Pasta is a brilliant base staple that enables you to use up many ingredients you may have to hand; whether that’s frozen veg or a floppy broccoli loose in your veg drawer, a stray tin of tuna, or half a pack of beef mince that needs using up. So, whether it’s a pasta bake, an alternative pesto or a twist on carbonara, stay stocked up on pasta and give these budget-friendly pasta recipes a go – you won’t be disappointed!
Cauliflower cheese pasta
Silky, cheesy pasta is always a crowd-pleaser. In this recipe from 7 Ways, Jamie makes a creamy cauliflower sauce, tosses it through spaghetti and tops it with crispy, garlicky cauli-leaf breadcrumbs for a lovely bit of texture and extra flavour.
Quick green pasta
This vibrant green pasta is super versatile and delicious to boot. You can use any fresh or frozen green veg you like: kale, cabbage, broad beans, peas, runner beans, green beans all work really well. Plus, this dish serves six, so either freeze the extra for a quick dinner another day, or pack up the leftovers for lunch.
Chicken, leek & pea pasta bake
If you’ve got leftover chicken and an open bottle of white, then put them to good use in this creamy pasta bake recipe from the Chiappa sisters. Garlicky leeks and frozen peas form a subtly sweet base; with chicken for protein and pasta for bulk, and a gorgeous ricotta and Parmesan topping – what more could you want?
Sausage & fennel pasta
A pack of sausages will come in handy in this simple, tasty dish from Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals. Sausage meat is great friends with punchy flavours like fennel and chilli, and here Jamie blitzes the lot in a food processor to make a budget-friendly base for pasta sauce.
Cheat’s squash pasta
Next time your oven is on, chuck in a whole butternut squash to roast until tender and sweet, ready to make this midweek dinner in minutes. “For me, Jools and the kids, this is one of our go-to dinners for busy weeknights – super-silky pasta topped with crispy deliciousness”, says Jamie. We couldn’t agree more!
Garlic mushroom pasta
You’ll need just five ingredients in this quick dinner, pairing garlicky mushrooms with a little crème fraîche, pasta and Parmesan cheese. Use a mixture of mushrooms, if you can get hold of them, for extra texture and variety. For a fun twist on a classic, try Jamie’s mushroom carbonara.
Tuna sweetcorn tagliatelle
A can of tuna can go a long way, as this star of a store cupboard pasta dish from Jamie’s One just goes to show. Use the oil from the tuna can to fry your ingredients, and be sure to use every bit of the parsley stalks for a waste-not dinner that delivers big on flavour. Alternatively, give this Sicilian Tuna Pasta a go, using only five ingredients!
Pack in your 5-a-day with a veg-packed tomato sauce and extra diced veg tossed through for even more goodness. This recipe is super easy to scale up and down – make extras to help you save the pennies at lunch, too.
Kerryann’s tuna pasta bake
Tuna, tomato and pasta, topped with cheese and baked until golden, crispy and moreish – the kids will love this! This affordable bake is really easy to put together. Alternatively, make a crispy-crumb topping for added crunch, like in this Sausage pasta bake.
Meatballs & pasta
Making your own meatballs is a fantastic way to use up beef mince. Plus, you can make them ahead and freeze, ready to go whenever you are. Try them in this simple, wholesome family-friendly dinner, with pasta and a tomato and basil sauce.
Jools’ sweet pea & prawn pasta shells
Frozen prawns and peas form the basis of this fantastic midweek meal from Save with Jamie. “The combination of sweet peas, prawns and tomato sauce is undeniably delicious”, says Jamie. Alternatively, throw frozen peas into this Pea pesto – perfect for pasta.
For more tips and tricks, check out our budget-friendly recipes