18 High-Protein Dinners That Are Budget-Friendly
Enjoy a hearty and affordable meal with these dinner recipes. These recipes use budget-friendly proteins like ground beef and chicken to create a filling dinner that has at least 15 grams of protein per serving. To get more bang for your buck, delicious recipes like Creamy Lemon Chicken Parmesan and Black Bean Tacos also utilize pantry staples like pasta and beans.
Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas
One sheet pan is all you'll need to whip up these zesty chicken fajitas. They're quick and easy to make and cleanup is even faster!
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.
American goulash, also known as old-fashioned goulash, is the perfect economical family meal. The pasta cooks right in the sauce, so this satisfying dish can cook in just one pot.
Creamy Lemon Chicken Parmesan
This riff on classic chicken Parmesan replaces the usual marinara with a luscious lemony cream sauce. We've lightened it up by using half-and-half instead of cream, with just-as-delicious results. Serve this lemony chicken dinner with whole-wheat pasta or brown rice.
Mini Meatloaves with Green Beans & Potatoes
This healthy meatloaf recipe and side dishes are all made in the oven on two sheet pans so that everything's ready for the dinner table at the same time. The potatoes go into the oven first to start roasting while the mini meatloaves and green beans are prepped and added to the oven partway through.
Black Bean Tacos
Mixing mashed canned beans with whole beans and seasonings makes an incredibly simple taco filling from your pantry. Top these speedy 5-ingredient tacos with lettuce, tomato and salsa or any of your favorite taco toppings.
Ham-&-Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Making a pocket in the chicken breast to hold the stuffing is easy with a good, sharp, thin-bladed knife. Browning the chicken in a skillet before baking gives it a beautiful golden color, and finishing in the oven ensures that it cooks evenly throughout.
Roast Chicken & Sweet Potatoes
Caramelized sweet potatoes and red onion are the bed for chicken thighs that cook up fast in a very hot oven--perfect for a quick healthy chicken dinner. Serve with a fall salad of mixed greens, sliced apples and blue cheese.
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.
Build-Your-Own Chicken Tacos
This kid-friendly recipe keeps every element of tacos separate so your child can decide to eat them separately or have fun building their own mini tacos with their favorite toppings. Plus, it's perfect for packing into a bento box for a healthy lunch for school.
Spaghetti with Quick Meat Sauce
Instead of opening a jar of sauce, try this easy spaghetti with meat sauce on a weeknight. Serve with steamed broccoli and garlic bread. The recipe makes enough for 8 servings. If you're serving only four for dinner, cook 8 ounces of spaghetti and freeze the leftover sauce.
Roasted Chicken Tenders with Peppers & Onions
Call this one an update of that favorite combo, sausage and peppers. Our healthy version can be served over rice or on a roll with a little shredded cheese for a new take on a Philly cheese steak sandwich.
Spinach & Sausage Gnocchi
Some like it hot--but if you don't, sweet Italian turkey sausage is also delicious in this healthy gnocchi recipe. Serve with a mixed green salad with sherry vinaigrette.
Bacon-Wrapped Chicken with Roasted Zucchini
We wrap tender chicken with strips of bacon that crisp up when placed under the broiler. It's a fast recipe for a satisfying, healthy meal.
Skip the takeout and make these easy, healthy gyros at home. Lean chicken breast is flavored with classic gyro seasonings and tucked into a whole-wheat pita with veggies and a cool tzatziki sauce. Look for tzatziki--Greek cucumber-yogurt sauce--near other prepared refrigerated dips like hummus and salsa.
Mexican Skillet Lasagna
This easy Mexican-inspired lasagna recipe replaces the noodles with tortilla strips that become like tender ribbons in the cayenne- and cumin-spiked tomato sauce. Topped with Cheddar and cream cheese, the lasagna is just as soulful as its Italian cousin and can be made on a busy weeknight in about 30 minutes using a single skillet. Excerpted from The Dinner Plan by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion, published by ABRAMS © 2017.
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.
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.