When it comes to weeknight dinner, we’re all looking for something affordable, quick and easy, and satisfying (we’ve got to look forward to them all day, after all). These recipes hit all three criteria, with ease. You don’t have to drop major dough to make something delicious that can be on your table in an hour or less—save money by choosing cheaper proteins (we’re talking chicken, ground proteins, or vegetarian options) and time by making these dishes all in one pan, in your fave kitchen appliance, or via some of our top kitchen shortcuts. Whatever your style, these 70 cheap and easy meals will please your entire family without breaking the bank.
One of the easiest ways to cut down on dinner costs is to go for cheaper cuts of meat, or utilizing more expensive ones in creative ways. Try adding ground beef, turkey, or chicken to help bulk out old standbys, on the cheap. Try roasting a whole chicken (or buying a rotisserie chicken), then utilizing it for everything from pizza to tacos all week long. Try adding more expensive seafood or steak to pasta or rice to help make smaller, more affordable portions go further, like in our Creole jambalaya, our smoked salmon pasta, or our creamy steak fettuccine. It’s all about the way you use the protein that matters, not avoiding them altogether.