When it comes to food, a budget-friendly dinner doesn’t have to be boring! We’ve rounded up 21 Cheap Dinner Ideas that are easy to make at home. So beyond ramen noodles and try a few of these delicious and affordable dinner recipes.
What’s the Cheapest Meal to Make for Dinner?
When it comes down to it, some meals just give you more bang for your buck. Affordable meals like sandwiches and pasta are filling, tasty, and made with simple, budget-friendly ingredients. Sheet pan meals and skillet meals come together quickly and don’t require much cleanup. The key to exciting cheap home-cooked meals is to maximize on affordable ingredients such as chicken, pasta and beans by adding seasonings, sauces and other flavorings.
What to Cook for Under $10?
These wallet-friendly meals offer tasty and exciting ways to feed your family using simple and affordable ingredients. When you do the math, most of these meals will allow you to feed your family for under $10 per night.
Cheap Dinner Ideas for Two
- Chicken Alfredo: Here’s a deliciously simple pasta dish that would be double or triple the cost in a restaurant. Chicken fettucine alfredo is a quick and affordable weeknight dinner that’s far from ordinary.
- Pad Thai for Two with Shrimp: Rival your favorite Thai restaurant with this Shrimp Pad Thai recipe! With simple ingredients, this recipe comes together in less than 30 minutes for an easy weeknight dinner. Have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
- Lasagna For Two: If you live alone or just with a partner, it’s good to avoid making too much food to avoid wastage. Here’s a meaty, cheesy lasagna that’s only four slices.
- Easy Teriyaki Chicken for Two: Craving takeout but trying to stick to a budget? This teriyaki chicken couldn’t be easier to make. It makes enough for two servings.
Quick and Easy Cheap Dinner Ideas for Family
- Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken: Enjoy juicy chicken thighs slow cooked in a honey garlic sauce. With only 15 minutes of prep work, this affordable meal practically cooks itself in a crockpot.
- Southern Mac and Cheese: Prone to spending when you want comfort food? Stick to your budget with this creamy, cheesy Southern-style baked macaroni.
- Grilled Cheese: Sometimes, a classic grilled cheese sandwich is all you need to satisfy your cravings. Have it alone or with a bowl of soup for a wholesome, budget-friendly meal.
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas: Tender strips of chicken, onions and bell peppers are seasoned and baked in a single sheet pan for easy cleanup. Skip the trip to Chipotle and enjoy these homemade fajitas.
- Sloppy Joes: You may have enjoyed these meaty sandwiches as a kid, so why not bring them back? This Philly cheesesteak-inspired Sloppy Joe will leave your belly and your wallet full.
- Chicken Sliders: These mini sandwiches are a delicious and affordable choice for dinner parties. Warm dinner rolls, barbeque chicken and melted cheese make these sliders irresistible.
- Classic Chili Con Carne: Chili con carne is classic comfort food. Enjoy this filling stew on its own or with rice.
- Chicken Mull: Chicken mull is a rich, buttery stew with pieces of slow-simmered chicken, best enjoyed with saltine crackers. It’s a simple and affordable meal when you want something warm and comforting.
- School Pizza: This budget-friendly pizza recipe is just like the rectangular sliced pizza you’d get in the cafeteria at school. Add your favorite toppings and feed the entire family on a budget
Cheap Healthy Dinner Ideas
- Mango Salad with Peanut Dressing: This mango salad is easy, refreshing and low-cost. Add a sweet and tangy peanut dressing for a healthy, Thai-inspired meal.
- Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup: Crock pot meals are so simple to make, easy on the budget and always full of flavor. Put your ingredients in the crock pot after only ten minutes of prep work for a nourishing chicken noodle soup.
- Chicken and Broccoli: This chicken and broccoli recipe is just like having takeout from your favorite Chinese restaurant! Now you can satisfy your cravings without breaking the bank.
- Vegetarian Chili: Vegetarian chili is a wholesome stew of beans, fire-roasted tomatoes and meatless protein. Make it in the slow cooker or on the stovetop.
- Vegetarian Tortilla Soup: This Tex-Mex soup is slightly spicy with lots of flavor and texture. Leftovers taste even better on the second day.
Budget-Friendly Easter Dinner Ideas
- Slow Cooker Ham: Feeding the family for Easter or Christmas doesn’t have to break the budget. Try this juicy honey glazed ham at your next dinner party.
- Ham and Potato Casserole: What could be better than creamy slices of potato, melted cheese and succulent ham in one tasty casserole? Your guests will love this as a main or side dish.
- Smoked Pork Shoulder: Pulled pork is perfect for barbeques and cookouts. This versatile protein is great in sandwiches, with coleslaw or in tacos.
21 Easy Cheap Dinner Ideas (Honey Garlic Chicken Recipe & More)
- In a small bowl, whisk together honey, garlic, soy sauce, oregano, and ketchup.
- Add the chicken, baby potatoes, carrots and onions to a slow cooker.
- Pour the sauce mixture on top. Cover the slow cooker and seal the lid.
- Cook on a low for 3 hours or until an internal temperature of 165°F is reached.
- About 30 minutes before serving, add the green beans to the slow cooker.
- Remove the chicken and vegetables to serving plates using a slotted spoon.
- Broil the chicken thighs for about 3 minutes to brown the skin. Serve and enjoy!