Eating well doesn't have to be expensive, there are lots of ways to nourish yourself without overspending. When possible, choose seasonal produce as it may be a little cheaper, opt for more veggie or vegan dishes, reach for store cupboard staples like chickpeas and lentils, and be clever with leftovers. Yesterday's mashed potato, for example, can become a great base for fishcakes.


Another way to save on costs is cooking with the hob or microwave, instead of the oven. This will take less time to heat up, therefore saving on energy. Alternatively, you can use our healthy no-cook recipes to skip out the cooking completely.

Want more like this? Check out our budget vegetarian recipes, budget vegan recipes and budget recipes catering for all diets. And have a look at our leftover veg recipes.

22 budget healthy recipes

Turkey keema curry

Packed with zingy flavours and plenty of punchy spices, this low-calorie curry makes an easy midweek meal. Once you've stocked your cupboards with the spices, there aren't too many expensive ingredients to buy. And using turkey mince keeps the cost down.

Turkey Kheema Matar with Turkey

Vegan burrito bowl

Tinned beans are the best of budget ingredients – they're nourishing and versatile. We've used pinto beans to bulk out this vegan burrito bowl, as well as tinned sweetcorn, greens and jarred red peppers.

Vegan burrito bowl

Tuscan bean stew

This Tuscan bean and barley stew is a perfect one to have on hand for a quick midweek meal that's budget-friendly and ready in less than 30 minutes.

Tuscan Stew Recipe with Beans and Barley

Butternut squash dahl with eggs and crispy onions

Liven up butternut squash and eggs with lightly toasted spices, coconut milk and crispy onions to make a vibrant vegetarian dahl. If you're looking to cut the costs even further, you could leave out the curry leaves and use extra spices instead.

Butternut Squash and Coconut Dahl topped with Jammy Eggs and Crispy Onions

Healthy chicken casserole

Casseroles are a great way to make meat go further. To make this hearty dish, you only need chicken thighs, butterbeans and a few other simple ingredients.

Chicken and Leek Casserole Recipe with Dijon Mustard

Smoked haddock and chive fishcakes

It only takes eight ingredients to make these smoked haddock and chive fishcakes. You could even use cold leftover mashed potato, if you have some. They freeze easily, making them a handy standby for when you're too busy to cook. For more ideas, check out our batch cook recipes for the freezer.

Smoked haddock and chive fishcakes

Aubergine parmigiana

Make a batch of this Italian veggie classic when you want to feed a crowd on a budget. Or make two smaller dishes, eat one for dinner during the week and freeze the other one for later.

A cheesy aubergine parmigiana

Apricot, blueberry and almond muffins

Make these freezable fruity almond muffins for an energising breakfast. Banana and yogurt keep them moist, while the ground almonds and oats make them filling. All you need to do is defrost overnight and you'll be ready to go.

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Apricot, blueberry and almond muffins

Vegetable omelette

Jazz up your omelette up with plenty of grated courgette, kale, peas and chilli flakes, then serve alongside cherry tomatoes dressed simply with white wine vinegar.

Omelette Filled with Green Veg on a Plate with Tomatoes

Spinach, chickpea and potato curry

Try our lightly-spiced vegan curry for a wholesome midweek meal for four. Make the most of storecupboard ingredients such as chickpeas and chopped tomatoes in this flavoursome dish.

Spinach, Chickpea and Potato Curry in a Silver Pan

Egg fried rice

Put a bag of mixed frozen veg to good use with our easy egg fried rice. It's an inexpensive yet wholesome meal that you can enjoy any night of the week.

A pan of egg fried rice on a grey napkin

Curried celeriac

Like other root veg, celeriac is cheap, robust and versatile. Use it in a number of delicious dishes, like this vegan curry – the roasted cubes soak up the fragrant flavours of the spices.

A dish filled with cooked celeriac in a turmeric coconut milk sauce

Spiced squash, spinach and lentil soup

A bag of lentils can go a very long way. Use them to bulk out nutritious soups like this easy recipe. It's packed with squash, puy lentils, bulgur wheat and plenty of cumin for kick.

Spiced squash and lentil soup

Golden onion and spring veg pilaf

Bay leaf and spices add fragrant flavours to this easy rice one-pot. You'll get plenty of goodness from the frozen peas, green beans and spinach. Plus, you can add chicken, toasted nuts or tofu if you'd like a bit more protein.

Golden onion and spring veg pilaf

Vegetarian lentil bolognese

This puy lentil bolognese is a great vegetarian alternative for when you don't want to use a meat substitute but still want a hearty meal. It's easy to make, full of fibre and easy to freeze.

Puy lentil bolognese in a bowl

Broccoli pasta

Use every bit of the broccoli to make this delicious vegan pasta recipe. Once you've blitzed it – stalk and all – fry the broccoli with garlic and pine nuts then toss together and dig in.

Bowl of linguine with broccoli

Middle Eastern roast carrot salad with herby carrot top yogurt

Nothing goes to waste in this flavoursome salad recipe. Carrots are roasted until soft and their tops are mixed with yogurt and dill to make an easy, creamy dressing. Serve as part of a spread for lunch or dinner.

Middle Eastern Carrot Salad with Herb Yogurt

Spicy chickpea, potato and filo slice

Ditch the meat and try this cheap and cheerful veggie pie. Chickpeas, potatoes and curry paste make up the filling, and the top is crunchy filo pastry. It's best eaten on the day, while the pastry is still crisp.

Vegetarian Potato Pie Recipe with Chickpeas

Butternut squash soup

Make this silky butternut squash soup for a satisfying veggie lunch. It's simple to whip up and only needs a handful of ingredients. Finish with toasted seeds and a swirl of Greek yogurt.

Butternut squash soup

Miso chickpeas and avocado on toast

Turn chickpeas into a delightful lunch or brunch dish with our new take on avocado on toast. Liven up with sesame seeds, spring onions and a squeeze of lemon.

Avocado on Toast Recipe with Chickpeas and Miso

Baked sweet potatoes with smoky beans

This recipe for baked sweet potatoes with smoky beans makes for an easy veggie meal for two. Plus, it's under 500 calories – a great option for midweek.

Baked sweet potatoes with smoky beans

Tomato and red pepper soup

Soup isn't just for winter – this summery tomato and red pepper soup makes a great lunch on a warm day and will use up that glut of tomatoes from the garden, too.

two bowls of red soup scattered with basil leaves and sat on folded linen napkins with chinks of crusty bread

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