These Easy Family Dinner Recipes All Cost Less than $10 to Make

updated Feb 13, 2020
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(Image credit: Chelsea’s Messy Apron)

Cooking for a family is expensive; there are multiple mouths to feed, big appetites to satisfy, and picky eaters with costly demands. But cooking family meals that are both crowd-pleasing and budget-friendly is possible. How? By using inexpensive staple ingredients (like pasta, beans, or eggs) and putting them together in ways that only taste like they cost a lot of money.

To make your life easier, we rounded up 15 hearty family meals you can make with $10 or less — and focused on finding ones that are flexible enough to make everyone in your family happy. So the next time you’re not sure what to make, turn to these. Your family will love the recipes, and you’ll love the fact that they don’t cost a fortune.

A note on pricing: Our costs were calculated based on grocery prices sourced from Instacart, so your local prices may vary. (We also assumed you had a few staple ingredients — like olive oil, salt, and spices — on hand already.)

(Image credit: Melissa Ryan)

This hearty soup is a riff on Greek avgolemono — or lemony soup thickened with eggs. It combines orzo pasta and frozen spinach with flavorful chicken broth to create a simple dinner that just about everyone will love. (Estimated cost: $9.49)

(Image credit: Peas and Crayons)

2. Veggie Noodle Bowls from Peas and Crayons

Meat is often the most expensive thing on a grocery list, so vegetarian or vegan options (like this one) come in handy. You can use your favorite store-bought stir-fry sauce here to save yourself some extra time and money. (Estimated cost: $9.46)

(Image credit: BuzzFeed)

3. Caprese Mac and Cheese from BuzzFeed

This upgraded version — with fresh roasted tomatoes on top and spinach folded into the cheese sauce — tastes miles above the boxed stuff, and gets your family an extra serving of veggies too. (Estimated cost: $8.89)

(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

You know how the best part about a good southern chicken sandwich is the delicious combination of crispy chicken and tangy pickles? This recipe recreates that same magical combination in an easy-to-make dinner that costs less than the sandwich would. (Estimated cost: $8.67)

(Image credit: How Sweet Eats)

5. Garlic Butter Pasta with Spinach and Goat Cheese from How Sweet Eats

FYI: When calculating the recipe price, we went ahead and assumed you had brown sugar on hand – but if you don’t, you can easily leave it out without changing the recipe that much. Two teaspoons are added to the shallots while caramelizing to speed up the process, so omitting it won’t make or break this dish. (Estimated cost: $9.98)

(Image credit: Carlsbad Cravings)

6. Hawaiian Sloppy Joes from Carlsbad Cravings

Sloppy Joes get a major upgrade with pineapple, ginger, and soy sauce in this Hawaiian-inspired take on the comfort food classic. Served with slaw, salad, or french fries, it’s the perfect weeknight dinner. (Estimated cost: $8.43)

(Image credit: Cookie and Kate)

7. Broccoli, Cheddar, and Spinach Frittata from Cookie and Kate

Cooking breakfast for dinner is a great way to save a few dollars on your grocery bill. The main ingredient, egg, is super cheap and packed with protein, so you can fill up without spending a ton of money. (Estimated cost: $9.55)

(Image credit: Chelsea’s Messy Apron)

8. One-Skillet Lemon Chicken and Potatoes from Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Chicken with veggies is always a family favorite, and this version is made entirely in one pan so cleanup is a breeze. Don’t like carrots? Leave them out or substitute with zucchini, cauliflower, or any other veggie you like. This recipe is endlessly customizable, so swap in whatever you have on hand. (Estimated cost: $9.47)

(Image credit: Averie Cooks)

9. 10-Minute Grilled Pizza from Averie Cooks

Using naan bread as the base of these pizzas makes this budget-friendly dinner super easy to throw together. This recipe calls for topping them with pepperoni, but any favorite topping(s) would work. (Estimated cost: $9.16)

(Image credit: The Endless Meal)

10. Crispy Garlic Butter Chicken and Brussels Sprouts from The Endless Meal

This simple dinner only takes five ingredients to make and goes from oven to plate in less than 45 minutes. Loaded with garlic, butter, and cracked fresh pepper, this might just be the perfect recipe to convert Brussels sprout haters. (Estimated cost: $9.93)

(Image credit: Damn Delicious)

11. Cheesy Beans and Rice from Damn Delicious

Beans and rice is the ultimate budget dinner. It’s cheap, easy, and comes together in no time. This version loads it up with salsa, cilantro, and fresh lime to make it both flavorful and filling. (Estimated cost: $9.57)

(Image credit: Foodie Crush)

12. Tomato Basil Tortellini Soup from FoodieCrush

Using canned tomato soup and store-bought tortellini makes this hearty soup a cinch to throw together, while mini mozzarella balls and fresh basil keep it exciting. (Estimated cost: $9.78)

(Image credit: Cooking Classy)

13. Slow Cooker Chili from Cooking Classy

Everybody needs a solid slow cooker chili recipe up their sleeve. This one, made with ground beef and seasoned with cocoa powder, is the perfect thing to serve over cornbread or dress up with shredded cheese, saltines, or diced onions. (Estimated cost: $8.97)

(Image credit: Jo Cooks)

14. Aglio e Olio from Jo Cooks

If you’re looking for the ultimate budget-friendly recipe to keep in your back pocket, this is it. It’s cheap, easy, and just about everyone loves it. (Estimated cost: $4.88)

(Image credit: Spicy Southern Kitchen)

15. Crunchy Honey Garlic Pork Chops from Spicy Southern Kitchen

These tender pork chops are cooked in a sweet and savory sauce made with honey, garlic, soy, and brown sugar that’s perfect for spooning over rice or veggies. (Estimated cost: $7.69)