16 Budget-Friendly Dinners to Help You Lose Weight
Get a healthy and delicious meal on the table with these cheap easy meals on a budget. These low-calorie, high-fiber dinners use inexpensive pantry staples like pasta and beans to help lower your grocery bill while still making delicious meals. Try our budget-friendly recipes like Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie or Cornbread-Topped Chili Casserole, which are flavorful and can help you meet your nutrition goals.
Roasted Root Veggies & Greens over Spiced Lentils
This earthy bowl of lentils bursting with Middle Eastern flavors is topped with leftover roasted root veggies from a large batch for an easy weeknight dinner. Keep it vegan or add a drizzle of plain yogurt for extra richness.
Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl
Quinoa and chickpeas pack this vegetarian grain bowl with plenty of plant-based protein. Whip up a batch of these Mediterranean meals and pack in containers with lids to stash in the fridge for easy, healthy grab & go lunches all week long.
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.
Vegetarian Shepherd's Pies
These mini vegetarian shepherd's pies feature lentils, carrot and corn, crowned with a velvety mashed potato topping. The recipe can also be made in a broiler-safe casserole dish. Serve with a spinach salad with oranges, walnuts and red-wine vinaigrette.
Middle Eastern Chicken & Chickpea Stew
This quick, protein-rich chicken stew recipe gets great flavor from cumin, lemon juice and garlic. Make a double batch and freeze it for a quick healthy dinner. Serve the stew with couscous and steamed broccoli.
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.
Vegetable Weight-Loss Soup
A big bowl of this veggie-packed minestrone will leave you satisfied for hours without consuming a lot of calories--plus it's an easy way to boost your vegetable servings for the day. Top with a dollop of pesto before devouring this delicious skinny vegetable soup.
Sausage & Peppers Baked Ziti
This healthy baked ziti recipe doesn't require any chopping and is made on the stovetop, so it is perfect for a busy weeknight dinner. Using whole-wheat pasta adds fiber; opt for penne if whole-wheat ziti is hard to find.
Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl
This chipotle-flavored burrito bowl recipe is even better than takeout and just as fast. Loading it with vegetables and using quinoa in place of rice adds nutrition for a healthy dinner.
Baked Penne Florentine
This comforting and flavorful vegetarian dish is packed with protein.
Firehouse Frito Pie
Classic Frito pie is a pile of Fritos topped with beefy chili and runny cheese often made straight in the chip bag! Our refined and lightened version is fresh-tasting and delicious. A whole 1/2 cup of chili powder gives it plenty of punch, but be sure to use mild chili powder. If you have spicier chili powder, start with 1 to 2 tablespoons and taste as you go. Top with tomato, lettuce and just a little cheese (hold the Whiz, please).
Sweet Potato, Corn & Black Bean Hash
Quick and easy hashes are fabulous one-pot meals for those nights when getting dinner on the table fast is a priority.
Tomato & Artichoke Gnocchi
Artichoke hearts, olives and a splash of red-wine vinegar give this ultra-quick, healthy vegetarian gnocchi recipe pizzazz. For an additional hit of Mediterranean flavor, try topping with feta cheese.
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.
Nonna's Spaghetti & Meatballs
The meatballs and sauce are cooked in the slow cooker for this traditional Italian spaghetti and meatballs recipe. You could also serve the meatballs over creamy polenta or on a sandwich with melted provolone.
Vegetarian Pinto Bean Sloppy Joes
This vegetarian Sloppy Joe recipe uses pinto beans and a heap of veggies tossed in a sweet, tangy sauce for the filling of a tad messy kid-friendly sandwich you can make in your slow cooker.