Lerato Maimela
Digital Journalist
8 minute read
12 Jan 2022
3:33 pm

Six midweek meals to prepare in under 20 minutes

Lerato Maimela

Try these delicious, quick and easy midweek meals that can be prepared and cooked in under 20 minutes which your family will be sure to love.

Creamy tomato spinach pasta. Picture: Pinterest

Save yourself some time in the kitchen and try these delicious, quick and easy midweek meals for yourself and your loved ones for dinner.

These yummy meals can be prepared and cooked in under 20 minutes, and if you do not have much of an idea or plan on what you would like to cook, then you can try creating each dish for dinner for the rest of the week.

Creamy tomato spinach pasta

Creamy tomato spinach pasta
Creamy tomato spinach pasta. Picture: Pinterest


  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1kg of crushed tomatoes
  • 226g of plain dairy-free cream cheese, Kite Hill is my favourite
  • 2 teaspoons of dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons of dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper
  • 226g of baby spinach
  • 500g of penne pasta, or pasta of choice
  • fresh basil and vegan cashew parmesan for garnish, optional


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta as directed. Strain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, warm the oil over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic then cook for about three minutes, until the onion is translucent. Then add the spinach and cook until wilted.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes and seasoning (oregano, basil, salt and pepper) to the skillet. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted and evenly combined.
  4. Strain the pasta, add it back to the pot then pour the sauce over the top. Stir until evenly coated. Serve your meal warm with cashew parmesan and fresh basil (optional), and enjoy your meal!

This recipe was found on makingthymeforhealth.com

Mediterranean chicken kebabs

Mediterranean chicken kebabs. Picture: iStock


For the tahini yogurt sauce

  • ⅓ cup of thick plain yogurt, Greek or Icelandic-style
  • ¼ cup of tahini paste
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of cold water
  • ½ teaspoon of grated or finely chopped garlic
  • ½ teaspoon of kosher salt

For the chicken skewers

  • 675g of boneless chicken thigh or breast, cut into chunks
  • ¼ cup of prepared basil pesto
  • ½ teaspoon of kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon of crushed red chili
  • 225g of halloumi cheese, cut into chunks
  • 250g of zucchini, cut into chunks
  • 1 ½ cups of cherry tomatoes
  • ⅔ cup of peppadew peppers
  • 4 lemon wedges
  • Garnishes for serving
  • 1 Persian or baby cucumber, sliced
  • ½ cup of crumbled feta cheese


  1. Whisk all ingredients in a bowl or pulse in a food processor until smooth. Sauce can be made up to 3-5 days ahead (keep refrigerated until ready to serve).
  2. Assemble and cook chicken skewers
  3. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C and line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  4. Put the chicken in a medium bowl and toss with the pesto, salt and chilli pepper.
  5. Thread the chicken, cheese, zucchini, tomatoes and peppers on skewers, alternating as you go. Aim for 10-12 pieces per skewer.
  6. Put the skewers on the preheated grill and cook until the chicken is cooked through, 3-5 minutes per side. If they’re browning too fast, move to the cooler part of the grill and cover to finish cooking. If you’re cooking in the oven, bake about 20 minutes, turning once, until the chicken is no longer pink and the cheese is browned.
  7. Spread about 1/4 cup of the yogurt sauce on a large platter. Arrange the skewers on top and squeeze the lemon wedges over. Serve with cucumber, feta and additional sauce on the side of your meal.

This recipe was found on familystylefood.com

Creamy polenta with wild mushrooms, garlic and sage

Creamy polenta with wild mushrooms, garlic and sage
Creamy polenta with wild mushrooms, garlic and sage. Picture: iStock


  • 4 ½ cups of veggie or chicken stock
  • 1 cup of polenta
  • ½ cup of cheese-optional
  • 1–2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of wild mushrooms
  • 1–2 tablespoons of oil or butter
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2–3 cloves of garlic, rough chopped
  • 2–3 tablespoons of wine – totally optional
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh sage
  • Finishing salt
  • Garnish – a drizzle of truffle oil, optional – but worth it!


  1. Heat the stock in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, turn the heat down to low and gradually whisk in the cornmeal to the hot liquid while whisking vigorously to avoid any clumping.
  2. Bring to a simmer, cover and let simmer gently on low heat for 10 minutes, then give a good stir. (Start the mushrooms below!) Cover again, simmer 10 more minutes, give another good stir. If using fine cornmeal, this should be close to done, if using a coarse polenta, you may need to cook a tad longer until grains fully open.
  3. When the polenta is tender and cooked through, add your choice of olive oil, or butter, optional cheese, white pepper, stirring until fully incorporated. TASTE and adjust salt. Turn off heat, cover until ready to serve.
  4. While the polenta is simmering, sauté the mushrooms. Heat oil over medium heat, add shallots, garlic and mushrooms, cook 6-7 minutes until mushrooms release their liquid, lowering heat if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Let the liquid cook off and allow the mushrooms to brown a little. At this point, you could splash with a little wine, letting this cook-off too (optional). Add the sage leaves right at the end and cook for one minute. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed.
  5. Serve the mushrooms atop a bed of delicious creamy polenta.
  6. Drizzle your meal with truffle oil if you want.

This recipe was found on feastingathome.com

Asian chicken lettuce wraps

Asian chicken lettuce wraps. Picture: iStock


For the sauce

  • 5 tablespoons of tamari soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of almond butter
  • 1 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses
  • 2 teaspoon of white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil

For the wraps

  • 1 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 500g of chicken
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoons of freshly grated ginger
  • 28g of water chestnuts (whole or sliced), drained and diced
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 head of a butter lettuce, leaves removed and washed
  • 1 cup of mung bean sprouts, optional

ALSO TRY: Recipe of the day: Healthy chicken pasta recipe to kick off the week


  1. Combine all of the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and whisk together.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add the ground chicken and cook until browned, making sure to break up the chicken as it cooks.
  3. Add the minced garlic, onion and ginger to the chicken and cook for 1-2 minutes longer, or until the onion starts to become translucent.
  4. Pour the sauce on top of the chicken and stir until well combined. Add the water chestnuts and green onions, then stir everything together. Season with black pepper.
  5. To serve, place a large spoonful of chicken mixture onto a butter lettuce leaf. Top your meal with mung bean sprouts.

This recipe was found downshiftology.com

Dinner omelet

Dinner omelet
Dinner omelet. Picture: iStock


  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup of chopped tomato
  • 3 tablespoons of minced green onion
  • 1/2 cup of shredded havarti cheese


  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. Combine the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl and beat well to mix.
  3. Place a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and melt the butter. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet. Starting the omelet with a hot pan helps the omelet form a golden-brown crust.
  4. Reduce the heat to low. As the eggs cook, pull the mixture to the centre of the pan with a rubber spatula and gently lift the cooked portions to allow the uncooked egg mixture to flow underneath. Be careful not to break up the omelet shape.
  5. Cook until the eggs are just set and the bottom is lightly golden but the top is still shiny and moist.
  6. Sprinkle the mushrooms, tomatoes, green onions, and cheese evenly over the eggs. Fold the omelet in half using a rubber spatula. Cover, and cook for one minute longer to allow the cheese to melt.
  7. Cut in half, plate, and eat immediately.

This recipe was found on thespruceeats.com

Taco soup

Taco soup
Taco soup. Picture: iStock


  • 500g of lean ground beef
  • 1 cup of chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon of chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
  • 2 cans of Mexican flavour diced tomatoes with green chillis
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can of chilli beans, with juice
  • 1 cup of frozen corn kernels
  • 4 cups of water
  • Shredded cheese, tortilla chips, avocado, cilantro, chopped onion, sour cream, and lime for serving


  1. In a large stock pot over medium heat, cook the ground beef, breaking into smaller chunks, until no longer pink.
  2. Add the onion and cook until it softens, about 3 minutes, then stir in the tomato paste, chilli powder, cumin, garlic powder, and kosher salt, and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring often.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, black beans, chilli beans, and corn.
  4. Add the water and bring to a boil, then reduce to a rolling simmer.
  5. Cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you like a thicker soup, cook longer to thicken.
  6. Garnish your meal with your favourite taco toppings and serve.

This recipe was found on foodiecrush.com