Versatile and Easy : A Meat Recipe To Meet Everyone’s Preferences

There’s one meal that is my ‘go to’ from my (limited) arsenal of recipes.

It’s a recipe that you can substitute different cuts of meat and accompanying carbohydrates to meet different tastes.  And it isn’t expensive either.

If you’re anything like our home, your children will have different likes and dislikes and although you will have to agree on the meat (you could have two different pans at the same time but if you’re already catering for different carbs, this could be difficult!) you can choose different accompaniments.

Here’s a list of ingredients to serve 4 adults:

Your usual portion of fresh egg spaghetti/pasta/rice (recommended guideline for a pasta serving per person is 75g-115g/3oz-4oz per person but I use less)

1 tbsp olive oil

Per adult one skinless chicken breast fillet, sliced into small strips (or your substituted meat)

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 unwaxed lemon, juiced and finely grated

1 x 250g tub extra-light soft cheese

Handful fresh lemon thyme, leaves stripped

You can use fresh egg spaghetti, wholemeal pasta, crusty bread, jacket potato, rice.  I love lemon Basmati rice AND wholegrain rice, A likes pasta and S if he was home would go for fresh egg spaghetti.

I often use chicken breasts (have you noticed how reasonably priced they are since the Food Standards Agency published rates of campylobacter contamination for the supermarket brands?).  It might be timely here from a health and safety perspective for me to direct you to an article on the Telegraph ‘How to prepare and cook chicken safely.’  I’ve also used turkey, pork and beef.  We prefer our chicken in small chunks as opposed to strips.

I’ve substituted lemon for lime and as you can see from the photo, I’ve also used fresh juice made from lemons.  I’ve also substituted the thyme for mint.

With the emphasis on low fat in our diets, it’s great that Tesco (and I’m sure other supermarket brands) has a soft cheese that has 40% less fat.  If soft cheese isn’t your thing, you could substitute tomatoes and puree.



If you’re cooking pasta/spaghetti/rice, cook in boiling water following pack instructions.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan/skillet and cook the chicken on each side for a few minutes until browned.

Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the garlic in the pan and cook for 1 minute until just softened but not browned.  Return the chicken to the pan with the lemon juice, half the zest, the cream cheese and if you’re using, half the thyme leaves, and cook for a couple of minutes to heat through.

Stir well and season to taste.

We enjoy this meal with a salad, whatever the time of year.  You can add whatever you all like!

Once you’ve drained the pasta, you can either toss with the chicken and sauce, scattering over the reserved thyme leaves and lemon zest before serving or you can serve separately.

My half lemon Basmati and half wholemeal with less chicken than the men of the house.

The meat and sauce also tastes fab for a lighter meal as a jacket potato filling.

Total time to prepare and cook = 25 minutes.

And I can guarantee, not only is it inexpensive and versatile, it will also get your tastebuds zinging!

Do you have a ‘go to’ meal?

You’re welcome to share links to your blog posts in the comments.

Married with two sons in their early 20's, by day I'm an Inclusion Lead in a local school. I recharge my batteries by reading, being out in nature and creating with crochet. I've been blogging for six years, four of those years exclusively about the literary world and during that time awarded Romance Blogger of the Year at the inaugural Festival of Romance. I'm enjoying the freedom of lifestyle blogging and sharing my love of anything that makes life easier! As well as a lover of words, I'm a stationery addict and lifelong learner. I feel passionate about early help for special educational needs, disability and families who are struggling. I'm a member of my local Early Help Operational Board and it's an honour to be working alongside others to instigate change and growth.