Sour-dough pizza

7 dishes you can impress at your uni Come Dine With Me dinner that won’t cost the earth

Budget-friendly dinner ideas for less than £1 a portion

By Alexia Dellner, 22 September 2016
7 dishes you can impress at your uni Come Dine With Me dinner that won’t cost the earth

On a tight budget? Don’t fret - there’s no need to sacrifice entertaining friends or enjoying delicious food. With some brilliant cheap dinner ideas up your sleeve, you can still dish up seriously appetising meals without breaking the bank. 

The key to entertaining on a budget is choosing ingredients wisely.

The key to entertaining on a budget is choosing ingredients wisely. If you cut down on pricey meats and opt for inexpensive cuts instead, you can stretch your precious pennies further. Or why not make other ingredients like veggies, grains and pasta the star of the show. Inject flavour into cheaper dinner ideas with lots of herbs and spices, and remember that with pricer ingredients (like Parmesan cheese and fresh berries), sometimes just a little can go a long way.

Get ready to wow your uni mates with these tempting dishes - that will set you back less than £1 per person. Check out these seven cheap dinner ideas that are guaranteed to impress. 

Crispy topped tomato and mascarpone fish

Fish can be pricey but this clever dish uses frozen white fillets to cut down on costs, mixed with creamy pasta sauce and melted cheese - delicious! And it’s all done in one pan, so there’s less washing up to do. Get this crispy topped tomato and mascarpone fish recipe here. Psst… think fish is a tricky dish? Learn how to cook fish to perfection here. 

Butternut squash, sausage & spinach hash

Forget your standard bangers and mash - this hearty dish is packed full of colourful veg and delicious flavour. Get the butternut, sausage and spinach hash recipe here

Three-garlic pasta

This fresh pasta dish looks so simple but is mouthwateringly good. Made with roasted, fried and raw garlic, it packs a real flavour punch and costs just 90p per serving. Just keep some mints nearby for after dinner...

Minced beef & onion pies

Individual pies look so elegant and these gorgeous minced beef and onion pies are the ultimate warming treat for the new season. 

Sriracha prawn lollipops

These prawn lollipops look so impressive but are actually super easy to make and cost less than 50p per serving. The perfect starter or help-yourself plate to dish up with welcome drinks while you finish off the main course in the kitchen. 

No-knead sour-dough pizza

Forget going down to your local pizza restaurant, wow friends with homemade sour-dough pizza (just don’t tell them how dead easy it is to make!). This one needs to be prepped a few days in advance to create the sour-dough starter but it couldn’t be easier to do. Top with whatever you fancy - ham, rocket, mozzarella, or better yet, let your guests top their own for a sophisticated pizza party!

Lemon posset with strawberries

Don’t forget about dessert! These light and fresh fruity puds are guaranteed to impress your guests. And they’re created by celebrity chef James Martin - oh la la! 

Pick up all the ingredients you need for your Come Dine With Me dinner party at Asda