Emergency guests 101: 7 last-minute meals to throw together

We’ve all been there. Perhaps you made dinner plans and forgot all about them. Or perhaps you came over all spontaneous (what were you thinking?!) and invited some friends around for dinner that VERY SAME NIGHT. Or perhaps guests have just descended on you at the last minute (the cheek!). Either way, it’s late afternoon and you’re in a blind panic, knowing you only have time to quickly dash to the shops on your way home. Prep time? For-gedda-boud-it. Never fear, here are seven incredibly simple last-minute meals that are still worthy of an occasion.

1. Easy Moroccan chicken with couscous

This one scores big on taste, presentation and the exotic spicy aroma factor. The recipe also offers plenty of variations in case you don’t have all of the ingredients on hand. That’s us, always here to help.

2. Lemon and garlic prawn pasta

Just a few simple ingredients tossed together will give you a delicious, restaurant-quality meal with a classic flavour combination that’s guaranteed to please a crowd.

3. Roast pumpkin and feta slice

When veggos come a-callin’ (or indeed, if you’re that way inclined yourself), a minimum of fuss and prep will soon have you presenting this rather fancy vegetarian slice to the dinner table. PS It’s also packed full of protein, the vegetarian’s Holy Grail.

See here for the Roast pumpkin and feta slice recipe.

4. Thai beef salad with nam jim

Simple to prepare, quick to cook, pretty to look at and scrum-diddly-umptious to eat. There’s no box left unticked with this tasty and healthy Asian dish.

5. Spring lamb rack with dukkah yoghurt

Everyone will think this fancy looking (and tasting … and sounding) dish has been hours in the planning! No need to tell them you bunged it together in five minutes after madly cleaning the house in your underwear just before their arrival, now is there?

6. Salmon with Asian-style dressing

Beautifully fresh, tangy flavours and a delightful presentation will have your guests gasping in awe and you breathing a sigh of relief that you came across this post in time for their unscheduled visit.

7. Macadamia-crusted barramundi

Presenting a macadamia-crusted barramundi to your guests will have you coming across all Masterchef-y and classy-like … but it’s one of the easiest and quickest things to make. You sneaky kitchen minx, you.

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