Summer suppers: four delicious dinners that can be made in 20 minutes

Try one of these the next time you’re feeling more adventurous than the Irish Mammy cold salad plate

We are all feeling a touch of “dinner fatigue”. We’ve been stuck indoors long enough so any sign of a little sunshine and as a family we want to enjoy the heat outdoors, not the heat from the stove. There’s a lot to be said for the classic Irish Mammy cold salad plate – ham, coleslaw, boiled eggs and not forgetting the jar of crinkle-cut pickled beetroot. A nostalgic taste of summer that can be put together in 20 minutes flat.

When chatting to parents in our Family Cooking Club, one of the biggest stresses of the day is not only cooking that main evening meal, but also coming up with new ideas of what to cook. The popular quote comes to mind, “Who knew that the hardest part of being an adult is figuring out what to cook for dinner every single night?”

So, with that in mind, we have compiled four simple recipes for when you’re feeling a little more adventurous than the cold salad plate. Four dishes using everyday ingredients that can be prepared from press to plate in just 20 minutes – and the kids will love them too!


  • You will need a small saucepan and a large frying pan.
  • To start, make your salsa by dicing one small onion, one green and one red pepper, and crushing a garlic clove.
  • Put a small saucepan over a medium heat and add a little glug of olive oil.
  • Cook the peppers, onion and garlic for about four minutes until the onions have become a little caramelised.
  • Pour in a tin of chopped tomatoes.
  • Season with a little salt and pepper then sprinkle in a teaspoon each of cumin, oregano and brown sugar. Add a squeeze of fresh lime.
  • Blend it all together with a stick blender. If you are looking for a smoother consistency, simmer for a further five minutes.
  • In a large frying pan, heat a glug of rapeseed oil and fry one side of a tortilla wrap until crispy then remove from the pan and leave aside. This will be the top of your quesadilla.
  • Add a second wrap to the pan and top with three tablespoons of your home-made salsa, spreading it evenly to make sure the wrap is covered.
  • Sprinkle with a good handful of grated cheddar then place the other wrap, crispy side up, on top.
  • Allow the cheese to melt, then cut into quarters like a pizza.
  • Serve with a nice dollop of sour cream for a deliciously fresh and light summer supper.

Creamy Prawn Tagliatelle

  • Boil four tagliatelle nests in a saucepan of salted water according to the package directions.
  • Place a large pan over a medium heat and add a drizzle of rapeseed oil.
  • Throw in 450g of ready-to-eat prawns and season with salt and pepper, a good knob of butter, one crushed garlic clove and a sprinkle of dried chili flakes.
  • Spoon in four tablespoons of crème fraîche and add a small bunch of freshly snipped chives.
  • When the pasta is cooked, add it to the crème fraîche and prawns using tongs to mix it all together.
  • Add a little of the pasta water to thin the sauce then top with 30g of grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice and lashings of black pepper.

Mini ‘No Rise’ Pizzas

  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees fan.
  • In a large bowl, mix together 200g of plain flour and 120ml of warm water.
  • Add two tablespoons of rapeseed oil and a pinch of salt and sugar.
  • Flour your hands then get stuck in bringing together and kneading the dough.
  • Sprinkle some flour on to a work surface, tip out the dough and cut it into four balls.
  • Cut each of the four dough balls into three, making 12 mini pizzas altogether.
  • Roll each dough ball out with a rolling pin to roughly 1cm thick.
  • Top each mini pizza with a squeeze of tomato puree, a sprinkle of cheddar and mozzarella mix and two slices of pepperoni.
  • Oven bake for just 15 minutes. So quick, easy and tasty!

Lamb Koftas with Couscous and Spiced Roasted Veg

  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees fan.
  • Mix 500g of lamb mince with a teaspoon each of cumin, ground coriander, turmeric and honey and a small bunch of freshly chopped mint or parsley.
  • Get your hands stuck in and make eight meatballs then place them on to a baking tray.
  • On a second baking tray, place one red onion sliced into wedges, one red and one green sliced pepper and 200g of chickpeas.
  • Drizzle with rapeseed oil and place both trays in the oven to bake for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, add 200g of dried couscous and 50g of raisins to a bowl along with a teaspoon each of ground cumin, coriander, cinnamon, turmeric and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper and add in a squeeze of lemon juice.
  • Pour in 180ml of hot veg or chicken stock then cover with cling film and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Once the couscous has soaked up all the stock, fluff up the grains with a fork.
  • Add in the roasted chickpeas and vegetables.
  • To plate up, serve two lamb koftas per person along with two good tablespoons of the veggie couscous and flatbreads.
  • Finish with a scattering of fresh mint. Delicious!