickpea, Chorizo and Potato Salad

A spicy mixture of pan-fried chickpeas, chorizo and potatoes served on a bed of spinach with a tomato dressing. Top the salad with a lightly poached egg

Thai Beef Salad

Steak is a great quick cook and ideal with salad, this easy-to-make salad is a simple griddled steak, served with a Thai salad of lettuce herbs and Thai dressing made with chilli, ginger, fish sauce, honey and lime. The dish is finished with chopped peanuts.

Thai Crispy Chicken Salad

A delicious crispy chicken salad with all the flavours of a Thai green curry. Chicken goujons marinated in Thai green marinade, coated in breadcrumbs and desiccated coconut and cooked till golden brown, served on a bed of bean sprouts, cucumber, peanuts and fresh herbs with a creamy green Thai dressing

Chorizo and Tapenade Pasta Salad

Chunks of crispy chorizo, lightly cooked pasta, rocket and sun-dried tomatoes all coated in an olive tapenade

Cajun Chicken Salad

Cajun spiced chicken breast, cooked till golden brown sliced and served on top of a creole salad of lettuce, watercress, black beans, sweetcorn and tomatoes

Vietnamese Chicken Salad

Vietnamese marinated chicken goujons encased in a crispy batter and served on a bed of cabbage, peppers, salted cashews carrots and spring onions

Falafel Salad Bowl

A healthy salad bowl with falafel patties topping a delicious bulgur salad packed with cucumber, tomatoes and fresh herbs drizzled with a mint yoghurt dressing

Easy Oven Bakes for new mums and dads

Meals that are simple to prepare and cook mainly in the oven are great when you first become a parent as you can pop them in the oven and get on with other jobs or just sit and relax if possible! We have selected a collection of recipes that have minimal prep time and maximum flavour

Chicken Shawarma and Pita

This dish is delicious the chicken is marinated in shawarma spices and then roasted in the oven in the marinade, once cooked the chicken is shredded and packed into a pitta bread with salad, green olives and a lemon Fraiche sauce.

Chorizo and Sweet Potato Pizza

Pizza is a great quick dinner; this Spanish pizza has an unusual topping it's simple to make and is tomato sauce free. Using a bought dough simply top with thin slices of sweet potato, red onions and chorizo and a mixture of mozzarella and Manchego cheese and a sprinkle of rosemary

Korean Sticky Chicken

Another simply marinated chicken dish served with Asian flavoured rice, the chicken is marinated in ginger, honey, soy and garlic and then roasted in the oven. The Rice salad is mixed with vegetables and served with orange sesame and soy dressing

Lamb and Aubergine Traybake

Tray bakes are the perfect option for a busy worknight, all the ingredients are placed in a baking tray and cooked together with little or no prep, a complete meal in one This bake has a rack of lamb aubergines, tomato and garlic served with a drizzle of mint oil

Cod with butter bean and chorizo mash

This recipe is so simple, the bean and chorizo mash taste delicious is easy to make and is something a bit different and goes beautifully with the cod which is baked in the oven

Lamb and Sweet Potato Traybake

This traybake has lamb, sweet potatoes, red onions and apples baked together in the oven and served with an almond and cumin-flavoured couscous

Spanish Chorizo and Manchego Bread Pudding

Bread and butter pudding is commonly a sweet dish, but it makes a delicious savoury dish too and is really easy to prepare. This is a Spanish-flavoured bread pudding, sliced French sticks coated in pepper and tomato pesto, sprinkled with chorizo, and coated in a Manchego, egg and cream sauce and baked till golden brown. Serve with a tomato and green salad

Easy Veggie dinners for new parents

If you fancy a change and you want to try some veggie dinners, then we have a small selection of our veggie dinners

Cheese and Bean Burritos

Burritos are a great quick cook and make a lovely dinner, these burritos are packed with red kidney bean in a spicy tomato sauce, lime avocados, coriander grated cheese and a dollop of sour cream

Chickpea and Coriander Burgers

Replace your beef burger with these easy-to-make healthy veggie burgers, a simple mixture of tinned chickpeas, grated carrot, and red onions, flavoured with garlic, paprika, cumin and fresh coriander. Serve with shop-bought barbecue sauce or follow the recipe for our homemade sauce.

Black Bean Quesadilla

Quesadillas are another quick and easy cook, these quesadillas are made with black beans, red onions, red peppers and mozzarella, if you like spicy food add some jalapenos. The stuffing is placed in one half of a wrap, the wrap is folded in half and the tortilla is toasted on either side in a frying pan till golden brown

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