The current cost of living crisis is making ordinary families rethink and seek different ways to spend less on everyday items to keep eating well without breaking the bank.

We are on a mission to help you save money on groceries and prepare healthy meals on a budget, so Peter Sidwell, MasterClass’ brand partner has come up with these mouthwatering cheap dinner ideas for the next week.

We have created a budget meal plan for a typical family of four, which can be adjusted proportionally, to remind families that it is possible to eat cheap and healthy meals on a budget.

The plan is to make meals under £5 with recipes that are accessible to everyone, with ingredients you most likely have on hand in your kitchen cupboard.

Milanese Pasta

Serves: 4
Total Cost: £4


Take your Italian dishes to new culinary heights and make this superb Milanese pasta with homemade ragu. It’s not only quick and easy to make, but healthier and cheaper than ready-made meals!

Enjoy perfectly cooked al dente spaghetti with a creamy tomato sauce, flavourful sausage and aromatic spices finished with a few Parmesan slivers and a dollop of crème fraîche. That’s the kind of meal the whole family will enjoy together!

Cooked on a MasterClass 4L Cast Aluminium Shallow Casserole Dish - Mint Green, this versatile pot is robust like cast iron but lightweight enough for cooking your everyday meals.



  • 375g pasta
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 chilli
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 4 x 30g sausages cut out of their skins
  • 400g tinned tomatoes
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 60g parmesan cheese grated



Cook the pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water for 9 minutes and 9 minutes only!

Pour the olive oil into a large shallow cast aluminium pan.

Chop the garlic clove and add to the shallow pan with the olive oil.

Add the chopped red chilli without the seeds, but if you like it spicy add the seeds too.

Scatter the fennel seeds into the shallow pan with the garlic and chilli.

Cut the sausages out of the skins, then add to the pan.

Use the back of a MasterClass nylon spoon to break up the sausage meat while it is cooking.

Once the sausage is cooked, it should only take 4-5 minutes.

Add the tin of chopped tomatoes and turn the heat up to boil and reduce a little.

Add 100ml of water from the pasta pan and add to the tomato sauce.

Once reduced, stir in the crème fraîche and half of the grated parmesan cheese.

Lift the pasta out of the salted boiling water with tongs and transfer it into the pasta sauce.

Stir together and serve with the extra grated parmesan cheese.

Crab Cakes with Noodles

Serves: 4
Makes: 12 Crab Cakes
Total Cost: £4.52


Crab cakes are often seen as fancy seafood appetisers, which are expensive and difficult to make. This recipe is not only easy but will be ready in no time. The results? Small bites that are full of flavour, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside — perfect for dipping in a fragrant Thai sauce!

Stir-fried noodles with Oriental aromatic herbs and fresh veggies make the perfect side dish. To make this dish, we have used our MasterClass Induction Ready Non-Stick 26cm Frypan and MasterClass Smart Ceramic Baking Tray for an effortless cooking session.


For the noodles:

  • 1 packet of ready to wok noodles
  • 2 red onions
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 thumb of ginger
  • 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 50ml light soy sauce


For the cakes:

  • 2 baked potatoes scooped out
  • 2 packets Vici Seafood sticks
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 spring onions
  • 5 slices of bread dried and turned into bread crumbs
  • 1 egg beaten with 50ml water or milk
  • 80g plain flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds optional
  • 1 lime optional



Soak the noodles in a bowl with some boiling water from the kettle.

Scoop the centre of the baked potatoes into a mixing bowl and mash until smooth.

Add in the mayonnaise and the zest of one lemon straight into the bowl with the potatoes.

Season with a little salt and pepper

Roughly chop the seafood sticks along with the spring onions and add to the bowl.

Stir together until combined but don’t over mix you want the chunks of seafood sticks to still be recognisable.

Set up a breadcrumbing station, seasoned flour in one container, beaten egg in the other and breadcrumbs in the other.

Portion the cakes into golf ball-sized portions.

Roll in the seasoned flour, dip into the egg mixture and finally into the breadcrumbs for an even coating.

Place the breaded cakes onto a non-stick baking tray.

Spray the cakes with oil and turn over, repeat the spraying before baking in the oven at 170c for 15-20



To make the noodles, slice the red onion, grate the carrot, and chop the ginger and garlic.

Preheat a wok with a little oil and add the ginger and garlic to the pan.

Cook for 2-3 minutes then add the sweet chilli sauce and soy sauce.

Bring the sauce up to the boil.

Add the red onions and grated carrot to warm through.

Transfer the noodles from the water and sit on top of the vegetables (do not stir until the last minute).

Scatter the sesame seeds over the noodles.

When the crab cakes are golden and crisp, remove from the oven and serve with the noodles.

Finish with a squeeze of lime juice and enjoy.


Chicken Curry

Serves: 4
Total Cost: £4.93


A family-friendly curry dish which is really easy to cook. This recipe promises succulent tender chicken thighs with smooth sweet potatoes in a rich creamy curry sauce. Best served with rice, everyone will want to keep coming back for more!


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp curry paste
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 400g tinned tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 2 tbsp yoghurt
  • 250g rice
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Spinach



Cook your rice based on 1 part rice to 2 parts water, cook on a medium heat until the water is absorbed.

Preheat an oven-proof dish that you can put on the hob.

Add a splash of olive oil on a medium heat.

Score the chicken thighs 3 times on each joint and place into the pan with the oil.

Cook until golden and crisp.

Season with salt and pepper for a good foundation of flavour.

Add the curry paste and spread it onto the chicken thighs.

Add the chopped onion and sweet potatoes and scatter around the chicken so that it is still in direct contact with the pan as we want a golden crispy skin.

Add in the chickpeas.

Sprinkle in the dried mint.

When the chicken skin is golden and crisp, turn over and add the tinned tomatoes and 400ml of water, you can just fill up your empty tomato tin.

Put the lid onto the pan and put in a preheated oven at 160c for 45 minutes.

Serve the chicken curry with the rice, and raw baby spinach and I like to finish with a good spoonful of yoghurt.


Serves: 4
Total Cost: £4.95

A great one-pot rice dish, this chicken biriyani is a comforting Indian classic. Use leftovers from the chicken curry and any vegetables you’ve got in the fridge to make a special meal.

Loaded with marinated chicken, caramelised onions, a handful of raisins and chopped aromatic herbs, this dish is steamed together with fluffy basmati rice to deliver a very satisfying meal.

Cook in our MasterClass Lightweight 4 Litre Casserole Dish with Lid - Ombre Grey for best results.


  • 350g long grain rice
  • 1 leftover chicken
  • 1 /2 curry pot or 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 pints water
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 pepper chopped
  • 100g California raisins
  • 1 lemon
  • 100g Frozen peas
  • Chopped coriander and mint



Remove all the meat from the cooked chicken.

Place the frame of the cooked chicken into the pan on the heat.

Add curry paste and pour in 2 pints of water and any roasting juices.

Stir together and place the lid on the pan to help bring to the boil quickly.

Add the chopped onion and red pepper.

Pour the long grain rice into the pan and stir together.

Season with a little salt and pepper and let it cook until half the water has absorbed and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

When cooked, finish with chopped fresh herbs and lemon juice.


Gluten-Free Bread

Makes: 1 Small Loaf
Total Cost: £1.21


A straightforward gluten-free loaf of bread which is crusty on the outside, soft and tender on the inside. Bake this beauty to make delicious sandwiches, cheese on toast or simply slather it in butter for breakfast.

The MasterClass Non-Stick 2lb Loaf Pan is perfect for this job. Achieve soft, crusty medium-sized loaves which come out easily thanks to the non-stick surface of the pan.


  • 350g long grain rice
  • 280ml water plus extra for soaking
  • 80g light olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 25g icing sugar
  • 14g instant yeast
  • 8g salt



Soak the rice in 2 pints of cold water for 1 hour.

Drain the rice after soaking and place in a blender.

Add the water, oil, salt, yeast and sugar.

Blend together at high speed.

Using a digital temperature probe, check the temp after 10 seconds of blending.

Do not blend beyond 42c as you will kill the yeast.

The mixture should look like a thick batter.

Pour the mixture into a loaf tin lined with parchment paper. Remember to keep 1 quarter of the mixture if you want to make a pizza.

Leave to prove for 30 minutes or until it reaches just under the top of the loaf tin.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180c for 30 minutes.

As you put the bread into the oven, spray the top with lots of water to help develop a crust to the bread.

To check if the bread is cooked, use your digital temperature probe and make sure it reads between 96c and 98c.

Leave to cool before cutting.


Gluten-Free Pizza

Makes: 1 Pizza
Total Cost: £1.17

Out of the same dough, with just a few ingredients, you can also bake a gluten-free pizza. It’s much easier to make than a regular one and no kneading is required. This healthy recipe will have you adding pizza to your weekly meal rota!

Just spread rich homemade tomato sauce, sprinkle some oregano, and then finish with creamy mozzarella cheese. Top with fresh basil leaves for a truly authentic (and delicious) finish.


  • 1 quarter of the gluten-free bread mix from above
  • 1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 handful of basil leaves



Pour the tin of chopped tomatoes into a sieve over a bowl to catch the liquid.

Leave for 10 minutes and discard the liquid.

Transfer the tomato pulp into a bowl and add the dried herbs, chopped garlic and olive oil.

Season with a little salt and pepper.

Put the sauce to one side.

Preheat a non-stick frying pan on a low to medium heat.

When it’s hot, add a small amount of olive oil 1/2 tsp

Pour the remaining dough mixture into the centre of the pan and roll it around like a pancake batter to cover the pan, it wants to be approx 1/2cm thick.

Cook for 3-4 minutes until golden, then pop it under the grill for 2-3 minutes until the top sets.

Tear the mozzarella up into pieces ready to top the pizza.

Spoon the tomato sauce onto the pizza.

Add the mozzarella, pour over a little olive oil and season with black pepper.

Return to the grill for 2-3 minutes until melted.

Top with fresh basil and serve.

Spinach Frittata

Serves: 4
Total Cost: £3.14

An easy, fast and filling meal for any time of day, this frittata is stuffed with green spinach and creamy feta cheese. The recipe makes a healthy veggie meal full of flavour and is a real crowd-pleasing dish!

Leftovers keep very well for several days, and make a protein-rich breakfast for when you’re on-the-go. Just save in one of these MasterClass Eco Smart Snap Storage Containers - 4 Piece Set to keep it fresh for the next day!



  • 8 eggs
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 60g feta cheese
  • 500g frozen spinach, thaws in a sieve



Pour a splash of olive oil into the pan.

Add 1 chopped white onion.

Add a clove of chopped garlic.

Season with salt and cook for 5-10 minutes.

Sprinkle in the dried oregano and continue to cook.

Squeeze out all the water from the thawed spinach.

Whisk together the eggs in a large mixing bowl.

Season with salt and pepper, then crumble in the feta cheese.

Grate in the parmesan cheese and whisk.

Chop the thawed spinach, being extra careful to check that you have squeezed out all the excess moisture.

Add the chopped spinach to the eggs and whisk together.

Remove the eggs from the pan and place in a bowl.

Return the same pan to the heat and pour in the egg mixture.

Add the cooked onions back into the pan with the egg mixture and spread out evenly.

Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.

Place the frittata into the oven or under the grill at 165c for 10-15 minutes.


Meanwhile, to make the slaw:

-Add the orange cordial to a mixing bowl.

-Pour in the vinegar and olive oil before whisking together.

-Season with a little salt and pepper and put to one side.

-Slice the red onion as thin as possible.

-Add the onions to the bowl with the dressing and stir together.

-Chop the carrots into small thin matchsticks and place in the bowl with the onions.

-Mix the slaw together, then remove the frittata from the oven.

 Turn the frittata out of the oven and cut into portions.

***If you liked these recipes, check out our blog for more inspiration, as we publish tips and recipes regularly. You can also find all your kitchen gadgets and accessories in our shop, From kitchen essentials to stylish accessories, you are spoilt for choice. With lengthy guarantees, you will be reassured to make a good investment in your kitchen!


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