Our top meals that even the fussiest little ones will love!
It’s that time of year already. Shoes are bought, the book bags ready and those adorable (but a total pain to attach) name tags are in every single jumper. It’s back to school time!
As lovely as having them out from under your feet again, it doesn’t make it any easier planning meals. One has decided to become vegetarian, the other now inexplicably hates mash – sometimes you just need a big hitter that they’ll all love.
So say hello to our favourite Back to School Dinners 👋
They’ll go down a storm I promise!
Serves 5-6 (depending on how big the mouths are)
12 Tortillas / 1 tbsp Olive Oil / 1/2 Onion (chopped) / 400g Steak Mince / 1 tbsp Chilli Powder / 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder / 1/4 tsp Onion Powder / 1/4 tsp Rep Pepper Flakes / 1/4 tsp Dried Oregano / 1/2 tsp Paprika / 400g can of Chopped Tomatoes / 250g grated Cheddar / 125g shredded Lettuce / Salt & Pepper / Sour Cream (for drizzling)
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a muffin tin with a little oil. Stamp out tortillas with a biscuit cutter. Place a tortilla into each cup of the tin, folding the edges if needed. Pop to one side.
2. In a large pan over a medium heat, heat your olive oil. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the steak mince, season with your spices and salt & pepper and cook until the meat is no longer pink (about 6 mins).
3. Spoon the cooked mince into each tortilla, then top with grated cheddar. Bake until the tortillas are golden around the edges and the cheese has melted (about 10 mins).
4. Garnish with tomatoes, more cheese, lettuce and sour cream.
One Pot Spag Bol
1 tbsp Olive Oil / 1 Onion (chopped) / 1 Carrot (finely chopped) / 1 Celery stalk (finely chopped) / 4 rashers Bacon (chopped) / 2 cloves Garlic (finely chopped) / 600g Steak Mince / a big squeeze of Tomato Puree / 2 x 400g cans Chopped Tomatoes / 325ml Chicken Stock / 6 sprigs fresh Thyme / 250g Spaghetti / handful fresh Parsley (chopped) / Grated Parmesan to serve
1. Heat your oil in a large heavy-bottomed casserole dish. Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 mins or until the onion starts to soften. Add the bacon and cook until it turns golden. Stir in the garlic.
2. Add the mince to your pot and cook until browned all over. Stir in the tomato puree, chopped tomatoes, stock and thyme sprigs. Cover and bring to the boil.
3. Add your spaghetti, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 mins (until the spaghetti is tender and the sauce has thickened). Stir the mixture regularly.
4. Remove the pot from the heat. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs. Add your parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine. Serve with extra chopped parsley and plenty of parmesan.
Macaroni Cheese Chorizo Bake
1kg Macaroni / 1 tbsp Olive Oil / 2 Onions (chopped) / 225g Chorizo (skin removed & roughly shopped) / 25g Butter / 3-4 tbsp Plain Flour / 1 lt Whole Milk / 400g Cheddar (grated) / 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook for 6-8 mins, then drain and toss with a splash of olive oil to stop it sticking. Pop to one side.
2. Add the onions and chorizo to a large roasting tin, toss with the remaining olive oil and season. Roast in the oven for 15-20 mins until the onion is soft.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by melting the butter in a large pan, then stir in the flour until fully combined. Cook for 1 min, stirring constantly, then begin to trickle in the milk, stirring continually with a wooden spoon. If the mixture starts to become lumpy, use a whisk to stir as your pour in the rest of the milk. Simmer gently until thickened, then remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and paprika. Season to taste.
4. Tip the chorizo, onions and macaroni into the sauce and stir to combine. Spoon the macaroni mixture into the roasting tin or a large ovenproof dish and sprinkle over a little more paprika. Bake for 25-30 mins until piping hot and the top is bubbling and golden. Serve with garlic bread, of course!
Sausage & Bean Stew
1 tbsp Olive Oil / 2 Onions (finely sliced) / 2 Garlic Cloves (finely chopped) / 8 Pork Sausages / 400g tin Chopped Tomatoes / 2 tsp Dijon Mustard / 175ml Chicken Stock / a tin of Baked Beans / 100g Kale (chopped) / Mash to serve
1. Heat half the oil in a lidded saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onions and fry for 6 mins. Stir in the garlic and fry for another 2 mins. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
2. Increase the heat to a medium-high, add the remaining oil and fry your sausages (we think Westmorland Sausages are the best for recipe) until browned all over.
3. Return the onion and garlic to the pan with the tomatoes and mustard. Add the stock, season with pepper and cook over a medium heat for 10 mins, adding the beans after 5 mins.
4. Stir through the kale, cover and cook for 5 more mins – until the sausages are cooked through and the kale tender. Serve with mash and that day’s school gossip.
Fancy getting the kids involved with cooking?
Jamie Oliver has a cracking set of recipes that are perfect for little helpers.