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Midweek value meals

Between work, school, errands, and appointments, does your weekday calendar tend to get a bit stuffed? These weeknight meals can help you get dinner on the table faster and put less stress on your wallet. We’ve picked a range of fuss-free recipes that are budget-friendly, require minimal prep and cooking, and call for simple ingredients.

1. Butter chicken with red lentils

This super easy butter chicken recipe is dinner done in under 45 minutes. Packed with the fibre and protein goodness of lentils, the delicious premade simmer sauce takes the fuss out of cooking and clean up. It also makes fantastic leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch! Serve topped with yoghurt and fresh coriander sprigs over rice or with naan bread, roti, or pappadums.

2. Tuna, caper and olive linguine

A quick dinner doesn’t get much easier than this tuna pasta with capers, olives, tomatoes, and pesto. The only cooking required is for the linguine. Once it’s al dente, simply toss your ingredients together and enjoy with a crack of black pepper and a sprinkle of parmesan. This fresh and zesty pasta is simple, flavourful, and can be eaten hot for dinner or cold for lunch the next day.

3. Sticky chilli tofu poké bowl

When it comes to midweek meals, saving time is key. This poké bowl is a good value, fast dinner that is done in just 20 minutes. It’s vegan, gluten free, and full of protein and fibre from the fried tofu and the rice and grain mixture, plus essential nutrients from the kaleslaw salad. This is an all-around weeknight winner that’ll leave you totally satisfied.

4. Asian-style meatballs

This weeknight wok winner is full of rich flavour and juicy texture thanks to the hero of the dish: the herb and pork meatballs. With just 15 minutes to prep and 10 to cook, this is a fantastic midweek dinner option you can have on the table in no time at all. Best of all, this stir fry is really versatile and can easily use up any veggies you’ve got left in the fridge like broccoli, beans, sprouts, capsicum, or chilli.

5. Beef sausages with chickpeas and spinach

Sausages are an ever-reliable addition to weeknight dinner menus as they’re quick and easy to cook and can be paired with anything from potato to pasta. This is one of those 30 minute meals that will quickly become a family favourite for busy evenings. The sausages are hearty and flavourful, the chickpeas are protein-dense and filling, and the veggies add freshness and essential vitamins to tie everything together.

6. Easy lamb koftas

When you want to enjoy lamb on a budget, these delicious koftas with pistachio dukkah are very welcome. These lamb skewers take your tastebuds on a trip to a warmer climate – especially when served with tangy tzatziki and fresh chopped tomatoes. Wrapped in soft tortillas and paired with whatever else your tastebuds fancy (like a pear and rocket salad), this super simple weeknight meal feels like a reward.

7. Chicken parmigiana with smashed potatoes

The ingredients list might take a couple of shortcuts, but that’s where the cheating ends. Your delicious, ready-to-go chicken parmigiana is topped with the classic cheese and tomato combo and served with crispy smashed potatoes and a crunchy side salad. This quick dinner is a pub parmie at home – and it’s sure to become a regular.

8. One pan pumpkin gnocchi bake

Hit refresh and have a meatless midweek with this pumpkin gnocchi bake. Packed with the goodness of mushroom and peas bathed in a creamy, cheesy sauce, the gnocchi is the perfect balance of soft and chewy. Served with cracked black pepper and fresh parsley if you have it on hand, 15 minutes never tasted so good.

9. Thai-style omelette with prawns

Prawns on a budget? This Thai-style omelette makes it possible. This 5-ingredient recipe is a blend of textures from the meaty shellfish to the sticky jam and fluffy omelette, all drizzled with the umami richness of oyster sauce. If you love Asian-inspired flavours, this 25-minute weeknight winner is for you.

10. Baked pork katsu with rice salad

For a comforting weeknight meal that is balanced and hearty, go for a schnitzel drizzled with tonkatsu sauce and mayonnaise. Drawing from the homeliness of Japanese cooking, this pork katsu is served with a grain-rice mix and crunchy stir-fried vegetables for a full plate of goodness. You could also cook the schnitzels in the air fryer for even less clean-up.

For more fast, easy, and affordable midweek meals, check out
budget friendly family meals and slow cooker dinners on a budget.