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Pizza Beans  
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25 Cheap Weeknight Dinners To Get You Through The Rest of Winter

Cheap has never tasted this good.
Budget Friendly affordable meals

A common misconception when one hears the term “cheap meals” is that the ingredient quality is not the best, therefore the meal will not taste the best. We’re here to prove that assumption wrong. Cheap weeknight dinners don’t have to skimp out on flavor, and in trying times they can be a lifesaving way to get delicious meals on the table — without breaking the bank. Using inexpensive ingredients, like canned goods and frozen food, we’ve crafted the ultimate list of restaurant-worthy weeknight dinners that will save you money while giving you plenty of flavor.  

Pizza Beans   Pizza Beans  

This cheesy, saucy, creamy dish features all the classic pizza flavors: Bright Italian seasoning, hearty tomato sauce, and THREE different types of shredded cheese. Our take, though, blends these flavors with fiber-rich (and budget-friendly!) canned beans in a delightful one-skillet weeknight dinner.  

Get the recipe: Pizza Beans

Banh Mi Bowl  Banh Mi Bowls  

Banh mi, a classic Vietnamese sandwich, is the inspiration for this budget-friendly dinner. Plant-based crumbles add protein, while fresh vegetables bring some crunch. Make this bowl for dinner and save the leftovers for next day’s lunch. 

Get the recipe: Bahn Mi Bowls

Stracciatella Soup with Spinach   

Stracciatella Soup with Spinach   

This classic Italian soup is like Chinese egg drop soup, with beaten eggs streamed into hot broth. Spinach and grated Parmesan add extra nutrients and flavor to this easy and comforting recipe.   

Get the recipe: Stracciatella Soup with Spinach  

Cuban-Style Picadillo with Rice 

Cuban-Style Picadillo with Rice  

A packet of ground beef and a few pantry staples are all you need for this classic Cuban dish. Tangy olives, sweet raisins, and savory rice blend together in the perfect flavor combination, while ground beef adds plenty of protein. 

Get the recipe: Cuban-Style Picadillo with Rice   

One-Pot Pasta with Ricotta and Lemon

One-Pot Pasta with Ricotta and Lemon 

Have dinner ready in a flash with one pot and 5 ingredients. The tangy, lemony cream sauce makes this dish feel like you’ve ordered takeout from a fancy restaurant (without the price markup). 

Get the recipe: One-Pot Pasta with Ricotta and Lemon 

Slow Cooker Potato-Cauliflower Soup

Slow Cooker Potato-Cauliflower Soup  

This soup is the perfect example of taking inexpensive ingredients to a whole new level. Potatoes and cauliflower provide a hearty base for this soup, while cannellini beans add plenty of protein and a smoother texture.  

Get the recipe: Slow Cooker Potato-Cauliflower Soup   

Skillet Tamale Pie  

Skillet Tamale Pie  

Frozen foods and pantry items effortlessly create this easy, one-pan dinner. You’ll love this dish for its tamale-inspired comforting flavors and textures, and your pocket will love how budget-friendly it is.  

Get the recipe: Skillet Tamale Pie   

Air-Fried Crispy Chicken Cutlets 

Air-Fried Crispy Chicken Cutlets 

Stretch a packet of chicken breasts by slicing them in half and making these crispy cutlets. Serve them with a side salad for dinner and have them in a sandwich for tomorrow’s lunch.  

Get the recipe: Air-Fried Crispy Chicken Cutlets  

Clean-Out-the-Pantry Vegetarian Chili

Clean-Out-The-Pantry Vegetarian Chili  

If you have a bunch of pantry ingredients and you’re not sure what to do with them, why not make a chili? This vegetarian chili recipe uses up canned goods, like canned beans, and is thickened with couscous. 

Get the recipe: Clean-Out-The-Pantry Vegetarian Chili   

Garlicky Cannellini Beans with Wilted Kale and Eggs

Garlicky Cannellini Beans with Wilted Kale and Eggs    

Breakfast for dinner gets a makeover with this affordable dish. With its creamy mix of beans, greens, and eggs, you’ll enjoy a hearty meal that is both nutritious AND delicious.  

Get the recipe: Garlicky Cannellini Beans with Wilted Kale and Eggs   

Broccoli and Cheese–Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Broccoli and Cheese- Stuffed Baked Potatoes 

A comforting soup transforms into the perfect topping for fluffy baked potatoes for an easy, affordable vegetarian dinner. 

Get the recipe: Broccoli and Cheese- Stuffed Baked Potatoes  

Pork and Spinach Stir-Fry  

Pork and Spinach Stir-Fry  

Before you order your favorite takeout, try making this affordable stir-fry dish at home. Stretch your dinner dollars by slicing up pork tenderloin into bite-size pieces and tossing them with spinach in a flavorful stir-fry sauce.  

Get the recipe: Pork and Spinach Stir-Fry   

Chili-Topped Sweet Potatoes  

Chili-Topped Sweet Potatoes  

Canned chili is an affordable alternative (and shortcut!) to making your own chili at home. Add it on top of sweet potatoes for a satisfying meal.  

Get the recipe: Chili-Topped Sweet Potatoes   

Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs over Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs Over Caramelized Brussels Sprouts  

Affordable cuts, like chicken thighs, go a long way with this dish. Paired with crispy Brussels sprouts, this is a one sheet-pan dish you’ll want to make over and over.  

Get the recipe: Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs Over Caramelized Brussels Sprouts   

Chicken and Cabbage Stir-Fry

Chicken and Cabbage Stir-Fry  

Nutrient-packed cabbage is elevated with garlic, soy sauce and rice vinegar in this weeknight dinner. Chicken thighs add plenty of protein and turn this dish into a hearty meal.  

Get the recipe: Chicken and Cabbage Stir-Fry  

Instant Pot® Chicken and Artichoke Rigatoni

Instant Pot® Chicken and Artichoke Rigatoni  

Pantry ingredients like canned artichokes and rigatoni turn into an affordable and easy weeknight Instant Pot pasta dinner. 

Get the recipe: Instant Pot® Chicken and Artichoke Rigatoni   

Roasted Pork Chop and Veggies Sheet Pan Dinner

Roasted Pork Chop and Veggies Sheet Pan Dinner 

Cooked on just one rimmed baking sheet, this recipe is super simple to throw together. Just pop it in the oven and dinner’s ready in no time. 

Get the recipe: Roasted Pork Chop and Veggies Sheet Pan Dinner  

Oven-Roasted Tomato-Garlic Soup

Oven-Roasted Tomato-Garlic Soup  

This budget-friendly dish is low on ingredients but high on flavor. Roasting tomatoes enhances their natural sweetness, and a pop of garlic adds depth of flavor.  

Get the recipe: Oven-Roasted Tomato-Garlic Soup   

Creamy Corn and Bacon Chowder

Creamy Corn and Bacon Chowder  

This filling soup makes the most of frozen corn and russet potatoes for a cheap but crowd-pleasing dinner. 

Get the recipe: Creamy Corn and Bacon Chowder   

sweet-potato frittata with peppers & onions  

Sweet Potato Frittata with Peppers and Onions  

Frozen sweet potato fries are the surprise ingredient in this 30-minute frittata that works for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. 

Get the recipe: Sweet Potato Frittata with Peppers and Onions   

Pasta with Chickpeas  

Pasta with Chickpeas  

This vegetarian recipe is loaded with fiber and protein, thanks to a can of chickpeas. Canned tomatoes and a box of pasta bring this dish together into one hearty, satisfying dinner. 

Get the recipe: Pasta with Chickpeas   

Garlicky Beans and Greens Over Toast  

Garlicky Beans and Greens Over Toast  

Elevate greens and beans with a garlicky, spicy sauce. Soak up that sauce with slices of crusty Italian bread.  

Get the recipe: Garlicky Beans and Greens Over Toast   

Italian Pastina with Egg and Cheese 

Italian Pastina with Egg and Cheese 

This easy, creamy, and affordable pasta dish is a bowl full of comfort and sure to become a new family favorite. 

Get the recipe: Italian Pastina with Egg and Cheese  

Black Bean and Corn Enchilada Stuffed Shells 

Black Bean and Corn Enchilada Stuffed Shells 

Pantry favorites like canned corn and canned black beans add fiber to this pasta bake. Enchilada sauce adds a hint of spice, while sour cream cools things down.  

Get the recipe: Black Bean and Corn Enchilada Stuffed Shells  

Thai Red Curry Turkey Meatballs with Rice, Tomatoes, and Broccoli

Thai Red Curry Meatballs with Rice, Tomatoes, and Broccoli  

Frozen turkey meatballs transform into a Thai entrée thanks to red curry paste, coconut milk, and veggies in an easy 25-minute dinner. 

Get the recipe: Thai Red Curry Meatballs with Rice, Tomatoes, and Broccoli  

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