We're all probably trying to save a little money and watch our spending. And while cooking meals at home instead of eating out at restaurants can save you some dough, it's hard to know which recipes specifically will steer you in the right direction. That's why we asked 10 awesome food bloggers for their most budget-friendly recipes.
You'll notice that most of the recipes rely on pantry staples like canned tomatoes and beans and dry rice and pasta, and utilize cheaper protein sources like dry lentils and ground beef. One thing they all have in common? None of them are lacking in flavor.
1. Mexican Molletes (Avocado, Bean & Cheese Melts) from Simple Bites
These are essentially open-faced sandwiches piled with refried beans, avocado, and cheese. A traditional mollete is made with a bolillo, a crusty Mexican bun, but the author notes that you can sub in a nice whole-wheat or ciabatta bun instead. Yes, avocados can run on the expensive side, but since you're saving money on the rest of the ingredients, I think it's OK to splurge on one avocado here.
2. Zesty Lentil Spinach Salad from Gimme Some Oven
This lentil salad is chock-full of veggies. After roasting broccoli, mushrooms, red onion, and garlic together, you toss that mixture with baby spinach and cooked lentils. Some creamy feta and a zesty lemon vinaigrette seal the deal.
3. Healthy Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore from Creme de la Crumb
This flavorful chicken cacciatore cooks entirely in the slow cooker, making for a super-easy dinner. (Yes, even the spaghetti cooks in there!) The author gives you the option of using boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs, so use whatever is cheapest at your grocery store.
4. Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry from Budget Bytes
This recipe calls for a half-pound of ground beef, but if ground pork or chicken are more affordable at your grocery store, you can sub one of those in instead. Shredded cabbage and carrots help bulk up the stir-fry, while aromatics like green onion and garlic add big flavor.
5. Million Dollar Cheeseburger Spaghetti from Climbing Grier Mountain
Don't let the name of this recipe fool you — it's totally perfect for those who are minding their food budgets. With cottage cheese, sour cream, and cream cheese, this rich, creamy spaghetti only tastes like a million bucks.
6. Savory Dutch Baby with Roasted Broccoli from Floating Kitchen
You might've had a sweet Dutch baby — essentially a giant pancake-popover hybrid cooked in a cast iron skillet — for breakfast, but this version is a little different. With roasted broccoli, Parmesan, scallions, and fresh herbs, this recipe will convince you to take a walk on the savory side.
7. Vegetable Jambalaya from Leanne Brown
This recipe leaves out any meat or seafood and packs in the veggies for a budget-friendly take on jambalaya. With filling rice and flavorful spices, you really won't feel like you're missing out on anything. If you do have some cooked sausage or shrimp on hand, however, feel free to toss them in!
8. Turmeric Chickpeas with Brown Rice from Naturally Ella
Canned chickpeas are a great pantry staple, but they need a little pizzazz sometimes to perk them up. Enter: ground turmeric, which lends a wonderful golden hue. Sautéed shallot, garlic, and ginger provide major flavor, while full-fat coconut milk gives everything a creamy finish.
9. Spicy Vegan Black Bean Soup from Cookie and Kate
This soup comes together in a flash, thanks to the use of canned black beans. A mix of sautéed carrot, onion, celery, and garlic give the soup a fresh flavor, while ground cumin and red pepper flakes bring the heat. The trick to getting a creamy texture without cream is puréeing a portion in a blender and then adding it back in with the rest of the soup!
10. Green Shakshuka with Kale & Collard Greens from Healthy Nibbles & Bits
If you love traditional tomato-based shakshuka, you'll love this green version with kale and collard greens. Eggs are the affordable protein-packed ingredient that make this dish the perfect breakfast (or breakfast for dinner!) to keep you feeling full and nourished. Don't forget the toast!
Want to start a grocery budget? Start here.
What are your favorite budget-friendly recipes? Please share in the comments.