food

"So easy, cheap and yum." 25 women share their go-to weeknight dinners.

After a long day of work or parenting (or both), the last thing you want to think about is what to have for dinner. We all know the feeling.

No energy left... but still need to eat.

We asked the Mamamia community to share their go-to weeknight dinner - yep, that meal they whip up when they're running on empty but need to get something on the table.

Watch: Five refreshing fruit-infused recipes to go with your dinner. Post continues after video.


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To help you out on weeknights and to keep in the bank for the future, here's what 25 women make for dinner.

Thank us later!

Alice.

"Pasta, pesto, and steamed broccoli with chopped almonds. That’s my 'I can’t be bothered' dish."

Bianca.

"Quick, easy vegan meal - jacket potato (in the microwave), fry up some mushrooms and mix in spinach (season with salt, pepper and garlic powder). Put this on the spud and top with some hummus or avocado. It sounds a bit odd, but it’s delicious."

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Laura.

"Cheese toastie (with lots of cheese) and dip it in a bowl of Heinz tomato soup."

Alanna.

"Recently, as a student with long COVID fatigue/no energy for cooking - frozen schnitzel or crumbed fish from the supermarket with frozen vegetables."

Michelle.

"I have two - salmon with veggies or chicken risotto."

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Sal.

"I have learnt that simple is ok! I used to think if it was meat and veg (we love steak) it had to be five different types of veg. Now our go-to is steak, garlic butter, potatoes in the air fryer and broccolini. So good!"

Jane.

"Crispy salmon, sweet potato mash with a dash of wasabi and steamed broccolini with a splash of tamari."

Kate.

"Pulled pork tacos or bowls. Ready-to-eat pulled pork from Woolies, a bag of coleslaw mix and any other toppings. The whole family loves it."

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Sarah.

"Baked potato bar! Bake a bunch of potatoes or sweet potatoes, chop or shred whatever random sh*t you’re looking to get rid of from the fridge, and put it out in little bowls. Don’t forget the sauces - sriracha is a must! Kids go mental for it."

Jess.

"Big batch of bolognese, full of veggies. First night is spaghetti with leftovers for lunch, and the next day is Mexican using the same bolognese sauce but adding beans and spices."

Diya.

"This is a pulao - a Fijian Indian rice and protein (in this case, lamb) dish made in one pot. I thank my parents every time for this switch-off-the-brain-yet-make-neighbours-jealous-with-the-aroma, easy and hearty meal. Feeds a crowd, or a couple for two days. Done."

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Kate.

"Falafel wraps! Grab a couple packs of falafels, wraps, rocket, tomato and Greek yoghurt. Boom."

Em.

"Chicken Bellagio - pesto pasta and a chicken schnitty on a bed of rocket, topped with prosciutto (optional) and drizzled with kewpie mayo (not optional - delicious). I had it at the Cheesecake Factory in America and adapted it for at home. So yum!"

Marina.

"Vodka pasta. You can’t taste the alcohol, but it gives it a little something. It’s got cream and cheese in it, too."

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Petra.

"I usually roast some veg as a base and put some protein with it. Chop your veg, spray with oil and season before roasting - has to be the easiest prep around."

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Helen.

"I always have a bottle of my homemade teriyaki sauce in my pantry, courtesy of a fabulous and easy recipe from Adam Liaw. I pop rice in my rice cooker, then separately cook my protein with teriyaki sauce, making it the simplest tasty and healthy meal ever (as well as my version of fast food)."

Kylie.

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Karagh.

"Tuna patties - a packet of mashed potato, tin of peas and corn, big tin of tuna and salt and pepper. Make patties, coat in breadcrumbs and fry, serve with salad or veggies and lemon wedges."

Louise.

"Mediterranean pasta soup - firm favourite in our house. Chorizo, onion, garlic, tinned tomatoes, stock, fresh herbs, pasta, spinach and topped with Parmesan. Great as leftovers too - the flavour deepens."

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Lisa.

"Pearl cous cous, roast vegetables (whatever is in the fridge), chickpeas and feta crumbled on top with baby spinach leaves."

Allison.

"Ottolenghi’s curried lentil soup is quick and easy, and so tasty served with some toast."

Jess.

"Homemade fried rice and butter chicken - make in bulk and there are plenty of leftovers. The fried rice can be used with a different protein option for another meal."

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Kara.

"I work full time and have a large family. If I can’t cook it in 20-30 minutes, I don’t bother. Our weekly specials are fish tacos using frozen fish from Aldi and served with guacamole and salad, meat on the BBQ with veggies and/or salad, and chicken stir-fry with veggies."

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Jasmin.

"Pizza made on Lebanese bread - so easy, cheap and yum! Always have pizza sauce in the fridge and mozzarella and just use whatever veggies and toppings are [available]."

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Allison.

"Avocado pasta. It usually has some onion, bacon, garlic, chicken or sausage, or whatever else is in the fridge, with some kind of cream and parmesan."

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Katie.

"We love soups here. Minestrone is my favourite with beef mince, onion, garlic, celery, carrot, tomato paste base, Italian herbs, beef stock, tinned tomatoes, can of four bean mix, zucchini, potato and shell pasta. Grab some garlic Turkish bread and serve with it. Everyone loves it and it's better the next day!"

What's your go-to dinner? Share with us in the comments below.

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