Thrifty chef shares his meal plan where every dish costs just £1

Feed a family of four for just a POUND a plate: Chef creates five days’ of dinners for £20 including ham and leek pie and lamb tacos – and you won’t have ANY leftovers

  • Miguel Barclay, 37, of London, has created a five-day meal plan for FEMAIL
  • He shops around at different supermarkets to keep the costs low
  • Every meal costs roughly £1 per person and under £5 for four
  • Recipes are taken from his new cookbook, Super Easy One Pound Meals 

A thrifty chef who creates recipes that all cost £1 or less has shared a meal plan that can feed four people dinners for five days for £20.

Miguel Barclay, 37, of north-west London, shops around at different supermarkets to find the best prices to keep costs low, and always buys own-brand items.

He’s now created a meal plan for FEMAIL readers that will cost you less than £20 for 20 meals, with recipes taken from his newest cookbook Super Easy One Pound Meals, published this week. 

Miguel Barclay, 37, of London, publishes this third cookbook, Super Easy One Pound Meals, on Thursday and has shared a thrifty meal plan with recipes from it with FEMAIL

Miguel first rose to fame on Instagram for his picture-perfect £1 meals under his One Pound Meals brand.

Now he has 225,000 followers and a book deal under his belt.

He’s now crafted a new thrifty meal plan which includes a different meal for four every night from Monday to Friday, without any leftovers.

Miguel’s £20 meal plan

Monday: Detroit Pizza (£2.48 for four)

Tuesday: Ham and Leek Pie (£4.91 for four)

Wednesday: Sloppy Gieseppe (£3.67 for four)

Thursday: Sausage and Polenta Bake (£3.60 for four)

Friday: Keema Lamb Tacos (£4.96 for four) 

Total: £19.61 


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Miguel’s five-day meal plan for £20 is made up of 20 meals that could feed four people for five nights. From left to right his dishes are: a ham and leek pie; a pepperoni Detroit pizza; a sausage and polenta bake; keema lamb tacos; and a sloppy Giuseppe stew

To keep costs low, he found the lowest prices at different supermarkets, and shopped at Aldi, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, and Morrisons. 

His meals are budget versions of hearty classics that he says still pack a punch of flavour and will keep you full.

But instead of using pricey ingredients, he buys own-brand items and the cheapest meat available.  

Meal One: Detroit Pizza (£2.48 for four)

Serves four

Ingredients:

150g self-raising flour

Plus extra for dusting

100ml cold water

4 tbsp passata 

Big handful of grated Cheddar cheese

6 pepperoni slices

Salt and pepper

Pinch of dried oregano 

Method: 

1. Preheat your oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. 

2. Using a spoon, mix the flour and water together in a bowl along with a big pinch of salt to form a dough. Dust the worktop with a little flour then knead the dough on the worktop for a minute or two until smooth. 

3. Roll it into a rectangle. Lay the dough onto a 15 x 23cm baking tray (increase the ingredient quantities if you are using a bigger tray) and push the dough into the edges and corners. 

4. Spread the passata over the top, leaving a border around the edge, and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the oregano and cheese and top with the pepperoni slices, then bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until the base is cooked and the cheese is nicely melted. 

Miguel takes pride in simplifying his recipes to remove unnecessary, expensive ingredients while still retaining the flavour in his food.

Of his Detroit pizza, for example, he says: ‘I’ve taken out every superflous step to create this amazingly simple but really tasty pizza with a characteristic Detroit-style square shape and thick crust.’

He also called it the ‘easiest pizza ever’. 

Meal Two: Ham and Leek Pie (£4.91 for four)

Serves four

Ingredients:

½ leek, chopped

1 tsp plain flour

200ml milk

Handful of grated mature Cheddar cheese 

1 slice of thick-cut ham, torn into chunks

1 small square of puff pastry

Olive oil

Salt and pepper 

Method: 

1. Preheat your oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. 

2. Fry the chopped leeks in an ovenproof dish or pan* in a splash of olive oil over a medium heat for a few minutes until soft. Add the flour and cook for a further minute. 

3. Gradually add the milk, stirring continuously, and cook until you have a smooth sauce. Remove from the heat, stir in the cheese, season with salt and pepper and add the ham. 

3. Top the filling with a piece of puff pastry cut to the same size as the top of the dish or pan, score it lightly in a criss-cross pattern to make it look pretty, and bake for about 20 minutes, until golden brown on top. 

*If you don’t have a pan with an ovenproof handle, then just use your normal pan and transfer the filling to an ovenproof dish before adding the puff pastry lid. 

In Miguel’s ham and leek pie, he swaps out pricey cuts of pork for regular – and cheap – sandwich ham. 

He says: ‘This is comfort food at its best! A luxuriously gooey cheesy sauce with a flaky pastry lid and all made with the very minimum of effort. 

‘Using regular sandwich ham, this recipe shows that cooking on a budget does not have to compromise on your enjoyment of food. 

Meal Three: Sloppy Giuseppe (£3.67 for four)

Serves four

Ingredients:

75g minced beef

¼ red onion, roughly diced

¼ green pepper, roughly diced

¼ mozzarella ball, roughly torn into chunks  

200g passata (from a 400g tin) 

1 tsp dried oregano

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 190°C/gas mark 5.

2. Season the minced beef with salt and pepper and roll it into little balls. Grab an ovenproof pan* and pan-fry the meatballs in a glug of olive oil over a medium heat for about 5 minutes. 

3. When the beef starts to brown, throw in the onion and green pepper, then fry for a further 5 minutes until the onion starts to colour. 

3. Remove the pan from the heat, tip in the passata, chunks of mozzarella, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle over the oregano. Cook in the oven for about 15 minutes until the cheese has melted, then serve.

* If you don’t have a pan with an ovenproof handle, then just use your normal pan and transfer the meatballs, onion and pepper to an ovenproof dish before adding the passata, mozzarella, salt, pepper and oregano. 

Meal Four: Sausage and Polenta Bake (£3.60 for four)

Serves four 

Ingredients:

1 egg-cup of polenta

4 egg-cups of milk

1 sausage

A few cherry tomatoes (on the vine)

Olive oil

Salt and pepper 

Method: 

1. Preheat your oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. 

2. Put the polenta and milk in an ovenproof dish or pan. Season with salt and pepper, stir, then throw in the sausage and the tomatoes. 

3. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes until the sausage is nicely browned, then serve garnished with cracked black pepper and a glug of olive oil. 

Miguel’s new book, Super Easy One Pound Meals, focuses on simplifying gourmet-style dishes while keeping costs low and the flavour.

For a sausage and polenta dish, he found a way of cooking polenta that doesn’t require constant stirring.  

He said: ‘I knew there had to be a simple way of cooking polenta, so I devised this huge shortcut to create a tasty oven-baked polenta dish that requires just 2 minutes prep and no stirring or checking while it’s cooking.’ 

Meal Five: Keema Lamb Tacos (£4.96 for four)

Serves one (multiply for four)

Ingredients:

40g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

25ml cold water

½ red onion, sliced

75g minced lamb

1 tsp curry powder 

Small handful of spinach

1 tbsp yogurt (or crème fraîche)

1 spring onion, sliced lengthways

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Method: 

1. Mix the flour and water in a bowl with a pinch of salt to form a dough. Knead on the work surface for a minute or two until you get a smooth dough.

2. Cut it into three balls and roll each ball out into a roughly 10cm circle. Heat a dry frying pan over a high heat, add a circle of dough and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until nicely toasted. Set to one side and repeat with the remaining dough.

3. Pan-fry the onion in a splash of olive oil over a medium heat for a few minutes until softened, then add the lamb, season with salt and pepper, add the curry powder and cook for about 10 minutes.

3. When the lamb is cooked, throw in the spinach and let it wilt.

4. Now, assemble the tacos. Spoon some filling onto each taco, drizzle with yogurt and top with spring onion. 

Miguel’s shopping list

Mature cheddar cheese 250g Aldi £1.59 

2 x passata 500g Asda £0.70 

Self raising flour 500g Asda £0.45 

Oregano 12g Asda £0.49 

Pepperoni 120g Aldi £0.85 

Sliced leeks 175g Asda £0.75 

Thick cut ham 120g Sainsburys £1.75 

Milk 4 pints Iceland £1.00 

Plain flour 500g Asda £0.45 

Puff pastry sheet 300g Morrisons £1.00 

Spring onion bunch Tesco £0.55 

Minced beef 500g Asda £1.69 

2 x red onion Asda £0.26 

1 green pepper Tesco £0.55 

Mozarella ball 125g Asda £0.49 

8 cumberland sausages Asda £1.45 

Polenta 500g Asda £0.65 

Vine cherry tomatoes 225g Asda £1.00 

Lamb mince 250g Asda £2.15 

Curry powder 100g Morrisons £0.64 

Spinach 180g Asda £0.60 

Natural yogurt 175g Tesco £0.55 

Total: £19.61

Super Easy One Pound Meals by Miguel Barclay (£16.99, Headline Home) comes out on July 26. 

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