Healthy Budget Dinner Recipes

Find healthy, delicious budget dinner ideas, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Spaghetti with Quick Meat Sauce

Rating: Unrated
15
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.

Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl

Rating: Unrated
10
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.

Middle Eastern Chicken & Chickpea Stew

Rating: Unrated
22
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.

American Goulash

Rating: Unrated
7
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.

Slow-Cooker Beef Stew

Rating: Unrated
4
Load the crock pot and go with this stew recipe that's prepped in the morning and simmers all day so you'll come home to a Sunday-worthy dinner (and your house smelling downright heavenly). Tender beef, melt-in-your-mouth potatoes and carrots in a rich broth--this could be the best and easiest beef stew you've ever made.

Roasted Root Veggies & Greens over Spiced Lentils

Rating: Unrated
3
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.

Creamy Lemon Chicken Parmesan

Rating: Unrated
4
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.

Hasselback Caprese Chicken

Rating: Unrated
11
Using the hasselback technique (cutting crosswise slits every half-inch along the chicken breast) cooks the chicken faster and ensures you get a burst of flavorful gooey filling with each bite. This quick one-pan high-protein and veggie-packed dinner is easy to make and the whole family will love it.

Baked Vegetable Soup

Rating: Unrated
13
Originally prepared in the wood-burning hearths of Italian homes, this peasant-style healthy vegetable soup recipe is simple to make in a modern oven. Brimming with artichokes, mushrooms, zucchini and leeks, this easy soup heats up the house as it becomes the perfect warming meal.

Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas

Rating: Unrated
13
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!

Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Rating: Unrated
3
Casseroles make perfect meal-prep dinners--this enchilada version is so easy to prep ahead. The whole casserole can be built and left to hang out in the refrigerator for up to three days. Then all you have to do is bake it off on a busy night and you have a healthy dinner on the table in a jiff. The quick homemade enchilada sauce in this recipe is great when you don't have any of the canned sauce on hand--just season crushed tomatoes with spices and salt for an instant enchilada sauce.

Cornbread-Topped Chili Casserole

Rating: Unrated
3
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.

Inspiration and Ideas

Quick & Easy Budget Recipes

These crazy-fast recipes are perfect for weeknights—easy, cheap and healthy!

Make-At-Home Burrito Bowls

Smoky chipotle peppers take this easy recipe to next-level deliciousness for a quick meal that's cheaper than takeout.

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna with Broccolini

Rating: Unrated
41

In this low-carb spaghetti squash lasagna recipe, garlicky broccolini, spaghetti squash and cheese are combined for a healthy take on a favorite casserole. This bakes right in the squash shells for a fun presentation. Serve with a big Caesar salad and some warm and crusty whole-grain bread.