Come Dine With Me on a budget: a 3 course meal for just £10

As the prices in pubs and restaurants continue to rise, loads of us are asking how to save money without giving up our social lives. While we all enjoy a fancy meal out, a cheaper option is to take inspiration from Come Dine With Me and take turns to host dinner parties.

The best part is, you don't have to spend a fortune on food to keep everyone happy. It's all about budgeting. If you're spending more on ingredients than you'd spend on a posh meal out, there's not much point. Our free Money Dashboard money management software makes it easy to keep track of your shopping budget, but if you don't have time for meal planning, never fear. We've put together the perfect three course dinner menu for less than £10 per head.

Starter: Insalata Tricolore - 67p per portion

Ingredients (per person)

  • 1 x ripe, red, tomato
  • ½ a 125g ball of mozzarella
  • a few leaves of basil
  • a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • a crack of black pepper


Slice the tomato and mozzarella into medium thick slices, and arrange them on a plate. Alternate a slice of tomato with a slice of cheese for the best presentation. Place a few leaves of basil on top, and drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil. Finish with a crack of black pepper.

Main: Fish Pie - £2.38 per portion

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 2 onions, dice
  • 3tbsp vinegar
  • 150ml white cooking wine
  • 150ml double cream
  • 2 x bags of fish pie mix
  • 180g fresh prawns
  • 700g fresh spinach
  • 200ml milk
  • 1.25kg potatoes, chunked
  • 4tbsp olive oil
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon


Heat the onions up with the vinegar. Once it's evaporated, stir in the wine and reduce until the onions are soft and the pan is nearly dry. Add the cream and simmer until thick. Leave aside to cool, and pre-heat the oven to 200C.

Steam the spinach and drain thoroughly: you might have to give it a squeeze to get rid of excess water. Meanwhile, boil your potatoes. Drain them and mash them with the milk, olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Cut the fish from the fish pie mix into bite size pieces, mix it with the prawns, and add to the creamy oniony mixture.

Pop it into casserole dish, top with a layer of spinach, and then finish with a layer of potato. Cook for half an hour, or until golden and bubbly.

Dessert: Garjarela - £1.62 per portion

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 10 large carrots, grated
  • 100g baking butter
  • 5 cloves
  • 6 green cardamoms, crushed
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 80ml of milk
  • 115g sugar
  • a heaped tbsp of sultanas (optional)

To serve:

  • 50g Greek yoghurt


Simmer your grated carrots in a pan of boiling water for 10 minutes before draining. Melt the butter over a low heat and add the spices, and add the milk to infuse. Add the sugar when the cardamom starts to release its fragrance. Stir. Add the carrots and sultanas (if using) to the mixture once the sugar dissolves, and cook for a further five minutes. Cover and cook for a further 15 minutes. Serve with a dollop of thick Greek yoghurt on the side.

**all prices checked via mySupermarket


Posted by Money Dashboard


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