If you're looking for money-saving meals, you need look no further than your kitchen cupboards. There are plenty of dishes you can create using lentils, canned tuna, chickpeas, jars of pesto and passata.


Below, you'll find recipes that make the most of ingredients you may already have in the cupboard, from sardine spaghetti and chickpea burgers, to fragrant dhal and chipotle baked eggs. There even a few sweet treats you can throw together in minutes.

For more affordable inspiration, check out our budget meals for large families, budget healthy recipes and budget-friendly baking recipes. Plus, have a look at our speedy family budget meal plan.

1. Spaghetti puttanesca


Cook up this classic sauce in one pan using canned tomatoes, chilli flakes, olives, capers and anchovies, then toss with spaghetti for a simple midweek meal. Top with parsley, if you have some.

2. Budget kedgeree

Budget kedgeree

Turn canned sardines into an inexpensive yet nourishing meal that's packed with omega-3 fatty acids. It's not only filling and good for you, but budget-friendly, too.

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3. Pearl barley, bacon & leek casserole

Pearl barley, bacon & leek casserole

This storecupboard grain makes a great alternative to rice or couscous. Add it to soups or salads, or team with bacon and veg in this risotto-like stew.

4. Lentil & tomato salad

Lentil and tomato salad

Lentils are a substantial and healthy base of this fresh salad with onion, mango chutney, coriander, greens and tomatoes. Serve with cooked meat, halloumi and baked feta or a few tablespoons of hummus.

5. Posh egg, chips & beans

Fried egg on a plate with chips and baked beans

Baked beans are a storecupboard classic. Whip up healthier egg and chips with homemade smoky beans for an easy dinner or weekend brunch. This meal is high in fibre and low-calorie.

6. Curried spinach, eggs & chickpeas

Curried spinach, eggs & chickpeas

Pack in the nutrients with this veggie supper made from spinach, eggs and canned chickpeas. It's healthy, low in calories and full of flavour, and delivers four of your five-a-day.

7. Yummy golden syrup flapjacks

yummy golden syrup flapjacks

Turn porridge oats into a quick, tasty bake with these four-ingredient flapjacks. They're easy to make and ready in half an hour. Add desiccated coconut or sultanas, if you have them in the cupboard.

8. Chickpea & coriander burgers

Chickpea & coriander burgers

Who needs meat, when you can make these wholesome veggie burgers using canned chickpeas and ground cumin? High in fibre, low in fat and providing two of your five-a-day, these deliver on every level.

9. Sardine pasta with crunchy parsley crumbs

Sardine pasta with crunchy parsley crumbs in a serving platter and bowl

An affordable way to include oily fish in your diet, canned sardines are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Here, they're combined with olives and passata to make a flavoursome pasta dish, which is topped with crunchy rosemary breadcrumbs.

10. Chipotle bean chilli with baked eggs

chipotle bean chilli with baked eggs

Black beans make a great foundation for these smoky baked eggs, while chipotle paste adds punchy flavour. Nestle eggs in the sauce before baking to create a simple lunch or brunch dish.

11. Creamy pesto & kale pasta

Creamy pesto & kale pasta in a white bowl

Enjoy our creamy pesto and kale pasta as a tasty and nutritious supper. Make it with just a handful of ingredients and storecupboard staples, including a jar of pesto and whatever wholemeal pasta you have to hand.

12. Chorizo & rosemary pearl barley risotto

chorizo and rosemary pearl barley risotto

Keep pearl barley in the cupboard so you can throw together this quick, comforting risotto-style dish. Spicy chorizo provides rich flavour and vibrant colour.

13. Saucy bean baked eggs

Saucy bean baked eggs with sliced of ham in a frying pan

Make these five-ingredient baked eggs with tomatoes and beans using storecupboard staples. It's a quick, easy, tasty and gluten-free dish. If you have thinly sliced smoked ham in the fridge, add that to the pan as well.

14. Storecupboard pasta salad

storecupboard pasta

Everybody needs a fail-safe pasta salad recipe in their repertoire. This makes a quick and healthy lunch using capers, pesto, leftover pasta and canned tuna. It's also a great one for lunchboxes.

15. Indian sweet potato & dhal pies

Indian sweet potato and dhal pie in a mini casserole dish

Make a speedy red lentil dhal, then top with spiced sweet potato mash and divide between two mini pie dishes. This recipe is a great option for healthy weeknight dinners – you could even save the other pie for later in the week.

16. One-pan coconut dhal

coconut dhal, One-pan coconut dhal

Rustle up a versatile coconut dhal. It’s the most comforting vegan meal, all made in one pan, and can be frozen for another day. You could also use it as the base for other delicious curries.

17. Kidney bean curry

Kidney bean curry

A saviour recipe when there's nothing in the fridge or you fancy something cheap. This curry is delicious and filling, but also healthy and vegan-friendly.

18. 5-ingredient falafel


Did you know you can throw together flavoursome falafel with just a handful of storecupboard ingredients? To give the falafels a better texture, we recommend using dried chickpeas rather than canned.

19. Chocolate fudge crinkle biscuits

Chocolate fudge crinkle biscuits

Craving something sweet? Turn storecupboard ingredients into these moreish chocolate fudge crinkle biscuits to satisfy your sugar craving. They make the perfect partner to coffee as an afternoon treat.

20. Corned beef hash

Corned Beef Hash

A traditional storecupboard supper of fried potatoes with thrifty corned beef. Serve with baked beans for a simple brunch, or salad for a hearty lunch.


Looking for more recipes and ideas? Try these:

Budget meals for large families
Summer storecupboard recipes
5 storecupboared superfoods
A guide to cheap and healthy cooking
All our storecupboard recipes
Top 10 healthy storecupboard recipes

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