Five-Ingredient Batch Cook Recipes to Save You Money
I make no secret of the fact I hate cooking. Eating, yes, big fan. But cooking, not so much. And it’s my dislike for cooking that’s led me down the takeaway path more often than I’d have liked over the years.
And that’s why bulk cooking is the answer for me. Cook once, get multiple meals out of it. Bingo. It’s all about having meals in the freezer that’ll be ready to eat in less time than a food delivery would take to arrive. That’s the only way I can convince myself that eating at home is a better option.
So for all my fellow lazy girls, here are my favourite bulk cooking recipes that’ll keep you from reaching for the Deliveroo app! They’re all pretty healthy, vegetarian/vegan friendly, and all cost under $2 per serve!
Staples you’ll need: salt, pepper, olive oil
Spaghetti with homemade tomato sauce
This is a mega easy bulk recipe that comes in at less than $1 per portion, and beats those sugar-packed store-bought pasta sauces.
1 pack of dry spaghetti
1 tin of crushed tomatoes
1 small tin of tomato paste
2 cloves of garlic
Mixed herbs + optional chilli flakes
Cook spaghetti according to pack instructions. Heat tinned tomatoes and a generous glug of extra virgin olive oil in a pan, and add the tin of tomato paste and both cloves of garlic, crushed. Stir through as it heats, and add a little water to loosen the sauce. Let it simmer and reduce, and add a generous scattering of mixed herbs and chilli flakes if you like it spicy. Let it all mix around, and generously season with salt and pepper. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce with a little of the leftover pasta water. Let it sit for 5 minutes for the flavours to mix. Serve into 4 portions.
Vegan spinach and chickpea curry with brown rice
This mega simple Indian style curry packs a protein punch and is ideal for winter warmth, and it’s vegan – bonus!
1 tin of chickpeas
1 box frozen spinach
1 tin coconut milk
Half jar of curry paste (Tikka masala works well)
Put 2 cups of brown rice into a rice cooker and set to cook according to rice cooker instructions. Alternatively, heat on the hob according to packet instructions. Add chickpeas to a pan and heat over olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Add curry paste and stir. Add coconut milk and mix together, adding in the cubes of frozen spinach once hot through. Mix everything together and keep moving the spinach around to ensure it defrosts and combines. Add a little water if it needs loosening. Let the flavours develop for 5 minutes, and serve into 4 portions with rice.
Potato and tomato bake
Cheesy, gooey goodness, this super-easy bake feels like a warm, carby hug. Plus, you’ll have cheese leftover to use on other meals. WIN WIN.
2 red peppers
1 tin crushed tomatoes
1 tub cottage cheese
Grated cheese for topping
Slice potatoes into thin, flat slices. Cut red peppers into short strips. Mix tinned tomatoes with tub of cottage cheese. Layer potatoes in a lasagne dish with the tomato and cheese mixture, and repeat until all potatoes are used. Add in strips of red pepper at each layer, generously seasoning with salt, pepper and olive oil as you go. Top with grated cheese and bake for 30-45 minutes depending on your oven power. Serve into 4 portions.
Vegan bean chilli
This has to be the easiest of the lot. Beans give texture and flavour and keep you full, while the mexican seasoning gives a gentle heat and plenty of flavour.
1 tin of black beans
1 tin crushed tomatoes
1 tin red kidney beans (or 3 bean mix)
Rice or sweet potato
Add both tins of beans and the tin of crushed tomatoes to a large pan. Mix together over a medium heat, and add a generous amount of mexican seasoning. Add water if necessary. Heat through until everything is mixed and beans are tender, and allow mixture to reduce until fairly thick. Serve into 4 portions with either brown rice or mashed sweet potato.
Lazy girl Thai green curry
Thai curry is one of my all-time favourite meals, and this lazy girl version is healthy, wholesome AND budget friendly.
1 jar green curry paste
1 tin coconut milk
1 block firm tofu or 2 chicken breasts
1 bag frozen stir fry vegetables
Set rice to cook in rice cooker or saucepan according to packet instructions Cut tofu or chicken into small chunks, and heat with olive oil for 4-5 minutes. Add frozen vegetables and stir fry for a few minutes until they begin to defrost. Add two generous dollops of green curry paste and stir through. Add coconut milk and stir through. Heat on medium until protein and vegetables are cooked through and the sauce has thickened a little. Serve into 4 portions with rice.