A Month of Cheap Family Meal Ideas

Two-Ingredient Banana Pancakes

Make mealtimes easier with these affordable, family-friendly recipe ideas. Whether it's breakfast, lunch or dinner, these meals are filling, healthy and delicious. Recipes like Shredded Chicken Tacos and Two-Ingredient Banana Pancakes are sure to be a hit with any age and your wallet will thank you.

01 of 30

Sheet-Pan Egg Sandwiches for a Crowd


Hosting a crowd for the holidays or another occasion? Forget cooking individual servings of eggs and make these easy sheet-pan egg sandwiches instead. One batch makes enough bacon, egg, cheese and vegetable sandwiches to serve 12 people in the time you'd normally spend prepping breakfast for one or two people. Source: EatingWell.com, July 2019

02 of 30

Shredded Chicken Tacos


This taco recipe is a great choice for midweek dinners, even if it's not Taco Tuesday! Instead of beef, we use moist, boneless chicken thighs and to make things easier for you, the taco filling is cooked in a slow cooker, so you can prepare it in the morning and come home to a delicious meal. Source: Diabetic Living Magazine

03 of 30

Quick Turkey Meat Sauce

Quick Turkey Meat Sauce
Christine Ma

This lean Bolognese is made with ground turkey instead of ground beef and the result is just as delicious! Plus, finely chopped mushrooms are incorporated into the sauce (undetected!) for an easy way to eat more vegetables. Serve this healthy, hearty sauce with your favorite pasta, or over polenta with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Source: EatingWell.com, October 2018

04 of 30

Classic Mac & Cheese


No sneaky ingredients here, just delicious comfort food. You can enjoy this super-cheesy mac and cheese in the same time it takes to cook the boxed version. Whole-wheat noodles add fiber, while sharp Cheddar adds richness. A hefty twist of black pepper balances the cheese's salty tang. Source: EatingWell.com, August 2018

05 of 30

Oven-Roasted Whole Chicken


This recipe proves that learning how to roast a whole chicken can be easier (and more delicious) than you thought. For extra-crispy skin, remove the chicken from the brine, dry with paper towels and refrigerate for an additional 24 hours before roasting. Source: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2020

06 of 30

Two-Ingredient-Dough Bagels


Traditional bagels are made with a yeast dough and boiled before they are baked. This much faster version uses a two-ingredient dough made from self-rising flour and Greek yogurt, which eliminates the need for a rise time. Sprinkle the bagels with your favorite toppings--like everything bagel seasoning--before baking. Source: EatingWell.com, June 2018

07 of 30

Creamy White Chili with Cream Cheese

creamy white chili in a bowl

This rich and creamy chili comes together in a flash thanks to quick-cooking chicken thighs and canned white beans. Mashing some of the beans acts as a fast thickener when your soups don't have a long time to simmer. Cream cheese adds the final bit of richness and a hint of sweet tang. Source: EatingWell.com, December 2018

08 of 30

Sloppy Joe Casserole


Like sloppy Joes? Then you'll love this sloppy Joe casserole recipe. This kid-friendly dinner has the classic sloppy Joe flavors kids love, while parents will like all the veggies that are packed in to make it a healthy meal. Source: EatingWell.com, December 2019

09 of 30

Cheeseburger Stuffed Baked Potatoes


Skip the bun and serve all of your favorite cheeseburger ingredients--beef, cheese, tomatoes, red onions and lettuce--with baked potatoes for a hearty and easy dinner recipe that kids and adults will love. Feel free to swap out the ground beef for ground turkey or tofu crumbles. Source: EatingWell Magazine, October 2019

10 of 30

Loaded Mashed Potato Pancakes

Turn your leftover mashed potatoes into delicious, savory, crispy pancakes, studded with Cheddar cheese, bacon and chives. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and some additional chives to make it extra-special. Source: Eatingwell.com, October 2018

11 of 30

Easy Chicken Pasta


This quick and easy recipe tops multigrain or whole-grain pasta with flavorful chicken, broccoli and diced vegetables. With 0 grams of saturated fat and 20 grams of protein per serving, this recipe has everything you need for a no-hassle dinner. Source: Diabetic Living Magazine

12 of 30

Whole-Wheat Strawberry Muffins


Kids in the Massachusetts Farm to School program used smart recipe swaps when they created these strawberry muffins: applesauce to replace some of the oil lowers calories, and whole-wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour brings added fiber and more nutrients. Source: EatingWell Magazine, April 2020

13 of 30

Ham & Potato Casserole


This easy casserole is a kid-friendly recipe that the whole family will love. The simple flavor profile will complement just about anything and thanks to convenience products like preshredded potatoes, you won't spend hours in the kitchen mixing it up. Source: EatingWell.com, January 2020

14 of 30

Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Nuggets

Adults and kids alike devour these crunchy pretzel-coated chicken nuggets. What really makes them special is the tart-sweet cranberry dipping sauce. Make some extra sauce to spread on post-holiday turkey sandwiches. Source: EatingWell Magazine, November/December 2018

15 of 30

Whole-Wheat Pizza with the Works

With pizza-style Canadian bacon and a four-cheese blend to boost the seasonings, this mouthwatering pizza is loaded with flavor but has only 216 calories and 6 grams of fat per serving. Source: Diabetic Living Magazine

16 of 30

Overnight Peach-Raspberry French Toast

Overnight French toast recipes are easy to prepare and a great choice when you have houseguests who'll want a hearty and special breakfast in the morning. This recipe is extra-special because the French toast is stuffed with a cream cheese and raspberry filling which becomes an ooey-gooey treat in each bite. Topped with a raspberry sauce, fresh peaches, and powdered sugar, this breakfast recipe will be a hit with everyone at your table. Source: Diabetic Living Magazine

17 of 30

Cheesy Turkey Sloppy Joes

Here's a makeover of traditional Sloppy Joe sandwiches--instead of ground beef and a tomato-based sauce, these Sloppy Joes are made with ground turkey breast and a cheesy mayonnaise-Worcestershire sauce. Serve them with a helping of ready-to-eat carrot chips for a complete meal. Source: Diabetic Living Magazine

18 of 30

One-Pan Chicken Parmesan Pasta

One-Pan Chicken Parmesan Pasta

This chicken Parmesan pasta uses the one-pot pasta method to cook your noodles, chicken and sauce all in one skillet for a fast and easy dinner with minimal cleanup. Finish the dish under the broiler to achieve a delicious melted cheese crust. Source: EatingWell.com, January 2018

19 of 30

Bruschetta-Topped Crispy Baked Chicken

Bruschetta-Topped Crispy Baked Chicken

A fresh tomato-and-basil topping on panko-crusted chicken cutlets makes an easy meal for family or casual entertaining. Source: EatingWell.com, February 2020

20 of 30

Two-Ingredient Banana Pancakes


These delicious and unbelievably simple pancakes are best enjoyed right after cooking. With just eggs and a banana, you can have healthy grain-free pancakes with no added sugar. Serve with maple syrup and yogurt or ricotta cheese to add in some protein. Source: Eatingwell.com, October 2018

21 of 30

Spice-Rubbed Turkey

In this carb-conscious recipe, creamy low-fat yogurt cools the spicy heat of the curry- and cumin-rubbed turkey. Source: Diabetic Living Magazine

22 of 30

Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches

These ready-in-30-minutes, vegetarian-friendly sandwiches are topped with mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves. Feel free to replace the suggested grilled vegetables with your personal favorites. Source: Diabetic Living Magazine

23 of 30

Baked Cavatelli Casserole

Baked Cavatelli Casserole

This easy to make, comforting dish will keep you warm on a cold day. Source: Diabetic Living Magazine

24 of 30

Simple Grilled Salmon & Vegetables


Grilled salmon and veggies make for a colorful and balanced seafood dinner that's ready in just minutes. The grill turns the salmon flaky and moist while tenderizing the crispy pepper and onion pieces. Round out the meal with brown rice or quinoa. Source: EatingWell.com, July 2018

25 of 30

Alphabet Soup


Recite your ABC's while you enjoy this kid-friendly soup that you can feel good about serving--it's packed with healthy vegetables. If you can't find alphabet noodles, any small pasta (like orzo) will work. Source: EatingWell.com, June 2018

26 of 30

Granola & Yogurt Breakfast Popsicles


These fun yogurt pops studded with fresh berries make a great on-the-go breakfast for a busy morning--perfect for kids and adults alike. Source: EatingWell.com, March 2018

27 of 30

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

28 of 30

Chicken Sausage & Onion Pasta

Convenient fully cooked chicken sausage is a great flavor starter for this easy pasta recipe with just three ingredients you can keep stocked in your freezer or pantry for fast dinners. Just add some sautéed onions and pasta and you have a super-simple meal that the entire family will love. Source: EatingWell.com, April 2018

29 of 30

Egg and Potato Casserole


Make this quick and easy casserole for Sunday brunch or breakfast any day of the week! Source: Diabetic Living Magazine

30 of 30

Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joes


Two of our favorite comfort-food sandwiches join forces in these family-friendly dinner sandwiches. We found that softer buns make this easier to eat, and it's all the better when wrapped takeout-style in a sheet of foil. Source: EatingWell.com, February 2018

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles