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Top 10 quick budget family meals

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Save time and money as well as livening up your midweek meals with inexpensive, comforting recipes that are sure to be a hit with the whole family.

Many of us are having to think extra carefully about how to get the most out of our shopping and fuel budgets. Smart planning and cooking will help you make nutritious meals that taste great. We calculate a budget meal at a cost of £1.25 per serving for ingredients used. (You may have to spend a little more if you need to replenish staples such as a full bottle of cooking oil or a bag of flour or buy a pot of spices, but you will use these up over time and we will give you ideas for how to do this.) You may also have access to a markets and local shops that offer savings.

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Feeding the family on a budget? These ten super speedy and satisfying meals all come in under £1.25 per serving, feed four people and are ready in under 30 minutes. From comforting pasta dishes and no-fuss traybakes to quick stir-fries and fajitas, these simple suppers make the most of affordable ingredients and are sure to keep the family happy.

Get more delicious money-saving meal ideas with our top 10 budget family meals and top 10 healthy budget meals, plus browse our main collection of budget recipes.

1. Speedy sausage stroganoff tagliatelle

Tagliatelle in a pan with sausage, mushroom and parsley

Make instant meatballs with this filling and flavoursome recipe that the whole family will love. It might leave you with some lunchbox leftovers too, if you’re feeding younger kids. It’s on the table in 20 minutes, so you can spend more time relaxing on the sofa than cooking in the kitchen.

Pasta is always a family favourite, so why not check out more of our quick and easy family pasta recipes.

2. Honey & soy chicken thighs with sesame broccoli

Chicken thighs on a board with a bowl of broccoli

These sticky homemade chicken thighs are sure to be a big hit with the kids and are a great way to introduce them to cheaper cuts of meat. Serve with a steaming bowl of rice and let the family help themselves.

Check out more chicken thigh dinner inspiration with everything from easy traybakes to hearty curries and comforting stews.

3. Spicy bean burgers with lime yogurt

Bean burger in a bun on a bed of avocado, lettuce and red onion with yoghurt and salsa.

Homemade bean burgers couldn’t be any easier, even on a busy weeknight, and takes just 10 minutes to prepare. If you want, prep ahead, then make double and freeze them, so that next time you can just pop them under the grill.

4. Vegetarian fajitas

A woman holding an open wrap with avocado, peppers, black beans and yoghurt inside

This 15-minute easy recipe means there's no need for expensive fajita kits, and swapping chicken breast for healthy, filling beans is another great way of keeping costs down. Fresh, flavoursome and fast, this is sure to become a family favourite.

For more meatless meals that appeal to the children, look at our vegetarian kids' selection.

5. Pizza omelette

Omelette with tomato, cheese and olives

This unusual combination is a real winner and great for cooking with the kids! It has only two steps and can be prepared in just fifteen minutes, perfect for after a long day. It’s also high in protein and low in salt.

For more recipes that are great for cooking with the kids, check out our kids' cooking recipes.

6. Chicken, leek & brown rice stir-fry

Bowl of rice with chicken, pepper and leeks

This simple stir-fry combines the classic flavours of chicken and chorizo with a healthy kick of kale and leek. Whip up in under 20 minutes.

Look no further for more speedy stir-fry inspiration.

7. Potato, pea & egg curry rotis

Three bowls of pea, potato and egg curry with rotis

This easy veggie curry will go down a treat with the whole family. Chunky potatoes and peas are combined with curry paste and chopped tomatoes, then served with soft boiled eggs and rotis for a satisfying yet low-calorie supper. Double the batch size and freeze for a later date to save yourself cooking again.

Check out our vegetarian curry recipes for more inspiration.

8. Mushroom, ricotta & rocket tart

Puff pastry topped with mushroom, ricotta and rocket

Use a ready-made puff pastry sheet for a no-fuss midweek dinner. Top with Italian cheese, garlic mushrooms and rocket for a stylish vegetarian meal. The addition of grated nutmeg brings a sweet, nutty taste to this dish.

Browse more of our delicious savoury tart recipes.

9. Cheesy ham & broccoli pasta

A bowl of pasta in cheese sauce with ham and broccoli

In need of some comfort food? Make up a big bowl of this rich and creamy cheese pasta with chunks of ham and crunchy broccoli. It's sure to be a hit with the kids and comes in at around £1 per serving.

Delve into our selection of budget pasta recipes and hearty pasta bakes.

10. Sesame & spring onion stir-fried udon with crispy tofu

Bowl of udon noodle and tofu stir-fry with green beans

This nutritious vegan stir-fry is full of vibrant textures and flavours, plus it's ready in just 20 minutes. Thick udon noodles are cooked with crispy tofu, fresh green beans and spring onions in a punchy sesame soy sauce. It's perfect for busy weeknights when you want to whip up something quick and healthy.

Discover more vegan budget recipes.

Try more wholesome family classics...

10 easy budget family meals
Budget family chicken recipes
Top 10 healthy family meals
Budget family recipes
Budget meals for large families
Healthy batch cooking recipes
Budget meals for one

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Many of us are paying more attention to our diets and how the food we eat can support our health. To help sort out the fact from the fiction, BBC Future is updating some of its most popular nutrition stories from its archive.

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