Cooking on a Budget: The best family meals for batch cooking

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Batch cooking is an excellent way to save time and money whilst making sure that your family enjoy delicious and nutritious meals. Here are some of the best family-friendly batch cooking recipes – simply double (or triple!) the recipe, to fill the freezer in no time, so that you’ll have a stash of homemade meals ready for busy days or when you need a break from cooking…

Stew:

Cook a hearty beef or vegetable stew with tender meat and plenty of vegetables. Serve with crusty bread, dumplings or potatoes – freezing extra portions for later.

 

Spaghetti Bolognese:

Make a large batch of classic spaghetti bolognese sauce using minced beef or pork (or a mix of both!), onions, garlic, tomatoes and Italian herbs. Freeze the sauce in portions for quick pasta dinners that the kids will love.

 

Chilli Con Carne:

Prepare a big pot of chilli with minced beef, kidney beans, tomatoes and spices – freezing into batches for another day. Simply reheat and serve with rice, nachos or jacket potatoes.

 

Shepherd’s Pie:

Cook two hearty shepherd’s / cottage pies with minced lamb or beef, carrots, peas, gravy and a layer of mashed potatoes on top. Enjoy one for dinner, freezing the second one to enjoy at a later date.

 

Meatballs in Tomato Sauce:

Prepare a large batch of meatballs and simmer them in tomato sauce – freezing what you don’t use into tubs. Serve over pasta, spaghetti or in a sub roll with melted cheese.

 

Meat or Vegetable Curry:

Make a flavourful meat or vegetable curry with your favourite choice of curry sauce. Freeze in meal-sized portions, then reheat and and serve with rice or naan bread for a quick weekday dinner.

 

Lasagne:

Make a double batch of lasagne with layers of pasta, meat or vegetable sauce, and plenty of cheese. Freeze the second dish for a quick family dinner another night – serving with garlic bread and salad.

 

Quiches or Frittatas:

Bake quiches or frittatas with various fillings like spinach, bacon, mushrooms and cheese – using up your leftovers where possible too. Slice into portions and freeze for brunch or dinner.

 

Pasta Bake:

Create a pasta bake with your choice of pasta, vegetables, sauce and cheese. Freeze in individual portions for easy reheating of this perfect child-friendly meal.

 

Chicken or Vegetable Soup:

I always make big batches of soup – they’re so easy to make and can be heated quickly for lunch or a light dinner. Just freeze in portions and enjoy with crusty bread. My favourites are vegetable (made from whatever needs using up in the fridge!), french onion and leek and potato.

 

Fish Pie:

Prepare a big batch of creamy fish pie with chunks of white fish, smoked haddock or salmon along with mashed potatoes on top – frozen fish is generally the most affordable option.

 

Love to cook on a budget? Me too – check out my favourite budget cookbooks!

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