A Week of 5-Ingredient Dinners for Less Than $50

By: Hilary Meyer

Get a week's worth of budget-friendly, 5-ingredient weeknight meals (plus, get a shopping list!)

I want to be better at saving money and one place I can start is with dinner. No, I’m not going to be serving my family ramen noodles every night. I’m still going to cook delicious, healthy dinners, but I’m going to be more savvy about the recipes I choose to make. To keep things simple (and cheap!) during the work week, I’ll stick to recipes with only 5 ingredients (not including the bare essentials like oil, salt and pepper). AND I’m not going to spend more than $50. Is it Dinner Impossible? No! Check out my menu (and my shopping list) for the week. It comes out to just under $40 for main dishes, leaving me $10 for healthy sides like salad greens, broccoli and brown rice. Maybe I’ll even be able to slip in a dessert. Here are the recipes I’m making and how much they cost.

Tips for Making Quick Healthy Weeknight Dinners

Monday's Dinner: Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Pimiento Cheese $6.69

Stuffing boneless, skinless chicken breasts with pimientos, scallions and cheese gives them great flavor without a lot of effort. Don’t be concerned if some of the filling oozes out while the chicken is baking; just scoop it up from the pan as you serve. Serve with: Sautéed zucchini or summer squash and barley.

Get the Recipe: Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Pimiento Cheese

Salmon with Pepita-Lime Butter

Tuesday's Dinner: Salmon with Pepita-Lime Butter $11.80

Lime juice, chili powder and pepitas give this salmon Mexican flair. Serve with wild rice and steamed vegetables.

Get the Recipe: Salmon with Pepita-Lime Butter

Oven-Barbecued Pork Chops

Wednesday's Dinner: Oven-Barbecued Pork Chops $8.27

Need a little summertime flavor? Try this swift recipe and enjoy a “barbecue” indoors. Make it a meal: Serve with coleslaw and cornbread.

Get the Recipe: Oven-Barbecued Pork Chops

Tips for Making Quick Healthy Weeknight Dinners

Thursday's Dinner: Florentine Ravioli $6.45

The flavors of Italy are best expressed in simplicity: a dash of spices, a little oil and dinner's on the table in minutes—especially if you use frozen spinach and frozen ravioli or tortellini.

Get the Recipe: Florentine Ravioli

Tips for Making Quick Healthy Weeknight Dinners

Friday's Dinner: Black Bean Quesadillas $5.81

In a hurry? These satisfying quesadillas take just 15 minutes to make. We like them with black beans, but pinto beans work well too. If you like a little heat, be sure to use pepper Jack cheese in the filling. Serve with: A little sour cream and a mixed green salad.

Get the Recipe: Black Bean Quesadillas

Tips for Making Quick Healthy Weeknight Dinners

Get the Shopping List

1 bunch scallions
1 lime
1 onion
1 head garlic
1 avocado

Meat & Seafood
4 small chicken breasts (1 1/4-1 1/2 pounds total)
1 pound wild salmon filet
1 1/2-1 3/4 pounds bone-in pork rib chops

Dry Goods
sliced pimientos
unsalted pepitas
1 15-ounce can black beans
4 8-inch whole-wheat tortillas

Dairy & Refrigerated
Gouda cheese
orange juice
Parmesan cheese
Monterey Jack cheese

20-ounce package cheese ravioli
1 16-ounce bag frozen chopped spinach

Chili powder

Oils, Vinegars & Condiments
extra-virgin olive oil
canola oil
barbecue sauce
crushed red pepper

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