quick lasagne recipe to cook on the hob

3 shortcut recipes to cook on the hob, from butter chicken to lasagne

Posted by for Food and Drink

When you’re short on time, cooking on the hob is a great way to create simple, satisfying meals. Switch off the oven and get started with these three recipes.

As much as we love the chance to while a few hours away in the kitchen with a fancy new recipe, it’s also true our culinary exploits are often defined by time. Specifically, a lack of it. When we’re tired and hungry, our primal instincts suddenly propel us towards food that lets us get dinner on the table double quick, even if that means cooking the same few recipes in rotation.

When you get clever with your meals, though, you don’t have to compromise on flavour, as Amy Sheppard explains in her new cookbook Hob: A Simpler Way To Cook. Using the medium of the hob alone, you can create tasty, time-saving recipes in half an hour or less. Not only do you eliminate that cursed 15-minute wait to preheat the oven, but you can work quickly and simply with your ingredients. From the get-go, you’re cooking on gas (or electricity). 

There’s also a great deal of flexibility to be found on the top of the cooker, whether you’re whipping up a simple dinner for yourself or planning a spread for friends. From crowd-pleasers like katsu curry and chorizo marinara, to sweet treats such as apple and cinnamon rolls, every recipe in Hob is a low-maintenance delight, requiring nothing more of you than a spot of simmering, sautéing and frying. 

Plus, if you live with housemates, this is a great way to ensure there’s no struggle to secure a rack in the oven.

Hob cookbook by Amy Sheppard
Hob by Amy Sheppard is out 10 June with Bloomsbury Absolute

Short on time, low on energy, or simply don’t fancy heating up the kitchen by turning the oven on? Below, Sheppard shares three shortcut dinners just right for evenings when you all you want to do is relax.

First up, a meal that you’ve probably unofficially cooked a version of at some point: kedgeree. A dish of smoked fish and golden spiced rice that originated in colonial India and became a Victorian breakfast staple, Sheppard’s cheat’s recipe is ideal for a light brunch.

Amy Sheppard is the author of Hob: A Simpler Way To Cook
Amy Sheppard is the author of Hob: A Simpler Way To Cook

The easy butter chicken, meanwhile, is a fast-cook version of a classic curry which only requires 10 minutes of prep. Simply marinate your chicken overnight and when dinnertime rolls around the next day, the meat will have a beautiful depth of flavour.

Lastly, Sheppard’s lasagne(ish) takes a dish that usually requires at least an hour in the oven (and creates an unholy mountain of washing up) and simplifies it to a one-pan on-the-hob recipe.

Not only does it look and taste as good as the original, but you can savour every mouthful in the knowledge that you’ve got next to no clean-up. After all, our time is much better spent in the sunshine. 

  • Cheat’s kedgeree

    quick kedgeree recipe
    Best cook-on-the-hob recipes: Amy Sheppard's quick kedgeree

    Amy says: “This is a simple version of a classic dish using cheap store cupboard ingredients. The spices are mild, so if you like a bit more heat, just add a little chilli or use hot curry powder.”

    Feeds 2

    Cooking time: 15 min

    Ingredients

    • 2 eggs
    • 1 onion, finely sliced
    • 2 x 160g tins of mackerel in oil
    • 1 tablespoon mild or hot curry powder (depending on how spicy you like it)
    • 2 x 250g pouches of cooked long grain rice
    • 50ml whole milk
    • small handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, to serve (optional)
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Method

    Bring a saucepan of water to a vigorous boil. Gently lower the eggs into the pan with a slotted spoon and simmer for 8 minutes – this will be enough to hard-boil them.

    While the eggs are cooking, prepare the rice. Place the onion and a drizzle of oil from the mackerel tin in a large, non-stick frying pan. Fry the onion for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.

    Add the curry powder and fry for 1 minute, then add the pouches of rice, the mackerel and the milk. Reduce the heat to low and fry gently for 5 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the rice and mackerel. The rice will separate easily as it heats up.

    When the eggs are ready, place them in a bowl of cold water.

    When the rice is fully heated through, season with salt and pepper. Divide the kedgeree between 2 plates. 

    Shell the eggs, and cut each egg into quarters. Arrange the quarters over the rice in each bowl. 

    Finish with some finely chopped parsley and a little black pepper before serving, if you wish.

    Tip

    As well as a comforting dinner, kedgeree makes a lovely lunch as you can eat it hot or cold. Just prep it the night before and store it in an airtight container.

  • Easy butter chicken

    easy butter chicken recipe
    Best cook-on-the-hob recipes: Amy Sheppard's easy butter chicken

    Amy says: “The traditional version of this requires you to marinate the chicken overnight and it has considerably more ingredients. This isn’t the quickest recipe in the chapter, but the hands-on time is under 10 minutes. It’s a fast-cook version of a classic curry, which you can put together with no fuss, even on the busiest of days. This is a two-pan meal if served with rice.”

    Feeds 4–6 

    Cooking time: 30 mins

    Ingredients

    • 50g butter
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 750g chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
    • 2 tablespoons tomato purée
    • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1 teaspoon mild or hot chilli powder (depending on how spicy you like it)
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 2 teaspoons garam masala
    • 200g passata
    • 1 x 400g tin of full-fat coconut milk
    • boiled white rice and naan breads, to serve
    • small handful of coriander, finely chopped, to serve (optional)
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Method

    Melt the butter in a large saucepan with a lid, on a medium heat. Add the onion and fry (without the lid) for 5 minutes, until the onion has softened. 

    Add the chicken and fry for a further 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until the chicken is no longer pink on the outside.

    Stir in the tomato purée, garlic, ginger, chilli powder, paprika, cumin and garam masala. Fry for 1–2 minutes, stirring constantly. 

    Stir in the passata and coconut milk, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a vigorous boil, then turn down the heat to its lowest setting and place the lid on the saucepan.

    Simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through, and then remove the lid and increase the heat to high to thicken the sauce. 

    Serve with rice and naan bread, and sprinkled with coriander, if you wish.

  • Lasagne(ish)

    quick lasagne recipe to cook on the hob
    Best cook-on-the-hob recipes: Amy Sheppard's quick 'lasagne'

    Amy says: “I love lasagne, but I hate the pile of dishes it creates and how long it takes to cook. This is a one-pan version that tastes just as good as the real thing, with half the fuss. Serve with salad.”

    Feeds 4

    Cooking time: 35 mins

    Ingredients

    • olive oil, for frying
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 500g beef mince
    • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
    • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
    • 500ml beef stock
    • 5 sheets of fresh lasagne
    • 100g ricotta cheese
    • handful of grated mature cheddar cheese, plus extra to serve
    • small handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, to serve (optional)
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Method

    Drizzle a little oil into a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan with a lid, and place on a medium heat. Add the onion and fry (without the lid) for 5 minutes, until softened.

    Add the beef mince and fry for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until browned. 

    Add the garlic, tomato purée and oregano for the final 1 minute to soften the garlic a little.

    Stir in the tomatoes and stock, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have begun to break down and the sauce has thickened and reduced a little.

    In the meantime, using scissors or a sharp knife, cut up the sheets of lasagne lengthways, each into 7 or 8 strips. Add the pasta strips to the sauce, stirring to distribute them evenly. Simmer on a low heat for 5 minutes, to soften.

    In the meantime, beat the ricotta with a fork until smooth, then stir it into the sauce along with the cheddar. Place the lid on the pan, turn off the heat and leave to rest for 3 minutes.

    Divide the mixture between 4 bowls and finish with a little more grated cheese, a grinding of black pepper and a sprinkling of chopped parsley, if you wish.

    Tip

    You can use fresh tagliatelle instead of sliced lasagne sheets if you prefer.

    Hob: A Simpler Way To Cook: 80 Deliciously Simple Recipes For Everyone by Amy Sheppard (£18.99, Bloomsbury Absolute) is out 10 June. Pre-order here

Photography: Polly Webster

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Christobel Hastings

Christobel Hastings is a London-based journalist covering pop culture, feminism, LGBTQ and lore.