VegBox Recipes

Quick Veg Box Recipes

Delicious seasonal food recipes in under 20 minutes.

Not everyone has the time to spend an hour or more preparing fresh food from scratch. Yet most of us are aware of the nutritional value of seasonal food and want to reduce the amount of pre-prepared meals we buy from the supermarket.

So you might be surprised to find out that many of our veg box recipes can be prepared in 20 minutes or less.

Obviously the exact time depends on how mucky your carrots are, how fast a veggie chopper you are and how quickly you boil / steam stuff, but the 20 minute estimate is a time that most of us can spare to cook dinner.

To make it easier, I have collected our 20 minutes or less recipes together here, in an easy-to-search list.

Main Meals & Light Bites (41 recipes)

Side Dishes (31 recipes)

Salads (15 recipes)

Main Meal Dishes

Just 20 minutes gives you a main meal.

Broccoli & Kale Stir Fry
This is a great recipe for a quick lunchtime stir fry. It uses broccoli and kale (or dark-leafed cabbage or spinach) because these are so rich in nutrients. It can easily be adapted to have a Japanese style, if you prefer.
Kale Pesto Pasta
This is a brilliant way of sneaking kale past fussy eaters. The garlic helps reduce the bitterness of the kale and the pine nuts add a sweet, nutty flavour. It also works well with spinach, chard or black nero cabbage.
Romanesco Cheese
Use your favourite cheeses in the sauce for this recipe. It's important that it has a good flavour, or it will taste bland against the romanesco. This recipe also works well with broccoli or cauliflower.
Autumn Vegetable Stir Fry
This is a quick and easy way of using up any leftovers in your autumn veg box. We've listed the ingredients we most commonly use, but you can adapt this recipe to suit whatever you've got spare.
Pumpkin, Sage And Pine Nut Ravioli
This is a variation on a classic autumnal Italian dish. It takes a while to prepare, but it's so delicious, it's worth the effort. Pumpkin, sage and pine nuts are a combination destined to go together...
Secret Vegetable Pasta
This pasta recipe is a great way of using up seasonal veg box leftovers. And it's a great way of sneaking in some extra veggies without any fussy eaters noticing! This version uses runner beans and courgettes.
Baked Gem Squash
Baking gem squash is one of the simplest ways of serving them. Being small, gem squash work particularly well and they bake evenly.
Spinach And Potato Curry
If you've got some spare spinach and fancy a filling evening meal, this one is easy to make. It's similar to the Indian Sag Aloo. It also works well with Swiss chard, instead of spinach.
Spicy Sweetcorn Fritters

Delicious and easy to make spicy sweetcorn fritters.

These spicy sweetcorn fritters can be served as a started, as a side dish, or as part of a buffet. They're delicious and easy to make.

Tomato And Artichoke Brunch
This tomato and artichoke brunch recipe was inspired by a glut of fresh, ripe tomatoes and the arrival of a jar of pickled artichokes from Suma, our wholesaler. It's so quick to make and it's absolutely delicious.
Home Made Beans On Toast
Homemade beans on toast are packed with flavour and taste quite different to the canned variety. They're a wonderful treat for lunch or a light supper.
Mushroom And Butterbean Stir Fry
This is a lovely 5-minute lunchtime snack.
Miso-Style Soup
In Japan, Miso soup is often eaten daily and is believed to help the digestive system. This variation on the original adds in a few vegetables, with optional tofu, to make a soup substantial enough for a lunch or light supper.
Winter Stir Fry
Stir fries are a real fast food, yet they're healthy.

The trick is to prepare all the ingredients before you start cooking.

The sauce with this stir fry is delicious, but you may need to add a little water, if your peanut butter is really thick.

The vegetables below are just suggestions. You can vary this recipe to include most winter vegetables. Just chop them into pieces that will cook quickly.
Quick Asparagus & Parmesan Treat

This asparagus & parmesan recipe is quick, easy and delicious. The simple ingredients complement each other to make a great asparagus starter or even a light lunch.

Or you can simply serve it as a side dish.

It works best with fresh, in-season asparagus, as this is most tender and has a great flavour.

Out of the UK season, most asparagus is flown in from abroad, so check the country of origin, if air miles are an issue for you.

Blue Cheese Baked Fennel
Roasted fennel is a great way of serving this vegetable, if you don't fancy it raw. By adding a blue cheese and seed topping, you're turning into so much more than a side dish.

Grind the seeds well in a coffee grinder, to form a breadcrumb-like texture.

If you don't have a grinder, you can pound them with a pestle & mortar or just chop them.

This recipe is delicious with a delicate blue cheese and works well with Dolcelatte or Cambozola. Avoid stronger cheeses such as Danish Blue or Stilton, as they could overpower the flavour of the fennel.
Sprouting Broccoli Stir Fry
This is a great way of using in-season sprouting broccoli and end-of-season, stored carrots. My favourite way of eating this is with Thai-style bean curd, but firm tofu or Halloumi cheese both work well, too. It’s a really quick meal – just 10 minutes – yet is filling and tasty.
Broad Beans Quinoa
This is a delicious recipe for both broad beans and quinoa. It takes less than 15 minutes to make and works well as a delicious lunch or a summer party dish.
Bruschetta With Tomato Salsa
Late summer’s tomatoes are usually packed with flavour and really juicy. This recipe makes the most of them, adding fresh herbs and as much or little chilli as you want, to spice up a lunch time snack. If you don’t have bruschetta, this also works well with ciabatta or French stick bread.
Warm Summer Courgette & Runner Bean Salad With Artichoke Hearts
This delicious summer salad is best served warm. The courgettes and runner beans take on a buttery flavour, enhanced by the creaminess of the artichoke hearts.
Carrot And Watercress Stir Fry
Watercress is farmed most of the year nowadays, but it's true season is spring. It's packed with nutrients and is usually served raw in salads. But in this recipe, it's lightly cooked in a stir fry and served with noodles. Delicious.
Cauliflower Chickpea Pitta Pockets
This is a lovely way of enjoy cauliflower. The chick peas give the meal a nutty flavour and the watercress means it’s packed with nutrients. If you can get hold of tahini (sesame seed butter), it adds to the flavour and is also full of calcium and essential fatty acids.
Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus Sandwiches
This is a delicious way of enjoying hummus, with the sweetness of the sundried tomatoes and the crunchiness of the sprouted seeds. Chickpeas mean it's packed with vitamins and gives you a great energy boost for hours afterwards - and it only takes 5 minutes to make!
Swiss Chard and Sesame Stir Fry
This lovely Swiss Chard recipe is easy to make, very colourful (if you use rainbow chard) and good for you, too, with a wonderful sweetness and a savoury crunch. Also works well with spinach.
Pak Choi And Tofu Stir Fry
This delicious pak choi recipe takes just a few minutes and makes a warming evening meal. Combining the pak choi with tofu, mushrooms and beansprouts in a stir fry sauce gives a lovely mixture of soft and crunchy textures. And it's really good for you, too!
Spicy Kale with Chickpeas
This recipe has come in from Jason H, who says:

"If you don't like the texture of chick peas then you could use mixed beans instead, in which case cook them for longer."

Thanks for the submission, Jason - it's a perfect recipe for the Winter months.
Super-quick cheating pizza
This super-quick pizza recipe can be rustled up in less than 10 minutes and tastes delicious, either with fresh summer tomatoes or a quick can of Italian chopped tomatoes. Fresh spinach or rocket makes this an easy, quick, healthy treat. See the variations for options with kale, courgette (zucchini) or peas!
Sweetcorn, Spinach and Broccoli Tortilla
This delicious recipe takes less than 10 minutes, making it an ideal after-work meal. You'll want to make 2 per person and they're light, but filling.

Experminent with adding other seasonal veggies like peas.
Spicy Purple Sprouting Broccoli Pasta
This pasta recipe, generously provided for us by Abel & Cole, gives a welcome kick to purple sprouting broccoli or "PSB".
Simple Salsify Fritters
This simple recipe, generously provided for us by Abel & Cole, makes a brilliant lunch or a special side for a bigger meal.
Grilled Apple and Cheese Sandwich
This snack is a firm favourite in our house, especially on the days when we’re in a hurry, the cupboards are a little bare, and there's no time to go shopping! All you need is bread, cheese and apples, after all!
Denise Tolson's Smoked Haddock and Early Apples
Apples come into season in the UK in August, and there are varieties in season all the way through till the end of March.

Denise Tolson, VegBox Regular and our "Appointed Apple-Afficionado for August", recommends a savoury recipe using smoked haddock and early season apples.
Halloween Sweet Eyeballs
Halloween Savoury Eyeballs
Halloween Amputated Fingers
Halloween Ghostie Bread
The key here is being able to cut a basic ghost shape from a slice of toast. We recommend a simple "bell" shape with a slightly wavy bottom.
Halloween Mummy Heads
These look brilliant when they come out from under the grill.
Pasta with Spinach and Broccoli Sauce
This recipe was submitted by Sarah Pond, a member of the Ooffoo community, as an entry to the 2009 Recipe Prize Draw. Thanks Sarah!
Mozarella and Aubergine Baguette


Aubergines don't have to be reserved for stews, casseroles and bakes! As they are quick to cook and tasty, aubergines also work well as a snack food.

Aubergine and mozarella baguettes make a delicious light lunchtime meal. Add chips and a spicy salsa for a bigger meal.

Vegetarian Burritos with Fresh Cucumber and Tomato Salsa
These are perfect for a more substantial lunch, sliced into bite sized pieces for party nibbles, served cold the next day in your lunch box, or at your next Mexican night with friends.
Tropical Wholefoods' Fairtrade Jewelled Rice
This recipe has been very generously donated to us by the brilliant team at Tropical Wholefoods, to accompany our Ooffoo feature on dried fruits. This is what the Tropical Wholefoods team have to say about the recipe:

"Inspired by rice served at traditional Persian weddings, this beautiful dish is a wonderful accompaniment to any curry or dahl."

Side Dishes

Turn into a light meal or main meal by combining several dishes, serving them with a jacket potato / rice / quinoa or even accompanying meat or fish.
Beetroot Hummus
Beetroot is one of those vegetables that seems to quickly build into gluts.

There's only so much you can pickle or bake, before you start to get bored.

So here's a quick and nutritious recipe to use up cooked beetroot and add a new twist to a traditional dish.

Hummus is a staple of Middle Eastern cookery. Its blend of chick peas and sesame seeds are a valuable source of calcium, protein, vegetable fats, iron and B vitamins. The addition of beetroot increases the vitamin C content and adds magnesium. All of which combines to make this pretty much a super-food.

The pretty pink colour makes it fun for kids, so you might even be able to persuade little ones to eat this on toast or with fresh veg sticks!

You can either make this from scratch, with dried chick peas and fresh beetroot or you can whiz it up in 5 minutes using pre-cooked beetroot and a can of chick peas / frozen chick peas.

Boiled Beetroot
This recipe is best done with baby beetroots, whilst they're nearer the size of golf balls than tennis balls. They cook more quickly and taste sweeter.
Quick Blackberry Sauce
This blackberry sauce recipe has to win a prize for being quick, easy and delicious.
Butternut Squash / Pumpkin Puree
This butternut squash recipe (also great with pumpkin) is incredibly simple and makes a great weaning food for little ones. Or you can serve it as a side vegetable for older eaters!
Simple Brussels Sprouts
A quick and easy way to cook Brussels Sprouts - avoiding the smell and slimy texture...
Garlic Mushrooms
This garlic mushroom recipe is a quick and easy starter, which is delicious served with fresh, home-made bread or bread buns - or even a side salad. The mushrooms are full of vitamins and minerals and the garlic is bursting with detoxifying and immune system boosting properties, so it's pretty good for you, too.
Creamy Mushrooms
These creamy mushrooms have a hint of balsamic vinegar and tomato, to give them even more flavour. They're ideal with toast, for a light lunch, or maybe as a jacket potato topping.
Aioli (Provencal Garlic Sauce)
This garlic sauce can be used as a dip for bread or raw veggies or as an accompaniment to fish or vegetable bakes.
Classic Chick Pea Hummus
Hummus (or humous) is a traditional Middle Eastern dip. It's a delicious way of using chick peas. It takes 5 minutes to make, so it's quick and nutritious.
Swiss Chard Pesto
This recipe is a variation on a traditional Egyptian dish. It includes the addition of toasted pine nuts and parmesan, to give more breadth to the flavour. If you'd rather cook just the traditional dish, see the Variations section.

This is a useful way to sneakily hide chard from a fussy eater!

Note: this recipe can be useful for using up a glut of Swiss Chard. You can keep the pesto in the fridge for up to 3 days - or you can freeze it in small pots.
Brussel Sprouts With Garlic And Almonds
Frying Brussel Sprouts with a little garlic and then dressing them with cream and almonds puts a whole new slant on sprouts.
Brussel Sprouts Salad
Fresh, young sprouts work well in this raw salad. The sweetness of Balsamic vinegar gives it a delicious twist and the pumpkin seeds and pine nuts give it a nutty crunch.
Asparagus & Hollandaise Sauce
This is perhaps one of the most indulgent ways of enjoying asparagus. But as the season doesn't come round very often, a little of something naughty every now and then is probably ok?!?
French Beans With Almonds
Toasting the almonds brings out the nuttiness of their flavour and adds a delicious twist to French beans.
Yellow Courgette And Mange Tout
Bring out the buttery flavour of these delicious spring and summer vegetables with this simple recipe.
Lemon Butter Courgettes
This is a delicious recipe for using early-season courgettes - packed with flavour.
Fennel And Carrot Coleslaw
If you enjoy the slightly aniseed taste of fennel, then you’ll love this coleslaw. If you’re not yet convinced, then rest assured that the carrots and other ingredients temper the aniseed and you might actually find you enjoy fennel!
Brussels Sprouts With Nutmeg
Brussels sprouts are something that most people either love or loathe. By cooking them carefully, you can avoid the infamous “sprouts-stink” and the nutmeg brings out the best of their flavour.
Mustard Cabbage
Wholegrain mustard transforms cabbage into an inspiring side-dish. By sautéing the cabbage in butter, rather than boiling, it tastes sweeter and less cabbage-like. So this recipe might even tempt devout cabbage-haters back to the dinner table.
Courgette With Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce
This recipe is a scrummy way of enjoying courgettes - particulary if you fancy a change. The sun-dried tomatoes and wholegrain mustard bring out the sunshine flavour of the summer veggies.
Peanut Butter Coleslaw
This coleslaw recipe gets an extra zing with the addition of peanut butter to the sauce. It’s packed with delicious fresh vegetables and fruits, but misses out the traditional onion, which makes it a bit more “lunch-time-friendly”, if you know what I mean!
Butterbean and Pumpkin Seed Dip
The pumpkin seeds and sunflower oil mean this dip is packed with healthy omega fatty acids, as well as essential vitamins and minerals. The butterbeans give it a protein-packed, creamy texture and the lemon juice gives it a real lift. And the best bit is it only takes a few minutes to make!
Chicory Dips
Chicory (endive) is a bitter tasting salad crop which is often avoided, because people aren't sure what to do with it. You can cook chicory a bit like celery or use it, as described in this recipe, for serving your favourite dips.
Garlic Spinach
This is a delicious recipe for garlic spinach. It's a great way of using up a glut of spinach and works well with baby spinach leaves or even winter spinach.
Purple Cauliflower and Romanesco with Blue Cheese Sauce
This was initially an experiment, but as a recipe for purple cauliflower and / or Romanesco, it's delicious. It takes 20 minutes start to finish and looks impressive, too.
Chilli Broad Beans
This brilliant, simple dish has been sent in to us by Jane C, who says:

"I had a veg box with pounds of broad beans, and a friend brought me a huge bag from her allotment. I'd never tried them before, so I experimented with what I had handy, and this side dish has become a favourite with my 14 year old son."

Well we don't blame your son, Jane, and we're impressed with your creativity in the kitchen!
Patty Pan Squash & Red Onion Salsa
This quick and easy dish is a tasty summer treat.
The mixture of flavours and textures is a really colourful treat.
Tasty Spicy Okra
This recipe has been sent in by Kay. This is what Kay wrote about the recipe.

"I love this way of cooking okra because its quick and easy, and you can experiment with the spices, or use (for example) lime juice to mix the spices instead of water.

The woman who showed me how to do it is called Kirti, and she was teaching me methods rather than recipes. Unfortunately therefore, I can't give you the added delight of the aromas, shelves full of jars, delightful cookware and enchanting atmosphere in her kitchen, or even any exact quantities! But try it anyway - its a great way of mixing spices, and the fact that they start off so dry is what prevents the okra going gluey."
Mustard Cabbage
Wholegrain mustard transforms winter cabbage into an inspiring side-dish. By sautéing the cabbage in butter, rather than boiling, it tastes sweeter and less cabbage-like. So this recipe might even tempt devout cabbage-haters back to the dinner table.
Halloween Veggie Skeleton Platter
I think the picture says it all!

I came across this idea last year - thanks so much to Laura at Feeding Frenzy for the photo.
Blackcurrant and Ginger Compote
This compote recipe comes from our friends over at The Blackcurrant Foundation, from their Chocolate and Blackcurrant Torte Recipe.

We love the compote recipe in its own right, so we've separated it out for you to enjoy with sweet or savoury dishes. A pot of this on standby means vanilla ice-cream just got a lot more interesting!


Salads can make a light meal, just as they are. Or you can add bread / potatoes / rice / couscous / quinoa to make a main meal.

Home-made coleslaw is quick, delicious and easy. It's just a case of grating / slicing the ingredients and mixing them with the dressing.
Beetroot & Orange Salad
The combination of beetroot, orange and coriander is fragrant and the flavours really compliment each other.
Watercress, Spinach & Goats' Cheese Salad
I invented this recipe one lunchtime when we were all craving salad - in the depths of winter. Our local farm shop had some fresh watercress and mixed winter leaves and the rest is, as they say, history.

The warm goats' cheese makes this salad a filling winter or springtime treat.
Asparagus & Broad Bean Salad
Asparagus and broad bean salad works best with early-season broad beans, so you don't have to remove the skins of the beans. The addition of a poached egg turns these simple springtime ingredients into a delicious meal.
Early Courgette Salad
Early courgettes are packed with flavour and are a real treat, whereas later in the season you may be fed up with them! So here’s a recipe to help you enjoy them with in-season broccoli.
Mediterranean Grean Bean Salad
This salad is simple to make and packed with flavour. Using the earliest French beans of the season makes it a delicious treat. Feta, pine nuts and the dressing give a Mediterranean feel.
Broad Beans Salad
This is an unusual way of serving broad beans, but makes a lovely change. This is a peppery salad, making the most of the freshest early summer ingredients.
Broad Beans Rice Salad
This rice salad is spiced up with early summer veggies - fresh tomatoes, broad beans and extra nutrients from kidney beans. The optional dressing adds to the nutty flavour of the brown rice and the whole thing takes just 20 minutes! If you don't fancy a lemon dressing, you can mix in Cheddar cheese instead!
Beetroot and Fennel Salad With Sage Croutons
This recipe combines raw fennel and beetroot with freshly cooked sage croutons, halloumi cheese and an orange dressing, to make a deliciously crunchy summer salad.
Chinese Cabbage And Red Onion Salad
This recipe for Chinese cabbage and red onion salad was submitted by Elizabeth Rodgers and we'd love you to test it and let us know what you think.

Elizabeth says "As a lover of cabbage, both cooked or raw, I just thought I would try Chinese cabbage as it is softer and at the time it was the only type my store had in stock."
Warm Beetroot, Broad Bean and Potato Salad
This recipe was submitted by Karen L, who says:

"I looked in my fridge and had a lot of the above and didn't know what to do with it all. I'm sorry I don't measure the ingredients I just bung it all together and its what I have to hand, however the result is a very tasty mess! I used to hate broad beans, having been forced to eat them as a child, but i find if they are skinned they are actually quote tasty. Its nice to eat a meal were all the ingredients were grown on my allotment."

You put us to shame, Karen - this is a wonderful creation and all the more exciting given that you grew all the ingredients!
Cucumber And Feta Salad
A simple and delicious recipe for cucumbers. The combination of flavours brigtens up a summer lunch.
Satisfying Salad of Carrot, Beetroot and Balsamic Vinegar
This fabulous combo was sent into us by Karina L in New Zealand. Karina says:

"I saw a woman eating it one day and it looked scrummy so I asked her what it was. It's a very good liver cleanser, apparently!"

We love that you asked her what it was, Karina, and we're delighted that you did.
Broad Beans with Fromage Frais
This recipe, sent in by lovely reader Katie, was served to her (a broad bean loather) by a dear friend. And because she describes herself as of the "polite persuasion" she forced herself to eat it. Imagine her surprise when it turned out to be delicious!

And we're very much in favour of recipes that convert the dubious into fans, so we're delighted to publish this one.
Tuna, Sweetcorn and Celery Salad Mix
This recipe is brilliant for that moment when you (or the kids!) are starving and need something NOW… The texture and combination of flavours are hugely satisfying for munching at lunchtime.

And if it’s closer to dinner time, how about serving it stirred into freshly cooked pasta!


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