Cheap and Cheerful Pulse Recipes

Row of spoons with different dried pulses
Westend61 / Getty Images

A pulse is the edible seed of leguminous plants, sometimes eaten fresh but usually dried and includes all beans, peas, and lentils. They are high in protein, so good for vegetarians and a healthy choice for meat eaters alike. Pulses are a slow-release carbohydrate so help you to feel fuller for longer and also add fiber to your diet.

Importantly, dried pulses are cheap to buy and as they bulk out a meal, you can eat healthily and save money - great for feeding a family or cooking on a budget.

If you think pulses are boring then take a look at the recipes on the following pages. You may just change your mind.

  • 01 of 08

    Fresh Borlotti Bean and Tomato Soup Recipe

    Borlotti Bean, Tomato and Spinach Soup Recipe

    Getty Images 

    Fresh borlotti bean and tomato soup is delicious and easy to make, which is perfect for those chilly autumn days. The soup can be made throughout September when fresh borlotti beans are available and home-grown tomatoes are bursting with flavor. You can, of course, use other beans, such as cannellini or flageolet. Not able to get fresh, then use a tin.

    This lovely recipe comes from talented food writer Sybil Kapoor from her lovely book, The Great British Vegetable Cookbook. 

  • 02 of 08

    Vegetable and Bean Soup Recipe

    Vegetable and Bean Soup
    Getty

    Vegetable and bean soup recipe is the perfect soup recipe for cold days when you need to be warm and nourished. What could be better than a bowl of soup and crusty bread to keep the chill-out? The bean soup is packed with healthy vegetables and beans to sustain you through the cold weather. Serve a large bowl as the main course, or a smaller portion as a starter. 

  • 03 of 08

    Chilli Filled Yorkshire Pudding

    Chili Filled Yorkshire Pudding
    Elaine Lemm

    Yorkshire puddings are a favorite British food, especially with roast meats for Sunday lunch. Filled Yorkshire puddings make great supper dishes for mid-week, or as an alternative to a roast on Sunday. The risen sides of the Yorkshire pudding turn it into a dish just waiting for a delicious filling.
    One of our favorite fillings is hot, spicy chili con carne. The punch from the spices is calmed a little by the soft taste of the pudding batter. The Chili uses minced/ground beef with lots of red kidney beans and canned tomatoes, good cheap and nutritious foods. 

  • 04 of 08

    Chickpea Curry Recipe

    Chickpea Curry
    jules/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

    Chickpea Curry not only tastes good it is packed with healthy ingredients. It is quick and easy to make and is even better if made in advance and kept for a day before eating. Chickpea curry also freezes very well so make a batch but omit the fresh coriander garnish until serving.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Red Lentil and Tomato Soup Recipe

    Red lentil and Tomato Soup
    Getty Images

    We all have favorite soup recipes and red lentil and tomato soup recipe is one of mine. Is it so, so easy and takes very little time if you have some ready made stock. Red lentil and tomato soup is very nutritious and another great reason for making this soup is, it is also relatively cheap to prepare.
    If you have stock in the freezer, now is the time to use it. No stock? It is fine to use a stock cube for this recipe. Use vegetable stock if you want a vegetarian soup, otherwise chicken is good and I also like using the broth from when I have cooked a ham as long as it isn't too salty.

  • 06 of 08

    Home Made Baked Beans Recipe

    Home Made Baked Beans
    Getty

    Opening a can of baked beans and serving hot on toast is the ultimate, tasty, fast food. Home baking beans add another dimension; not only are they delicious you can control what goes in and avoid the added sugar found in the canned variety.
    The baked bean recipe is based on beans I used to cook in Italy, so though not strictly a British recipe, I have cooked then so many times here in the UK, I feel they are allowed.

  • 07 of 08

    Mushy Peas - The Nations Favourite

    Traditional English Mushy Peas
    The Spruce

    Mushy peas are not a main course dish, but a substantial side dish. Mushy peas are an intrinsic part of British food favorite, fish and chips or with hot pies. There are many impostors out there using frozen and even fresh peas but true, traditional mushy peas recipe is made with dried marrowfat peas which require overnight soaking, so a little planning is needed.

  • 08 of 08

    Parched Peas and Vinegar - A Lancashire Tradition

    Lancashie Black Peas and Vinegar
    Elaine Lemm

    We love refried beans, we think because to us, they are the Mexican equivalent of British mushy peas.