Nothing beats lazy, summery days at the cottage. In fact hot docks, cool lakes and good eats pretty much summarize our favourite memories of the season. Of course getting to the cottage is a whole other matter. Odds are you’ve braved heavy traffic and a long commute in order to actually arrive at your oasis, which means the last thing you’ll want to do is prepare a big and complex meal upon your arrival.
We’ve got your back though, with these easy-to-assemble dinners that take mere minutes to make. You’ll be kicking up your feet in no time.
Can’t decide if you’re feeling like a steak or a pizza? Some might assemble a pizza with steak on it, but we’re fans of this low-carb steak dressed like a pizza instead. Throw it on the grill for a hearty and satisfying meal that’s ready in minutes.
Sure, you could save French toast for a weekend brunch. But Nigella Lawson has a pretty nifty savoury version of the classic that is perfect for a quick and tasty dinner. Throw these into the pan after you unpack and you’ll be beside the campfire with a drink in your hand before you know it.
Kick your cottage stay off like royalty with a shrimp dish that’s easy, flavourful and versatile. You can either pair the shrimp with Manchego cheese and serve it tapas-style or whip up some pasta and dole the shrimp on top.
Mary Berg is the queen of extracting bold flavours from simple ingredients, and her grilled pizza is no exception. You’ll have to cheat a little in order to keep the meal at under 15 minutes, but by “cheat” we mean either pre-making the sauce to bring up to the cottage with you or going with the store-bought variety.
Fried fish and the cottage go hand-in-hand. But if you’re planning on bringing fish rather than catching it, this super simple recipe is perfect to kick off the cottage right. Spencer Watts uses crushed up chips (another cottage staple) as the coating for cod, and then the whole thing goes right into the oven. Serve it with an easy salad for a complete meal.
Grilled cheese is always a crowd-pleasing favourite, so this gussied up version is sure to impress. Rather than grilling the bread you grill actual spiced-up cheese, then serve it up for the best bread-and-cheese combo ever sampled at the cottage.
Pesto is one of our favourite pasta-toppers because it’s as delicious as it is easy to whip up. This particular pesto incorporates the peppery super-food that is watercress, and it can either be prepared on-site or ahead-of-time before you leave. Don’t feel like linguine? Slather the pesto on some bread and top it with precooked-chicken or turkey slices.
Whether you have vegetarians joining the party or not, this veggie riff on a classic family favourite will win over even the biggest meat-eaters. Everything cooks up in one simple pot and then bam! Onto the buns it goes. Easy, delicious and filling.
If it’s a more elevated type of fish you seek on your first night, you can still keep it simple while spicing things up. This recipe combines the subtle heat of chili with sweet paprika and garlic for a spicy fish dish that’s bound to satisfy sophisticated palates.
We love a hearty pasta any day of the week, but this one is particularly awesome because all you need to do is throw a bunch of ingredients into a pot and then let the stovetop do the work for you. It’s simple, filling, and the best part is that you can get to work organizing the rest of your groceries while it cooks.