Meal Loadshedding Dinner
Photo Credit: Anna Pyshniuk via Pexels

If you are looking for some dinner inspiration for those pesky loadshedding hours, we have five dinner ideas you can make using just one gas burner.


South Africa (11 May 2023) – It’s one of those days, you get home and realise you have loadshedding, so no power for cooking dinner – darn it! Now what? You grab a torch and wrack your brain to figure out how to use your single backup gas burner to make a meal that will keep everyone happy.

Firstly, grab a glass of wine, we got you covered in this department! Loadshedding has been hitting the Good Things Guy team pretty hard lately as it has for the rest of South Africa. It has meant getting rather creative and we would like to share that creativity with you, to ease your frustrations.

All you need to make any of these meals is a single gas burner. We would recommend getting one if you don’t have one yet (loadshedding ain’t going away soon) as well as adding a whistling kettle to the mix so you can make hot water for tea and coffee. If you really want to get creative, look into the proudly South African product, the Wonderbag. It helps with cooking when there is no power, or just useful for keeping stuff warm. Or just wrap your pots in a thick towel and pop them in the oven to stay warm while you focus on the next step.

The braai is generally a great way to feed everyone but as it is getting colder, we are looking forward to meals indoors. So what can you cook with only one pot or pan that is filling, warming and wholesome? How about these 5 ideas? We will be sure to link any recipes we regularly use too.

Wraps and Soft Tacos

We always keep a packet of wraps in the fridge along with some mayonnaise, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. In a pinch you can whip up a tuna mayonnaise mix from the pantry, adding a tin of beans to make the mix makes it go a little further if you have a large family.

If you have some time on your hands, you can defrost and cook a protein of your choice or pop into your local grocery store for a nice rotisserie chicken.

For the winter chills, filling a wrap with savoury mince is a winner! You can also bulk this up with beans to feed more family members (we see you hungry teens!). One can add a few extra toppings and call it taco night. Yum!

Photo Credit: ROMAN ODINTSOV via Pexels

Soup, Stew and Curry.

We generally reserve this kind of meal, especially stews and curries, for a weekend, as they need more time. So while you can cook each in one pot, it’s not happening in a pinch.


We love a good soup on a chilly winter evening. You can mix up your own vegetables or purchase a soup mix from your local grocery store. Vegetable soups are great because they take much less time to cook and you can bulk them up with a tin of beans from the pantry. Because there is no power to run a blender, chunky rustic soups are your friend during loadshedding.

Get a nice fresh loaf of bread from the grocery store and dinner is sorted!


A simple stew can be amazing and oh-so-warming! You don’t even need to serve rice with it. We love making hearty drop dumplings that cook in the same pot for the final 20 minutes. They plump up from the gravy and steam and serve as a delicious side.

You can add cheaper cuts of meat to keep this meal cost-effective and fill it with a few extra potatoes. It will take some time to cook, which is why this is usually a Sunday meal when there is time to keep an eye on it.


South African curries are the absolute best! You can do a slow-cooked Durban Lamb or Mutton curry or a quick and easy Vegan Chickpea Curry and feel like you have had the best meal of your life.

Curry usually goes great with rice but if you only have one pot to keep warm, consider buying a stack of Roti or a nice Naan from your local grocery store to add to the side.


Pasta is our ultimate guilty pleasure and is easy enough to make in a pinch. You can make an easy “Pea”sy Pea and Bacon pasta or an oozy Macaroni and Cheese. Both will take about 20 minutes for the pasta to boil which can be put aside (drained to avoid soggy pasta) and then you use the same pot to fry up bacon and frozen peas or make a cheesy sauce for Macaroni. Mix it all back into the pot and you have a warm comfort meal.

There are loads of pasta sauce ideas out there, what is your favourite?

Photo by Lisa Fotios via Pexels

And for Dessert?

Ok so we have given 5 dinner ideas but what do you do if you have a sweet tooth? We recently made a batch of American-style chocolate pudding, served warm, it was an absolute treat and it only used one pot! OR if you are really good, how about some homemade custard (custard powder totally counts!!!)?

Another absolute favourite and this one is proudly South African to boot, is Melkkos. Long before loadshedding was a thing, Melkkos was considered a wintery Sunday dinner growing up.

What are some of your go-to loadshedding meals? Let us know your favourites and any tips and tricks, in the comment section.

Source: Various (Linked Above)
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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