3 Budget-Friendly Dinners You Can Cook In Under 20 Minutes

Pitta pizzas, feta rice, and sweet potato egg nests – you can make all of these in five steps or less.

No one ever has enough time to cook. Sure, we have spare hours in the evening where we could be cooking – but we’d also like to watch Netflix, scroll on our phone, and do anything but.

That’s where Lorna Cooper’s new recipe book, Feed Your Family For £20 A Week In A Hurry, comes in. The recipes are quick, they’re budget-friendly, and they look really delicious.

None of her meals take longer than 20 minutes to prep, and most will feed a family of four – sometimes with leftovers for lunch the next day! Below are three handpicked recipes from the book to try.

Sweet Potato Egg Nests

Time: 20 mins. Serves: four.

Lorna Cooper


1 tbsp oil

¼ large sweet potato, peeled and finely grated

200g frozen baby spinach

4 eggs

Pinch of salt and pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 5 and grease four holes of a regular-sized muffin tray with oil.

2. Using your fingers, line the greased muffin holes with the sweet potato, pressing to form a crust on the bottom and sides.

3. Bake the sweet potato crusts for 5–8 minutes, then remove from the oven.

4. Add the baby spinach on top of the sweet potato and crack an egg onto each crust.

5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and return to the oven to bake for a further 8–10 minutes, or until the egg whites are cooked.

Pitta Bread Pizza

Time: 20 mins or less. Serves: four.

Lorna Cooper


4 pitta breads

2 tbsp tomato puree

200g grated mozzarella cheese

Extra toppings of your choice (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°F/Gas Mark 4 and prepare any toppings you want to add to your pizza. Leftover cooked meat/veg are great for these.

2. Place the pitta breads on an oven tray, then spread a thin layer of tomato puree over the top of each one, going right up to the edges.

3. Sprinkle over the grated cheese, again going right up to the edges. Add your pizza toppings. You can arrange them in fun shapes (faces are always a hit) or sprinkle them evenly – it’s entirely up to you.

4. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling.

5. Leave to cool for a few minutes before serving, then serve whole or cut into slices.

Lemon Feta Rice

Time: 20 mins or less. Serves: four, with four leftover portions.

Lorna Cooper


4 tbsp oil

2 onions, finely chopped

3 tsp dried oregano

3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

450g rice

1l chicken stock

1 tbsp lemon juice

200g crumbled feta cheese

Salt and pepper


1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the onions, oregano, chopped garlic and black pepper, then cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes.

2. Add the rice and stir using a wooden spoon for 3 minutes. Slowly pour in the stock and lemon juice, then bring to a boil.

3. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender (about 15 minutes). Remove from the heat and stir in the feta cheese.

4. Season with salt and more black pepper, if desired.

Feed Your Family For £20... In A Hurry! Deliciously Easy, Budget-Friendly Meals in Under 20 Minutes is published by Seven Dials on April 15 2021.