16 budget Easter recipe ideas

The long Easter weekend, followed by a flurry of spring bank holidays, presents plenty of opportunities for family and friends to gather and celebrate. When you’re working with a limited budget, feeding a crowd can feel overwhelming, especially when taking into account the cost of cooking on top of already expensive ingredients. The good news is that planning meals ahead of time using cheaper ingredients and clever cooking techniques can help make catering more affordable. Look no further than our favourite budget spring recipes for large groups.

Budget meat & fish recipe ideas

1. Pulled pork tacos with pineapple salsa


Put your slow cooker to good use with sweet and smoky pulled pork, using budget-friendly pork shoulder. If you don’t have a slow cooker, use a lidded ovenproof dish and cook it on a very low setting for 4 hours. Pile the shredded pork into taco shells with shredded red cabbage, soured cream and a lip-smacking pineapple salsa.

Recipe: Pulled pork tacos with pineapple salsa

2. One-pot braised lamb breast

One-pot braised lamb breast

If you love lamb at Easter but can’t justify the price of a premium cut this year, this fork-tender lamb recipe will help keep costs down while still delivering a big sense of occasion. This rolled lamb breast, stuffed with garlic, rosemary and lemon zest, is served with a bright, fresh mint sauce.

Recipe: one-pot braised lamb breast

3. Lemon & herb chicken traybake with butter beans & potato wedges


Chicken thighs are a go-to ingredient when it comes to feeding a crowd. This traybake makes for effortless entertaining, with tomatoes, butter beans and chicken on one tray, and potato wedges on a separate one, all in the oven at the same time.

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Recipe: lemon & herb chicken traybake with butter beans & potato wedges

4. Easy-to-scale cheesy fish pie with kale

easy-to-scale cheesy fish pie with kale

This crowd-pleasing fish pie has spring flavours of kale, peas and spring onion. Buying a bag of frozen fish pie mix can be cheaper than buying fresh. This is a great recipe to double or quadruple, and can be frozen unbaked if you want to get ahead.

Recipe: easy-to-scale cheesy fish pie with kale

5. Sardine pasta with crunchy parsley crumbs

Crunchy, garlicky, parmesan and parsley breadcrumbs lift this pasta dish to the next level. You’ll love the speedy sauce made with canned sardines, sliced black olives and passata, which leaves you with very little washing-up. This recipe can also be easily doubled or tripled.

Recipe: sardine pasta with crunchy parsley crumbs

6. One-pan pulled beef brisket

One-pan pulled beef brisket

Tom Kerridge seasons his brisket with spices, chilli, sugar and vinegar, then cooks it low and slow for a tender and flavourful result. You can either buy brisket in one neat piece or a couple of pieces tied together – either way, you’ll have a cut of beef that makes feeding a crowd affordable.

Recipe: one-pan pulled beef brisket

Budget vegetarian recipe ideas

7. Roasted carrot & whipped feta tart

Roast carrot & feta tart

Make the most of budget-friendly carrots with this beautifully photogenic tart. If you don’t have walnuts, use any nuts you have at home for the pesto garnish, then store any leftover pesto in ice cube trays for up to three months.

Recipe: Roasted carrot & whipped feta tart

8. Spinach falafel & hummus bowl

Spinach falafel with hummus bowl

For a more casual lunch, look no further than homemade spinach falafels and hummus, served with sliced pittas, red onion, spinach and cucumber. All the ingredients are fairly purse-friendly, but rolling the falafel balls can take some time – rope in friends and family to help.

Recipe: spinach falafel & hummus bowl

9. Double cheese & spring vegetable tart

Asparagus quiche

This savoury make-ahead tart has a delicious crumbly base, despite being made with shop-bought pastry. Fill it with goat’s cheese and beautiful spring veg, including asparagus, peas and watercress. The finished tart is impressive for company, and can be served hot or cold with salad and new potatoes.

Recipe: double cheese & spring vegetable tart

10. Spinach, sweet potato & lentil dhal

Spinach sweet potato lentil dhal

Fill friends and family with a veg-packed vegan curry that’s also rich in iron, low-fat and low-calorie. This vegan one-pot can easily be adapted to include other ingredients, such as butternut squash and chickpeas.

Recipe: spinach, sweet potato & lentil dhal

11. Aubergine & chickpea stew

Aubergine and chickpea stew

Dig out the slow cooker to make this healthy stew. Topped with toasted pine nuts and served with flatbreads, it makes a wonderfully nutritious vegan meal. Dial up the spices if you like more flavour, or switch out the aubergine for sweet potato if that’s a cheaper and more available option.

Recipe: aubergine & chickpea stew

Budget dessert recipe ideas

12. Easter millionaire’s squares

Easter Millionaire's squares

As well as looking fantastic, this recipe is a great way to use up leftover Easter chocolate. Once the three layers are assembled, simply chill, then cut into nine or 16, depending on how many people you’re catering for.

Recipe: Easter millionaire’s squares

13. Slow-cooker sticky toffee pudding

Slow cooker sticky toffee pudding

Leave this slow-cooker sticky toffee pudding cooking all day, so it’s ready to serve in the evening with ice cream. Rich and indulgent, it’s the ultimate comforting dessert, especially if there’s still a chill in the air.

Recipe: slow-cooker sticky toffee pudding

14. Dorset apple cake

Dorset apple cake

The flavour combination of apple, cinnamon and sultanas makes this a winning regional bake. If you can’t find Bramley or Granny Smith apples, any other apple variety will work. As it’s made with just one egg, this is a more affordable cake than most. The demerara sugar top has a delicious, crisp texture.

Recipe: Dorset apple cake

15. Easter rocky road cheesecake bars

Easter Rocky Road

Bringing an Easter theme to rocky road makes this popular no-oven bake even more fun. Use whatever nuts, biscuits and dried fruit you have in the cupboards for the base, then top with a cheesecake layer and mini Easter eggs.

Recipe: Easter rocky road cheesecake bars

16. Lemon drizzle sponge pudding

Lemon drizzle sponge pudding

This is an excellent dessert for feeding a crowd. Transform a classic lemon drizzle cake into a self-saucing pud for an affordable, comforting dessert. The double lemon in the sponge and in the drizzle delivers a fresh, spring-like flavour hit.

Recipe: Lemon drizzle sponge pudding

Enjoyed these budget recipes? See more:

Top 10 healthy budget dinners
Budget family meal plan
Vegetarian budget meal plan
A week of budget-friendly meals
Budget batch-cooking recipes
Budget supermarket swap recipes

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