Pack your fridge and freezer full of pre-made goodies and you'll never be without a tasty dinner

6 prep-ahead recipes for a simpler spring

Spring should be about frolicking with lambs and nurturing daffodils, not spending every day in the kitchen preparing food to fill bellies. Liberate your time by setting aside a ‘cooking day’ and whip up these tasty meals that can then be refrigerated or frozen.


1. Melanzane alla parmigiana

This classic Italian dish of soft aubergines layered with tomato sauce and topped with melting mozzarella and parmesan is a hearty, meat-free recipe. Serve with a hunk of crusty bread to soak up the juices.


2. Lamb moussaka

A refreshing watercress sauce and crumbly cheese make this a lighter-tasting alternative to the usual rich béchamel used in moussaka. All the flavours and textures meld together beautifully, especially if cooked the day before.


3. Luxury fish pie

Salmon and cod are the luxury ingredients in this creamy pie, and the layered potato topping is a time-saving change from the usual mash. There are broccoli and leeks in the pie itself, which is served with a lovely fresh side of petits pois.


4. Fish and leek crumble

This tasty savoury crumble is topped with cubes of potato that roast as the pie cooks for a really different texture. It’s rich and creamy without being heavy. All in all, a good healthy choice for lunch or dinner. Buttered spring greens would make an ideal side.


5. Gnocchi and vegetable bake

This filling bake is a great way of getting kids to eat veg – but adults will love it just as much. The gnocchi makes it a substantial dish, while basil and mozzarella complete the Italian flavours.


6. Lentil and leek casserole with cheesy dumplings

This is a hearty dish that will satisfy any appetite and the dumplings are a moreish topping. It’s meat-free, but the lentils give it so much substance that no one will miss it. There’s only 20 minutes prep, then you can leave it to cook. Easy!