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It’s that time of year when we need simplicity. We need healthy, hearty, ideally low-cost meals that don’t take up too much energy to make and are going to see us through our January hibernation.

Here’s 5 recipes that tick all those boxes – all under 30 minutes too!

A collage of meals included in Meal Plan 15.

This is my 15th meal plan now and I know how useful they can be to so many of you, and right now – in the depths of winter after the festive period – is the time we need to conserve our resources the most (I’m talking energy, time AND money!

This week every recipe is ready in UNDER 30 MINUTES. (In honour of my new recipe book, of 30 minute meals!)

I’ll be sharing this meal plan on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok, so watch out for the videos so you can cook along.

For reference, I shopped for this Meal Plan in January 2023 at Aldi and it cost £33.90.

Why use a meal plan?

⭐️ Knowing exactly what food to buy for avoids food waste, saving you money.

⭐️ Having a plan for dinner each night avoids the mental load of “what’s for dinner?” questions every night.

The printable shopping list can be found HERE.

You can find more Meal Plans here:

Meal Plan 14Sanity savers
Meal Plan 13One pot winners
Meal Plan 12£1 cost cutters

Want more 30 minute Meal Plans?! Pre-order my brand new book “What’s for Dinner?” 100 BRAND NEW RECIPES!
📚 Amazon 🇬🇧

Some tips:

➡️ Check for any items on the shopping list that you already have in your cupboard.

➡️ Maybe think about doubling up and freezing a recipe or two where the recipes are suitable, so save cooking another day or for the weekend.

➡️ Remove ingredients for any meals that you don’t want to cook.

➡️ The shopping list includes the cheapest version of each ingredient. Obviously if you want to buy lower fat mince or free range etc, that’s personal choice.

➡️ If you don’t already have a suitable pan for your one pan recipes, read my review of one pan pans here.

The recipes:

Dinner 1

⭐️ The pasta cooks in the sauce for this creamy, spicy recipe for a true one-pot meal. Ready in about 30 mins and rich in flavour.

⭐️ I make up a little extra stock to add at the end as it can thicken quickly, not leaving enough sauce for my liking, but it’s up to your preference.

Simple midweek meal of peri peri chicken pasta.
5 from 52 votes

Creamy Peri-Peri Chicken Pasta

An easy all-in-one dish, this Creamy Peri Peri Chicken Pasta is a delicious flavour-packed recipe with a kick.
View Recipe

Dinner 2

⭐️ Shortcut of peanut butter makes a super tasty and budget-friendly sauce.

⭐️ Meaty, squeaky halloumi makes for a satisfying vegetarian meal, but you can swap for more veggies and less cheese if you prefer.

⭐️ On the shopping list, I have already bought a whole bag of red onions, you can substitute the white onion in this recipe for red, if you’re using the shopping list and trying to save buying another bag.

Satay-style peanut butter noodles with halloumi in a big pan.
5 from 55 votes

Peanut Butter Noodles with Halloumi {Satay-Style Stir Fry}

This Sticky Halloumi Peanut Butter Noodle recipe is quick, full of flavour and budget-friendly. Everything you need a quick and healthy stir fry!
View Recipe

Dinner 3

⭐️ Gnocchi is something a little different than normal pasta and works really well with plenty of sauce.

⭐️ No need to boil the gnocchi beforehand. Just throw it all in with the sauce to cook. Ready in about 20 minutes.

Meal Plan Recipe for Chorizo Gnocchi Bake
5 from 49 votes

Chorizo Gnocchi Pan-Fry

A simple but flavoursome one-pan recipe, this Chorizo Gnocchi dish is great for the whole family and can be whipped up in 20 minutes.
View Recipe

Dinner 4

⭐️ A tasty one-pan meal that serves up in 15 minutes.

⭐️ Throw in any vegetables you like, and it’d be delicious with turkey or chicken mince too if you want to give it a go.

⭐️ I’ve included rice on the shopping list to serve with this, but obviously leave out if you already have in the cupboard.

Sticky Mince Beef Stir Fry with green beans in a bowl with rice.
4.99 from 241 votes

Sticky Beef Mince Stir Fry

With low cost ingredients, a delicious sticky sauce and a cooking time of 15 minutes, this Beef Mince Stir Fry is an ideal midweek beef mince recipe.
View Recipe

Dinner 5

⭐️ A sociable serve-yourself family dinner that gets everyone eating more fish.

⭐️ Very little prep and is a messy, eat-with-your-hands, joyous meal.

⭐️ Even if you think you don’t like avocados, please try them like this, I promise it’s converted so many people – the sauce is SO GOOD!

Easy salmon tacos recipe on a wooden board with cucumber and avocado dressing
4.97 from 31 votes

Easy Cajun Salmon Tacos {30 minute meal}

These easy Cajun Salmon Tacos are served with a quick and creamy avocado and lime dressing for a utterly delicious and sociable 30-minute meal that the whole family will love.
View Recipe

Want more 30 minute Meal Plans?! Pre-order my brand new book “What’s for Dinner?” 100 BRAND NEW RECIPES!
📚 Amazon 🇬🇧

Quick reminder, the printable shopping list can be found HERE.

If you’ve found this useful, let’s be friends on Instagram @tamingtwins

new cookbook!

Featuring 100 delicious recipes that can be cooked in one pot, you can open any page in this book and find something that will give you not only a meal that the whole family will eat and enjoy, but also one that makes your life a little simpler in the process.

More Recipes

Sarah Rossi founder of and author of 'What's for Dinner?' books.


Hi, I'm Sarah. I help busy people decide 'What's for Dinner?' Find hundreds of recipes here, and also in my bestselling recipe book. Hope my recipes make your life easier ❤️

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1 Comment

  1. I have been really enjoying your meal plans. Unfortunately I don’t have an Aldi so this plan cost me $97 (aud) but that’s still much better than my usual shop.