Dinner for the whole family in 10 minutes!

Time slips like mercury through my fingers every day. It seems I just get up, do some washing, have a play and then it’s lunchtime. I just clean that away, do some more washing and then it’s dinner.

Time. It seems to mock me daily.

Don’t know about your house, but there never seems to be enough of it in mine.

The washing is endless, the tidying is boundless, and the little voices in my head (no, not those ones, my kids incessant chatter) are never-ending.

It can be exhaustipating (may not be an actual word, but who’s counting?’.

I love eating, and for the most part, I love cooking, but there are some days where I simply don’t wanna. I’m spent.

If you want to see how I save time in the kitchen to give myself more time doing the fun stuff, check out this video from my Holsby TV channel. There’s also a little hint about how to keep yourself nice for your partner.

My favourite kind of food is the kind that everyone in the house will eat with minimal fuss.
Sometimes, I don’t mind making a little dinner for my toddler and then cooking separately for us grown up type people, but then there are those days where time, and perhaps mojo, is not on your side and you need a super quick option that leaves everyone happy.
First prize is something everyone can eat.

toddler-pasta-recipe-625x430This pesto is exactly that meal.

I don’t love it because it’s versatile, and can be stirred through mayo to dress a salad or smear on a sandwich, and I don’t love it because it keeps nicely when refrigerated or frozen. I love it because my kids love it and it takes 5 minutes to prepare.

By the time the water for the pasta has boiled my pesto is ready and we’re ready to eat.

I also freeze portions of the pesto and pull it out as I need it.

Pesto is fabulous dolloped onto grilled fish or chicken, or stirred through freshly boiled potatoes with a squeeze of lemon for a new take on potato salad with much less fat.

Traditionally, pesto is basil with garlic and pine nuts and parmesan, but I’ve discovered that with enough basil and parmesan you can disguise most green vegetables so it’s a brilliant way to get in some sneaky vegetables to fussy kids.

Raw food is incredibly important for the human body so I often don’t bother cooking what I blitz, although if you wanted to blanch quickly, that works too. If you’re concerned about pasta due to wheat intolerance, there are many alternatives available at the supermarket these days – quinoa, rice and corn is a great combo that has fabulous nutritional qualities.

I’m writing this as a toddler meal, but on busy weeknights I’ve most certainly been known to buy some good quality spinach and ricotta ravioli and crisp up some pancetta and serve this to us tall people for dinner. It’s seriously so fast and easy….and most importantly, delicious.

NOTE : If basil is too expensive or strong tasting for your bub, you can substitute parsley or rocket. The added bonus of this is a monster iron hit, too.

Time : 5 minutes

Yield : 4 toddler serves or 2 adult and 1 toddler serve


  • 2 big handfuls fresh, yummy basil
  • 1 handful or rocket or baby spinach
  • 50g good quality parmesan
  • 30g nuts – pine nuts, almonds and walnuts work for me
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Small handful of choice of veg – sugar snap peas, broccoli, zucchini combo
  • 90ml good olive oil
  • Penne to serve


  1. Place all ingredients into a mini food processor, or a blender or container to blitz with hand held Kitchen Wizz wand thing. Blitz it until a paste forms.
  2. You want it to be luscious, not gluggy, so add a little water, if needed, until it’s like a thick sauce.
  3. Meanwhile, boil your pasta. At the last minute, I also throw into my pasta water some cubed carrots and cauliflower as this gets devoured when smothered in pesto.
  4. Drain pasta, add a couple of spoons of pesto and serve. You can also add tinned tuna, cooked chicken, cherry tomatoes or whatever you have for variety on the theme.

If you liked this post be sure to pop over ad check out the blog Keeping Up With The Holsbys, or you can like my Facebook page, or follow me on twitter @theholsbys, so you can be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.

  • I love presenting delicious and green food because the pop of colour is always so enticing.


  • It looks so nice and healthy! Well done!!


  • Love a quick yummy meal like this. Thanks.


  • This sounds really good thanks Danielle!


  • Definitely another great way to smuggle extra veggies into the kids!!


  • Sounds good, but hubby had a bad experience with pesto and wont touch it.


  • Totally love this one


  • Looks fantastic, I’ll definitely add this to our recipe book.


  • so easy!


  • WOW thanks for sharing – we got to taste test similar the show last year it was great!


  • Nice one. I’ll be stealing this recipe now that I’m planting basil. Store bought pesto is so expensive.


  • This is a simple delicious meal. I love to serve this to my friends for lunch. It’s quick and easy and everyone loves it!


  • My daughter is going to love this recipe, Thankyou


  • This is such a quick healthy dinner.


  • Like the tip about throwing in the veggies.


Post a comment
Like Facebook page

LIKE MoM on Facebook

Please enter your comment below
Would you like to include a photo?
No picture uploaded yet.
Please wait to see your image preview here before hitting the submit button.
Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

You May Like


Looks like this may be blocked by you browser or content filtering.

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just a star rating?

Write A Rating Just A Star Rating