One-tray dinners for busy week nights

Pop these one-tray winners in the oven for a delicious hands-off supper. By Margie Els-Burger and Nomvuselelo Mncube


Week nights are always busy and rushed, which is why we love how easy it is to prepare these one-tray dinners. Simply pop them in the oven and enjoy some quality time with your family while you wait for the timer to announce dinner is ready.

ALSO SEE: 2 quick and easy one-pot meals

Roast chicken tray bake

*Serves 6


  • 8 mixed chicken thighs and drumsticks
  • 4 potatoes and or sweet potatoes, cut into wedges (unpeeled)
  • ½ tbsp garlic powder
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1 red onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • Handful thyme


  1. Preheat oven to 220°C. Mix together chicken, potatoes and garlic and place in a single layer on a roasting tray. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden and cooked. Grill for about 3 minutes to brown. Add the onion, lemon and thyme halfway through the cooking time and spoon over tray juices. Serve scattered with extra thyme.

One-tray dinners - roast chicken

Italian meatball bake

*Serves 8-12


  • 1.5L hot chicken or beef stock
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 500g packet Orzo (Orzo, also called Risoni, is Italian pasta rice. Available in leading supermarkets.)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 240g packet sundried tomatoes (optional)
  • 500g boerewors
  • 2 cups peas, defrosted
  • 250ml cream
  • 250ml mature white cheddar, grated


  1. Preheat oven to 220°C. Combine the stock, garlic and Orzo in a greased 24cm or 23cm x 33cm baking dish. Bake for about 15 minutes until just tender.
  2. Mix through onions, tinned and sundried tomatoes. Squeeze the meat from the casing to form small meatballs and place on top. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until cooked.
  3. Mix in the peas and cream. Top with cheddar and bake under a hot grill until browned.

For grown-ups, serve with basil pesto, fresh basil and a sprinkling of crushed chillies.

One-tray dinners - Italian meatball bake

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