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Jul 26, 2023

Budget Friendly Winter Meals The Whole Family Will Love

It’s no secret that the cost of groceries has been steadily climbing.

So, every family is on the hunt for budget friendly winter meals to fill hungry tummies.


We’ve compiled a list of our favourites here:




No need to head to the takeaway shop, you can make a delicious (and huge) portion of fried rice in your own kitchen. Filling and tasty, you can adapt the recipe to suit your family’s taste buds by swapping and changing the meat and veggie inclusions.


Here’s a tasty Chicken and Veggie version from Food in a Minute (you can simply substitute in your own fresh or frozen veggies if you don’t have the suggested bag on hand).



Photo credit: Food in a Minute


2 eggs, beaten

½ Tbsp sesame oil

200g chicken tenderloins, cut into thin strips

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 Spring onions, sliced

1½ cups cooked long grain rice

¼ cup sweet chilli sauce

½ Tbsp soy sauce

1 x 160g bag Wattie's SteamFresh Sweet Corn, Carrots and Broccoli

chopped coriander leaves (optional)

lime wedges (optional)

Step 1

Heat a dash of oil in a wok or non stick frying pan. Add beaten eggs and cook for 1 minute, stirring until they are softly scrambled. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Step 2

Add the sesame oil to the pan. When heated add chicken and stir fry for 5 minutes, until chicken is coloured. Add garlic and spring onions and continue stir frying until chicken is cooked and onions soft.

Step 3

Add cooked rice, sweet chilli sauce and soy sauce and continue cooking until rice is hot. While the rice is cooking microwave Wattie's SteamFresh Vege Mixes according to packet instructions.

Step 4

Just before serving toss through the cooked egg and vegetables. Serve immediately garnished with freshly chopped coriander leaves and lime wedges if wished.

We love this recipe with the Chinese Chicken Dumplings as a side

Switch It Up
This recipe is great for using up whatever vegetables are left in the fridge. If using fresh vegetables, add them to the pan before adding in the rice.
If you're using vegetables that take a little longer to cook, blanching them in the microwave can help speed up your dinner.




On a cold day, it’s hard to go past a warm bowl of soup. Add some crusty bread and you’ve got a delicious winter meal. The thing that’s even better about soup is that it is affordable to make and one batch can feed a family for days.


You are not limited on flavours either. You can also use whatever you have in the fridge to make a batch of soup. So, to get you inspired, check out this list of family friendly soup recipes from Kidspot to make soup with whatever is currently in the fridge or pantry!


We know that there’s nothing more comforting than a big bowl of hot soup. In the winter months, a big batch of your favourite soup can feed the family for days.

It’s food for the soul, as well as the belly and these mouth-watering recipes prove it!


Vegetable Soup

Photo credit: Kidspot

1.  Cauliflower and leek soup

This velvety smooth vegetable soup is a must-make winter warmer.

2. Creamy Spinach soup

Delicious served with warm bread, try this gourmet soup tonight!

3. Pumpkin and ginger soup

For a yummy soup with beautifully balanced flavours, you can’t go past this recipe.

4. Creamy mushroom soup

This rich and flavoursome soup will leave you feeling more than satisfied.

5. Winter minestrone with risoni soup

A hearty soup that will appeal to kids as well as grown-ups.

6. Easy vegetarian laksa

Looking for a soup for dinner that’s a little different? Look no further!




Do you have fond childhood memories of creamed corn or spaghetti toasted sandwiches? Yep, we do too! Those classics never get old, but in case you want some extra ingredient combinations to add to your repertoire, try some of the ones in this list from the Organised Housewife.

Delicious toasted sandwich filling ideas for the next time you feel like making a toastie. The most popular toasted sandwich filling ideas to add some variety to your next grilled sandwich!

Toasted sandwiches are quick and easy to make, warm, delicious and generally stuffed with cheese. Known by heaps of different names, depending on where you’re from, you might prefer to call them a toastie, jaffle, grilled cheese or even the fancier French cousin croque monsieur.

Photo Credit: The Organised Housewife


My absolute favourite filling for toasted sandwiches is avocado, chicken and cheese, with mayo, salt and pepper. Variations of the classic toasted sandwich fillings seem to be super popular, with some great additions suggested. Many of you out there are say that the key to next level toasted sandwiches is the type of bread used with sourdough, ciabatta, Turkish bread, cob, rye, and garlic bread as the top suggestions. Everyone agreed that toasted sandwiches needed a good seasoning with salt and pepper.


The Popular Classic Toasted Sandwich Fillings:

–  Ham and Cheese

–  Grilled Cheese

–  Chicken, avocado and cheese

–  Vegemite and Cheese



Ham and Cheese Variations:

– Ham, cheese and tomato

– Ham, cheese and pineapple

– Ham, cheese, avo, mushroom and onion – this is best on Turkish bread

– Ham, cheese, tomato and chilli jam

– Ham, cheese, red onion, pineapple, more cheese. Black olives too if you’re feeling fancy!

– Ham, gruyere cheese and pickle on sourdough

– Ham, cheese, tomato and onion

– Spread bread with pizza base sauce, cheese, ham, pineapple pieces = Hawaiian pizza jaffles

– Leg ham, sauerkraut, cheese, and mustard

– Ham, cheese, tomato sauce and pizza topper herb mix

– Ham, cheese and asparagus

– Ham, cheese, pineapple, ham, steak sauce,  and salt n pepper

– Ham, cheese & onion with a little salt

– Seedy bread, ham, cheese, tomato, avocado, and salt n pepper

– Ham, cheese & red onion

– Tomato, ham, cheese, onion and mayonnaise

– Ham, Swiss cheese, rocket and ketchup

– Ham, cheese and mayonnaise or salad cream

– Ham, cheese, capsicum and pineapple with mild taco sauce

– Spinach, cheese and ham with Spanish onion

– Ham, tinned spaghetti and cheese

– Smoked ham, cheese,  avocado, roast capsicum strips, a few baby spinach leaves and pesto


Chicken & Turkey Toasted Sandwiches

– Chicken, cheese and mayonnaise

– Chicken, cheese, avocado and roasted capsicum

– Chicken, avocado and cheese

– Chicken, cheese and tinned asparagus

– Chicken, asparagus and cheese with a squirt of Kewpie Mayonnaise

– Chicken, cheese and pineapple

– Chicken, sour cream and cheese (add jalepenos for a spicy kick)

– Chicken, avocado, cheese and sweet chili sauce

– Chicken, cheese, mayonnaise, red onion & BBQ sauce

– Chicken, avocado and mayonnaise

– Chicken, cheese, sun dried tomato and avocado (Or green tomato relish instead of avocado)

– Chicken, pineapple, cheese and onions

– Chicken, bacon, cheese and mayonnaise

– Roast chicken, cream cheese, flaked almonds and iceberg lettuce

– Chicken, pesto sauce and cheese

– Chicken and creamed corn

– Chicken, cheese, onion and salt & pepper

– Fried chicken and coleslaw

– Chicken, bacon, egg, cheese and BBQ sauce

– Chicken or Turkey, mushroom and Swiss cheese (the addition of sour cream makes it very luxe)

– Chicken or turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce

– Turkey, cranberry and camembert on Turkish bread

– Turkey, cheese, cranberry and red onion

– Turkey breast, tasty cheese and cranberry sauce

– Turkey, avocado, cranberry and cheese

– Turkey breast, cranberry sauce and brie


Roast Meat & Leftovers Toasted Sandwiches

One of the clever suggestions was to cook a roast or other meals large enough to have as dinner for one night and to use the leftovers for an easy dinner of toasted sandwiches the next night.

– Roast lamb, caramelised onion relish and cheese (add gravy or mint jelly)

– Silverside, tomato, black pepper and mayonnaise

– Roast Lamb, mint jelly and cheese

– Roast beef, branston pickle and cheese

– Spaghetti Bolognaise

– Leftover lamb and apple sauce

– Any meat leftover, add cheese and tomato

– Beef, cream corn and cheese

– Leftovers, such as casserole or stir-fry

– Savoury mince, BBQ sauce and cheese

– Silverside, sliced cheese and tomato

– Leftover spaghetti mince and cheese

– Taco mince with cheese

– Cold lamb with real butter and salt

– Chilli con carne

Egg Toasted Sandwiches

– Curried egg, cheese, tomato and onion

– Poached egg and sauce

– Egg, havarti cheese, avocado and Chives

– Egg, bacon, cheese and BBQ sauce

Vegetarian Toasted Sandwiches

– Home-made baked beans, avocado and cheese

– Beetroot and plastic cheese

– Tinned spaghetti

– Cheese and satay sauce (Fountain brand)

– Banana, triple cream brie and cranberry sauce

– Cheddar cheese and tomato sauce

– Baked beans with cheese

– Red onion sliced thinly and cheese

– Vegemite, cheese & tomato

– Mayonnaise, tomato, & diced onion

– Avocado slices, onion, mayonnaise and feta cheese

– Peanut butter and honey

– Cheese, Spanish onion and mayonnaise

– Creamed corn, cheese and mixed herbs

– Cheese, pineapple and mayo

– Grilled cheese, tomato and oregano

– Vegemite, cheese, tomato and cracked pepper

– Marmite and cheese

– Creamed corn, capsicum, cheese, salt and pepper

– Tomato, cheese and onion

– Cheese, onion and mushroom

– Promite, onion, tomato and cheese

– Cheese, Tomato, onion & sliced beetroot

– Tuna and cheese

– Vegemite, cheese & avocado

– Cheese, onion and American mustard

– Pumpkin, sundried tomato, pesto, aioli and spinach toastie on sourdough

– Cream corn cheese, black pepper and sweet chilli

– Cheese, tomato and salad cream. Vinegar & pepper on the tomatoes.

– Cucumbers, mayonnaise, dill and salt


Deli Meat Toasted Sandwich Fillings

– Fried Bacon, banana and cheese

– Metwurst and cheese

– Bacon and avocado

– Salami, cheese, tomato, spinach and sun dried tomato pesto b it’s best on sour dough bread

– Crispy bacon, avocado and brie

– Sliced corned beef, cheese and hp sauce

– Bacon, avocado and feta

The Fancier Cousins to Toasted Sandwiches

– Monte Cristo Sandwich – find the recipe here.

– Croque Monsieur – find the recipe here.

– Bread (Garlic herb French bread) Toasted with butter, pepper and Italian dressing, add spicy mustard after toasted. Melted cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese on turkey breast

– Pan Fried Pizza Toasted Sandwich – find the recipe here.

– French toast with chicken, cheese, and mayonnaise, then toasted again.

– Toasted Rueben Sandwich – find recipe here.



Pasta bakes are simple, tasty and easy to prepare. They are also warming, filling and affordable. They are another winter meal variety where you can build heaps of different options depending on what you have in the pantry or fridge.


Macaroni cheese, chicken and broccoli, french onion, tomato and mince, mixed veggies… the options are endless. And that’s proved by the 300+ varieties found here at Taste.



Photo Credit: Taste


There are too many delicious recipes to list here . You will find the complete list of recipes here at Taste.com.au


However we couldnt resist putting up one of our  favourites.


All-in-one Tuscan chicken pasta bake

Tuscan chicken is the dinner trend of the moment and this dish hits all the right notes. Loaded with chicken, pasta, cheese, vegetables and a whole lot of flavour, it's easy to put together and will satisfy even the hungriest of families. We love it as it's a great way to use up leftover cooked chicken and make it stretch for another day.


300g dried fusilli (spiral) pasta

– 50g butter

– 1 brown onion, finely chopped

– 3 garlic cloves, crushed

– 2 tbsp plain flour

– 4 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves picked

– 300ml carton cooking cream

– 250ml (1 cup) milk

– 280g jar sun-dried tomato strips, drained

– 150g (1 1/2 cups) shredded cooked chicken

120g packet baby spinach

– 155g (1 1/2 cups) pre-grated pizza cheese


Step 1

Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan forced. Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water following packet directions or until al dente. Reserve 125ml (1/2 cup) cooking liquid. Drain.
Melt butter in pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add flour and thyme and stir until combined. Gradually add cream, milk and reserved cooking liquid, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and combined. Bring to the boil then cook for 2 minutes or until thickened slightly

Step 3


Add tomato, chicken, spinach, parmesan and 55g (1/2 cup) pizza cheese. Season. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Transfer to a 2.5L (10 cup) baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining pizza cheese. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden and heated through. Serve.

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