These cheese and chilli scones are everything I need in a packed lunch

I am nearly always last on my priority list when preparing packed lunches. Before rushing out the door to the office, I make lunches for my children and husband but often throw snacks such as fruit, nuts and crackers into my travel bag.

Last week, I decided to redress the situation and made a batch of these delicious savoury scones for the freezer. Based on Darina Allen’s basic scone recipes, they are tender enough to be eaten without butter and can be grabbed from the freezer in the knowledge that by lunchtime, they will be defrosted and at room temperature.

As the weather turns colder, I’ll be pairing these scones with a mug of homemade soup, but for now, they are the perfect make-ahead lunch for busy parents.

Cheese and jalapeño scones

recipe by:Ciara McDonnell

Make a batch of these delicious savory scones for the freezer at the start of the week

Preparation Time

15 mins


  • 450g white flour, preferably unbleached

  • 1 level tsp salt

  • 1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda

  • 110g Cheddar, grated reserving 1 tbsp for top

  • 2 tbsp pickled jalapeños

  • 350-3785ml sour milk or buttermilk to mix

  • 50g melted butter

  • egg wash

  • 110g Cheddar, grated

  • 2 tbsp pickled jalapeños


  1. Fully preheat the oven to 230°C.

  2. Sieve the dry ingredients and stir in the cheese and chillies. Make a well in the centre. Pour most of the milk in at once along with the melted butter.

  3. Using one hand or a fork, mix in the flour from the sides of the bowl, adding more milk if necessary.

  4. The dough should be softish, not too wet and sticky. When it all comes together, turn it onto a floured board, knead lightly for a second, just enough to tidy it up.

  5. Pat the dough into a square or a round about 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep, brush with egg wash, cut into 12 scoher in a square or triangle shape.

  6. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese, place on a baking sheet. Bake in a hot oven for 15 minutes, then turn down the oven to 200°C for 5-10 minutes or until cooked.

Shelf Life

Mexican chicken burrito from Gourmel Fuel
Mexican chicken burrito from Gourmel Fuel

Nutritionist Emma Buckley is the founder of Gourmet Fuel, a door-to-door healthy meal plan for those of us too busy to cook from scratch every night. It offers tailor-made menus to suit your lifestyle and dietary needs. As so many of us return to the office, meal services like this are the ideal solution, ensuring that we eat nutrient-rich meals with little effort. Lunch options come in at around €8 per portion for a main meal-sized portion.

The Mexican chicken burrito (pictured) offers a whopping 43g of protein in every serving, along with rice and fresh veggies.

Emma Buckley says it’s the perfect lunch for a busy person who needs to fire on all cylinders until home time. “The high dose of niacin this meal delivers makes it perfect for those that tend to hit that mid-day slump.” For more, see


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