Quick cheap meal ideas

When your short on time and money then planning and cooking meals from fresh ingredients can reduce your costs. We have a delicious selection of cheap recipes that can help you with your budget. One of the best ways to decreases cost is by taking advantage of those 2 for 1 ‘s in the supermarket or cook quick recipes from budget ingredients, and then use small quantities of expensive ingredients to add extra taste and flavour. Our quick and cheap meals for 2  have mains and sides all in the same recipe. If you want to organise the whole week, check out our weekly meal planning ideas, or just pick something from our list of fast budget ideas for dinner tonight

Cheap and quick chicken dinners

Cheap and quick dinner ideas with pork

      Cheap and quick bacon recipes

Cheap and quick chorizo recipes

Quick budget veggie meals

Quick and cheap bean recipes

Cheap and quick vegetable recipes

Quick Low-cost veggie pasta recipes

Cheap and quick lentil recipes

Cheap and quick vegetable risottos


Cheap and quick chicken dinners

Most quick chicken dinners use chicken breast which aren’t the cheapest cut of chicken, so we suggest that you reduce the chicken breast and increase the vegetables to get these dishes in budget  

Quick budget Chicken Stir Fry

Slices of chicken breast stir fried with chilli, garlic, then add carrot and cucumber batons, and sliced bell peppers and spring onions, coat in Chinese black bean sauce and served with noodles.

Quick Cook Teriyaki Chicken with Chive and Ginger Rice

Chicken thighs marinated with garlic and ginger, slowly sauteed in teriyaki sauce till golden, served with chive and ginger rice

Breaded Chicken Salad Wraps

Chicken goujons, fresh avocado, herby roast tomatoes, and salad, wrapped in a warm tortilla and topped with creamy parmesan and garlic mayo

Cheap and quick dinner ideas with pork

Pork is one of the lower cost meats and there are several cheap cuts particularly pork fillet, chops and bacon. Also in our pork section are continental meats such as chorizo and salamis which can be added to dishes to top up the flavours

Maple Pork Tenderloin with Apples

Pork fillet sliced cooked in a maple syrup, mustard, and garlic sauce with sliced apples, served with white rice and fried onions

Cheap and quick bacon recipes

Halloumi and Smoked Bacon Hash

Hash is a perfect quick cook and is even faster if you have some leftover potatoes. Simply add precooked potatoes, vegetable to a frying pan. We have added bacon and halloumi for extra flavour, but feel free to add leftover ingredients from the fridge to this dish, go for something salty and something cheesy for best results.

Pasta Carbonara with Spinach Balls

This is a very quick pasta dish, just cook the bacon and tagliatelle pasta, then place in a pan and coated in a creamy egg, parmesan cheese and cream sauce. It will take a little longer to make the spinach balls but its worth the extra time if you have it

Mushroom, Pancetta and Red Wine Risotto

Risotto takes about 25 to 30 minutes so is a good dish for a quick dinner. Thus delicious Italian red wine mushroom and pancetta or bacon risotto, is ideal.

Creamy Bacon,Brie, and Pea Pasta

Another quick pasta and bacon dish, crispy bacon combined with peas and pasta all coated in a simple brie sauce and sprinkled with parmesan and basil.

Simple Tomato and Bacon Pasta

A quick cook pasta dish, just precook the pasta and then simply added to the bacon and tomato sauce, add some cream and camembert to finish the dish This dish can be prepared with any creamy continental cheese such as brie. Serve with crusty bread or garlic bread

Cheap and quick chorizo recipes

Chorizo is so quick to cook and adds loads of flavour, its not be the cheapest ingredient but using a little can turn a boring budget meal into something special.

Potato,Chickpea & Chorizo Salad & Tomato Dressing

A delicious quick cook warm salad, chickpeas, chorizo and precooked potatoes cooked quickly in a frying pan and then served on a bed of spinach, with a tomato dressing, and topped with a soft poached egg.

Roasted butternut and leek risotto with a chorizo crumb

A cheesy risotto base with sliced leeks and roasted butternut squash, topped with a chorizo and lemon crumb

Quick Spanish Tortilla

Spanish tortillas are quick to cook and a great way to use up leftovers, you can use the tortilla egg base and add different ingredients to flavour the tortilla.  We have kept it authentic and used chorizo, red pepper, and Manchego cheese, but you can swap for a different cheese, meat and vegetable to match your budget

Sweet Potato and Chorizo Pizza with Cress salad

An unusual Spanish pizza with a shop bought base and a tomato less topping of chorizo and Manchego cheese with a touch of oregano, serve it with an almond and cress salad

Quick budget veggie meals

Vegetarian meals can really help the budget as they are in the main cheaper than meat, particularly if you eat seasonally too, and it’s a great way to do your bit towards saving the planet.

Quick and cheap bean recipes

Veggie burgers with Carrot and Chickpeas

Quick to make just grate the carrots and whizz together with the chickpeas, cumin, smoked paprika and coriander, make extra and store in the freeze for an extra quick dinner. Serve with homemade or frozen sweet potato chips

Quick Butter Bean Patties

Butter bean patties made with smashed butter beans, grated parsnip and carrots, and fried onions. Mix together to form patties. Fry till golden brown on both sides and serve with a simple green salad and tomato dressing

Greek pasta and broad bean salad

Al dente pasta mixed with broad beans, olives, tomato, and feta coated in a fresh garlic and rosemary dressing, simply serve with garlic bread

Cheap and Quick Vegetable Recipes

Quick Carrot Pancakes with a Greek Salad

Savoury pancakes made with grated carrots, coriander, chilli, and fennel seeds served with a salad of tomatoes, olives, cucumber, and feta.

Greek Aubergine and Rice Salad

Grilled aubergines with watercress served with rice, red peppers, chilli, lemon, feta and parsley and tzatziki dip

Mediterranean vegetable Fajitas with Salad

Mushroom, bell peppers, courgettes, and red onions in a fajita wrap with a spicy tomato, salsa and a chipotle cream, served with an avocado and lettuce salad. If avocados are a bit expensive use a simple lettuce and tomato salad 


A quick Mushroom and Pepper Stroganoff with Rice

A quick mushroom stroganoff with red pepper in a stroganoff sauce with paprika and brandy, served with white rice and a dust of chopped parsley

Pecorino and Olive Pizza with Salad

Pizza is the perfect cheap dinner idea, and so easy to make simply with all the chilled pizza bases available. Simply make a homemade cherry tomato sauce, you can use regular tinned tomatoes as well and flavoured with oregano and chilli, top with pecorino or parmesan and mozzarella and a few sliced olives and served with a fresh green salad

Breaded Courgette Salad Wraps

Courgette fritters oven baked, roast tomatoes, lettuce, and fresh avocado all wrapped in a soft tortilla with garlic and parmesan mayo

Quick Low-cost veggie pasta recipes

Pasta in a chilli and courgette sauce with crunchy spinach balls

Cook the pasta in one pan and the grated courgettes with the garlic and chilli in another, mash the courgettes and add the cheese to make the sauce add the pasta and its done. The spinach balls are worth the extra time and you can freeze them so make double and store the extra.

Pea, Mushroom and Brie Pasta

Quick fried mushrooms mixed with pasta and peas add the brie and cream to make the sauce served with a sprinkled of basil, a touch of grated parmesan, and a sprinkle of black pepper, serve with garlic bread

Spaghetti Pasta with a Red Pepper, Tomatoes, and Fresh Herbs Sauce

Spaghetti in a tomato and red pepper sauce, flavoured with garlic and herbs and, serve with grated parmesan and garlic bread


Quick and Cheap Lentil Recipes

Use tinned lentils to make your lentil recipes quick and easy to cook 

Butternut squash, beetroot, and lentil salad

Cut the butternut squash and fresh beetroot into small cubes so they cook quickly, mix with the green lentils, feta and a herby dressing, serve with a crusty bread roll.

Lentil Mushroom Burgers

Quick fried mushroom mixed with tinned lentils and flavoured with Italian herbs and garlic formed into patties lightly fried and served in a crusty roll. For a quick meal serve with French fries or a side salad. Make extra and freeze to make an even faster meal

Cheap and quick vegetable risottos

Risotto is surprisingly easy to cook and is great to use leftover ingredients to flavour the low-cost cheesy rice base.

Veggie Spinach and Mushroom Risotto 

A quick risotto made with risotto rice, onions, celery, garlic & parmesan flavoured with mushrooms and spinach, topped with a crunchy crumb of cheese, walnuts, and breadcrumbs. You can omit the walnuts and top it simply with cheese and toasted breadcrumbs.

Leek and butternut squash risotto with a nut and sage crumb

A creamy leek cheese risotto flavoured with roasted butternut squash, top with sage and walnut crumb

Quick Thyme and Mascarpone Risotto

A simple parmesan cheese risotto with garlic and thyme, topped with a dollop of mascarpone and a toasted almond crumb

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