It’s often assumed that it’s expensive to eat well but, by selecting fresh ingredients that are in season and storing ingredients wisely, it is possible to create healthy meals on a budget.
The following healthy recipes are tasty and have various ingredient options, allowing you to select ingredients that you like, are in season and provide good nutritional value to you and your family.
By using fresh vegetables, you can keep the calories down while adding plenty of nutrition.
This article provides you with recipes that are cheap but also delicious.
For more information on how to shop wisely, take a look at our article How To Shop Wisely To Get The Nutrition You Need.
Cheap Healthy Starters
Starters can be light and act as an appetiser to the main meal, or can be more substantial and provide extra healthy calories.
Both of the following starters are easy to make and are nutritious, containing wholesome but relatively cheap ingredients.
Carrots are readily available all year round so this dip is cheap and is easy to make.
They are a good source of Vitamin A and carotene.
Roasting carrots intensifies and caramelises their taste, which works beautifully with the sharp, sweet and spicy flavourings.
Serve this dip with warm pitas or flatbread.
Most people who have a nut allergy are OK with pine nuts, but please check, as they are optional.
You can buy Harissa paste from most supermarkets.
These stuffed mushrooms are tasty and make a good, healthy, appetising start to any meal.
You can adapt the recipe to your taste by using different types of cheeses or by leaving out the ham.
Cheap Healthy Main Meals
With the busy lives that many of us lead, we want main meals that are nutritious and cheap – but that are also easy and quick to prepare.
The following recipes are healthy and contain both fresh ingredients and ingredients that you can store.
If you are short of time then this recipe will enable you to create a quick, easy meal that is satisfying and also has a high nutritional value.
The addition of baked beans and grated cheese adds more protein, and the addition of sweet potato, more fibre and vitamins A, B and C.
Serve with peas or other green vegetables to increase the nutritional value.
This is an easy “one pot” meal that is cheap and nutritious.
Chicken thighs are used as they are cheaper, but actually have more flavour.
To reduce fat content, skin the thighs.
The lentils add more protein and make the casserole more nutritious and substantial, although you could serve with potatoes.
You could also substitute the lentils with a can of butter beans for a variation.
Serving with green vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, or even frozen peas, will provide additional vitamin C and minerals.
Despite the name, this pie does not contain snails and is, in fact, suitable for vegetarians!
The name comes from the coiled shape of the pie.
The recipe contains a lot of ingredients but you will already have many in your store cupboard.
It is a budget meal, suitable for special occasions, and is well worth the bit of effort it takes to make.
Cheap Healthy Puddings
Everyone likes to end a meal with a pudding, but they don’t have to be extremely sweet and full of calories.
The following recipes are both nutritious and suitable for healthy eating on a budget.
These pancakes are quick and cheap to make.
Adding fruit to them means that they have extra nutritional value without too many more calories.
To keep the cost down, choose soft fruit that is in season, or even stewed plums or apples.
The addition of half fat crème fraiche, or low fat Greek yoghurt, adds a bit of indulgence without too much extra fat.
This rice pudding is a variation on the old classic.
The sweetness of the cardamom, pistachios and fruit, not only gives the pudding a more exotic flavour but also reduces the need for additional sugar.
As a result, the pudding has fewer calories and is even healthier than a normal rice pudding.
Choose fruit that is season to help reduce the cost.
If no fresh fruit is available, use stewed dried fruit such as apricots or prunes
Cooking healthy and nutritious food on a budget isn’t impossible.
As you can see from the above recipes, there are a variety of meals which are not only cheap to prepare and cook but also high in all the nutrients you need.
Try some of our budget meals and let us know what you think using the comments box below.
Which one is your favourite?