Weekend lunch ideas for busy families

We all have those times when everything happens to be arranged for the same weekend, meaning you’re rushing between play dates, trips out and family get-togethers. It’s days like this that lunch is the last thing you think of. That’s when it’s a good idea to have some things in the cupboard and freezer that are quick to cook and go down a treat. Here are my ideas for busy weekend lunches when you’ve been on the go and probably about to head out again. 

Store cupboard pizza
Who doesn’t love pizza? Even if you don’t have one in, never fear as you can whip one up with simple ingredients that you’re bound to have lurking in your cupboards. For a doughy base, pitta bread is great and you can keep a pack in the freezer until you need them. Next, you’ll need some tomato sauce. Whip one up in a pinch with a couple of tablespoons of tomato puree, some crushed garlic, herbs and a splash of olive oil – it’ll taste just like the real thing. To complete your pizza, sprinkle on grated cheese and any other toppings you fancy before grilling for a few minutes until golden brown.

Speedy spuds
I love a jacket potato – soft, buttery and loaded with toppings – but the only problem is that they take so long! On a full weekend you don’t want to be staring at the oven for an hour, or more if you want them slow cooked and crispy. There is a solution though, as if you keep some McCain Ready Baked Jackets in the freezer, all you have to do is ping one in the microwave for five minutes and hey presto – you’ve got a fluffy jacket potato in double time. I have mine with grated cheese and beans.

Super-organised soup
When you’ve got a big day coming up, get that slow cooker out and start lunch the night before. If you don’t own a slow cooker, you can easily make a soup on the hob and keep it in the fridge. The favourite in our house is minestrone soup with little pasta shapes floating around in it. Annabel Karmel does a super-healthy version. Take her lead by using alphabet pasta shapes and encourage the children to tuck in and see what letters they can find.

 

Weekend lunch ideas for busy families

 

Five-a-day pasta
Speaking of pasta, cooking up a batch of pasta sauce that you can put in the freezer will save you heaps of time. You can even hide all sorts of healthy goodness in it. Getting your five-a-day in one meal has got to be a good thing, especially if your afternoon plans include chowing down on cake at a birthday party. This recipe from BBC Good Food is really simple, allowing you to play around with the type of veg you use until you find your favourite combo.

Sharing platter
This might not be the healthiest lunch, but it’s seriously delicious and great for sharing. We’re talking nachos, of course. Children will love pulling a stringy, cheesy pile of nachos out and you can create different corners for sour cream, salsa, guacamole and chilli sauce, so everyone gets a bit of what they like. It really needs no recipe as the nachos are sprinkled on a baking tray and topped with cheese – cheddar or Monterey Jack are good melters – and the other sauces before grilling. To get a little goodness in them, I add chopped peppers on top before grilling.

 

 

*Collaborative post

12 Comments

12 Comments on Weekend lunch ideas for busy families

  1. Jen
    March 21, 2017 at 9:41 pm (1 year ago)

    Lunch is so often a time of craziness, that yup, it can be tricky to organise to please. If we have cbeebies on, my little boy is quick to point out it is luch time when the “what’s on your plate” song comes on.
    Great ideas on your list, and nothing that will send me to breaking point.

    Reply
  2. five little doves
    March 21, 2017 at 9:45 pm (1 year ago)

    I love those Mccain jacket potatoes, so quick and easy and really tasty!

    Reply
  3. Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons
    March 22, 2017 at 8:41 am (1 year ago)

    I love the pitta bread pizza idea, and you really can’t beat a good bowl of nachos and cheese – yummy! #familyfun

    Reply
  4. Sam - StressyMama
    March 22, 2017 at 8:43 am (1 year ago)

    Great ideas. I love the sound of the pizza. I’ll be sure to give that one a try ☺ #familyfun

    Reply
  5. Baby Isabella
    March 22, 2017 at 10:10 am (1 year ago)

    We’re massive fans of McCains PreBaked Potatoes, they’re great to pop in the mircowave at the last minute and taste lovely x

    Reply
  6. clairejustine
    March 22, 2017 at 1:49 pm (1 year ago)

    Great ideas. We love quick and easy dinners. My kids love all these kinds of meals too 🙂

    Reply
  7. Kara
    March 23, 2017 at 5:27 pm (1 year ago)

    Never thought of making the kids a sharing platter – great idea

    Reply
  8. Tammymum
    March 23, 2017 at 9:41 pm (1 year ago)

    I love the sound of the pitts bread pizza! I have lots of pitta bread so no doubt something I will try. The idea of nachos is a good one that I wouldn’t have thought of either. I’m always on the lookout for recipe ideas so this was really helpful thank you. Thanks for joining us at #familyfun

    Reply
  9. Kerry norris
    March 24, 2017 at 8:27 am (1 year ago)

    This was so helpful. I’m always struggling for ideas. We quite often make pitta bread pizza x

    Reply
  10. Lindsey
    March 24, 2017 at 9:26 am (1 year ago)

    Great line up, especially the jacket potatoes makes me crave one now, thanks for that lol x

    Reply
  11. Keely's Nails
    March 24, 2017 at 2:28 pm (1 year ago)

    My freezer is all stocked up with 5-bean chilli and with microwaveable Mexican rice in the cupboard in ready to go!

    Reply
  12. Catie
    March 25, 2017 at 6:09 am (1 year ago)

    I love the sound of all these ideas! Thank you for sharing on #ablogginggoodtime

    Reply

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