• Apple and blackberry shortcake (Benito Martin)Source: Benito Martin
From meals that need more time to easy recipes to set you up for the week ahead, these weekend cooking projects all rate five-star for satisfaction.
1 Sep 2020 - 11:13 PM  UPDATED 13 Aug 2021 - 10:40 AM

The weekend is the perfect time to try a new recipe or to cook things that will make the week that follows just that little bit easier. From simple no-bake breakfast bars to homemade pizza, here are some of our favourites from three great SBS Food show hosts - Matthew Evans, Helen Tzouganatos and Donal Skehan - plus more from the SBS archives.

Recipes to nourish body, heart and soul

Pumpkin, spinach and chickpea filo pie

 “I love the crunch of the filo pastry… when you dive through it, you crack into sweet potato, chickpeas, lots of spice and sweetness. While it’s quite filling, it’s still light,” says Donal Skehan when he makes his nutrient-packed pie in Donal’s Cook, Eat, Burn (you can make it with pumpkin or sweet potato).

Pumpkin, spinach and chickpea filo pie

Green minestrone

Turn whatever greens are in season into this nutritious fresh soup from Donal Skehan.

Spring vegetable minestrone

Apple and blackberry shortcake

Such a simple but wonderfully comforting dessert – it’s like a throw-it-together pie – and you’ll enjoy watching Mathew Evans cook with his Mum in the recipe video. He used foraged wild blackberries, but you can use frozen berries for this.

Apple and blackberry shortcake

Carrot cake

This one comes from a winter episode of Gourmet Farmer – when it’s cold outside, it’s lovely to fire up the oven, though really, any season is a good time to make a hearty carrot cake made studded with walnuts and topped with cream cheese icing.

Get your icing game on.

Buttermilk scones

We don’t all have a wood-fired stove, but we can embrace the farmhouse satisfaction of a batch of scones. Mathew Evans’ buttermilk beauties are perfect slathered with jam and cream.

10 ways to nail the perfect scone, every time
Airy on the inside, golden on the outside, with plenty of height - the perfect scone is a science all of its own.

Bangin’ banana and walnut bread

Banana bread is a perennial favourite: the reward is much greater than the effort involved, and the variations are endless. This take on banana bread, shared by Luke Hines in Loving Gluten Free, is gluten-free and vegan. You can find dozens of more ideas, from upside-down caramel banana bread to triple-layer choc-bottom banana bread in the SBS Food banana bread recipe collection.

Banana bread.

Feel-good food
Khichuri (rice and lentils)

The beauty of this dish is in the combination of the lentils and rice, which gives it a risotto-like consistency and buttery flavour!

Isabel’s matzo ball soup

The centres of the balls become a little chewy and the exteriors are soft and fluffy, just the way I like them.

Pancakes with blueberry, banana and honey

Stack these fruity pancakes high for your next brunch, made with oat flour and chia for a wheat-free go-to.

Bean cassoulet with nut crumb

The combination of beans and nuts here makes this a superb meal – and it’s even better if the ingredients are locally sourced.

Cauliflower mac and cheese

Poaching the cauliflower in milk before baking it is a simple trick that makes this dish extra creamy. 

Set yourself up for the week ahead

Almond breakfast bars

“These breakfast bars are full of goodness and natural sugars – guaranteed to get you off to a good start,” says Donal Skehan of what he calls his “Pep ‘n’ power” bars, made with almond meal, nut butter, cocoa powder, dates, chia seeds, oats and coffee. These no-bake bars take only 15 minutes to make and you’ll have a breakfast or snack ready to go whenever you need it. You can also roll the mixture into smaller balls.

Almond breakfast bars

Blueberry and chia seed muffins

Ideal for snacking on at any time of the day, Donal Skehan’s muffins use oats, mashed banana and wholemeal flour to up the fibre and keep you fuller for longer.

Blueberry and chia seed muffins

Mega beetroot burgers

These big, bright burgers are made with plenty of veg, oats, tahini, chickpeas and eggs. After the burgers are formed, they can be chilled for up to 24 hours, and then they only need to be pan-fried for a few minutes before serving. Pop them in a bun with hummus and avocado as Donal Skehan does, serve them with salad, or make smaller burgers to have with a hearty breakfast spread.

Mega beetroot burger

Get ahead
How to make breakfast while you sleep
Don’t be constrained by the rules of bircher muesli, try the blank canvas that is overnight oats.
Bacon and lentil soup

"I always have this soup in the freezer on standby for those nights when I’ve just run out of time to make dinner,” Donna Hay says.

Broccoli, pea and cheddar tart

If you don't have broccoli in your fridge to make this tart, don't worry. Use frozen spinach or more peas.  

Cottage pies

I love great simple food with pure flavours and this pie is just that, with the best spuds you can find for your mash, decent, flavoursome beef and a layer of moist spinach. Cottage pie has a long history and one that has always been about using up leftover meat to create a new and filling meal. These ones are easy and can be made well in advance and popped in the freezer until you need them.


Everyone needs a go-to lasagne recipe in their kitchen and this recipe certainly stacks up.

More time, more satisfaction

Strawberry jam

It’s simpler than you might think if you haven’t made jam before and so satisfying: try one of the very first recipes our Gourmet Farmer Mathew Evans shared in the show. Home-made jam is delicious and makes a great gift, too.

No-knead pizza bases

Time does the work here: “I really like this no-knead dough recipe - it’s very easy to handle,” says Evans. “The flavour in the base comes from letting the dough rest overnight.” The actual hands-on time is less than half an hour. Use the dough with passata and your favourite toppings, or make his potato and mozzarella pizza bianca. If you’re after a gluten-free alternative, try this prosciutto and rocket cauliflower pizza recipe from Helen Tzouganatos.

No-knead pizza

Pizza recipes
Grab these indulgent recipes from Italy and abroad in our pizza recipe collection. Sauce up and savour the crusts!

Thai chicken sausage rolls

Weekends are the perfect time to practice your pastry-making. A Thai take on an Aussie classic ready to be dipped in a zesty lime and ginger sweet chilli sauce, this recipe from Helen Tzouganatos uses a homemade gluten-free rough puff pastry. There’s plenty of other pastry projects to embrace too, from Anneka Manning’s Bakeproof never-fail shortcrust pastry column with lots of tips plus recipes including chocolate pecan tart and roasted pumpkin, tomato and oregano tart to a dive into flaky golden wonders as five Greek women share the secrets to making filo and pita. Or take a wander through the SBS Food pastry recipe collection.

Gluten-free Thai chicken sausage rolls with sweet chilli dipping sauce

take your time
Handmade tagliatelle with ragú Napoletano

Put some time aside and make both the pasta and the rich ragu from scratch. It's a bit of work, but it's also well worth it.

The three secrets to the ultimate sausage roll
Love a juicy, meaty sausage roll, with flaky golden pastry? Here's what you need to know.
Homemade natural yoghurt bowl

Making your own yoghurt is very simple and economical. The main resource required is time – you just need to think ahead.

Porchetta! Crackling!... the secrets of the ultimate pork roast
If you love crackling, or those dark chewy ends on a roast...
Chickpea and broad bean falafel

It takes time to make good falafel so you’ll need to start this recipe 24 hours in advance. To shape the falafel you can use a traditional falafel spoon, available at most Middle Eastern grocery stores. Alternatively, you can use two tablespoons, or do it the Egyptian way and make small patties with your hands. (If using either of the latter shaping methods, adding 2 egg whites when seasoning the mixture will make it firmer – although, because it is not traditional, I prefer not to add egg whites.)

And finally, a simple biscuit...

"You can make these biscuits really thin like brandy snaps, or a bit thicker. I like somewhere in between so they’re firm, but not entirely crisp," says Matthew Evans of his honey biscuits. Just five ingredients, and so simple; it's the rewarding weekend project you can squeeze in when the weekend is busy too! 

Honey biscuits

More from Matthew, Helen and Donal
Mini falafel bowl

A healthy vegetarian bowl of homemade mini falafel, shredded cabbage and carrot salad and dollops of spiced yoghurt, a fresh and wholesome feed.

Pomegranate molasses chicken with roasted vegetable salad

An easy one-tray recipe for roast chicken and veggies served atop bulghur - a healthy family dinner option.

Gluten-free triple chocolate cookies

What beats a chocolate cookie? A triple chocolate cookie, of course! Get messy with the chocolate drizzle for an impressive, decadent bake.

Roasted pumpkin, rosemary and goats cheese pasta bake

Pasta bakes are the ultimate in comfort dinners. The gluten-free beauty brings pumpkin, crème fraiche and goat's cheese to the mix, dishing up one creamy bake.

Beer sozzled chicken with sage and garlic

Just about everything I used to cook my first chicken from Puggle Farm was local, including the sage and carrots from the garden. Did it taste better because of it? I think it did. I chose Two Metres Tall beer for this recipe – it's a great flavoured local brand.