When Time is Short, Try These…

Uh oh…you have guests coming over within the hour and you haven’t anything in to serve them. What to do?

Rather than run over to the nearest shop to buy ready-made treats, why not whip up something fresh for your guests? Cooking doesn’t have to mean toiling away for hours in the kitchen. You can just as easily make something in under an hour that your guests will still love.

Read on for some quick and easy recipes…


Canapés are the perfect bite-size party food. While they look almost too pretty to eat, throwing them together really is a piece of cake.

The GoodtoKnow website put together 50 fast and simple-to-make canapé recipes. Dazzle your guests with items from this list, which includes these creamy Parma ham and mozzarella bites, minty pea and prawn crostini, smoked salmon-topped rushed potatoes, and quirky leek, blue cheese and walnut pizza. These dishes require very little prep time and go a long way in keeping your guests satisfied, not to mention impressed by the colours!


Soups are warm, delicious and filling, and fortunately for you, there are plenty of recipes out there that can be made in no time. So grab your pot or pan and try out some of Genius Kitchen’s 13 one pot soups.

We love the cheesy toppings in this hearty macaroni tomato soup and this spinach and sausage soup, which is paired with a lovely Parmesan toast floating on top. For a vegan option, this delicious black bean soup hits all the right notes and will have your guests begging for more.

Stir Fries

Who doesn’t love a good stir fry? Not only are they absolutely tasty, but they can take less than 30 minutes to prepare and end up looking effortless, making them the ultimate fast option for unexpected dinner guests. They can also help clear out your fridge if you don’t know when or how to cook a particular ingredient.

Bon Appétit shares 35 customisable stir fry recipes that can be whipped up in no time. Use up leftover grains by mixing them with prawns and eggs in this recipe, or find a creative use for romaine that’s starting to reach the end of its life. Or you could imitate your favourite takeaway with this beef, shiitake and snow pea stir fry. There are endless options!


Preparing pasta is a simple and quick concept: boil the pasta, drain them, and mix them with sauce, cheese, and other ingredients, et voila! A filling dinner is yours.

Taste of Home’s put together a master list of 50 pasta recipes, all ready in thirty minutes or fewer. Try this scampi-inspired garlic chicken rigatoni, or, for something cheesier, give this garlicky sun-dried tomato linguine a go. For flavours that cross cultural boundaries, this Bangkok-style Thai chicken pasta is sure to be a hit with your guests.

We hope some of these recipes help you when you need it most! Which are your favourites? Let us know in the comments below.

Until next time…

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