Easy Healthy Inexpensive Meals

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The following is a list of my favorite healthy inexpensive meals. Sometimes when I’m not in the mood for cooking, I want to make something quick and easy that doesn’t require a ton of ingredients. These meals fit the bill. Plus, each meal is under $5 (or around $10 if you include dessert). I hope they save you time, money, and energy!

EASY HEALTHY BUDGET FRIENDLY MEALS

The ultimate makeover: Burgers

Healthy burgers

Rating: 5 out of 5.25 ratingsTurn a barbecue favourite into a nutritious meal without compromising on taste with our easy healthy burgers1 h 5 minsEasyHealthy

Super smoky bacon & tomato spaghetti

Super smoky bacon & tomato spaghetti

Rating: 4 out of 5.199 ratingsServe your pasta with a budget-busting tomato and paprika sauce. It’s a healthy choice to boot25 minsEasyHealthy

Creamy tomato risotto

Creamy tomato risotto

Rating: 5 out of 5.230 ratingsA budget rice dish flavoured with rosemary, basil and sweet cherry tomatoes. An ideal midweek supper40 minsEasyHealthy

Red lentil & squash dhal

Red lentil & squash dhal

Rating: 5 out of 5.165 ratingsA hearty budget meal of spiced red lentils with butternut and tomatoes. Add coriander, cumin, turmeric and a dollop of mango chutney55 minsEasyHealthy

Orzo tomato soup with pesto in bowl

Tomato & pasta soup

Rating: 5 out of 5.63 ratingsMake our simple, budget-friendly tomato, pasta and chickpea soup in just 30 minutes. This easy, vegetarian family meal is healthy and even low fat30 minsEasyHealthyVegetarian

Stack of American pancakes on table with blueberries in bowl

Healthy pancakes

Rating: 4 out of 5.93 ratingsThese easy healthy pancakes get their fluffy texture from whipped egg whites. Stack them high with fresh berries and a spoonful of low-fat yogurt45 minsEasyHealthyVegetarian

Chicken & chorizo jambalaya in a shallow cast iron dish with wooden spoon

Chicken & chorizo jambalaya

Rating: 5 out of 5.2452 ratingsA Cajun-inspired rice pot recipe with spicy Spanish sausage, sweet peppers and tomatoes55 minsEasyHealthy

Curried kale and chickpea soup in a bowl

Curried kale & chickpea soup

Rating: 5 out of 5.19 ratingsRustle up this budget-friendly, healthy soup for a nourishing, easy midweek meal. It’s packed with kale, chickpeas, sweet potato and plenty of flavour35 minsEasyHealthyVegetarian

Chicken curry wth rice and peas in bowls, with chopsticks alongside

Chinese chicken curry

Rating: 5 out of 5.407 ratingsCook an easy, healthy curry with just 15 minutes preparation. Serve this replica of your favourite takeaway dish with fluffy rice for a wholesome family meal55 minsEasyHealthy

Carrot pilaf on a plate with coriander chutney alongside

Carrot pilaf with coriander chutney

Rating: 5 out of 5.12 ratingsTry this healthy pilaf filled for an easy midweek meal. With cashew nuts, veg and spices, it’s not only tasty but budget-friendly too. Top with coriander chutney50 minsEasyHealthy

Red lentil, chickpea & chilli soup in a bowl with Greek yogurt and coriander garnish

Red lentil, chickpea & chilli soup

Rating: 5 out of 5.794 ratingsCome home to a warming bowlful of this filling, low-fat soup35 minsEasyVegetarian

Chicken noodle soup in bowls with spoons

Chicken noodle soup

Rating: 5 out of 5.715 ratingsMary Cadogan’s aromatic broth will warm you up on a winter’s evening – it contains ginger, which is particularly good for colds.40 minsEasyHealthy

Shepherd's pie with crumbled potato topping, in a baking dish

Spiced shepherd’s pie

Rating: 5 out of 5.79 ratingsOur healthy, low-fat shepherd’s pie can be frozen to enjoy another day. This budget-friendly meal makes the most of storecupboard spices and frozen peas1 h 5 minsEasyHealthy

Chilli in pan with herbs and lime wedges

Healthy chilli

Rating: 5 out of 5.61 ratingsUse chunks of stewing beef in this healthy chilli con carne for a robust and filling dish. Serve with rice and coriander2 h 20 minsEasyHealthyGluten-free

A bowl of courgette stew served with a spicy sesame seed and flaked almond topping

Thirty-minute courgettes with dukkah sprinkle

Rating: 4 out of 5.32 ratingsGet four of your 5-a-day in one vegan dinner. This budget-friendly recipe is healthy and gluten-free, plus it provides a source of calcium, folate, fibre, vitamin C and iron35 minsEasyHealthyVegan

Healthy banana bread

Healthy banana bread

Rating: 4 out of 5.163 ratingsHave your cake and eat it with this low-fat, healthy banana loaf – perfect for breakfast and beyond1 h 35 minsEasyHealthy

Salad bowl with chicken and hummus

Quick chicken hummus bowl

Rating: 5 out of 5.24 ratingsMake our healthy chicken and hummus salad bowl for a delicious budget lunch option. It can be thrown together in just 10 minutes and delivers three of your 5-a-day10 minsEasyHealthy

Healthy tikka masala served in a large bowl

Healthy tikka masala

Rating: 5 out of 5.39 ratingsEnjoy the spicy, rich flavours of tikka masala with this family-friendly lighter version that’s both healthy and gluten-free. It’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser1 h 5 minsEasyHealthyGluten-free

Italian-style beef stew

Healthy beef stew

Rating: 4 out of 5.190 ratingsTry our easy, healthy beef stew recipe that’s packed full of vitamin C. This warming dinner is perfect for chilly nights30 minsEasyHealthy

Pepper & ham omelette in a pan with toast and orange juice

Healthy pepper, tomato & ham omelette

Rating: 5 out of 5.20 ratingsIf you’re in need of a healthy protein boost, try making this healthy omelette for breakfast – using fewer yolks lowers the cholesterol25 minsEasyHealthy

Curried cod 2016

Curried cod

Rating: 4 out of 5.360 ratingsAn easy-to-prepare midweek one-pot with cod fillet, chickpeas, ginger and spices – it’s healthy, low calorie and packed with iron too.35 minsEasyHealthy

Honey mustard chicken pot with parsnips

Honey mustard chicken pot with parsnips

Rating: 4 out of 5.363 ratingsFor an easy, warming family casserole on a budget, this one-pot ticks all the boxes45 minsEasyHealthy

Healthy shakshuka in a pan

Healthy shakshuka

Rating: 5 out of 5.42 ratingsStart the day on a lighter note with this satisfying shakshuka, a wonderful pan full of tomatoes, pepper, spinach and eggs. It packs in four of your 5-a-day40 minsEasyHealthyVegetarian

EASY HEALTHY BUDGET FRIENDLY MEALS

Skillet Ravioli Lasagna

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Skillet Ravioli Lasagna

This easy inside-out ravioli lasagna is the ultimate weeknight comfort food–no layering or mixing bowls required. Feel free to swap in ground turkey for the beef. Look for fresh mozzarella balls (also called “pearls”) in the specialty cheese section of your grocery store. Source: EatingWell.com, June 2019

Crispy Gnocchi Pasta with Tomatoes & Leeks

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Crispy Gnocchi Pasta with Tomatoes & Leeks

These gnocchi are crispy on the outside, tender on the inside because you sauté them in hot oil. Plus, they leave a little fond (crispy brown bits) in the pan that adds toasty flavor to the tomato and leek sauce, which is cooked in the same pan. Since this easy gnocchi recipe calls for store-bought shelf-stable gnocchi, it’s quick to prepare–just 20 minutes, start to finish. Opt for whole-wheat gnocchi to get 2 extra grams of fiber per serving compared to white. This easy and healthy dinner is easy to customize too: see Tips for variations with shrimp, pesto instead of butter, and pork chops instead of gnocchi. Source: EatingWell Magazine, October 2019

Baked Lemon-Pepper Chicken

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Baked Lemon-Pepper Chicken

Looking for a quick, easy dinner? This baked lemon-pepper chicken recipe is it. Chicken breasts are cooked in a skillet, then finished in the oven with lemon slices that soften and become part of the sauce, with a touch of maple syrup and butter to carry the flavor. It’s so simple and delicious, you’ll be making this healthy dinner again and again. Source: EatingWell.com, December 2019

Salmon Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

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Salmon Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

An easy-to-make slaw served on the side of these salmon tacos makes for a filling and fast weeknight dinner. If you prefer more heat in these fish tacos, simply add a pinch or two of chipotle chile powder or cayenne with the chili powder. Source: EatingWell.com, August 2018

Skillet Pork Chops with Peas, Carrots & Pearl Onions

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Skillet Pork Chops with Peas, Carrots & Pearl Onions

This superfast one-dish dinner is full of classic flavor and is such a crowd pleaser that you’ll want to work it into your regular weeknight dinner rotation. We call for bone-in pork chops to maximize flavor, but boneless pork chops are a fine substitution. To round out this meal a little more, serve with rice or mashed potatoes. Source: EatingWell.com, October 2019

One-Pot Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower & Brussels Sprouts

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One-Pot Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower & Brussels Sprouts

Taking a minute to sizzle some garlic in olive oil is a simple way to pep up the cheese sauce for this easy homemade mac and cheese, and the flavor plays well with the cauliflower and Brussels sprouts in this family-friendly pasta dish. This recipe is designed for you to make a big batch of the cheese sauce to use in different dishes: Stir it into pasta and veggies to make this pasta a one-pot dinner then use it for Cheesy Beef Enchilada Casserole later in the week (see Associated Recipes). Or simply serve it over your favorite steamed vegetables for an easy side dish. If you’d rather make just enough sauce for this pasta, simply cut the sauce amounts in half. Source: EatingWell Magazine, September 2019

Two-Ingredient-Dough Margherita Pizza

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Two-Ingredient-Dough Margherita Pizza

You won’t believe how quick and easy it is to make this healthy pizza. Thanks to a two-ingredient dough that combines self-rising flour and Greek yogurt, there is no need for a rise time. Just roll, top and bake, and you’ll have a delicious dinner on the table in under half an hour. Source: EatingWell.com, June 2018

Crunchy Chicken & Mango Salad

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Crunchy Chicken & Mango Salad

This Asian-inspired dinner salad has terrific crunch, thanks to sugar snap peas and napa cabbage. Give the dressing a kick of heat by adding a bit of sambal oelek, an Indonesian hot sauce that you can find in most large supermarkets and Asian grocery stores. Source: EatingWell Magazine, July/August 2018

Cheese Quesadillas with Peppers & Onions

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Cheese Quesadillas with Peppers & Onions

These 15-minute quesadillas are a notch above basic with the addition of sautéed peppers and onions. Let the kiddos load them up with the toppings at the table. Source: EatingWell.com, February 2018

BUDGET FRIENDLY MEALS

Easiest ever paella

Easiest ever seafood rice

Rating: 5 out of 5.324 ratingsUsing pre-prepared mixed seafood makes this dish very easy to put together30 minsEasyHealthy

Satay sweet potato curry on top of rice in a deep dish

Sweet potato & peanut curry

Rating: 5 out of 5.868 ratingsCook this tasty, budget-friendly vegan curry for an easy family dinner. With spinach and sweet potato, it boasts two of your five-a-day and it’s under 400 calories1 hEasyVeganGluten-free

Fish pie with swede & potato topping

Healthy fish pie

Rating: 5 out of 5.111 ratingsMaking fish pie can be a palaver – not this one! Our healthy fish pie is simple to make and ready in just over an hour1 h 15 minsEasyHealthy

Chicken curry with red chillies in silver bowl on wooden board

Chicken jalfrezi

Rating: 5 out of 5.421 ratingsInstead of calling the Indian takeaway, make your own easy chicken jalfrezi. This curry is also healthy with two of your 5-a-day and a dose of vitamin C1 h 10 minsEasyHealthyGluten-free

Chicken parmigiana in a large oven dish with serving spoon

Chicken parmigiana

Rating: 5 out of 5.336 ratingsThis classic chicken Parmesan recipe gets the Good Food makeover, resulting in a hearty yet healthy dish great for sharing with your mates30 minsEasyHealthy

Chole with cumin rice and raita served with rice

Chole with cumin rice & raita

Rating: 5 out of 5.7 ratingsMake a chickpea curry served with raita for a brilliant budget-friendly family meal. As well as being quick and easy, it’s healthy too35 minsEasyHealthyGluten-free

Chicken with lemon & courgette couscous

Chicken with lemon & courgette couscous

Rating: 4 out of 5.145 ratingsAdd a touch of zest to your midweek meal with this low-fat family supper40 minsEasyHealthy

Celery soup in bowl topped with celery leaves, with spoons and bread

Celery soup

Rating: 5 out of 5.229 ratingsCook up a batch of fresh, low-calorie celery soup for a healthy and filling veggie lunch or supper. Serve with chunks of crusty bread55 minsEasyHealthyVegetarian

A plate of chicken satay with sliced cucumber and sweet chilli dip

Nutty chicken satay strips

Rating: 5 out of 5.154 ratingsKeep these nutty chicken satay strips in the fridge for a healthy choice when you’re peckish. The chicken is served with cucumber and sweet chilli sauce20 minsEasyHealthy

Chicken katsu curry

Healthy chicken katsu curry

Rating: 4 out of 5.85 ratingsThis healthier katsu is coated in finely chopped flaked almonds and baked in the oven (rather than fried) until crisp and golden. If you’re following the Healthy Diet Plan then this a great dish to add to your repertoire55 minsEasyHealthy

Prawn & harissa spaghetti served in a bowl

Prawn & harissa spaghetti

Rating: 5 out of 5.105 ratingsTry our spaghetti dinner for two, with king prawns and harissa dressing. It only takes 20 minutes to make and is healthy too – great for a midweek meal.20 minsEasyHealthy

Sesame & spring onion stir-fried udon with crispy tofu

Sesame & spring onion stir-fried udon with crispy tofu

Rating: 5 out of 5.17 ratingsDo something different for dinner, with our vegan noodle, tofu, green bean and spring onion stir-fry. It’s quick and healthy, plus it’s budget-friendly too20 minsEasyHealthyVegan

Big-batch bolognese

Big-batch bolognese

Rating: 5 out of 5.60 ratingsWhip up a huge batch of bolognese that’s fit to feed a hungry crowd, or freeze half for a speedy midweek meal1 h 55 minsEasyHealthy

Healthy egg & chips

Healthy egg & chips

Rating: 4 out of 5.155 ratingsOne that dads will love! This any-time meal is perfect with a helping of baked beans1 h 10 minsEasyHealthyVegetarian

Spiced lentil & butternut squash soup served in bowls

Spiced lentil & butternut squash soup

Rating: 5 out of 5.140 ratingsCook a big batch of this filling spiced lentil and squash soup and freeze the leftovers for a speedy supper another day. It’s healthy and low in fat50 minsEasyHealthyVegetarian

Double bean & roasted pepper chilli

Double bean & roasted pepper chilli

Rating: 5 out of 5.256 ratingsThis warming vegetarian chilli is a low-fat, healthy option that packs in the veggies and flavour. Serve with Tabasco sauce, soured cream or yogurt1 h 45 minsEasyHealthyVegetarian

Cod, cauliflower & chorizo mornay

Cod, cauliflower & chorizo mornay

Rating: 5 out of 5.52 ratingsA comforting fish bake with a buttery cheese sauce that will warm you up on the coldest of evenings1 hEasy

healthy porridge bowl

Healthy porridge bowl

Rating: 4 out of 5.19 ratingsStart your day right with this filling bowl of oats, berries, banana and seeds. It’s healthy and packed with nutrients to fuel body and mind15 minsEasyHealthyVegetarian

Pearl barley, bacon & leek casserole

Pearl barley, bacon & leek casserole

Rating: 4 out of 5.63 ratingsThis storecupboard grain makes a great alternative to rice or couscous. Team with bacon and veggies in this risotto-like stew55 minsEasyHealthy

Raid-the-cupboard tuna sweetcorn cakes

Tuna & sweetcorn fish cakes

Rating: 4 out of 5.32 ratingsTinned fish and sweetcorn are a lifesaver when you need to rustle up some simple potato patties for a healthy, budget-friendly supper40 minsEasyHealthy

Spiced black bean & chicken soup with kale

Spiced black bean & chicken soup with kale

Rating: 5 out of 5.44 ratingsUse up leftover roast or ready-cooked chicken in this healthy and warming soup, spiced with cumin and chilli25 minsEasyHealthy

Meatball & tomato soup in a bowl

Meatball & tomato soup

Rating: 5 out of 5.72 ratingsGet three of your 5-a-day in one serving with this healthy, low-calorie tomato soup. The addition of meatballs and giant couscous means it’s filling, too20 minsEasyHealthy

Spring tabbouleh salad on a white plate

Spring tabbouleh

Rating: 4 out of 5.16 ratingsA simple, budget, spring salad that can add a healthy dose of vegetables to your midweek meal. This easy vegan dish also makes great leftover lunches45 minsEasyHealthyVegan

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