Quick and Budget-Friendly Recipes

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Plum tomatoes

Without a doubt, tinned tomatoes are the most essential can for the cupboard. They're great value so spend a little more and buy a good Italian brand which is usually less watery.

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Plum tomatoes

Tinned plum tomatoes are also great for a variety of soups and stews to create a rich sauce. The secret is to use the best canned tomatoes you can and cook them slowly to reduce the acidity of the tomatoes

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Tuna and olives: stuffed peppers

A brilliant side dish or a main, this thrifty recipe combines several store cupboard favourites into a delectable meal. There's tinned anchovies, tinned tuna and olives too.

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Artichokes: lamb steaks with artichokes

Fresh globe artichokes don't have a long season and can be fiddly and time-consuming to prepare. You can buy them chargrilled and jarred in olive oil or canned in water. If you buy the tinned stuff

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Chopped tomatoes

This irresistible butter chicken uses a can of chopped tomatoes which combines with spices like cumin, cardamom, turmeric and ground fenugreek to create a tangy sauce. It's one of those great dishes which takes little prep

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one-pot tomato pasta

the perfect dish for a quick midweek supper. The key is to stagger the use of thyme before combining it with the tinned tomatoes, so that it's fragrant and can infuse as much flavour into the dish as possible.

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ratatouille

Ratatouille is a dish that shows off vegetables, and chucking a couple of tins of chopped tomatoes in brings the dish together, making it rich and delicious in barely any time. Adding canned lentils can also save time

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Chickpeas: hummus

Canned chickpeas more than deserve their place in your store cupboard. High in protein, fibre and potassium, all you need to add is tahini, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil for smooth and silky homemade hummus

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Chickpeas: potato curry

Chickpeas are a great way to bulk out stews, soups and curries. You'll probably have everything else you need in the store cupboard and it's ready in around an hour. In this curry recipe, the chickpeas

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Chickpea water (aquafaba): vegan pavlova

Don't throw away the water from a can of chickpeas – it's more useful that you might think. Chickpea water, also known as aquafaba, can be used as a vegan egg white substitute to make meringues

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Black beans: smoky black bean side

Black beans are a staple in Mexican cooking, and we know they're a great addition to burritos and quesadillas. High in protein and fibre, they are a great addition to many dishes.

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chipotle, mushroom and black bean burgers

This recipe is quick and easy and full of flavour – it uses peanut butter to add nuttiness and texture, and chilli flakes to bring a bit of heat. Serve with a squeeze of lime and peanuts for crunch.

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Black beans: black bean soup

This is a thick, warming soup and using canned black beans means you can make it super quick. The key to the dish is getting some deep heat into the flavours. The recipe suggests chipotle paste

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Black beans: huevos rancheros

This is a classic Mexican-style breakfast and translates as ‘ranch-style eggs’. The heart of this recipe are the black beans which are fried with cumin and smoked paprika to give depth of flavour.

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Kidney beans: aubergine chilli traybake

Chilli con carne is the obvious choice when it comes to kidney beans but here's how to up your game when you want something a little bit different.

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Cannellini beans: kale and cannellini soup

Cannellini beans are incredibly versatile. Use them as a filler in a casserole, add to a tomato-based stew with peppers or make a healthy mash which is high in protein and counts towards your five a day

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Butter beans: smoked beans and mushroom quesadillas

Canned butter beans have a wonderful creaminess to them, here they are roughly mashed with smoked paprika so they take on a smoky flavour.

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Butter beans: smoky bean stew

While dried beans are widely available, they take a long time to soak and cook so canned beans are a lifesaver. Meatier than cannellini, butter beans are really great in vegetarian dishes as well as a variety of stews and casseroles

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Anchovies: salade Niçoise

It's rare to find fresh anchovies as they deteriorate so quickly due to their high natural oil content. When buying canned, try to find them packed in olive oil rather than sunflower and generally, the more you pay

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Anchovies: creamy roasted broccoli

The salty, savoury taste that anchovies bring works excellently with cream, providing balance and a savoury tang to the dish. In this roasted broccoli recipe, the cream is flavoured with anchovies, chilli and Parmesan

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Crab: crab cakes

Let's face it – crab from a can can't replace the fresh version. But in some recipes, such as these quick crab cakes, you can get away with it. The addition of lemongrass, chillies and mango really helps to bring out the sweet flavour of crab.

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Tuna: fritters with tzatziki

Where would we be without canned tuna? The flavour is quite different from fresh so think of them almost as two different ingredients. The tinned stuff is great for sandwiches, salads and the good old tuna pasta bake

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Olives: fougasse with olives

Olives picked fresh from the tree are soaked then brined for several weeks to make them soft enough to eat. Some canned olives can be quite salty, so do buy a few and find the ones you prefer.

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Olives: tapenade

Tapenade is a chunky olive paste, great eaten as a snack on toasted bread or served on the side with fish cakes or grilled salmon. It's pretty good with a barbecued steak too. Serve with pan-fried lamb for a tangy contrast to the rich meat.

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