How to Make Pub Grub Slimming Friendly
Hearty, wholesome and low on fuss, there’s no time for fancy ingredients on a classic pub menu. From traditional British staples to international-inspired favourites, the best pub-style dinners are always simple, tasty and budget-friendly.
The comforting nature of these classic dishes means they never fail to hit the spot, but they’re not always the most slimming friendly. With our versions of pub-inspired starters, main dishes and desserts, you get all the flavour you’re craving, for a fraction of the calories. And better yet, they’re easy to make from the comfort of your own home!
Pub grub inspired starters
It’s very important to start off a pub-inspired menu the right way. While traditional pub menus might feature some type of deep-fried mushroom you can nibble on as an appetiser, our oven-baked Balsamic Mushrooms cut out the need for lashings of high-calorie oil.
Instead, we coat mushrooms in a sticky glaze of honey, garlic, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar, before baking them to pub-quality perfection. With so much deep, savoury flavour in every bite, there’s no need for a crispy coating.
Plus, they’re nice and light at 57 calories per scrummy serving.
Perfect for sunny beer garden days, our vibrant Garlic Chilli Prawns are a starter or side dish you’ll want again and again. Made with a short list of simple ingredients, don’t be fooled by how easy they are to make – every succulent, juicy prawn comes loaded with zesty garlic and tomato goodness.
Using a careful selection of herbs and spices, we’ve recreated a Mediterranean-inspired plate for far fewer calories than you’d think. To make this one even more budget friendly, you can always use (thoroughly defrosted) frozen prawns instead.
You’ll never regret ordering our Baked Feta and Tomatoes. Loaded with natural juiciness from sweet cherry tomatoes, we’ve added thyme, oregano and capers to our homemade sauce to really make the flavours pop. The tangy cubes of reduced-fat feta make for an irresistible, melt-in-your-mouth topping.
It wouldn’t be a pub-grub starter without a bit of bread for dipping. Make sure you’ve got a wholemeal crusty bread roll handy to wipe your bowl clean!
Pub grub inspired main dishes
From beer-battered British staples to cheesy crowd-pleasers, pub-inspired main dishes are all about comfort. A proper, hearty classic that’s simple to batch cook, why not try a filling slice of Lasagne with a crispy, mixed salad?
There’s plenty of hidden veggies in our nutritious sauce, including celery, courgette, onions, carrots, peppers and mushrooms – not that the fussiest eaters at your table will be able to tell!
You can’t talk about pub grub without mentioning Hunter’s Chicken. While bacon, cheese, chicken and barbecue sauce might not sound like a recipe for a slimming-friendly dish, our version of the popular pub order comes in at just 314 calories per serving.
To keep things lighter, we’ve simmered bacon-wrapped chicken breasts in a homemade, smoky sauce, until they’re ready for you to top with a melty layer of reduced-fat Cheddar cheese.
They’re tasty and satisfying with a salad, or you can serve them with a heartier side of Rustic Potato Wedges, if you’re in the mood for a more filling feast.
Speaking of chips, have you tried our Dirty Fries yet? A textbook example of savoury, British comfort food, our cheese-topped recipe is perfect for a more indulgent, pub-inspired fakeaway night.
Inspired by the hugely-popular flavours from our Dirty Rice recipe, we’ve tossed sliced potatoes together with lean bacon medallions, low-fat cheese and spring onions, all coated in a helping of Cajun-style seasoning for that signature browned finish.
You can rustle them up in a hurry in an air fryer, or bake them in the oven if you’re not in a rush. They’ll be just as delicious either way!
While the fish in our Fish and Chip Wrap isn’t beer-battered and deep fried, it still gives the restaurant version a run for its money. With tender pieces of cod, homemade chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce, it takes all the best bits from your favourite pub-style plateful and bundles them up in a low-calorie tortilla wrap.
At only 272 calories per serving, it’s light enough to enjoy at lunch, or you can bulk it out with a few extra Homemade Oven Chips for your evening menu. Can someone pass the vinegar?
Stacked with succulent Cajun-spiced chicken breasts, melted cheese and spinach, our Cajun Spiced Chicken Burgers are well worth getting your teeth into. To save on pennies and calories, we’ve brought out oodles of flavour by coating our chicken pieces in a spice blend made from scratch.
You can use shop-bought Cajun seasoning to save some time (just be sure to adjust the calories, if you’re counting!).
Serve with salad, slaw and a tall, cold glass of your favourite beverage!
A British pub menu simply isn’t complete without homestyle curries and pies. With our Curry and Chips Pie, you can serve both at once! This recipe looks and tastes like an indulgent weeknight treat for only 361 calories per portion.
Rather than using a pastry topping, we’ve sealed in our mildly-spiced chicken and curry filling with a lid of crispy, fluffy-in-the-middle fries.
The whole family’s sure to love it, so it’s best to make some room in your freezer for extra portions.
Pub grub inspired desserts
There’s always room for dessert, especially if it’s Sticky Toffee Pudding. To make this recipe just as luxurious and homely as pub-bought versions, we’ve used a simple combination of slimming-friendly ingredients to bring the calories down, without compromising on spongey, sticky deliciousness.
You can find out exactly what those ingredient swaps are by flicking to pages 252-253 of our first cookbook.
You can’t have a pub pud without Custard. Add a glug of our silky recipe for an additional 58 calories.
If you love a custard-based dessert, you’ll want to try rounding off your pub menu with our Crustless Apple Pie. Once your sweet, apple-infused filling is combined, let it bake in the oven until your topping is gorgeously golden and perfectly set.
This one’s scrumptious on its own, or you can always add an extra drizzle of custard or a scoop of low-calorie ice cream.
Did someone say ice cream? It’s not a pub-style dessert menu without everyone’s favourite frozen treat. It’s hard to say no to Biscoff at the best of times, and it’s even harder when you know our Biscoff Swirl Ice Cream comes in at just 214 calories per bowlful.
Instead of high-calorie, rich creams, we’ve used bananas, Lotus Biscoff biscuits and smooth Biscoff spread to put our velvety version together.
Once they’re all blitzed together in a food processor or blender, your freezer will do the hard work for you. For an added crunch, you can serve a scoop (or two!) with a crushed-up Double Choc Chip Cookie.
Are you ready to bring your pub favourites home?
Don’t forget, you can head on over to our Facebook group to let us know which of our pub grub inspired dishes you make at home first!
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