30 cheap recipes for under a fiver

Feeling skint and uninspired after the holiday blowout? Relax – we’ve got the answer. A month’s worth of brilliant new recipes to get you over the winter blues – and you’ll have change left from a fiver every time

Start with a box of eggs…

Beetroot, dill and feta frittata

A frittata is one of the easiest egg dishes to make. This recipe makes the most of earthy beetroot and pairs it with salty feta and dill for really colourful dish. On the table in 10 minutes it’s the ultimate speedy supper.


Moroccan eggs

30 minutes, serves 2, easy

onion 1 small, cut into half moons

red pepper 1, cut into chunks

olive oil

ground cumin 1 tsp

passata 400ml or 1 tin chopped tomatoes

eggs 2

Fry the onion and pepper in 1tbsp olive oil with seasoning for 5 minutes. add the cumin and passata. Cook gently for 15 minutes.

Just before eating, turn up the heat and make two holes for the eggs. Break them in, season, then cook until firm. Cover if you want to speed things up. Serve with toast.

Tuna and egg tartine

15 minutes, serves 2, easy

olive oil

sourdough or brown bread 2 slices, toasted

roasted red peppers 2 large pieces

tinned tuna 1 small tin, drained

black olives 4, pitted

parsley chopped to make 1 tbsp

egg 1, hard boiled and peeled

sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

Drizzle some oil over the sourdough, then layer the peppers, tuna, olives and parsley on top. Roughly chop the egg and put on top. Season, then drizzle with the vinegar and some olive oil.

Son-in-law eggs

15 minutes, serves 2, easy

vegetable oil

shallots 2, thinly sliced

eggs 4

sweet chilli sauce or Vietnamese chilli sauce

fresh coriander small handful of leaves

Pour 2cm of vegetable oil in a frying pan. When hot, fry the shallots until crisp (this won’t take more than a minute or so). drain on kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt.

Keep the oil hot and fry the eggs until very crisp and brown on the edges. drizzle with chilli sauce, coriander and fried shallots.

Italian spinach and egg soup

10 minutes, serves 2, easy

chicken or vegetable stock 700ml

carrot 1, finely diced

salad spinach 200g

eggs 2, beaten

parmesan 2 tbsp

sourdough bread, diced and toasted

Bring the stock to a boil. Add the carrot, simmer for a few minutes, then add spinach.

Mix the eggs and parmesan in a bowl and add to the simmering stock. Keep stirring so that it forms into little rags. Sprinkle sourdough croutons on top.

Scrambled eggs with chorizo and rocket

cooking chorizo 2 sausages, sliced

eggs 4, beaten with seasoning

rocket 2 large handfuls

Dry-fry the chorizo slices until browned. Pour off the excess oil, then add the eggs. Cook on a medium-low heat and gently scramble. Serve with a handful of rocket on each portion and slices of toast if you fancy.

Open a pack of chicken thighs…

Yakitori chicken skewers with miso

This Japanese glaze is ideal for grilled meat, poultry or fish. It is so easy to make – the mix of miso, sugar and mirin makes these healthy chicken skewers deliciously sticky.

Sicilian braised chicken

45 minutes, serves 2, easy

chicken thigh fillets 4

onions 1 large, thinly sliced

garlic 1 clove, chopped

rosemary 1 tbsp, chopped

lemon 1, zested and juiced

raisins 1 tbsp, chopped

chopped tomatoes 400g tin

sugar a pinch

Heat a little olive oil in a pan. Season the chicken and brown on both sides. Remove and fry the onions, garlic, and rosemary for 10 minutes until caramelised. Add the lemon zest and juice, raisins, chicken and tomatoes.

Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar. Cook for 20 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Serve on its own or with couscous.

Chicken thighs with beans and mustard sauce

40 minutes, serves 2, easy

olive oil

red onion 1 large, thinly sliced

red wine vinegar 3 tbsp

wholegrain mustard 2 tbsp

crème fraîche 150ml

chicken thigh fillets 4

green beans a handful, trimmed

fresh breadcrumbs 1 handful

Heat oven to 200c/fan180c/gas6. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in frying pan. Add the red onion, season and fry for 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and mustard and reduce for a minute. Add the crème fraîche and stir well.

Put the chicken in a small baking dish with the beans. Pour the sauce over and put the breadcrumbs on top. Season well and bake for 25 minutes until bubbling and brown.

Claypot chicken with ginger and spring onion

30 minutes, serves 2, easy 

vegetable oil

root ginger thumb-sized piece, cut into matchsticks

garlic 1 clove, chopped

onion 1 medium, sliced into half moons

chicken thigh fillets 4

fish sauce 1 tbsp

soft brown sugar 1 tbsp

basmati rice 2 tbsp

chicken stock 250ml

spring onions 2, cut into 1 inch pieces

Heat 1tbsp vegetable oil in a medium-sized pan with a fitted lid. Add the ginger, garlic and onion and stir-fry for about 5 minutes. Add the chicken, fish sauce, sugar, rice and chicken stock. Put the lid on and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes.

Remove the lid, add the spring onions and cook for a few minutes more.

Cajun chicken with lemon mayo rolls

25 minutes, serves 2, easy

cajun seasoning 3 tsp

chicken thigh fillets 2 large

mayonnaise 2 tbsp

lemon 1/2, zested

crusty rolls 2, halved tomato 2 slices

Heat oven to 200c/fan 180c/gas 6. Sprinkle the cajun seasoning over the chicken along with some seasoning. Drizzle with a little oil and cook for 20 minutes until a skewer inserted gives off clear juices.

Meanwhile, mix the mayonnaise with the lemon zest. Spread some on each side of the rolls and top two with a tomato slice. When the chicken is cooked, put it on the tomato and top with the other half of roll.

Tomato, chicken and rice baked with allspice

40 minutes, serves 2, easy

olive oil

chicken thigh fillets 4

onion 1 medium, cut into half moons cinnamon 1 tsp

allspice 1 tsp

chicken stock 200ml

passata 200ml

basmati rice 100g

coriander 1 handful, chopped

Heat the oven to 200c/fan 180c/gas 6. Heat a little olive oil in a casserole and brown the chicken thighs on both sides.

Remove the chicken and fry the onion with seasoning for 5 minutes. Add the spices, stock, passata, chicken and rice. Put the lid on and bake for 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle the coriander over.

Cut a wedge of cheese…

Mac ’n’ cheese with bacon

How do you make mac ‘n’ cheese better? Add bacon of course!  This oozing cheesy pasta bake is also rich with Red Leicester and finished with a crunchy breadcrumb topping. Double up the recipe for a family meal.

French onion soup

45 minutes, serves 2, easy

olive oil

onions 3 large, thinly sliced

thyme 1 tbsp, chopped

dry sherry 100ml

vegetable stock 300ml

baguette 4 thick slices, toasted

mature cheddar grated to make 2 handfuls

Heat 3 tbsp oil in a pan. Add the onions, thyme, salt, pepper and a little sugar. Cook until caramelised, about 25-30 minutes.

Add the sherry and stock. Simmer for 10 minutes. Heat the grill. Divide the soup into two ovenproof bowls. Put two pieces of baguette in each, top with cheese and grill until bubbly.

Halloumi with olive relish

10 minutes, serves 2, easy

black olives 8, pitted and chopped

red chilli 1, seeded and chopped

red wine vinegar 1 tbsp

flat-leaf parsley 1 tbsp, chopped

small capers 1 tbsp, drained and rinsed olive oil

halloumi 200g, cut into 6 slices

Mix the olives, red chilli, vinegar, parsley, capers and 2 tbsp olive oil.

Heat a non-stick frying pan until hot. Add halloumi and cook until golden on both sides then pour on relish. Serve with salad.

Tuna melts

tinned tuna in olive oil 100g, drained

celery diced to make 2 tbsp

red onion diced to make 2 tbsp

mayonnaise 4 tbsp


sourdough bread 4 slices

mature cheddar 40g, grated

Mix the tuna, celery, onion, mayonnaise and a little seasoning. Heat a non-stick pan. Butter one side of the bread. Keeping all buttered sides out, divide the filling between two slices, top with cheese and the other slice.

Toast in the pan on low heat. When the cheese starts to melt, turn over and brown on the remaining side.

Winter salad with fondue dressing

15 minutes, serves 2, easy

red potato 1, large, boiled peeled and sliced

Granny Smith apple 1, cored and sliced

celery 1 stick, sliced

crisp lettuce 2 good handfuls

walnuts 8, toasted

bacon 2 slices, cooked and crumbled

white wine 5 tbsp

cider vinegar 1 tbsp

cornflour 1 tsp

mature cheddar grated to make 6 tbsp

Divide the potato, apple, celery, lettuce, walnuts and bacon between two large plates.

Heat the wine in a pan. Mix the vinegar and cornflour. When the wine simmers, add the cheese and stir to melt it. Add the vinegar mixture and stir on low heat until combined, about 5 minutes. Pour over the salads.

Crêpes with ham, cheddar and chives

20 minutes, serves 2, easy 

plain flour 50g

egg 1, beaten

whole milk 130ml

butter 25g, melted

ham 4 thick slices

mature cheddar grated to make 4 handfuls chives 3 tbsp, chopped

In a bowl, sift in the flour and add a pinch of salt. Add the egg and milk and whisk until smooth. Add 1 tbsp of the melted butter. save the rest to oil the pan.

Heat a non-stick frying pan until hot. Add some melted butter and pour in some mix. Lift and tilt the pan to spread out the batter. Cook until the edges are crisp, then flip with a large spatula. Make another three crêpes.

Top the crêpes with cheese, ham and chives. One crêpe at a time, return to the pan and cook until the cheese melts. Fold the bottom up, sides in and top over. Repeat with the others and eat with salad.

Take a pack of mince…

Pork tacos

Pork mince makes a really good-value filling for these soft tacos. If you like Mexican food you’ll love this really easy dinner – spice up the meat with cumin and chilli then serve with tomatoes, red onion and creme fraiche.

Chipotle meatballs

45 minutes, serves 2, easy

beef mince 250g

onions 2, finely chopped

coriander small handful

egg 1 yolk

fresh breadcrumbs, 1 handful

olive oil

garlic 2 cloves, chopped

passata 200ml

chipotle purée 1 tbsp (look for ‘discovery’ in good supermarkets)

Heat the oven to 180c/fan 160c/gas 4. Mix the beef with half the onion, coriander, egg yolk and breadcrumbs. Season and shape into small meatballs. Brown the meatballs in a little oil and set aside.

Fry the rest of the onion and garlic for 5 minutes. Add the passata and chipotle purée; cook for 5 minutes. Mix with the meatballs in a baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes.

Rigatoni with lamb

30 minutes, serves 2, easy

red onion 1, chopped

garlic 2 cloves, chopped

olive oil

lamb mince 250g

rosemary 1 tbsp, chopped

chilli flakes 1/2 tsp

fennel seeds 1/2 tsp

passata 400ml

rigatoni pasta 200g, cooked

Fry the onion and garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil for 5 minutes. Season. Add the lamb, rosemary, chilli flakes and fennel; fry until the meat is cooked. Add the passata; cook for 15 minutes. Toss with the pasta.

Greek pork patties

20 minutes, serves 2, easy 

pork mince 200g

dried oregano 1 tbsp

onion 1 small, grated

mint leaves 1 tbsp, chopped

egg yolk, 1

fresh breadcrumbs 1 handful

Combine all ingredients; season. Form into 4 burgers. Grill for 4 minutes on each side or until cooked. Serve with salad in pitta breads.

Thai pork & lime noodles

15 minutes, serves 2 , easy

thin rice noodles 50g


minced pork 250g

root ginger a small chunk, finely chopped

chilli bean paste 3 tbsp (or other chilli sauce)

fish sauce 1 tsp

carrot 1, shredded into matchsticks

spring onions 2, sliced

lime 1, cut into 4 wedges

Soak the noodles in boiled water for 5 minutes. Brown the pork with the ginger in a little oil; break up with a spoon, then add the chilli paste, fish sauce and carrots. Stir for 1 minute; add the noodles and spring onions. Heat through and serve with the lime wedges.

Mini meat loaves

1 hour, serves 2, easy

olive oil

onion 1 small, finely chopped

carrot 1 small, finely chopped

fresh breadcrumbs 1 handful

Worcestershire sauce 1 tsp

thyme 1 heaped tbsp, chopped

egg yolk 1

pork mince 200g

wholegrain mustard 2 tbsp

crème fraîche 4 tbsp

Heat oven to 200c/fan 180c/gas 6. Fry the onion and carrot in 1 tbsp oil for 10 minutes; tip into a bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, Worcestershire sauce, half the thyme, egg yolk, pork and seasoning and combine.

Brush 2 large ramekins with olive oil and fill with mix. Mix the mustard, crème fraîche and rest of the thyme and spoon over the top of both. Bake for 45 minutes. serve with mash or salad.

Catch a piece of fish…

Salmon on potato onion rosti with mint aïoli

Potato and onion rosti make a great base for different toppings. This recipe uses a mustard-grilled salmon and a rich garlic mayonnaise flavoured with mint. A quick, smart supper for two.

Thai salmon fishcakes

15 minutes, serves 2, easy

salmon fillet 250g

lime 1, zested and cut into wedges

coriander 2 tbsp, chopped, plus extra to serve

shallot 1, finely chopped

root ginger 1 small chunk, finely chopped

red chilli 1, seeded and finely chopped

fish sauce 1 tsp

sweet chilli dipping sauce to serve

Put the salmon in a food processor and pulse until chunky but not puréed. Mix with the lime zest, coriander, shallot, ginger, chilli and fish sauce, plus black pepper.

Form into 4 flattish cakes, oil both sides and grill for 3-4 minutes on each side. Serve with lime wedges and sweet chilli dipping sauce.

Trout with potato salad

30 minutes, serves 2, easy

new potatoes 250g

wholegrain mustard 1 tbsp

red wine vinegar 1 tbsp

golden caster sugar 1 tsp

small capers 1 tsp, drained and rinsed

fresh dill 2 tbsp, chopped

olive oil 2 tbsp

red onion 1/2 small,diced

smoked trout 2 fillets, broken up

Boil the potatoes until tender. drain. Put the mustard, vinegar, sugar, capers, dill, and 2 tbsp olive oil in a lidded jam jar. Season and shake to combine.

Thinly slice the warm potatoes and put them in a bowl with the onion. Add the trout and dressing and gently mix. Divide between two plates. Serve with watercress.

Chilli-glazed salmon

20 minutes, serves 2, easy

dried ancho chilli, 1 large seeded and stemmed (available in tesco and sainsbury’s)

onion 1, small cut into thick slices

garlic 3 cloves, skin on

cider vinegar 1 tbsp

soft brown sugar 1 tbsp

salmon 2 fillets

lime 1, zested and cut into wedges

crème fraîche 100ml

Soak the chilli in boiling water until soft, about 15 minutes. In a dry frying pan, blacken the onion and garlic all over, about 6 minutes. Once cool, peel the garlic and drain the chilli. Purée the garlic, onion, chilli, vinegar, sugar and seasoning in a blender until smooth.

Heat the grill. Pour the glaze over the fish and cook on an oiled rack for 6-7minutes. Mix the lime zest and crème fraîche and serve with the fish and any leftover glaze. Good with roast sweet potato wedges or rice.

Trout stuffed with apricot and lemon bulgar

40 minutes, serves 2, easy

bulgar wheat 50g

onion 1, sliced

garlic 1 clove, chopped

root ginger 1 small chunk, chopped olive oil

cinnamon 1/2 tsp

coriander 1 handful, chopped

lemon 1, zested and juiced

flaked almonds 2 tbsp

dried apricots 6, chopped

trout 2 whole, gutted and scaled

Heat oven to 200c/fan 180c/gas 6. Cook the bulgar in boiling water for 15 minutes; drain.

Fry the onion, garlic and ginger in a bit of olive oil until golden. add the bulgar wheat, cinnamon, coriander, lemon zest and juice, almonds and apricots.

Rinse and dry the fish. Season inside and out. divide the filling between both. drizzle with a little oil and bake for 15 minutes.

Vietnamese caramel salmon with beans

15 minutes, serves 2, easy 

salmon fillets 2

sunflower oil

onion 1 small, thinly sliced

garlic 2 cloves, chopped

green beans 100g, cut into pieces

soft brown sugar 3 tbsp

soy sauce 1 tsp

fish sauce 1 tbsp

lime 1, juiced

basmati rice to serve

Heat the grill. Season the salmon, drizzle 2 tbsp oil and grill for 6-7 minutes. Heat a wok with a bit more oil and fry the onion, garlic and beans for a few minutes.


Add the sugar and, once it’s dissolved, add the soy, fish sauce and lime juice. Pour the warm sauce over the salmon. Serve with rice.