Friday, June 21, 2024

Top Cheap Dinner Recipes to Try

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If you’re looking for cheap, easy and tasty meals to prepare for dinner, then you’ve come to the right place. These dishes are great for busy weeknight meals, as they’re easy to prepare and great on the budget. From frugal family favorites to delicious one-pot recipes, we’ve got something to suit all tastes and dietary requirements. 

Here are the top cheap dinner recipes to try.

One-Pot and Sheet-Pan Recipes

One-pot and sheet-pan recipes are some of the most cost-effective, yet delicious, meals to prepare for dinner. Not only are they simple, but you can usually find all of the ingredients you need in your kitchen cupboard. Here are just a few of our favorite one-pot and sheet-pan dinners.

• Sheet-Pan Sausage and Veggies: This makeshift tray-bake is a great way to use up left-over sausages and veggies. All you have to do is cut up some sausages, potatoes and your favorite vegetables, add to a baking tray, season and bake – delicious!

• One-Pot Thai Green Curry: This creamy, yet spicy, Thai-inspired green curry is delicious, easy to make and ready in just 25 minutes. All you need to do is cook onions, garlic, chillies and vegetables, add Thai curry paste, broth, coconut milk and your desired proteins. Simmer for 15 minutes and you have a tasty, one-pot wonder.

• Sheet-Pan Fajitas: Yes, you can make fajitas in just one pan! Simply combine cubed steak, onion, bell peppers, garlic, smoked paprika and chili powder in a sheet pan and bake under the grill for 15 minutes. Serve in warm tortillas with chopped tomatoes and guacamole for the full fajita experience.

Grains and Pasta Dishes

If you’re looking to create a carb-filled feast on a budget, then look no further than grains and pasta. They’re cost-effective and versatile enough to pair with any meat, fish, veggie or sauce to create a delicious dinner. Here are a few of our favorite recipes:

• Spaghetti with Pan-Fried Tomato Sauce: Spaghetti is a staple for affordable dinners. This easy-to-prepare dish requires very few ingredients, but is still packed with flavor. Cooking fresh tomatoes, garlic, basil and capers on a hot pan and then topping with spaghetti and a generous amount of Parmesan cheese will make this classic dish even better.

• Quinoa and Bean Burrito Bowls: Everyone loves burrito bowl night. You can keep it light with a quinoa and bean base, or bulk it out with lean mince or grilled chicken. Top with cooked peppers, finely diced onions, tomato and cilantro and serve over some steamed brown rice.

• Easy Middle Eastern Pilaf: This easy pilaf is a great way to use up leftover cooked rice and lentils. Top with lots of spices, a handful of dried fruit and some crunchy nuts for a fragrant and flavorful meal.

Slow-Cooker Recipes

Making dinners in a slow cooker is one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways of cooking. Simply add all of your ingredients, select a low heat setting and then leave it to cook all day while you go about your day-to-day activities. Here are a few of our favorite slow-cooker recipes:

• Ribs with BBQ Sauce: Ribs make for an amazing slow-cooker dish. Start off by coating in some paprika, garlic powder and onion powder. Place in the slow cooker with a can of tomato paste, a generous amount of brown sugar and some diced green peppers. Leave to cook for 6-8 hours, then serve with warm sourdough buns.

• Spicy Pulled Pork Sandwiches: Pulled pork sandwiches make for a delicious, yet budget-friendly dinner. Simply mix together paprika, chilli powder, garlic powder and brown sugar and add to a slow cooker with pork shoulder and your preferred BBQ sauce. Cook on low for 8-10 hours and serve with sweet potato fries and coleslaw.

• Asian-style Beef Stew: This beef stew is packed with flavor and will leave your kitchen smelling amazing. Mix your favorite Asian spices with beef, soy sauce, tomato paste, garlic and ginger. Mix together, then place in the slow cooker with a can of coconut milk and some broccoli stems. Simmer for 8 hours and serve with jasmine or basmati rice.

Vegetarian and Vegan Dishes

Eating vegetarian or vegan doesn’t have to be expensive. There are tons of delicious budget-friendly dishes that everyone can enjoy. Here are a few of our favorites:

• lentil Soup: This hearty and creamy soup is perfect for chilly evenings. All you need to do is cook some red lentils, onions, garlic and carrots in a large pot. Once the soup has thickened, add some stock, herbs and chili for a warming meal the whole family will love.

• Fried Rice: Fried rice is a great mid-week meal. Start by prepping your favorite vegetables and then frying in sesame oil with some garlic, ginger and soy sauce. Add cooked rice and stir fry until everything is well combined. Serve with a dash of chili sauce and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

• Veggie-packed Tacos: Tacos are a great way to get your veggie intake. Start by making a homemade taco seasoning with smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, oregano and sugar. Rinse and drain a can of black beans and then fry in the seasoning mix with some pepper and onion. Stuff in some warm tortillas and top with your favorite taco condiments.

As you can see, there are plenty of delicious yet budget-friendly meals you can make for dinner. Whether you’re looking for a one-pot wonder, a slow-cooked feast, a grain or pasta dish or some vegetarian and vegan meals, you’re sure to find something to suit all tastes and dietary requirements.

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