Healthy family meals on a budget!
New Zealand's Easiest Family Recipes
Serving healthy food to your family is challenging, especially when you are on a low budget. We have low cost meals for people on a budget with cost saving ideas and budget recipes. They are all healthy eating ideas and are cheap to prepare. Change the recipes to suit your family's tastes and the ingredients you have. Cutting costs on food doesn't mean you have to cut on quality. It's still possible to prepare meals that not only taste great, but are also good for you.
Pasta Recipes NZ - easy pasta recipes!

We all know what pasta is. What we don't all know is how to cook it properly. The first mistake people make when cooking pasta is the size of the pan to use. Pasta needs a lot of space to move around in while it cooks. If it doesn't have this space, then there is a good chance that the pasta will stick together or to the sides of the pan, with disastrous consequences for the finished dish.

500g lean mince
1 Tbsp cooking oil
1 x 425g jar pre-prepared pasta sauce
Heat oil in a heavy frying pan and stir over a moderate heat for 1-2 minutes.
Add mince, stirring constantly until well browned.
Drain off excess liquid.
Stir in pasta sauce, cover and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes, or until cooked through.
Serve with your favourite spaghetti, bread and salad. 

300g lean mince
1 onion, peeled and chopped

420g can Tomato & Herb Pasta Sauce
420g can Baked Beans
400g spaghetti pasta
Heat a dash of oil in a frying pan and cook the onion until it begins to soften. Add beef mince and brown.
Stir in Pasta Sauce. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add Baked Beans and continue cooking for a further 5 minutes until mince is cooked and beans are hot.
While Bolognese is cooking, cook spaghetti pasta according to packet directions. Serve garnished with shaved Parmesan and fresh basil if wished.

1 can (14 oz. crushed tomato)
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt (add more per taste)
1 tsp sugar
Pour crushed tomato into a tall saucepan.
Add salt, sugar, black pepper, Italian seasoning and Oregano. Heat the sauce and let it simmer for approximately 15 minutes.
Add pasta sauce to cooked pasta. Sprinkle regular cheese and/or Parmesan cheese on top of the pasta.
Add red crushed pepper on it if desired.

1 packet macaroni
2 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon dried mustard (optional)
1 ½ cups low-fat milk
1 cup grated cheese
breadcrumbs (fresh or dried)
Cook the macaroni. Drain.
Melt margarine in a small saucepan.
On medium heat, stir in the flour and mustard. Cook for 1 minute.
Slowly stir in the milk. Stir until the sauce thickens.
Take off the element. Stir in the grated cheese.
Put macaroni and cheese sauce in an ovenproof dish.
Top with breadcrumbs.
Bake at 180°C until golden brown.

500 gms salmon, poached, drained and flaked
1 cup raw macaroni
2 spring onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 cucumber, sliced
Salt and pepper
tsp dry mustard
2 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp oil
Cook macaroni, drain and rinse in cold water.
Combine macaroni, onions, parsley, cucumber and salmon in a bowl.
Mix salt, pepper, mustard, vinegar and oil together and carefully stir through the salad. Line a salad bowl with crisp lettuce leaves and fill with macaroni and salmon mixture.

6 lean sausages, boiled and then sliced
250 grams pasta, eg macaroni or spirals
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped, 1 red pepper, chopped
1 tin chopped tomatoes (410 gram tin)
1 tin chilli bean (420 gram tin)
2 cups beef stock
1/4 cup tomato paste or tomato sauce
1 cup frozen green beans
1 cup frozen corn, or frozen peas
Heat oil in large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook onion for 2 minutes.
Add chopped peppers and cook for a few more minutes until soft.
Add sausages, pasta, tomatoes, chilli beans, beef stock, and tomato paste.
Cover pan and simmer on a low heat for about 20 minutes (or until pasta is cooked).
Add frozen beans and cook for a few more minutes until beans are heated through.

400g packet fresh egg lasagne sheets
500g mince
1 onion
737g jar tomato and basil pasta sauce
500g pot sour cream
1 cup grated tasty cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cut three pieces from lasagne to fit a 30 x 20cm ovenproof dish.
Grease base of dish.
Place mince in a frying pan and cook, turning often, until brown.
Peel onion and chop finely.
Crush garlic, peel and chop finely.
Add onion to mince and cook for five minutes.
Add pasta sauce and combine.
Place one sheet of lasagne over base of dish.
Divide mince mixture into three equal portions.
Place one portion of mince over pasta.
Continue layering dish with pasta sheets and mince, finishing with mince.
Beat sour cream and tasty cheese together.
Spread over mince mixture.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 200 degrees C for 40 minutes or until golden and bubbling

1 tsp salt
2 eggs beaten
pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups milk
3 cups sharp cheese
8 oz packet macaroni
1/4 cup melted margarine
1 large can evaporated milk
Cook and drain the macaroni and grate the cheese then grease the crockpot.
Mix all the ingredients in crockpot making sure to reserve some of the cheese to put on top.
Sprinkle with paprika then cook the Macaroni Cheese on low for 3 1/4 hours.

1 can tuna in water (425g can), drained
3 cups penne pasta, or spirals
2 cups frozen peas
1 tin whole kernel corn, drained
2 tins Italian-flavoured chopped tomatoes (400g tins)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs,
1/2 cup grated cheese
Preheat oven to 180°C. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Cook pasta by following directions on packet. Drain pasta.
Add peas, corn, tuna and tomatoes to pot with drained pasta. Stir to mix. Pour mixture into a large baking dish and sprinkle breadcrumbs and cheese on top. Cook in oven for 20 minutes or until crispy and golden on top.

1 packet of pasta
1 440g can of cooked dried beans (not baked beans)
1 440g jar of pasta sauce
1 finely chopped onion
1 carrot chopped into cubes
Drain the beans. Add all ingredients except pasta. Heat gently in a saucepan until the vegetables are cooked.
Meanwhile cook the pasta. Drain. Serve pasta with sauce on top. For meat fans, add a little chopped sausage, ham or cooked bacon
For a tomato-lentil sauce cook ½ cup lentils in 1 ½ cups water
When almost cooked add pasta sauce and vegetables.
The lentils replace the beans
Add other vegetables of your choice
Top with fresh herbs like parsley, thyme or oregano.    

Healthy family meals on a budget!