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Quick and easy recipes for dinner in 10 minutes

Jo Romero
Jo Romero
9 November 2012

If you're ever short on time but need to get dinner on the table, relax. We've come up with four meals that take 10 minutes or less to prepare, perfect for when time is tight.

Chicken Milanesas

Chicken breasts cook quickly - but even quicker when they're sliced in half.  Serve with a green salad and lemon wedges for squeezing over. Serves 2.

small handful freshly chopped parsley
55g Panko breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp plain flour
1 chicken breast, sliced in half along the depth to make two thinner breast steaks
sunflower oil, for frying
sea salt flakes

1.    In a shallow bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and parsley. Crack the egg into another bowl and beat. Tip the flour into a third bowl.
2.    Season the chicken breast halves with salt. Dip first in the flour, then into the egg and finally into the breadcrumbs, pressing them down to coat.
3.    Fry the breadcrumbed chicken in the oil, on a medium to high heat, for about 3 minutes on each side. Check the chicken is cooked through completely, scatter with sea salt flakes and serve with the lemon wedges and a salad.

[Related feature: Family meals you can make under a fiver]

Sea bass fillets with basil and lemon couscous and grilled vine tomatoes

A healthy supper for two and ready in 10 minutes.

100g couscous
Extra-virgin olive oil (and regular olive oil, for frying)
100g cherry tomatoes on the vine
sea salt flakes
2 boneless sea bass fillets (skin on)
juice of half a lemon
2 tbsp chopped basil leaves

1.    Boil the kettle. Tip the couscous into a mixing bowl and drizzle in 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil. Pour the boiling water over the grains until they're just covered, and cover with cling film. Leave to one side.
2.    Arrange the vine tomatoes onto a foil-lined grill tray. Season with salt and black pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil. Slide under a medium grill.
3.    Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a wide, non-stick pan. Lay the fillets, skin side down, into the hot pan, and fry for 3 minutes. Gently turn them over and fry for another 2 minutes.
4.    Check the couscous - it should now be tender. Squeeze in the lemon juice and stir in the basil. Season the couscous with a little salt and check the fish is cooked through. Serve the fish with the couscous and the tomatoes on the side.

[Related feature: Quick, light and healthy lunch ideas]

Pappardelle with garlic, parsley and chilli flakes

Depending on its shape, dried pasta cooks in about 10-12 minutes. Cut this time in under half by using fresh pasta. Serves 2, generously.

250g fresh pappardelle (or any other fresh pasta shape)
olive oil
quarter of a teaspoon dried chilli flakes
small handful freshly chopped parsley
1 chunky garlic clove, finely chopped or grated
Parmesan cheese, for serving


1.    Drop the pappardelle into slightly salted water. While it cooks, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the garlic and chilli flakes until aromatic. Keep frying on a low heat and add in the parsley, stirring.
2.    Once the pasta is cooked, lift it out with tongs and toss in the frying pan, until coated in the herby oil and flecked with the parsley and chilli. Serve immediately, with grated Parmesan cheese.

[Related feature: The best way to use up your leftovers]

Quesadillas and Cheesy Nachos

For a quick, informal snack try these quesadillas, made with tasty Lancashire cheese, chorizo and red onion. Great with a salad or some dips on the side. Makes 6 triangles (enough for 2 servings).

100g Tasty Lancashire cheese (we used Mrs Kirkham's Farmhouse)
1 mild green chilli, sliced
75g tortilla corn chips
2 tortilla wraps
half a small red onion, peeled and sliced thinly
6 slices thinly sliced chorizo


1.    Set your oven to 220C. Tip the tortilla chips into a shallow ovenproof dish. Crumble 20g of the Lancashire cheese over the top and scatter over the chilli slices. Slide into the oven.
2.    Put a dry, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Fill one half of each tortilla wrap with a sprinkling of the remaining cheese, a few red onion slices and 3 chorizo slices. Fold the wraps over and push down to seal. Dry-fry the quesadillas for about 2-3 minutes on each side, and then transfer to a board. Cut each tortilla into three wedges and serve with the nachos, which by now should be warmed and oozy with cheese.

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