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20 budget-friendly recipes that are perfect for flat dinners

Coming up with simple meals that are tasty, nutritious and easy on the pocket is no small task when you're cooking for flatmates. We've rounded up our best budget-friendly meals to help you feed the bunch - without compromising on taste.

By Harriet Keown
  • 1

    Video: Meatless Mexican stuffed peppers

    This quick and easy meat-free filling is a great option for those who are flatting, as it can be served over rice or piled into a jacket potato, as well as making a great stuffing for veges.


  • 2

    Loaded pumpkin nachos

    These incredible loaded pumpkin nachos are a healthy and delicious way to enjoy the flavours of autumn. Say hello to your new favourite snack/meal!


  • 3

    Pea, ham and sour cream spirals

    This no-fuss pasta is a hit with kids and can be whipped up super-quick using a handful of common ingredients in just three easy-peasy steps – just cook the pasta and peas, stir it all together and eat!


  • 4

    Dhal with chutney yoghurt

    Lentil and chickpea dhal with chutney yoghurt from Australian Women's Weekly.

    Australian Women's Weekly|

  • 5

    Mexican meatball tortillas

    Whip up a batch of these tasty Mexican spiced chicken meatballs in under 10 minutes. Serve your meatballs wrapped in a warm tortilla with fresh salad for a quick family dinner.

    Woman's Day|

  • 6

    Potato and egg rendang

    In an aromatic sauce, this perfectly rich potato and egg rendang is bursting with flavour and is perfect served with rice and topped with fresh coriander for an incredibly warming family meal.

    Woman's Day (NZ edition)|

  • 7

    Nadia Lim's vege pizzas

    Homemade pizza is delicious and a much healthier (and yummier) alternative to those from most pizza outlets. Plus, the kids really love to lend a hand making them. These vegetable toppings are always a hit!


  • 8

    Green chicken curry

    Impress your friends and family with this fragrant and creamy green chicken curry recipe that really packs a flavour punch and works a treat when served with steamed rice.

    Woman's Day|

  • 9

    Sausage curry

    This sausage curry is fabulous served on creamy mashed potato or buttered rice, making such a nourishing winter dinner for the family. It's super easy to pull together, and is packed with delicious flavour.


  • 10

    Margherita pizzas with gluten-free kūmara bases

    Create authentic Margherita pizzas with a gluten-free twist - the bases are made out of kūmara and rolled oats! They have a fabulously crunchy edge when cooked, meaning they are perfect for holding all of your favourite toppings.


  • 11

    Lamb burgers with beetroot sauce

    Save money on dinner tonight with these quick and easy lamb burgers. Filled with juicy lamb steaks and our incredible homemade beetroot sauce recipe - it's a meal the whole family will love!

    Woman's Day (NZ edition)|

  • 12

    Beefed up bolognese

    The most expensive part of most meals is the protein. So a clever way to stick to your budget is to use veges to beef up your bolognese.

    New Zealand Woman's Weekly|

  • 13

    Chicken schnitzel with lemon parsley butter

    Compromise on cost, not on flavour with this budget-friendly but oh-so-tasty chicken schnitzel recipe. Pair with our zingy lemon parsley butter and crunchy cabbage slaw for a well-balanced dinner idea.

    New Zealand Woman's Weekly|

  • 14

    Pumpkin and cashew curry

    This pumpkin and cashew curry is so incredibly moreish! The cashews soften to a dull thud on cooking and the mix of spices forms the perfect background for the pumpkin.

    New Zealand Woman's Weekly|

  • 15

    Spaghetti lentil bolognese

    A delicious new twist on a versatile Italian staple. Enjoy this wonderfully comforting spaghetti lentil bolognese for a hearty midweek meal that the whole family will love!

    Woman's Day (NZ edition)|

  • 16

    Creamy turmeric, basil and buttercup soup

    If you're looking for a winter warmer, this is the dish for you! Combining creamy buttercup squash with beautiful mild spices and added flavour from cream cheese, a bowl of this soup is like a warm hug.


  • 17

    Tofu and chia stir-fry

    Superfoods to the rescue - Tofu and Chia Stir-fry. Photography by Brett Stevens/

    Woman's Day|

  • 18

    Yakitori chicken and eggplant skewers

    Sticky and flavourful, this delicious Japanese-inspired recipe uses budget-friendly chicken thighs. A surefire hit at the dinner table!

    Woman's Day (NZ edition)|

  • 19

    One-tray sausage and vegetable bake with crusty bread

    Nici Wickes' one-tray sausage bake recipe is the perfect simple dinner option. Sausages are baked with colourful vegetables, sherry vinegar and served with crusty bread to mop up all the delicious juices

    New Zealand Woman's Weekly|

  • 20

    Chunky sausage and fennel pasta bake

    With its fresh anise flavour and nutritious properties, fennel deserves a place on your plate this winter! So enjoy this comforting chunky sausage and fennel pasta bake for a delicious weeknight meal.