Family Cooking

Easy Big Family Meals

Preparing and cooking meals for your family is no mean feat if you’re eating together every night of the week. For this reason, many of us find it difficult to plan meals that are tasty enough for everyone to enjoy but don’t take hours to make.

But, there’s no need to fall back on your standard, go-to recipes. To help make dinnertime more exciting, we’ve put together this list of quick, easy family meals that are packed full of flavour. With these delicious recipes, you are sure to impress the family, leaving clean plates and full bellies.

Chilli chicken one pot

This prepare-ahead one pot will please family members of all ages. It’s perfect for feeding a hungry crowd with minimal effort.

Chilli chicken one pot

Ingredients

  • 2 large onions, halved and sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 265g chorizo ring, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 4 red peppers, deseeded and cut into large chunks
  • 2x 400g/14oz cans of chopped tomato
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 16 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 3x 410g/14oz cans red kidney beans, drained

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C/160°C fan assisted/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Fry the onions in the oil for 5 minutes until they soften and start to colour. Then, add the chorizo and stir in the peppers. Fry for a couple of minutes; before pouring in the tomatoes, a can of water, the stock cubes, chilli, and oregano.
  3. Arrange the chicken thighs on the top of the sauce and then push them under the liquid slightly before bringing everything to a simmer.
  4. Cover the mixture and cook it in the oven for 40 minutes. Then, stir everything and add the beans. Return to the oven for a further 20 minutes.
  5. Serve with accompaniments of your choice.

Rigatoni sausage bake

This rigatoni sausage bake is one of our favourite easy big family meals because it’s a huge crowd-pleaser. Plus, you can also sneak in plenty of spinach for the little ones to eat. With the help of a range cooker, you’d find it easy to make your sauce, boil your pasta and bake your creation in next to no time.

Rigatoni sausage bake

Ingredients

  • 400g pork sausages
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 150ml red wine
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp tomato purée

For the sauce

  • 50g butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • 600ml milk
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 500g rigatoni
  • 200g fresh spinach
  • 140g mature cheddar, grated

Method

  1.     Slit your sausages and remove them from their skins before chopping them into small pieces.
  2. Heat your oil in a large pan and then add the onions and fry for 5 minutes. Then, stir in the sausages and fry until lightly coloured.
  3. Add the carrot and then stir in the wine, stock, and tomato purée. Once everything is combined, season and bring the mixture to the boil.
  4. Once boiling, reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. You should be left with a thick sauce, which you can season to your liking. Once you’re happy, set it aside.  
  5. Put your butter, flour, and milk in a pan and heat gently while continually whisking. Once you have a thick and smooth sauce, add a sprinkle of nutmeg and some seasoning. Leave the mixture to simmer for 2 minutes before removing it from the heat.
  6. Preheat your oven to 190°C/170°C fan assisted/Gas Mark 5 and bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta, stir well and cook uncovered for 10-12 minutes, or according to the instructions on the packet. Remove the pasta from the heat, stir in the spinach and, when the spinach has wilted, drain well.
  7. Tip half of the pasta into a shallow, ovenproof dish and level. Then, spoon over the sausage sauce and cover with the remaining pasta. Finally, pour over the white sauce and sprinkle with cheddar.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool slightly for 5 minutes and serve.

Lamb souvlaki skewers

These lamb souvlaki skewers are one of the best meals for large families to eat in the evening because they’re so quick to make. You can rustle up a big batch in a matter of minutes and they can be cooked separately if people want to eat at different times.

Lamb souvlaki skewers

Ingredients

  • 1.5kg lamb leg or shoulder (fat trimmed), cut into chunks
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 100ml red wine
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

Method

  1. Place your lamb in a large bowl or a strong food bag.
  2. Add your olive oil, wine, oregano, lemon zest and juice, garlic, and a pinch of pepper. Then, mix everything together so the lamb is completely coated. Leave to marinate for a few hours or overnight.
  3. Gently lift the chunks of lamb out of the marinade and thread them onto skewers. At this point, you can freeze any you don’t need.
  4. Season the meat with salt and then cook the skewers for 10-12 minutes in a grill or griddle pan. Remember to turn the meat regularly so it cooks evenly.
  5. Serve with accompaniments of your choice. We recommend flatbreads, shredded red cabbage (tossed with lemon juice), cucumber, tomato, chilli sauce, and natural yogurt, but hungry teens will also love chips.

Range Cookers

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