Gordon Ramsay's Favorite Cheap and Easy Recipe Works For Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner

Hint: it starts with a can of beans.

Gordon Ramsay


If you've shopped for groceries at least once in the last year, you've probably noticed a big difference in your receipt. The cost of what the USDA deems "food at home" (AKA grocery store purchases) jumped 11.3 percent from January 2022 to January 2023. No wonder the interest in our budget cooking section has spiked!

While Gordon Ramsay is a celebrity chef and has access to some of the world's best tools and ingredients to cook with, he understands what it's like to try to stick to a food budget while feeding a family. In fact, it's something he often keeps in mind while creating recipes for his cookbooks, his digital series (including the just-launched Next Level Kitchen), his MasterClass, and while coaching contestants on his TV shows.

We recently spoke with Ramsay about how to cook affordably and efficiently, even if you don't have a kitchen as world-class as the top level on FOX's Next Level Chef. In the show, contestants compete on one of three "floors" of kitchens, where the first floor is a bare-bones set-up in terms of tools and foods, and the top is similar to a gourmet restaurant kitchen.

Equipment-wise, if you have "an excellent non-stick pan, a great knife, a saucepan, cutting board, and sheet tray," Ramsay says, you'll be off and running. Ramsay has three top tips for contestants on that first floor—or any cook at home who wants to whip up more affordable meals:

One example of this concept in practice is the recipe below, which is Ramsay's riff on huevos rancheros that's inspired by a trip to Oaxaca, Mexico. It features pantry staples (canned black beans, canned tomatoes, spices), refrigerator mainstays (eggs, butter, cheese), and leftovers (grab any extra vegetables kicking around your crisper drawer after making the rest of your dinners for the week).

The result is a "a delicious breakfast recipe that's so versatile you can use it for breakfast, brunch, or dinner! It's really simple but has complex flavors and you can add and subtract ingredients for whatever staples you have at home," Ramsay says.

Gordon's Huevos Rancheros

Makes 2 servings

Huevos Rancheros

  • 4 ounces chorizo, diced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons smoked chipotle hot sauce
  • 3 tablespoons canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 lime, zested

Black Beans

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
  • Kosher salt

Fried Eggs

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • 4 small corn tortillas
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta or cotija
  1. Make the sauce: In a large skillet over medium heat, add the chorizo and cook until the fat begins to render.

  2. To the pan, add the zucchini, red pepper and onion. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and stir to combine. If the pan seems dry and your chorizo does not render enough fat, add a little oil to the pan to coat the vegetables and help them to caramelize.

  3. Add the cilantro and hot sauce and stir to combine.

  4. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and finish with lime zest. Continue cooking until the vegetables have softened and the mixture has thickened.

  5. Cook the beans: In a small skillet over medium heat, add the oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the beans and cook until slightly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Season the beans with salt.

  6. Fry the eggs: In a small skillet over medium high heat, add the butter and oil. Once the butter has melted completely. Add the eggs to the pan and cook until the whites have cooked through. Season with paprika, salt and pepper.

  7. Assemble: Grill the tortillas and divide between two plates. Layer each plate with the vegetables, beans, eggs, avocado and cheese.

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