How to host a dinner party for under £2 per portion

Get cosy and get your cooking on with these simple, low cost but tasty dishes  (Campaneo)

Get cosy and get your cooking on with these simple, low cost but tasty dishes (Campaneo)

Times are tight, and for a lot of people, going the extra mile to make evenings in special is becoming part of the weekly shop.

Fridays nights in during autumn and winter are my absolute favourite, so getting cosy and getting your cook on with some simple, low cost but tasty dishes is guaranteed to warm your cockles, and with a little thinking outside of your usual go to’s when you’re shopping, you can create excellent dishes and pair with very special drinks that will truly elevate inexpensive evenings indoors.

I’ve created a trio of inexpensive, one-pan Friday night dinners with a Spanish twist to match wines from critically acclaimed Spanish brand Campaneo. The pairings will see you glow your budget versus downgrading dinnertime.

Priced from just 91p per portion, these tasty creations are set to warm your cockles as the weather gets colder – without breaking the bank.

Three tips for keeping your food bill down, but the calibre of your evening up:

Make at-home versions of your favourite restaurant dishes

Love a particular restaurant and always make a beeline for a certain main dish? Take the time to research some similar recipes and have a go at recreating it at home. You’ll have fun, learn some new skills and feel super proud to boot.

Campaneo wines are the perfect pairing for Barclay’s Spanish-inspired dishes (Campaneo)

Campaneo wines are the perfect pairing for Barclay’s Spanish-inspired dishes (Campaneo)

Don’t opt for a telly dinner, though

Set the table, create the ambience with lighting and music, enjoy a well-matched glass of wine and recreate the restaurant experience at home – without breaking the bank. For an added bonus, make an extra portion or two and enjoy a bougie midweek lunch.

Look for wines that punch above their price tag

The quality of liquid compared to price on the wine aisle will vary considerably. Look for well-priced bottles that have won awards, attracted praise from experts or rated highly with other shoppers. Shop smart for some brilliant bottles and you’ll be feeling smug when the cork pops.

Think of a theme

For a bit of extra pomp and ceremony for your Friday night supper, why not create a foodie theme? Simply Spanish, terrific tacos, posh vegan, street food from Asia – whatever you fancy! Buy cocktail ingredients, wines and even desserts to match your dishes and you’ve got yourself a fun evening in, without the price tag of eating out. All you need now is a playlist.

Ultimate winter warmer: chicken stew pot

A tasty, flavour-packed and hearty stew pairs perfectly with tempranillo (Campaneo)

A tasty, flavour-packed and hearty stew pairs perfectly with tempranillo (Campaneo)

Cost: 91p per portion

Wine match: Campaneo Old Vines Tempranillo

A tasty, flavour-packed and hearty stew using chicken drumsticks, lentils, carrots and onion simmered in a rich stock. Make for two, enjoyed with a glass of Campaneo’s gorgeous Old Vines Tempranillo, a red wine that goes perfectly with rich, dark meat chicken dishes.

Ingredients (per person):

2 chicken drumsticks

½ small onion, diced

½ carrot, diced

1 tsp plain flour

1 beef stock cube

¼ tin of cooked green lentils, drained

Olive oil

Salt and pepper


Pan fry chicken drumsticks for 5 mins over a medium heat in a splash of olive along with some salt and pepper. Add onion and carrot and cook for another 7 minutes. Add a tablespoon of flour and cook for a further minute before crumbling in a beef stock cube and adding about 200ml of water. Simmer for 15 minutes adding tinned green lentils about halfway through. Season to taste.

The Campaneo Old Vines Tempranillo is a smooth, well-structured red wine with ripe raspberry and cherry flavours complemented by a touch of spice. It’s made in a lesser-known region of Spain – Campo de Borja – which produces high quality wines.

Tart with a twist: chorizo and goat’s cheese tart

A heartier type of tart that washes down well with a grenache (Campaneo)

A heartier type of tart that washes down well with a grenache (Campaneo)

Cost: £1.26 per portion

Wine match: Campaneo Old Vines Garnacha

A tart but not as you know it. This heartier version of its namesake uses pan-fried chorizo for a Spanish-style, richer flavour with zingy goat’s cheese. Serve up with heaps of chargrilled Mediterranean vegetables, such as aubergines or courgettes, or some leafy winter greens. Pair it with the Campaneo Garnacha which is delightful with the paprika favours of the chorizo.

Ingredients (per person):

A few chunky slices of soft chorizo

A few sheets of filo pastry

Small handful of grated cheddar cheese, ideally prepared using a micro plane or fine grater

Splash of single cream

Small handful of crumbled goat’s cheese

Olive oil

Ground black pepper


Pan fry chunks of chorizo for a few minutes to get a little bit of char, then set to one side.

Lightly brush some filo with olive oil and scrunch into an oven proof dish keeping the middle a bit flatter and edges puffy.

In a bowl mix the cheddar and cream to make a paste, then spread over the centre part of filo pastry. Add the chorizo and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. Once cooked, garnish with goat’s cheese and black pepper.

Campaneo’s Old Vines Garnacha, which is lauded by wine experts, is beautifully smooth and full-bodied with rich plum notes, a touch of cherry and light spice. Deliciosa!

Spanish winter warmer: roasted butternut squash and crispy sage paella (vegan)

This ultra-warming veggie dish sings with a sauvignon blanc (Campaneo)

This ultra-warming veggie dish sings with a sauvignon blanc (Campaneo)

Cost: 99p per portion

Wine match: Campaneo Sauvignon Blanc

An exquisite one-pot style, ultra-warming veg dish. Taking the slightly sweet, nutty squash taste and pairing with slightly peppery, eucalyptus and lemon taste of the sage is a genius culinary move in this fulfilling Spanish-style paella. To make it really sing, enjoy with Campaneo’s Sauvignon Blanc, as the gentle acidity cuts through the rich paella and complements the comforting butternut squash.

Ingredients (per person):

A few chunks of butternut squash

Pinch of paprika

A few sage leaves

½ small onion, diced

50g paella rice (or risotto rice)

1 stock cube

180ml water

Pinch of saffron

Olive oil

Salt and pepper


Start by roasting the butternut squash with olive oil, salt and pepper for about 25 minutes, adding the sage for the last 10 minutes. Meanwhile, pan fry the onion for a few minutes before adding the rice, stock cube, water and saffron. Season and simmer without stirring for about 20 minutes.

Serve with the butternut squash and sage placed on top.

The Campaneo Sauvignon Blanc is a gorgeous Spanish style wine, fresh and bright, which boasts citrus notes and hints of fresh cut grass and melon on the palate. It will taste delightful with the creamy, rich and salty paella.

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