Today we’re going to discuss some of the best cheap meals that go a long way — I’m talking about meals that allow you to stretch your food budget without compromising nutrition.
If a meal is cheap, does it mean it’s crap?
In fact, most of the cheapest meals are amongst the healthiest and most filling recipes for the average home, not to say how mouthwatering they are.
The good news is that most of these recipes are even suitable for large families, as they could be made in advance and stored to save you time and money.
Cheap Meals That Go A Long Way
1. BLT Salad
The BLT Salad is a classic salad made with bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. It’s a great way to enjoy a healthy lunch or dinner!
This is an all-time favorite among BLT lovers, and it’s always a crowd pleaser. You can even make it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you need it.
You will need:
- 8 slices bacon
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Freshly ground pepper and Kosher salt
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- 2 romaine hearts
- Pinch of sugar
- 1 4-ounce piece of rustic bread
- ¼ bunch of chives
- 1 pound ripe tomatoes — cut into bite-size wedges
- 1 large avocado — sliced
2. Dal Palak
Dal Palak is a very famous and typical dish in India. It is made of cooked lentils and rice, topped with a combination of spices, and garnished with coriander leaves and lemon wedges.
It is also a popular vegetarian dish. It’s different from other dishes because it combines all the flavors of the earth into one dish. You can have this with roti or rice, and it tastes incredible!
Mackerel Pantry Pasta is a pasta that tastes like fish!
It’s made with mackerel, which gives it that fishy taste and a bit of a buttery flavor.
The pasta has a light, flaky texture and a delicate flavor reminiscent of macaroni and cheese.
This product does not contain any additives, preservatives, or artificial flavors. All natural and nutritious.
4. Turkey Meatloaf
Turkey meatloaf is a delicious way to enjoy a piece of meat with a little extra flavor.
This recipe uses ground turkey and Parmesan cheese, but any combination of seasonings will work. Serve this turkey meatloaf as an appetizer or main dish, or just take it straight from the pan!
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 cup of bread crumbs (or more if you like)
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes, or 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons salt, or more to taste
- Beaten 1 egg with a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon of water
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well with hands until combined.
Form into a loaf shape on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 45 minutes until internal temperature reaches 165°F.
Lastly, leave it alone for 10 minutes before slicing to your ideal serving pattern.
5. Turkey And Bean Chili
This Turkey And Bean Chili is a great twist on your classic chili recipe. It’s loaded with turkey and beans, and adding tomatoes gives it a rich, bold flavor.
I’m not a huge chili fan. But it’s worth a shot if you’ve never tried this before!
Think of this chili as a hearty stew with a hint of sweetness. The turkey meat is mild and tender, which makes it the perfect choice for a weeknight dinner. Beans add protein and fiber to this dish and are also high in potassium.
Those that hold your stomach for long!
Broccoli is one of the healthiest and most versatile vegetables; imagine preparing it with sesame tofu.
We’ve all heard the advice: eat more vegetables. But what’s the best way to do it?
Well, you just got yourself one!
This recipe combines broccoli, sesame tofu and teriyaki sauce for a light, healthy meal that will make you want seconds (or thirds).
The tofu is infused with sesame seeds, which gives it a great flavor and helps keep it from becoming rubbery when you cook it.
It also has a nice texture—not too soft or mushy, but still soft enough so that it can be easily shredded by hand.
You can jazz up teriyaki sauce with your blend of spices and herbs, so you can feel as good about eating these veggies as they suit you!
This soup is a delicious one to make when you have a little extra time on your hands. It’s full of veggies and great for those nights when you just want something hearty and comforting.
The rich, thick broth is made with celery and chickpeas, which pair well with chiles and garlic oil.
The broth also includes shallots and carrots for extra flavor. The recipe also calls for a bit of chicken stock, but we believe it’s better to use vegetable broth instead.
You can use any oil you want for the chile-garlic oil (I like to use coconut oil because it has a high smoke point), but if you don’t have any on hand, olive oil will work just fine.
8. Kielbasa-Cabbage Stir-Fry
This is a great recipe for beginners. It’s also perfect for those who love kielbasa and cabbage but don’t want to eat them separately.
It is a classic pairing. The combination of the smoky, salty sausage with the sweet, earthy cabbage is sure to be a hit with everyone at your table.
If you like things hot, add some Sriracha or another hot sauce for extra flavor.
Furthermore, you can use any type of kielbasa you want, but if you like your Kielbasa spicy, use some red pepper flakes or hot sauce. If you want it milder, just leave out the pepper flakes or hot sauce.
And if you want to make this vegetarian and gluten-free, use a gluten-free flour tortilla instead of regular flour tortillas.
9. Corn And Chickpea Bowl + Miso-Jalapeño Tahini
This bowl combines corn’s sweet, nutty flavor with a bit of heat from jalapeño tahini, and the whole thing is topped with a dollop of pickled red onion.
It’s warming but not too spicy, so you can enjoy it even if you’re not a heat fan. And since it’s made with chickpeas and corn, it’s got some protein, too!
Moreover, the texture of the tahini sauce adds another layer of texture and flavor to this bowl.
And the best part about this recipe is that you can prepare it in advance and heat it when you’re ready to eat.
However, if you wish to enjoy this bowl even more than I did while making it, try topping it with some quinoa or rice crackers instead of breadcrumbs—or maybe even some avocado slices!
As for the tahini, you will need:
- 1 ¾-inch piece of ginger —peeled and finely grated
- 2 small jalapeños — seeded and chopped
- 2 small garlic cloves — finely grated
- 1 cup of cilantro leaves
- ⅓ cup fresh lime juice
- ⅓cup tahini
- 1½ tablespoons miso
- Kosher salt
Then assemble the BOWL with:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil — divided, plus more for drizzling
- 2 garlic cloves — lightly crushed
- Properly rinsed and drained1 14-ounce can of chickpeas
- 3 ears of corn — shucked and kernels removed
- 1 tablespoon za’atar
- Kosher salt
- 4 cups Little Gem, lime wedges, and cilantro — for serving
10. Green Curry Lentil Soup
This green curry lentil soup is perfect for those cold winter days when you just want to curl up with a bowl of comfort.
It’s packed with greens and a kick of green curry, so your taste buds will sing in delight. And the coconut milk adds richness, but it’s still light.
The best thing about this soup?
You can make it all in one pot! This soup is also vegan and gluten-free, so that everyone can enjoy it!
And since this meal is packed with flavor and nutrients yet not too heavy, it will go a long way!
These are a list of ingredients and measurements you’ll be needing for 4 servings:
- 2 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil
- 1 small chopped onion
- Finely chopped 2 garlic cloves
- Finely chopped 1 1″ piece of peeled ginger
- ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt or 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal
- ¼ cup Thai green curry paste
- Peeled 1 medium sweet potato and cut into ½” cubes
- ¾ cup brown or green lentils
- 4 cups of vegetable broth (vegan option)
- low-sodium chicken
- Shaked well of 1 13.5-oz. can of unsweetened coconut milk
- 4 cups (loosely packed) baby spinach leaves
- ½ tsp. (or more) fish sauce
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You can stretch a meal farther than you’d think with some creativity and extra effort.
The next time you’re making dinner, plan to make enough to cover lunch the following day. This will cut down on food waste and save you money.
The meals listed on this page are not your typical breakfast, lunch and dinner. They’re far from gourmet, but they provide a great way to spend less (and give you leftovers) instead of eating out.