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Quick family lunches from @annasfamilykitchen

With the school holidays looming, Anna, from @annasfamilykitchen, rustles up some of her quick and easy family lunch recipes.

Chicken Noodle Soup

This soup has been on repeat in my kitchen for years! Home-made stock makes all the difference, but you could use good quality shop bought if you’re not planning on roasting a chicken anytime soon!

Each time I roast a chicken, if I can’t be faffed to deal with it there and then I put the carcass into a bag in the freezer for when I can be faffed! Add the carcass to the pan, add a carrot, onion, any herbs you have, some peppercorns. Maybe a leek or celery stick. Whatever you think will add flavour and goodness. Then cover and simmer (or leave in a low oven) and strain.

Ingredients:- 4 portions
600g cooked chicken chopped
1.5l good chicken stock
2 garlic cloves crushed
5cm ginger chopped
3 tbsp soy sauce
200g noodles (dried, fresh or vacuum packed)
Vegetables – use whatever you have in the fridge or freezer!
5 spring onions sliced
1 chilli sliced

Add the stock, garlic, ginger, soy and the chicken strips to a large pan. Bring to a simmer. Add the noodles and vegetables and cook for 7 minutes.

Serve into bowls.

I like to finish mine with a drizzle of chilli oil.


Chicken or Vegetarian Black Bean depending on what you fancy! Here are the recipes for both, together with some ideas for toppings so that everyone‘s tastes are catered for. I have one resident vegetarian, so the black bean version works brilliantly for her. The middle one doesn’t like fresh tomatoes, and my youngest won’t eat avocado….Does anyone relate? Tacos are a brilliant mix & match family sharing meal – something to please everyone!

Ingredients:- 4 portions

For the chicken tacos:-
800g chicken breasts or thighs
2 garlic cloves crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt & pepper

For the black bean tacos:-
1 small onion chopped
2 garlic cloves crushed
400g can black beans drained
1 red pepper cubed
200g chopped tomatoes
1 tsp chipotle paste
1 tbsp balsamic

12 Tortillas

Suggestions for the mix & match toppings:-
Diced tomatoes
Diced avocado
Diced pepper
Sweet corn
Lime quarters
Grated cheddar
Sour cream, mayo or Greek yogurt

For the chicken version, combine all the ingredients. If using chicken breasts bash them out using a rolling pin so they’re half their thickness. Cut the thighs or breasts in half.

Get a pan or griddle searing hot & cook the chicken for 3 minutes each side.

For the black bean version, soften the onion, garlic & pepper for 5 mins then add the black beans, tomatoes & chipotle paste. Simmer for 20 mins.

Prepare all your toppings.

Warm the tortillas either in a hot oven or in a dry pan.

Load up the tortillas & let everyone put their finishing touches to their own

Sticky Sesame Chicken Drumsticks

Here’s a lunch or snack idea using my favourite honey & soy marinade. I’ve shared a whole roasted sesame chicken, sticky chicken thighs, and a one pan sticky chicken using sliced breasts. Give a warm welcome to the purse friendly sticky sesame drumstick! All the ingredients (except the sesame seeds) are thrown together and then roasted for 25 minutes. They’re nearly as good eaten cold as they are hot so when you hear those familiar words “I’m hungry” (normally about an hour after their last meal), whip one of these out!

Ingredients:- 4 portions
8 drumsticks
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp Chinese five spice
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sesame seeds

Combine all the ingredients apart from the sesame seeds in a bowl. Coat the chicken in the sauce and then roast on a baking tray lined with parchment (to save on washing up!) for 25 minutes. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds for the final 5 minutes.

Tear and Share Bread Rolls

If you can’t put the children in charge of the evening meal, then how about getting them baking something useful for lunch?! These are fun to make & will keep your youngsters entertained throughout an entire morning or afternoon. They don’t require hours of hands on time but they’ll need to revisit their dough a few times to knock it back, prove & divide a few times!

These rolls were plain but you can add herbs, tomatoes, olives and/or a handful of cheddar to the dough & finish with a grating of Parmesan and thyme before baking.

Ingredients:- 9 rolls
600g Strong White Flour
7g easy yeast
1 tsp Salt
375g warm water
2 tbsp olive oil

If mixing my hand, tip all the ingredients apart from the water into a large bowl. Give everything a stir and make a well in the middle.

Start adding the water a little at a time stirring with a silicone spatula. Once all the water has gone in get your hands in and form a dough.

Knead for 10 minutes.

If using a dough hook on a mixer simply mix the dry ingredients with the olive oil and then pour in the water and let the mixer do its thing for 5 minutes.

Lightly oil a bowl (I use spray oil) & drop the dough in, cover with cling film & put somewhere warm for the dough to prove for an hour. It should double on size.

Knock the dough back and cut it into 9 equal pieces. Make each one into a ball.

Arrange each in a roasting or cake tin. Cover again & leave to prove for 30 mins.

Put in a 200 degree oven (180 fan) for 30 minutes.


Here’s a lunch idea that will be popular with most kids, big or small – my much healthier spin on Nachos. For Vegetarians, keep one half meat free, on the other half add chopped cooked chicken. Instead of shop bought nachos or tortilla chips, I use soft tortilla wraps.

Ingredients:- 4 portions
8 Tortilla Wraps
1 x 400g can black beans drained
3 cooked sweet corn cobs, kernels removed or 1 x 195g can unsweetened sweet corn
300g fresh tomatoes roughly chopped
1-2 cooked chicken breasts chopped
100g grated cheddar
2 jarred red peppers sliced
1 avocado peeled & diced
1 chilli, deseeded and sliced
Juice of 1-2 limes
Optional (lots of children don’t like it!) coriander leaves

Start by cutting the tortilla wraps into triangles using scissors. Cut each in half, then in half again and in half again.

Get a large baking tray or roasting tin lined with baking parchment (no washing up!!) and add the tortilla triangles. Bake for 5 minutes in a 180 oven. Move them around and bake again for a couple of minutes so that they’re all toasted and have just a bit of colour.

Layer the tortilla chips with the black beans, tomatoes, sweetcorn, chicken, cheddar and peppers.

Ideally, you’ll have about 3 layers. Finish with some cheddar and the chilis on top.

Bake for 10 minutes, add the avocado and squeeze over the lime.

Follow @annasfamilykitchen for more amazing recipes

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