We’ve all been there. Students, expats, newly-wed, backpacking in a hostel, super-tired or stove-afraid. Those days when we get back home totally knackered or with only a couple of sad ingredients in the fridge. Well, we now collected some of the simplest recipes that you can make with very few things and in a very few minutes. In 2018, forget frozen food and ready-meals, just save this post and add your own easy recipes in the comments below.

1. Pizza

Boy, I am Italian, so I had to start from there. Of course you can pick up the phone to get one delivered, you can also go down to the supermarket and buy a frozen one. But hey, home-made pizza takes 30 minutes and four ingredients: flour, salt, yeast, water and olive oil. You can make a pizza-making party to get the craziest toppings and maybe gather some friends for the occasion. The best recipe is here.

2. Veggie stir fry

This recipe is super-healthy and you can have the vegetarian version or add chicken or beef for a meaty twist. You only need a frozen bag of assorted vegetables or even better, pick the fresh veggies at a market yourself. Cook the rice or the noodles as described in the package and while it’s cooking, add olive oil to a frying pan and when it’s warm add the veggies for about 5-6 minutes. Then pick a plate, mix rice/noodles and vegetable add some soy sauce and voilà, dinner is served.

3. Three-ingredient Tandoori Chicken

Are you inviting someone for dinner and you are tired (or ashamed) of take-aways yet again? Well this 30-minutes tandoori chicken is a life-saver both for a romantic date as well as for friends gatherings.

4. Vegan French Toasts

Ok, let me tell y’all. I’ve been out clubbing all night when I was younger and there is nothing that fixes me better than French toasts. This vegan version is even better than the classic ones. I swear.

5. Two-minutes Minestrone

Even the BBC has an easy-recipe section in its Good Food section and this minestrone recipe is the perfect solution for these winter days where the flu and the cold are waiting to catch us.

6. Bolognese Sauce or Ragù

This is a tasty and versatile sauce that you can use for your spaghetti, lasagne (see below), moussaka or even just inside a sandwich (yes, I did it a few times!!). Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the finely-chopped onion, celery and carrot. Fry over a low heat for 10 mins while stirring making sure it doesn’t stick to the pan and until softened. Add the mince meat and cook until browned. Then add the tomato puree and then…..wait. Let me tell ya a secret: the more you let your ragù cooking on the stove the better. There is a renowned restaurant near Milan that cooks its Bolognese sauce for 24 hrs, the queue to go inside is endless.

7. Lasagna

It freezes well and it reheats even better. So take your Bolognese sauce above, get some fillo pasta, white sauce and parmesan. Put a layer of each after the other and then shove it in oven for 20/30 minutes at 200 degrees.

Buon appetito!!

…If you want to know more tips and tricks for living abroad, you may like these articles…