Deliciously Healthy Budget-Friendly Meal Plan

By: Victoria Seaver, M.S., R.D., C.D., Digital Meal Plan Editor

A creatively cheap dinner plan you (and your wallet) will love.

Healthy dinners don't have to cost a fortune—you can save money and eat well with these fantastic budget-friendly recipes. This week's 7-day meal plan takes inexpensive ingredients and turns them into nourishing, delicious dinners. And at less than $3 per serving, what's not to love?

 

Day 1: Pork Chops with Creamy Marsala Sauce

Pork Chops with Creamy Marsala Sauce

A little cornstarch gives the sweet and salty Marsala sauce for this pork dish the kind of body it would usually take a cup of heavy cream (rather than low-fat milk) to achieve. The recipe makes plenty of sauce, so you'll want to serve it with some egg noodles or mashed potatoes to soak it all up and a side of steamed broccoli.

 

Day 2: Tex-Mex Black Bean & Quinoa Bowl

Tex-Mex Black Bean & Quinoa Bowl

Skip the tortillas and layer your taco fillings onto protein-rich quinoa in this healthy vegetarian bowl dinner recipe. Top with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream and a splash of your favorite hot sauce.

 

Day 3: Tuna & Bok Choy Packets

Tuna & Bok Choy Packets

Steaming fish and vegetables together in a tin-foil packet is a great way to keep the tuna moist and have little to clean up. If baby bok choy is not available, use 8 cups chopped mature bok choy for this quick fish recipe. Serve with a side of brown rice.

 

Day 4: Pear & Arugula Salad with Candied Walnuts

Pear & Arugula Salad with Candied Walnuts

This pear and arugula salad recipe is topped with homemade candied walnuts, which are incredibly easy to make in the oven. For a touch of heat, add a pinch of ground chipotle or cayenne to the walnuts before baking. Top salad with cooked chicken breast and enjoy dinner with a glass of Chardonnay.

 

Day 5: Spinach Ravioli with Zucchini Ribbons

Spinach Ravioli with Zucchini Ribbons

For this light vegetarian ravioli recipe, we combine gorgeous long ribbons of zucchini with spinach-and-cheese-stuffed ravioli and a light cream sauce for a satisfying vegetarian pasta dinner.

 

Day 6: Cornbread-Topped Chili Casserole

Cornbread-Topped Chili Casserole

In this healthy casserole recipe—sometimes called tamale pie—the cornbread gets crusty at the edges, thanks to a cast-iron skillet. For the best texture, use yellow cornmeal with a medium grind. Serve with lime wedges for a little extra tang and enjoy dinner with your favorite beer.

 

Day 7: Classic Chicken Soup

Classic Chicken Soup

Classic chicken noodle soup gets a healthy upgrade with low-sodium chicken broth, whole-wheat egg noodles and tons of vegetables. To get a homemade stock flavor using store-bought broth, we simmer bone-in chicken breasts in the broth before adding the rest of the soup ingredients. Serve soup with a whole-wheat dinner roll and side salad with vinaigrette.

Don't Miss

The Best 30-Day Meal Plan to Get Healthy