As Christmas gets nearer and our diaries get busier and busier, mid-week dinner inspiration tends to get lost amidst the flurry of festive drinks and late-night Christmas shopping. So to make things easier, we've put together a collection of simple recipes to help you survive those busy nights in the lead up to the big day, with comforting, nourishing dishes that will keep the the whole family happy.
Drawing inspiration from some of our favourite cookbooks, like Nadiya Hussain’s Nadiya’s Family Favourites, we’ve chosen easy-to-prepare meals that will warm you up after an evening spent shopping for gifts, ice-skating with the kids or admiring the Christmas lights. We also love these recipes because we find there is always plenty to go round, and during the Christmas season that can often come in handy - whether you’re visited unexpectedly by a hungry family member or a neighbour pops in with some mince pies - you can embrace the Christmas spirit and invite them to stay for dinner without changing the menu.
Come in from the cold and warm up with a Chicken and Rice Bake from Nadiya Hussain’s Nadiya’s Family Favourites, a failsafe recipe with nourishing ingredients that can just be thrown into a tray all together and roasted in the oven - there’s really nothing to it, and the result is absolutely delicious.
If you're after something vegetarian, this Crispy Gnocchi and Roasted Peppers from The Green Roasting Tin is a hassle-free recipe that brings delicious Mediterranean flavours to a cold winter's night.
Keep it simple with this Autumnal Chicken Tray Bake, which is just the kind of thing we feel like at this time of year. We particularly like this recipe from Chicken because it's fuss-free, wholesome, and totally delicious.
Pasta is always a reliable go-to when you're tight for time, particularly when you can throw everything together in one pan and know you'll come out with something delicious. This One Pan Chorizo Pepper Spaghetti from Eat Well For Less always does the trick; it's a quick dinner with simple ingredients that won't break the bank.
Ottolenghi’s delicious Slow-cooked Chicken with a Crisp Corn Crust recipe from his latest cookbook, Simple, is a comforting crowd-pleaser with lovely warming flavours, and its corn crust makes it a lighter alternative to a classic mashed potato topping. This is a great recipe to prepare in advance - you just need to warm it through for 10 minutes, covered in foil, before serving.
And if (like us) you feel that no dinner is complete without something sweet, Jamie Oliver saves the day with a super simple recipe for Cherry Chocolate Mousse from Jamie's 5 Ingredients: Quick and Easy Food that can be whipped up in just thirty minutes.