Pasta and eggs: the affordable combo!

by Tia

Whether you’ve got a gyming hubby in the house, a sporty teen, an always-on-the-go tween, a growing pre-schooler or as mum, you yourself are looking to increase your protein intake, you probably spend a good deal of time dreaming up new protein-based recipes to meet your family’s needs. So, isn’t it good to know that eggs can do all that, and they’re one of the most affordable animal proteins too?

The weekday supper conundrum is real, especially when you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, are on a tight budget and are still trying to cover all your family’s nutritional requirements.

This is when eggs really come to the rescue. Eggs are easy to source, easy to store and easy to cook up into something substantial. Eggs contain 7 grams of protein per one large egg and, gram for gram, are more cost-effective than other fresh animal protein sources.

One of the greatest attributes of the humble egg is its versatility. You can pair eggs with practically any pantry staple and quickly create a family-filling meal. That’s music to our ears come 6pm!

But it’s not only dinner where eggs are superheroes; they’re brilliant for breakfast (of course) and legendary for lunch.

Eggs benedict, eggs Florentine, French toast, omelettes, or poached, scrambled, fried, or boiled eggs are all family favourites for breakfast, while eggs come into their own in mini pan quiches, burritos, tramezzinis, frittatas, fajitas and sheet pan bakes for lunch.

When it comes to eating eggs for breakfast, several studies have shown that eggs can help decrease feelings of hunger and prompt fewer cravings throughout the day, which could help to reduce your calorie intake and aid weight loss.

Right now, we’re combining eggs with pasta – our go-to pantry staple – in baked dishes and salads, which are simple to prepare but incredibly nourishing. Pasta itself is an egg-based food, having been made for generations from a simple dough of eggs and flour.

Our favourites are mac and cheese, and devilled egg pasta salad. Both meals can feed a family of four people for R100 or less, making them super-affordable, protein-rich suppers that are suitable for lunchboxes the next day too!

Don’t let dinners become a drag; turn to eggs for daily inspiration, throw in some pasta, and you’ll find that midweek meal planning becomes a breeze.

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Devilled Egg Pasta Salad

Serves 4 for ± R100

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes


  • 4 eggs
  • ½ x 500 g elbow macaroni pasta
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) plain yoghurt
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) mayonnaise
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) Dijon mustard
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 medium gherkins, chopped
  • Handful dill, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Paprika for dusting


  1. Place the eggs in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes for hard boiled eggs. Drain and cool in cold water. Peel the shells off. Cut the eggs in half, remove the yolks and chop the whites.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the macaroni according to packet instructions.  
  3. Mash the egg yolks with a fork. Stir in the yoghurt, mayonnaise and mustard. Mix through the macaroni.
  4. Combine the egg whites, onion, gherkins and dill. Keep some out as garnish and mix the rest through the macaroni mixture.
  5. Season the pasta with salt and pepper. Spoon into a serving bowl. Dust with paprika and sprinkle over reserved ingredients.


  • Older eggs are easier to peel than fresh eggs. Buy your eggs at least a week ahead if you plan on making boiled eggs.
  • This salad is great to make ahead and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Add more mayo or yoghurt if the sauce absorbs too much during this time.

Mac and Cheese

Serves 4

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

Cost per recipe: Serves 4 for under R100


  • 375 ml (1½ cups) macaroni
  • Salt and pepper
  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) butter or margarine
  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) cake flour
  • 7.5 ml (½ tbsp) mustard powder
  • 500 ml (2 cups) milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 500 ml (2 cups) cheddar, grated


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Cook the macaroni in salted boiling water for about 8 minutes until al denté (cooked, but firm). Drain. Tip into a 25 cm baking dish.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the butter or margarine in a saucepan on medium heat until melted. Stir in the flour and mustard and cook for 1-2 minutes until golden.
  3. Slowly whisk in the milk until smooth. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes until starting to bubble. Take off the heat and stir in half of the cheese.
  4. Take a little of the sauce out and stir this through the eggs. Mix the egg mixture through the remaining sauce. Stir sauce through the macaroni.
  5. Sprinkle remaining half of the cheese over the macaroni. Bake for about 15 minutes or until starting to bubble. Grill until cheese starts to brown.


  • Place the slices of 1 tomato on top of the cheese before grilling.

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