7-Day Meal Plan: Fast & Cheap Winter Dinners

Ready in 35 minutes or less and ringing in at about $3 per serving, these healthy recipes hit the spot and make dinnertime easy.

7 day dinner plan fast and cheap winter dinners

Fast and cheap meals that are hearty enough to meet your dinner cravings, while still being healthy, are just what you need this winter. Ready in 35 minutes or less and ringing in around $3 or less per serving, the healthy recipes in this meal plan hit the spot and make dinnertime easier and stress-free. Here we mix it up to offer more than just pasta and include other quick-cooking budget-friendly ingredients, like the $1.80 per serving Sweet Potato-Peanut Bisque and the Ham and Broccoli Topped Baked Potato, which is ready in only 10 minutes, thanks to the microwave.

Day 1: American Goulash

Ready in: 30 minutes
$2.26 per serving

American Goulash: American goulash, also known as old-fashioned goulash, is the perfect economical family meal. It's made using canned tomatoes, ground beef, whole-wheat macaroni and simple spices. The pasta cooks right in the sauce, so you only dirty one pot in the process, and you can get dinner on the table in a quick 30 minutes.

Day 2: Vegan Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Bowl with Creamy Green Sauce

Ready in: 30 minutes
$2.54 per serving

Vegan Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Bowl with Creamy Green Sauce: Going meat-free is a fast way to save money, as meat tends to be the most expensive part of a recipe. In this filling quinoa-veggie bowl, we riff on green goddess dressing and make a creamy vegan version using cashews, herbs and apple-cider vinegar. Drizzle the sauce all over this bowl for a flavorful vegan meal, ready in just 30 minutes.

Day 3: Chipotle Fish Tacos

Ready in: 20 minutes
$3.18 per serving

Chipotle Fish Tacos: Lightened-up Baja-style fish tacos make a quick, flavorful meal that's easy to whip up in a few minutes, thanks to preshredded coleslaw, a zesty spice mix and quick-cooking fish. Squeeze fresh lime juice and your favorite hot sauce over the tacos just before serving.

Day 4: Ham and Broccoli Topped Baked Potato

Ready in: 10 minutes
$2.20 per serving

Ham and Broccoli Topped Baked Potato: Potatoes are a classic budget-friendly ingredient. Here we jazz up a simple baked potato with broccoli florets, diced ham, a dollop of Greek yogurt and shredded cheese. Rather than baking your potato in the oven, just pop it in the microwave for an even quicker cook time.

Day 4: Spaghetti Squash Shrimp Scampi

Ready in: 25 minutes
$2.93 per serving

Spaghetti Squash Shrimp Scampi: Give buttery shrimp scampi a healthy update with delicately sweet spaghetti squash. The microwave cooks the squash in a quick 10 minutes, compared to the 40 to 50 minutes it would take if it were cooked in the oven. The parsley-flecked squash "noodles" slash calories and add fiber to this dish, while the butter, garlic, lemon and Parmesan maintain the delicious flavors of a classic scampi.

Day 5: Sweet Potato-Peanut Bisque

Ready in: 30 minutes
$1.80 per serving

Sweet Potato-Peanut Bisque: This satisfying vegetarian soup gets tons of creaminess and flavor from pureed sweet potatoes, peanut butter, diced green chiles, warming allspice and fresh ginger. Try topping this soup with chopped peanuts and fresh cilantro, and serve it with a simple mixed green salad with vinaigrette to round out the meal.

Day 6: Smoked Sausage-Stuffed Zucchini

Ready in: 35 minutes
$1.54 per serving

Smoked Sausage-Stuffed Zucchini: Hollowed-out zucchini boats hold a flavorful filling of smoky sausage, brown rice and red bell pepper in this healthy dinner recipe. Using precooked brown rice speeds this recipe up so it can be ready and on the table in 35 minutes.

Day 7: Creamy Parmesan Garlic Mushroom Chicken

Ready in: 25 minutes
$2.61 per serving

Creamy Parmesan Garlic Mushroom Chicken: A rich and creamy sauce coats chicken breasts in this quick and comforting dinner. Serve this chicken skillet dish over whole-wheat spaghetti or simple mashed potatoes to round out the meal and soak up any extra sauce.

Watch: A Week of Cheap Healthy Dinners

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