5 Easy Meals To Prepare After Work

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Coming home from a long day at work to prepare dinner sounds like a scene from a horror movie for some people. However, there are lots of tasty and easy-to-cook meals that you can enjoy after a long day at work

Before we get to those meals, there are essential food items that you should have in your kitchen to get started. These ingredients would give you lots of options for dinner and have lots of versatility. 

These are must-have ingredients for your kitchen:

  • Herbs: You should have an assortment of aromatics and herbs in your kitchen. Herbs like garlic, ginger, spring onions and other aromatic vegetables are a good option for your kitchen. 
  • Canned Proteins: Canned proteins may have a bad rep, but they are essential for quick and easy cooking. They are used in soups or stews to increase their flavour. You can buy canned sausage, corned beef and canned sardines.
  • Frozen Proteins: If you do not like canned proteins, frozen ones are a great alternative. Their downside comes with the epileptic power supply in lots of places. However, if you have access to steady electricity, you should have some frozen meats in your refrigerator. You will want to go for frozen chicken or fish as they are the most versatile ones. A pack of hotdogs is also a great option. 
  • Spices: If you are preparing dinner and don’t have the ingredients for a recipe, it might frustrate you. You should shop for ground pepper, cumin, curry powder, thyme, rosemary, paprika and other spices. They allow you to pack a ton of flavour in very little time. Seasoning cubes are also essential in your kitchen cabinet.
  • Frozen Fries: This might be specific, but it is an easy alternative on the most stressful nights. You can just toss the potatoes with salt and throw them into the frying pan. With this, you always have an option in your refrigerator for a late dinner. 
  • Flour: There are many types of flour to stock in your pantry. Some are better for sweet foods, and you can use some for savoury meals. We recommend having all-purpose flour, beans flour, and yam flour in your pantry. 
  • Eggs: Eggs are versatile. They can be used in multiple ways and are a good source of protein. Eggs are easy to cook and are an essential ingredient in your kitchen. Eggs are not exclusive to breakfast; they can be used to make dinner dishes too.
  • Tubers: Potatoes and yams are used in a variety of meals. They can be boiled, fried or roasted. They are a good source of carbs that you need after a long day of work.
  • Rice: It might seem like the only meal you cook, but that’s just because of how versatile it is. There are a lot of dishes that you can incorporate rice into, so you want to have rice in your pantry.
  • Pasta: There are different types of pasta and ways to prepare them. From spaghetti to macaroni, there are a variety of meals that you can prepare. 
  • Vegetables: Vegetables like carrots, cabbages, fresh pepper and onions are essential in your kitchen. They can help you to jazz up a meal. 
  • Condiments: Ketchup, hot sauce, mayonnaise, mustard and soy sauce are great condiments to stock your pantry. They can be added to a lot of dishes or can be used as toppings. 

You can shop for all these food items on the weekends when you have free time. You want to prioritise ingredients with a longer shelf life. When you buy vegetables, don’t buy more than a week’s worth as they can quickly go rotten. 

Now that you have stocked your pantry, let us check out some meals you can prepare on a work night. 

  • Sweet Potato Porridge:

Do not be scared off by the porridge in the title of this dish. This dish doesn’t take much time, and it’s a tasty and filling meal after a long day at work. 

Ingredients: five sweet potatoes, one large onion, one large clove of garlic, a large dry fish, fresh peppers (ground), ground crayfish, salt, a serving spoon of palm oil, fresh scent leaves and seasoning cubes. 


  1. Peel your potatoes and dice them into one- or two-inch cubes. 
  2. Add 2 cups of water to a pot and boil. Add a pinch of salt to the boiling water. 
  3. Add your diced potatoes and let them boil for 15 minutes. 
  4. In a smaller pot or pan, heat your palm oil. 
  5. Chop up your garlic and onions. Add them to the palm oil and let them simmer for 3 minutes. 
  6. Add the dry fish, fresh pepper, crayfish, salt and seasoning cubes to the palm oil mixture. 
  7. Add the palm oil sauce to the boiling pot of sweet potatoes and allow it to boil for 5-7 minutes. 
  8. Add the scent leaves and let it simmer for three more minutes. 

Your sweet potato porridge is ready to be served. The total cook time is about 30-35 minutes, and you have a hearty meal.

  • Chicken and Fries: 

Tasty, right? Well, chicken and fries are not only tasty but ridiculously easy to cook. You should marinate the chicken before it’s fried to increase its flavour. You could prepare the marinade before you leave for work to increase its effectiveness. If you do this, put the chicken in an airtight container and leave it in the fridge.

Let’s start with the marinade;

Ingredients (Marinade): Chicken (breasts or thighs cut into sizes of your choice), salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, garlic, onion and olive oil. The measurement of all the spices is one teaspoon. 

  1. Mix the spices with the olive oil in a bowl. 
  2. Thoroughly coat the chicken pieces with the mixture.
  3. Put the chicken in a Ziploc bag or an airtight container and leave for at least 15 minutes. The longer you leave it, the better it will taste. 

Other Ingredients: All-purpose flour, groundnut oil (for frying), frozen fries and salt. 


  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan or large pot.
  2. Remove the chicken from the marinade.
  3. Put one or two pieces of chicken and some flour into a sealable container. 
  4. Close the container and shake it to coat the chicken in flour.
  5. Dust off the excess flour. 
  6. Put the chicken into the heated oil and let it fry for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Remove from the oil and set in a paper towel or wire rack to drain. 

For the fries;

  1. Put the fries into a bowl and toss with a pinch of salt.
  2. Put the salted fries into the heated oil for 5-8 minutes.
  3. Remove and drain on a paper towel.

Your fries and chicken are ready to be enjoyed. You can serve it with any cold drink of your choice. You can also top it off with ketchup or hot sauce.

  • Akara and Pap: 

Yes, it is a Saturday morning breakfast, but it’s also an excellent dinner dish. Also, akara is not too difficult to prepare using bean flour. 

Ingredients: Bean flour, onions, ground pepper, fresh pepper (optional), salt and oil for frying. Pap paste (ogi), sugar (optional), milk (optional). 


  1. Mix the bean flour with water into a thick paste. 
  2. You can use a mortar and pestle, or food processor to smoothen the mixture. 
  3. Chop up the onions and the fresh pepper and add them to the bean paste.
  4. Add salt and ground pepper to taste.
  5. Mix the paste thoroughly and ensure that air is added to the mixture. 
  6. Heat the oil in a deep-frying pan or large pot. 
  7. Use a ladle or a medium-sized spoon to scoop the batter into the frying pan. 
  8. The Akara should sink and quickly rise to the top of the oil. 
  9. Fry on both sides until golden brown.

Pap Preparation:

  1. Dissolve the pap paste (ogi) in a heatproof bowl with cold water.
  2. Boil some water
  3. Add the boiling water to the pap paste 
  4. Mix thoroughly to ensure there are no lumps.
  5. Add sugar and milk according to your preference.

It is that easy. You can also replace the pap with custard and follow the same process. 

  • Egg Fried Rice: 

Egg fried rice is a surprisingly quick and easy dish to prepare if you have some leftover white rice or other cooked rice. If you are looking for an Asian-inspired dinner, start here. 

Ingredients: Leftover rice, eggs, soy sauce, oyster sauce, diced carrots, chopped onions, green onions, minced garlic, green bell pepper, ground pepper, salt and butter.


  1. Melt the butter in a frying pan and use it to scramble the eggs.
  2. Transfer the scrambled eggs to a separate plate.
  3. Sauté the onions, garlic, carrots and chopped bell pepper in the same pan until soft and cooked. About 5-7 minutes. 
  4. Stir in your rice and eggs.
  5. Add a splash of soy sauce and oyster sauce. 
  6. Stir vigorously until the rice is browned. 
  7. Top off with green onions and serve. 

Optionally you can add some fried sausages or other cooked proteins to the rice. The entire process won’t take more than 20 minutes. 

  • Mac and Cheese: 

Mac and cheese are quick and easy to prepare. You can make it faster than you can say macaroni and cheese. The recipe comes together quickly, so you should grate the cheese and portion out your other ingredients before you start. 

Ingredients: Macaroni pasta, 11/cups of grated cheddar cheese, 11/cups of evaporated or whole milk, ground pepper, 1/cup of salted butter, garlic powder, salt and all-purpose flour. 


  1. Cook the macaroni according to the instructions on the package.
  2. While it cooks, melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. 
  3. Add the flour to the melted butter and mix until well combined. Do this on low to medium heat to prevent the roux from burning. 
  4. Pour your milk into the roux and mix thoroughly.
  5. Add the garlic powder and pepper to taste.
  6. Add in the grated cheese when the roux has begun to boil.
  7. Add in the cooked and strained pasta. 
  8. Mix until you achieve a creamy consistency.
  9. Serve immediately. 

You can add sausages or shrimp to the pasta to increase its deliciousness.

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