20 ideas for Sunday lunch on a budget
Save on costs this weekend with our budget-friendly Sunday lunch ideas, including meaty mains, vegetarian winners and comforting desserts.
Sunday lunch is all about sharing classic comfort food with family and friends. And while catering for a group can sound overwhelming in terms of cost, this cherished tradition doesn't have to break the bank.
We've gathered the best ideas for a budget-friendly Sunday lunch, including meat centrepieces, vegetarian winners and cosy desserts.
BBC Good Food’s Save Sunday Lunch campaign aims to keep this tradition alive with cost-effective, energy-efficient recipes. We'll be sharing ideas and dishes from Good Food’s diverse community of food lovers for everyone to enjoy.
Have you ever used cost-effective cuts of meat (such as chicken thighs or minced beef) in your Sunday dinner? Try bulking a cut of meat out by combining with veggies in a pie filling, or adding another protein like beans and chickpeas. Vegetarian dishes are also a great way to save on costs – affordable veggies like carrots and potatoes are a good place to start, or lentils and barley are a filling option, too.
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Skip the oven altogether and put your air fryer to work with this easy recipe, complete with tender chicken breasts, crispy potatoes, roast carrots and peas. To finish, make a simple gravy in the microwave.
Try a new twist on a Sunday roast with a sizzling pan of beef koftas, sunk in a tomato sauce. Orzo helps stretch this one-pot to feed six people, especially when served alongside a fresh apple & feta salad and warm flatbreads covered in garlic butter.
You may think of beef wellington as a luxury dinner, but this simple minced beef version makes it affordable. Mix the meat with eggs, garlic and herbs, form into a sauce shape, cover with a layer of chopped mushrooms and ready-made puff pastry, then bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
Chicken drumsticks are a more budget-friendly alternative to chicken breasts or a whole chicken. To make this flavourful main, dip the drumsticks in a mixture of natural yogurt and dijon mustard, then coat in a parmesan breadcrumb mix. Bake in a tray with baby potatoes to save on oven space.
Take the stress out of cooking a joint of beef by using your slow cooker. The meat will be beautifully tender and full of flavour. First, sear the beef in a frying pan and deglaze using white wine. Then cook the beef joint with carrots, onions, rosemary, bay leaves and garlic cloves on high for four hours.
Prepare some simple chicken thighs to go with a variety of classic sides. Our easy technique ensures a crispy skin, seasoned with a blend of paprika, mixed herbs and garlic.
Stretch a cut of beef further by dicing and using in a hearty pie alongside storecupboard veggies and buttery pastry. The filling can be made up to three days ahead and frozen for up to three months – great for batch cooking.
Roast a whole leg of lamb in the slow cooker to make Sunday nights a breeze. Serve with a generous helping of fluffy mashed potatoes and roasted veggies. Remember the rich gravy, made by straining the meat juices into a pan and simmering until thickened.
Make this versatile traybake for a family roast dinner. Two cans of hearty butter beans really help bulk out the dish and make it extra filling. Serve with potato wedges or classic roasties.
Dig into a comforting chicken curry for the cosiest of Sunday nights. Chickpeas (a cheap and filling protein) go so well with chicken thighs. This freezable recipe is a great batch-cooking option, too.
Veggie & vegan roast dinners
This veggie-friendly hotpot is loaded with root veg, beetroot, sweet potatoes, carrots, chestnut mushrooms and pearl barley. Cook the filling on the hob then cover in a pattern of sliced potato, sweet potato and beetroot for a stunning result.
12) Veggie loaf
Try this filling veggie loaf as a meat-free alternative to classic meatloaf. Combine chestnut mushrooms, puy lentils and brown rice for the base, then season with plenty of garlic and parsley. Got leftovers? Eat chunky slices for lunch during the week.
Who doesn't love a comforting plate of lasagne on a Sunday evening? This veggie version comes packed with butternut squash and mixed mushrooms, paired with creamy mascarpone.
14) Homity pie
Homity pie is one of our go-to veggie winners. Make your own pastry from scratch or take a shortcut with ready-made. This cosy pie is filled with thick slices of potato, leeks and mature cheddar cheese.
Warm up on a chilly Sunday evening with this vegan slow-cooker stew. It's full of chunky carrot and parsnip, and seasoned with curry powder, paprika and garlic. It's also freezable, if you have any left over.
Baking a cake doesn't have to mean keeping the oven on for hours. This clever version is made in the microwave to save on energy costs, and is on the table in just 15 minutes.
17) Apple crumble
There's nothing more comforting after Sunday dinner than a wam bowl of apple crumble. Top with fresh cream or vanilla ice cream for extra indulgence.
Try a new twist on classic lemon drizzle cake with our top-rated self-saucing pudding. Combining a simple, homemade lemon curd with fluffy lemon sponge, this dessert is sure to be a winner.
For us, a roast dinner just isn't complete without sticky toffee pudding. Simply mix the ingredients together and leave to cook all day, ready to serve in the evening.
Expect second-helping requests of this decadent dessert. Combine shop-bought jam doughnuts with lemon curd and custard, then top with fresh raspberries (or frozen berries for a budget-friendly alternative).