Time spent in the kitchen should be leisurely and fun, according to Saturday Kitchen’s Matt Tebbutt – especially at the weekend! Here, he shares a simple weekend meal plan, complete with five recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Take your time over them and enjoy cooking together!

Friday Night: Hot and Sour Soup

Start off your weekend meal plan with this go-to quick-fix supper. If you have a fully-stocked store cupboard, it doesn’t require many other ingredients. The chicken can be substituted for leftover ham or roast pork. Delicious and comforting. Serves 4.

For the broth:

  • Vegetable oil 2 tbsp
  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs 2, cut into thin strips
  • Small shiitake mushrooms 6, thinly sliced
  • Garlic cloves 2, finely chopped
  • Root ginger 2tsp, finely chopped
  • Chicken stock 1 litre
  • Medium free-range egg 1, beaten
  • Toasted sesame oil 1tsp, plus extra to serve
  • Soy sauce 2tsp
  • Chilli oil 1tsp
  • Black vinegar or rice wine vinegar 1-2tbsp

To garnish:

  • Spring onions 4, thinly sliced
  • Red chilli 1, deseeded and finely chopped


  1. Heat a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the oil. Once hot, add the chicken strips and cook until golden brown, about 4-5 mins. Remove from the pan, cover and keep warm.
  2. Add the mushrooms, garlic and ginger to the hot pan and cook, stirring, for 2-3 mins. Pour in the stock and cook for 10-15 mins.
  3. In a bowl, whisk the egg, sesame oil, soy sauce, chilli oil and vinegar. Tip the egg mixture into the broth while it’s still warm, mixing constantly. It doesn’t look great at this stage but stick with it! Add the cooked chicken and let it warm through.
  4. To serve, ladle the broth into warmed serving bowls and garnish with the spring onions, red chilli and a drop or two of sesame oil.

Mighty mushrooms!

Shiitake mushrooms contain many of the same amino acids as meat, so are a good swap for vegetarians and vegans, and they could also help strengthen your immune system, which can weaken as you age.

One study in mice found that a supplement derived from shiitake mushrooms helped reverse some age-related decline in immune function.

weekend meal plan recipes

Saturday Brunch: Flatbreads with Mashed Avocado, Poached Eggs, Chilli, Preserved Lemon and Pine Nuts

This is a great brunch dish to add to your weekend meal plan. Perfect for those seeking their morning avocado kick! The preserved lemon and chilli wakes up the whole dish – kind of what you need in the morning.

These quick flatbreads are a real asset, as there’s no waiting for yeast to rise or dough to prove, so you can knock them up at the last minute. Serves 2.

For the flatbreads:

  • Self-raising flour 200g, plus extra for dusting
  • Full-fat Greek yoghurt 200g
  • Bicarbonate of soda ½ tsp
  • Pinch of fine salt
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Medium free-range eggs 2, poached, kept warm, to serve

For the mashed avocado:

  • Avocado 1, stoned and chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Tarragon 1tsp, chopped
  • Dill 1tsp, chopped

For the cucumber salad:

  • Cucumber ½, cut into long batons
  • Lamb’s lettuce or watercress 30g
  • Olive oil 2tbsp
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Pinch of black onion seeds

For the chilli, preserved lemon and pine nuts:

  • Dried chilli flakes ¼ tsp
  • Preserved lemons 2, chopped (I use small ones from a jar)
  • Sesame seeds 1 tsp, toasted in a dry pan
  • Fennel seeds 1 tsp, toasted in a dry pan and crushed in a pestle and mortar
  • Pine nuts 1 tbsp, toasted in a dry pan and chopped


  1. First make the flatbreads: combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, mixing together until it forms a soft dough. Divide the dough in half. Flour a work surface and roll out the dough to form 2 x 20cm rounds about 5mm thick.
  2. Heat a large frying pan over a high heat and cook the flatbreads on each side for 3-4 mins until blistered and cooked through. Keep somewhere warm until you’re ready to serve.
  3. Mash the avocado in a bowl with the lime juice and herbs, and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Next, mix all the salad ingredients in a bowl to combine. Finally, mix the ingredients for the chilli, preserved lemon and pine nuts together in a bowl.
  5. To serve, spread the mashed avocado onto the warm flatbreads and then top each with a warm poached egg. Spoon over the cucumber salad and then sprinkle over the chilli, lemon and pine nuts.

Healthy hearts!

The health benefits of avocados are well-known, including that just one half of this nutrient-dense fruit counts towards your five-a-day, but did you know they’re also good for your heart?

Avocados are high in fat with 60 per cent of this being monounsaturated fats, which can help protect against heart disease and lower blood pressure.

weekend meal plan recipes

Saturday Night Starter: Whipped Feta with Blackened Spring Onions, Chilli Dressing and Dill

Searing them in a dry pan over a high heat is a great way to cook spring onions. The dry, intense heat gives you that charred, barbecue taste, even from your kitchen stove. This dish works well as a light starter for your weekend meal plan, or as part of a mezze selection. Serves 2 as a starter.


  • Feta cheese 50g, crumbled
  • Double cream 3½ tbsp
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing:

  • Spring onions 12, around 2 bunches
  • Sea salt ½ tsp
  • Olive oil 2 tbsp
  • Chilli flakes 1 tsp
  • Garlic clove 1, chopped

To serve:

  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • ½ bunch of dill, chopped


  1. Whizz the feta and double cream in a food processor until smooth. Season with salt and set aside in a bowl.
  2. Put a dry frying pan over a high heat and when it’s very hot, lay the dry spring onions in the pan and sprinkle the ½ tsp sea salt over them. Press down on the onions using another smaller, heavier pan, lifting the top pan every now and again to check on the onions. You want them to cook and soften while they char in the dry pan. This will take 10-15 mins.
  3. In a small pan, heat the olive oil, chilli flakes and garlic over a low heat for 1-2 mins to bring out the flavour, without burning the garlic.
  4. To serve, spoon the whipped feta onto a serving dish, top with the blackened spring onions and spoon over the chilli dressing. Season with salt and pepper, squeeze over the lime juice, and sprinkle over the lime zest and dill.

Perfect peepers!

Spring onions are an excellent source of carotenoids and vitamin A, which can help keep the eyes healthy. They’re also rich in sulphur – important for the production of glutathione, which acts as an antioxidant for the lens of the eye.

Raising glutathione levels can be instrumental in both the prevention and resolution of visual problems.

weekend meal plan recipes

Saturday Night Main: Cumin-roasted Cauliflower with Sichuan Pepper and Peanut Dip

Packed full of flavours, this vegetarian dish is a real winner, even for hardened carnivores like me. I love the numbing effect of the Sichuan peppercorns but if they aren’t your thing, then you can just leave them out. There are so many other flavours involved, the dish won’t be poorer for it. Serves 2.

For the cauliflower:

  • Grapeseed or vegetable oil 2 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds 1 tbsp
  • Whole medium cauliflower 1, separated into florets, leaves kept and trimmed

For the dip:

  • Sichuan peppercorns 2 tsp, crushed in a pestle and mortar
  • Red chilli 1, chopped
  • Root ginger 1 tbsp, finely chopped
  • Garlic cloves 2, finely chopped
  • Sesame seeds 2 tbsp
  • Vegetable oil 3 tbsp
  • Chilli oil 1 tbsp
  • Soy sauce 1 tbsp
  • Toasted sesame oil 2 tsp
  • Crunchy peanut butter 5 tbsp

For the topping:

  • Cashews or peanuts 25g, toasted in a dry pan and finely chopped
  • Garlic clove ½, finely chopped
  • Breadcrumbs 25g, toasted in a dry pan
  • Black sesame seeds ¼ tbsp

To garnish:

  • Bunch of Thai basil 15g, leaves picked
  • Spring onions 4, finely chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7. Mix the oil and cumin seeds together in a bowl.
  2. Put the cauliflower on a baking tray and pour the cumin oil over the top of the florets. Roast the cauliflower in the oven for 20-30 mins until soft. For the last 5 mins of cooking, add the cauliflower leaves to the baking tray and roast those, too.
  3. To make the dip, put the Sichuan peppercorns, chilli, ginger, garlic and sesame seeds in a heatproof bowl. Heat the vegetable and chilli oil in a small pan. When hot, pour the oil over the Sichuan peppercorn mixture. It should crackle and pop. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil and whisk in the peanut butter. You might need to loosen the dip with a little water to give it more of a dressing consistency.
  4. For the topping, mix all the topping ingredients together, either chopping by hand or using a food processor, to a fine crumb and set aside.
  5. To serve, spoon a generous pool of peanut dressing onto each plate and top with the roasted cauliflower. Garnish with the peanut and breadcrumb topping and, lastly, the Thai basil leaves and spring onions.

Get a vitamin C top-up

Cauliflower is low in calories, yet high in vitamins – particularly vitamin C, important for this time of year when your immune system might need a boost. Just 128 grams of raw cauliflower provides 77 per cent of your recommended daily amount of vitamin C.

weekend meal plan recipes

Sunday Lunch: Rack of Lamb with Charred Broccoli, Ricotta, Grilled Chillies and Anchovy

Finish off your weekend meal plan with this great combination of flavours. I could eat ricotta all day, and a well-made one is like nothing else. The sweetness of the lamb, the tempered heat from the grilled chillies and the creaminess of the ricotta is heaven on a plate. Serves 2.


  • 1 x 8-bone lamb rack
  • Rosemary sprig 1
  • Butter 10g
  • Garlic clove 1, peeled, left whole and smashed
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the charred broccoli with ricotta, grilled chillies and anchovy

  • Purple sprouting broccoli 230g
  • Red finger chillies 2, grilled on a high heat with the skin on until blackened
  • 1 x 250g tub good-quality ricotta, drained for 24 hours over a colander lined with muslin
  • Top-quality anchovies 30g (Ortiz ones are brilliant), drained
  • Olive oil 2 tbsp


  1. You will need to drain the ricotta the day before. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7.
  2. Season the lamb rack well with just sea salt. Heat an ovenproof heavy-based frying pan over a high heat. When hot, add the lamb rack and hold it fat-side down in the pan for about 10 mins until the fat has turned golden brown. Turn the rack fat-side up, transfer to the oven and cook until pink, around 10 mins.
  3. Take the pan out of the oven and, while still hot, throw the rosemary, butter and smashed garlic clove into the pan and set aside to rest for 10 mins. Keep the juices in the pan for serving.
  4. While the lamb is in the oven, make the broccoli, ricotta, grilled chillies and anchovy. Heat a dry frying pan over a high heat. When hot, add the broccoli and put a heavy pan on top, letting the broccoli blister and char in the pan, turning occasionally. This will take around 5 mins.
  5. Carefully slip the tough skins from the blackened chillies and discard. Pull the flesh away from the seeds into long strands.
  6. To serve, slice the lamb rack into 8 individual cutlets. Break the ricotta into chunks and serve with the charred broccoli, topped with the chilli and the anchovy fillets. Pour over any meat juices, drizzle with the olive oil, and serve immediately.

Looking for more weekend meal plan inspiration? WEEKEND: Eating at Home: From Long Lazy Lunches to Fast Family Fixes by Matt Tebbutt (Quadrille, £22) is out now.

Click here for some post-workout meal ideas to boost your energy levels!