Budget meals for one

If you're cooking for one and need to save the pennies, then check out our delicious, nutritious and affordable solo suppers – also ideal for busy weekdays.

Hummus, chorizo and chickpea dish

Cooking for one can feel like more trouble than it's worth and it's sometimes tricky to calculate the right portion size. When money is an issue, too, motivation can wane. That's why we've put together a selection of simple, low-cost dishes that allow you to make the most of storecupboard and freezer ingredients without having lots of leftovers. From comforting pie and buttery linguine to healthy dhal and ramen, you'll be glad you made the (minimal) effort...


Dhal with garam masala carrots

Bowl of dhal with carrot sticks on top

This nutritious and warming red lentil dhal makes a great budget vegetarian option and is also low in calories. Toss the carrots in garam masala for a hint of spice and serve with a little Greek yogurt for a luxuriously creamy texture.

Dhal with garam masala carrots


Pea & ham pot pie

Pea and ham pie with chunk taken out

Who says baking a pie isn't viable for one person? With a few affordable ingredients and frozen veg, you can easily knock up this beauty and have it all to yourself. Using a ready-made soffrito is a cheap and easy way to create an extra layer of flavour. Freeze the remaining puff pastry to use in another recipe – you'll find plenty of ideas in our puff pastry collection.

Pea & ham pot pie


Super-quick sesame ramen

Bowl of ramen with boiled egg and pak choi

Serve up a comforting bowl of healthy fast food in a flash. This Asian noodle dish is low-fat and low-calorie yet makes a filling meal which you can have on the table in only 15 minutes.

Super-quick sesame rame


Baked ginger & spinach sweet potato

Sweet potato with spinach topping

All good things come in small packages, and this is certainly true for our flavour-packed ginger & spinach sweet potato. This satisfying, spicy veggie meal makes a cheap and low-calorie lunch.

Baked ginger & spinach sweet potato


Brown butter linguine

Bowl of linguine topped with cheese shavings

Sometimes, there is little more comforting than a bowl of buttery pasta topped with grated cheese. Browning the butter gives the dish a wonderfully nutty flavour and we've also added crispy breadcrumbs to soak up any extra sauce.

Brown butter linguine


Chorizo hummus bowl

Bowl of hummus, kale, chorizo and chickpeas with flatbread side

Combine hummus with flavourful chorizo, chickpeas and kale for a protein-packed dish that won't break the bank. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and flatbread for a simple, speedy lunch which is ready in just 15 minutes.

Chorizo hummus bowl
 

Microwave shakshuka

Mug of shakshuka and flatbread side

Whip up our microwaveable shakshuka in just 10 minutes. The rich tomato sauce, topped with a runny egg is perfect for dipping pieces of warmed pitta bread into. Both healthy and hearty, this Middle Eastern-style meal in a mug is sure to be a student staple.

Microwave shakshuka


Easy chicken chowder

Stir up this creamy chicken and sweetcorn soup for a comforting solo supper. We've used chicken, sweetcorn and potato, but you can customise the recipe with other basic ingredients from your storecupboard or fridge.

Easy chicken chowder
 

Storecupboard stir-fried rice

Put storecupboard ingredients to good use with this simple egg-fried rice. Use half a pounch of ready-cooked rice and combine with vegetables, ginger and spices. Stir in an egg and season with soy sauce for a super quick and thrifty meal.

Storecupboard stir-fried rice
 

Find more budget recipes and meals for one...

Meals-for-one recipe collection 
Healthy meals-for-one recipe collection
Budget recipe collection
A guide to money-saving meals
What to eat on a budget: A week of thrifty suppers and leftover lunches
5 of the best budget superfoods
12 ways to cut your food costs
Budget dinner party ideas

 

 

 

What other budget meals for one do you like making? Leave a comment below...

 

Comments, questions and tips

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Linda Payne's picture
Linda Payne
8th Feb, 2020
Soup
Sergiu's picture
Sergiu
8th Feb, 2019
Right in time. Thanks.
onlyme
8th Sep, 2018
Some good recipes here. I have learned to enjoy lentils, chickpeas and beans after experimenting with different recipes. They are much cheaper than meat. Please remember that if you are cooking for one on a budget that the recipes needing to be cooked in the oven will cost a lot more than those cooked on the hob. I rarely use my oven unless I am having a big cook up to fill the freezer. Could you do a recipe collection that doesn't need oven cooking? ☺
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
11th Sep, 2018
Thanks for suggestion, we'll add this one to the list!
BRYAN COOKE's picture
BRYAN COOKE
21st May, 2020
Frozen shortcrust pastry makes a lovely Corned beef pie using onions, carrots, swede and potatoes plus a stock cube. This goes a long way to suit the hungriest of appetites. It is delicious cold served with salad the next day.