Pasta Stir Fry – Cheap and Easy

45 degree angle of 3 bowls of pasta stir fry

This pasta stir fry is a super cheap and delicious recipe that is perfect for families on a tight budget! The dish is healthy and well balanced in terms of veg, carbs and protein. The taste is a fusion of Western and Asian flavours which gives normal everyday ingredients a slightly different look and taste. Coming in at $5.58 (AUD), this will easily feed a family of 4 and help protect your bank balance!

Welcome to the first post in our March frugal series!!

Every post this month will be our best attempt at making a recipe as cheap as possible, using ingredients you probably already have on hand, and without sacrificing on flavour. Each recipe will be super EASY and relatively BALANCED in terms of carbs, protein and vegetables.

All recipes in this series will include costings and they will all be based on how much things actually cost on a normal day, not counting any sales or bargains that may not be accessible to everyone. We’re going to try to create recipes for a family of four costing somewhere between $5-$10.

Top down view of a bowl of pasta stir fry

Our first recipe in the series is Cheap Pasta Stir-Fry! The idea of stir-frying pasta seemed a little crazy to us initially, but then we tried it and hey it’s actually pretty good. This is a great recipe to clear out any leftover meat or veg you may have in the fridge, and will use only $5.58 worth of ingredients. This dish reheats well, and makes for a great lunch for work the next day.

Best Pasta to Use for Pasta Stir Fry

Use a pasta shape that doesn’t break easily, like penne, spirals or curls.

If you are using leftover pasta, then reheat it first in the microwave with a few dashes of water to stop it from drying out. Loosen up the pasta before adding it to the pan / pot.

Meat and Vegetables for Pasta Stir Fry

You can use pretty much any type of meat or vegetable for this recipe. Smaller pieces work best as we are stir frying here, so you want everything to cook quickly.

We’ve specified pork mince, but beef, chicken and turkey mince will also work well.

If you are short on time use frozen veggies. You can also throw in any leftover meat/veg that’s been hanging around.

A 45 degree angle view of a frying pan full of pasta stir fry.

Recipe Costings

This graph shows how much this recipe will cost if you had to go out and buy everything on the ingredients list (“Shop Price”), as well as the value of ingredients actually used in the recipe (“Recipe Cost”).

With the “Shop Price”, we’re assuming you’re buying the smallest possible quantity to make this recipe. Obviously if you’re buying things in larger quantities the price will be higher, but you’re also more likely to be paying less per unit. We haven’t bothered with things like salt and pepper as the cost would be negligible.

All prices are in Australian dollars and are based off what was published on Coles Online as at time of writing.

IngredientQuantity BoughtShop PriceRecipe NeedsRecipe Cost
Pasta1 x 500 gm packet$1.00500 gm$1.00
Oil750 ml bottle$2.251 tbsp (15 ml)$0.02
Brown Onion1$0.52½$0.26
Garlic1 bulb$1.503 cloves$0.40
Pork Mince500 gm tray$5.50250 gm$2.25
Carrots (medium)2$0.662 (150 gm each)$0.66
Cabbage½ a head$2.00150 gm$0.15
Soy Sauce250 ml bottle$2.703 tbsp (45 ml)$0.49
Tomato Sauce500 ml bottle$2.954 tbsp (60 ml)$0.35
Total $19.08 $5.58
Top down view of 3 bowls of pasta stir fry.

Other Recipes You May Like

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Cheap Pasta Stir Fry

Top down view of a bowl of pasta stir fry

Cheap Pasta Stir Fry

Rice paper rolls have got to be one of the best things to come out of Vietnam. My budget version includes pork, noodles, lettuce and cucumber which creates a simple yet delicious rice paper roll. The dipping sauce is an easy hoisin based sauce which tastes fantastic and can be whipped up in minutes.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Fusion
Servings 5 people
Calories 555 kcal


  • 500 gm pasta spirals or your choice
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 250 gm pork mince or you choice
  • pepper
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped thinly
  • 3 leaves drum head cabbage or your choice, shredded
  • 2 stalks spring onion, chopped (optional)
  • leftover veg or meat


  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp tomato sauce


  • Sriracha chilli sauce, (optional)


  • Cook 500 gm of pasta as per instructions on the packet then drain.
  • Prep all your vegetables.
  • In a bowl, add the soy sauce and tomato sauce. Mix until completely combined. Leave aside until needed.
  • In a large pot or fry pan on medium high, add 1 tbsp of oil and chopped onions. Let the onions sweat for a minute and then add the garlic, pork mince and pepper.
  • Cook the mince until there is no pink left on the meat. Add the carrots, cabbage, leftovers and 3 tbsp of sauce and stir through. Cook for a further 2 minutes.
  • Add the pasta over the top and then the remaining sauce over the pasta. With a wooden spoon, stir the pot until everything is combined and warmed through.
  • Garnish with spring onions (if using) and serve with sriracha (if using).


Calories: 555kcalCarbohydrates: 80gProtein: 23gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 719mgPotassium: 544mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 4176IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 47mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Pasta Stir Fry
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

4 thoughts on “Pasta Stir Fry – Cheap and Easy

    1. Hi Anthea! I honestly use Coles brand. Its cheap and tastes just as good as the more expensive brands! Steph and I hope you new book is going well! Thanks for dropping by and congrats again!

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