100 Cheap and Easy Weeknight Dinner Recipes
Money is tight – so feeding a family on a budget is more important than ever. But you can – and easily – because we have 100 cheap and easy dinner recipes. Recipes that are easy to make, have no schmancy ingredients, and will be easy on the hip pocket!
So without further ado – here is 100 Cheap and Easy Weeknight Dinner Recipes for Busy Families.
Table of Contents:
|1. Cheap and Easy Chicken Dinner Recipes|
|2. Cheap and Easy Beef Dinner Recipes|
|3. Frugal Mince Recipes|
|4. Frugal Sausage Recipes|
|5. Frugal Ham, Pork and Bacon Dinner Ideas|
|6. Fish Recipes|
|7. Meat Free Dinner Recipes|
|8. Pasta and Rice Cheap Dinner Ideas|
1. Cheap and Easy Dinner Recipes: Chicken
|Creamy Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti|
This is one of those recipes that the kids can’t wait to eat – and they will be taking leftovers to school because it makes a bucket load!!!! Eat it on its own for a simple dinner, or have it with steamed vegetables or salad if you are being good!
|Chicken Casserole with Cheesy Damper Top|
Chicken Casserole with Cheesy Damper Top is a creamy, delicious meal that the whole family will enjoy! Good all year round, serve with steamed vegetables in winter and a fresh salad and crusty bread in the hotter months.
|Easy Yogurt Baked Chicken Pieces|
This recipe is not only healthy, it only has a five minutes prep time then throw it in the oven and walk away, the whole family will go spack for it.
|Slow Cooker Creamy Salsa Chicken|
Delicious, moist and flavourful – it will be one that kids will request time and time again. You can use chicken breast (pictured) or chicken on the bone which is not only cheaper – but chicken when cooked on the bone always has more flavour.
|Honey Baked Chicken Pieces|
This recipe for yummy Honey Baked Chicken Pieces is an easy and delicious dish for the whole family!
|Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken|
I love Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken served with mashed potato, it’s also realllyyy yummy with plain rice! But then you can have it on anything!
|Chicken Pot Pie|
This Chicken Pot Pie recipe is a firm staple meal in my house. It is loved by both my husband and my kids alike. It is so tasty and delicious…perfect for those cold winter nights.
|Baked Sour Cream Chicken|
This dish is a great option when you really don’t feel like cooking.
|Chicken and Cauliflower Bake|
When I hear cauliflower and cheese sauce together a little part of me dances I’m sure… but even I can get bored with it! So this is my new twist on an old favourite, without even standing over a pot stirring the white sauce.
|Chicken and Mashed Potato Bake|
With cream, moist chicken, and garlic topped with a cheesy mashed potato, this is perfect for a weeknight dinner for the whole tribe.
|Chicken and Vegetable Casserole|
Chicken and Vegetable Casserole is a tried and true dish to warm one’s belly during the colder months. Serve this Chicken and Vegetable Casserole with noodles, or on rice, or even just with crusty bread or some dumplings.
|Chicken and Vegetable Sausage Rolls|
Normal Sausage Rolls are delicious – but I think these Chicken and Vegetable Sausage Rolls are so much yummier. When you cook with chicken mince, it really absorbs all the flavours that it is cooked with – and this is also a great way to sneak vegetables into little kids diets.
|Fussy Eaters Easy Chicken Stir Fry|
While this version of the recipe contains chicken, it could be quite simply adapted for beef, lamb, or even minced meat.
|Mexican Chicken Bake|
Chicken and cheese can never go wrong in my opinion. This recipe for Mexican Chicken Bake will prove it.
|Slow Cooker Chicken and Mushroom Stroganoff|
This Slow Cooker Chicken and Mushroom Stroganoff a bit of a twist from the Beef Stroganoff we love since we’re using chicken and mushrooms. But this is just as delicious, too!
2. Cheap and Easy Dinner Recipes: Beef Version
|Country Beef Casserole with Herb Scones|
Country Beef Casserole with Herb Scones is another winter warmer – good for the soul, and the hip pocket! We have now added a slow cooker version too!
|Steak Normanby Beef Casserole|
Steak Normanby is a recipe that has been handed down through the generations of my family. It is perfect for a big family dinner. It only uses basic, easy ingredients that everyone will have in their cupboard, and it is so delicious you’ll be mopping up the dregs with pieces of fresh bread.
|Porcupine Mince Balls|
Making Porcupine Meatballs involves rolling meatballs in rice, and letting the rice cook in the juices – Just remember to have enough liquid so your rice isn’t crunchy! No one likes crunchy rice! We have two versions here for you to try.
Glazed Meatloaf is a brilliant frugal recipe that will leave the family full and satisfied! It’s tender, sweet, and tangy – flavours playing on your tongue in each bite. Lovely for lunch or dinner!
|Savoury Mince Recipe|
Savoury Mince is always a good stand-by meal. It is so versatile because you can make so many meals using it. Savoury Mince can be used as a main dish or for a filling for pastries, on toast, or on Shepherds Pie…..the list is endless!
|Beef and Guinness Pie|
Beef and Guinness Pie is a traditional Irish dish, serve the mix on its own as a stew, or in pastry as a pie.
|Two Ingredient Slow Cooker Sticky Ribs|
Pork Spare Ribs are one of my husband’s favourite foods, but in the past, they were so fiddly that I never bothered. But this recipe for Two Ingredient Slowcooker Sticky Ribs is really easy.
3. Cheap and Easy Dinner Recipes: Mince
|Mince and Noodle Stir Fry|
A super cheap, easy and filling recipe that the whole family will really love… Mince and Noodle Stir Fry!
We have this dish at least once a fortnight – it’s so easy to throw together and the kids always love it!
|Chicken Mince Puff Pastry Bites|
Chicken mince puff pastry bites are yummy and great for snacks or appetizers at a party. They’re bite-sized, so they’re perfect for lunch, too!
|Comforting Chicken Meatballs with Mushroom Gravy|
Comforting Chicken Meatballs with Mushroom Gravy is on top of my list of comfort foods. There’s something cosy and satisfying about easy meatballs and rich flavoured mushroom gravy sauce.
|Slow Cooker Chicken Meatloaf|
This recipe is simple and frugal. Just how we like it here at Stay at Home Mum. If you haven’t ever used chicken or turkey mince, you are in for a treat, as it readily absorbs the flavours cooked with it.
|Chicken San Choy Bau Recipe|
Make use of your leftover chicken mince by transforming it to this meaty and veggie treat. This recipe could also make use of either chicken or pork mince, also chicken breast is a good option. Serve with noodles and you’re good to go!
Tastes great on its own, but to add a bit of flare to your meal you can add a colourful salad on the side.
|Potato Gem Casserole|
hese little balls of fluffy mash with a crispy golden coating are not only pretty cheap to buy, but fantastically versatile and they make the perfect topping to this Shepherd’s Pie type of creation – the Potato Gem Casserole is like a cheats way of making a mince pie!
|Hidden Veggie Porcupine Meatballs|
Now you can add any combination of grated veggies you like – just substitute them for the same amount as below in the recipe.
|Beef Tortilla Stack|
Beef Tortilla Stack tastes so good! And with this recipe you can even make and use your own home made tortillas. Homemade always tastes the best!!
|Chicken Parmesan Meatballs|
Give your old meatballs dinner a makeover and try this recipe for Chicken Parmesan Meatballs. Just another fantastic “balls” recipe brought to you by Stay At Home Mum!
|Easy Beef Chow Mein|
I know some beef recipes can be expensive, but this one is not! You know us at SAHM…. we love to save money, but keep the taste. And we made sure this Easy Beef Chow Mein is! So have a go at this delicious recipe!
|Golden Bake – The One Dish Wonder|
It’s very similar to a Shepherd’s Pie and it’s also one of our favourites here at SAHM. When you get bored with Shepherd’s pie, try this one out!
|Cheesy Beef and Macaroni Bake|
This is a recipe the whole family will enjoy and it costs under $10 to make so it is easy on the hip pocket! A good way to fill up hungry tummies!
This recipe for Chicken Rissoles is absolutely delicious and a great alternative for when you want to eat rissoles but you’re sick and tired of beef.
|Chicken and Spinach Meatloaf|
Chicken and Spinach Meatloaf is a yummy, easy, healthy dinner. This doesn’t have the guilt of traditional meatloaf, add a dollop of greek yogurt, a garden salad and you have a delicious healthy meal for the family.
|Greek Chicken Meatballs|
They’re so much lighter than beef or lamb meatballs, but just as easy to put together. We love the subtle Greek flavours of oregano and mint, which are brought to live in both the meatballs and the gorgeous dipping sauce.
|Chicken and Broccoli Nuggets|
Sneak a few greens into the kids while bribing them with these yummy Chicken Broccoli Nuggets! They’ll love ’em!
4. Cheap and Easy Dinner Recipes: Sausage
Be bored with sausages NO MORE! Sticky Sausages are easy peasy to make and only contain simple ingredients you will already have in your cupboard!
|Frugal Sausage Casserole|
Frugal Sausage Casserole is an easy “all in” recipe that provides a wonderful and complete dinner for the entire family!
Always looking for new and different ways to serve snags? Look no further. Personally, I always use the Honey flavoured sausages in this recipe – the added sweetness is just delish!
|Frugal Old Fashioned Pastie Slab|
Super cheap and tasty to make and full of delicious winter vegetables and sausage meat with pastry. Best of all you can usually feed a family of four for under $10 – with leftovers! Seriously!
|Sausages in Pastry|
Sausage rolls are a delicious and easy snack that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. They are made with yummy sausage meat, wrapped in puff pastry and then baked until golden brown.
|Homemade Sausage Rolls|
Homemade Sausage Rolls are perfect for so many occasions! From picnics to beach days and birthday parties.
|Slow Cooker Devilled Sausages|
Now, the secret to really good slow cooker sausages is to only cook them over four hours – they aren’t the sort of food that can really withstand a whole day of cooking without breaking apart and being tasteless.
|Easy Curried Sausages|
Curried Sausages have pretty much been my favourite food since I was five. I adore them – as I get older, I like them spicier! This recipe has corn relish in it – which isn’t how I made them 20 years ago, but the relish really gives it a sweet and sour kick that is to die for!
|Toad in the Hole|
Toad in the Hole is a very traditional English dish – it’s hearty, and delicious and the kids love it! This is a great way to use up cooked sausages left over from a barbecue!
|Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Sausages|
We have Slow Cooker Coconut Curry with Pork Sausages at least weekly in the colder weather. It is so delicious and hearty and frugal! It will easily feed a family for under $10 and freezes well too!
Grab this Smoked Sausage now!
5. Cheap and Easy Dinner Recipes: Ham, Pork and Bacon
|Bacon and Egg Pie|
Here’s how I prepare my version of the classic recipe for bacon and egg pie, a steadfast family favorite.
|Bacon and Veggie Slice|
Oh nothing better than a piece of Bacon and a Veggie slice for lunch, this is an easy-to-cook recipe that is tasty and filling for the family. You can also cook it a bit longer – cut it into wedges and serve it for morning tea with a slab of butter.
|Ham and Vegetable Muffins|
Once you have made the muffins, allow them to cool totally to room temperature. Individually wrap the muffins in plastic wrap and pop in the freezer. These will be good frozen for up to a month!
Impossible Pizza can be ready in under 30 minutes, is super easy to make and is good for those nights you couldn’t be bothered slaving in the kitchen!
|Ham and Pineapple Pinwheels|
Well, you are going to be all over our Ham and Pineapple Pinwheels – they are sensational! They are great to make ahead and freeze for school lunches too!
This recipe for Impossible Pie is super easy to follow, and you’ll love how great it tastes! Best of all – it costs under $10 to make for a family of four!
|Slow Cooker Pea and Ham Soup|
I love love love Slow Cooker Pea and Ham Soup in the winter or even in the autumn. I make a huge batch at the beginning of winter and freeze it into single serves so I can have a hot lunch whenever I like.
|Homemade Pork and Apple Sausage Rolls|
They’re savoury and full of protein goodness, but with a tangy twist that we just love. What’s even better than that? They cost just $10 to make!
|Hot Damn Bacon and Beans Casserole|
There’s nothing we love more than a Hot Damn Bacon and Beans Casserole.
Filling, warm and hearty, with lots of incredibly rich pork flavours, these beans are just fantastic.
|Pork Thai Omelette|
This is a lovely twist on the traditional Omelette and fills the family up with the rice noodles and egg combo! You can make this for one for lunch or triple in a big pan for the family for an easy dinner.
|Homemade Sweet and Sour Pork|
Do your own take away at home with this yummy Homemade Sweet and Sour Pork recipe. You know exactly what has gone into it and it tastes even better than the takeaway one!
6. Cheap and Easy Dinner Recipes: Fish
|Tuna and Zucchini Slice|
Makes for a super frugal weeknight dinner and kids love it. Feel free to grate a heap more vegetables in there if you wish – and for extra zing, add a teaspoon of curry powder to the mix!
This delicious Tuna Mornay can be ‘bulked up’ with loads of cooked brown rice or pasta and served with a salad to make it a healthy and cheap weeknight dinner for the whole family.
Tuna Melts are a cheap and easy meal to make – for when money is tight. You’ll love eating it with soups, during lunch or dinner!
|Quick and Easy Fish Coconut Curry|
This Quick and Easy Fish Coconut Curry is a delicious and satisfying dish that’s perfect for a weeknight.
|Fish Parcels in Alfoil|
By making a parcel out of Alfoil, it is easy to cook fish with a few other flavours to make a delicious dinner! It’s a great way to cook fish!
7. Cheap and Easy Dinner Recipes: Meat-Free
This recipe for How to Make an Zucchini slice does not attempt to mask the taste of the vegetables. Instead, it makes the vegetable taste irresistible!
|Sweet Potato Impossible Pie|
Once cooked, it forms a type of loaf that can be cut into slices.
It doesn’t need butter or even a side salad – it is delicious on its own!
|Cheeseless Vegetarian Quiche|
Cheeseless Vegetarian Quiche is a lovely dish to take to a party or have on your own table for a light lunch or dinner. This quiche is not only a deliciously savoury dish but also healthy and ideal for those who couldn’t (and shouldn’t) eat meat and cheese.
|Three Ingredient Sour Cream Quiche|
This recipe for Three Ingredient Sour Cream Quiche is so easy, it can be thrown together at the last minute and popped in the oven! I love it with broccoli too and it makes for a wonderful vegetarian dish.
|Cauliflower Cheese Nuggets|
If you have trouble getting your kids to eat their veggies, you have to check out these Cauliflower Cheese Nuggets. They’re a great way to sneak some extra veggies into their diet!
|Cheap and Cheerful Slow Cooked Lentil Dahl|
It’s not an all-day slow-cooked meal, taking around 6 hours of low simmering, but it’s great if you’re pottering around at home and don’t have the time to necessarily devote to cooking.
|Slow Cooker Mushroom Risotto|
It is thick and hearty, fit to warm your belly on a cold night. Aside from having two of our favourite things (bacon and potatoes), bacon and potato soup freezes really well.
|Bacon and Potato Soup|
They are truly delicious and are a perfect breakfast meal to start one’s day! They make a delicious snack on their own or are a good accompaniment for roasts with gravy (as an alternative to baked potatoes).
|3-Ingredient Potato Pancakes|
You can add cheese to make them much yummier or if you just love cheese.
Looking for something easy to accompany your succulent steak or a piece of chook? Try these Pea and Corn Fritters, they are just as yummy cold the next day as they are warm on your dinner plate.
|Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini Dressing|
It is a unique recipe that is perfect for something a little bit special to serve up for your family and friends! The Tahini dressing tastes amazing and compliments the cauliflower perfectly!
|Vegetarian Chickpea Meatballs|
Meat-free Mondays have been so awesome ever since I started making these Vegetarian Chickpea Meatballs.
If you are after a Frugal Vegetarian Lasagne then this is the recipe for you.
Very easy and cheap to make, the whole family will love it!
|Sweet Potato and Lentil Sausage Rolls|
This yummy, meat-free Sweet Potato & Lentil Sausage Roll is one of the best foods we’ve tasted so far.
|Baked Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Rice and Chickpeas|
When you’re looking for something positively delicious to throw together for dinner you can’t go past these Baked, Stuffed Sweet Potatoes With Rice and Chickpeas.
|Simple Four Ingredient Onion Tart|
This delicious onion tart is perfect for morning tea or a light lunch with salad. It would also make a really lovely picnic dish! It’s really quick and simple.
These Cabbage Pancakes are different than your normal pancakes. Cabbage Pancakes are so tasty the kids won’t even know that they are good for them. Everyone wins!
|Creamy Vegetable Soup|
Creamy Vegetable Soup is a delicious vegetarian soup for the colder winter months! This dish is super easy to make and tastes divine!
|Roasted Sweet Potato and Kale Salad|
Sweet potato is not only low-GI, but tastes superb roasted, especially when it’s coated in a smoky spice mix, while kale is packed full of fibre. This delicious main-course salad will leave you feeling full and fabulous!
|Loaded Sweet Potato Bake|
Sweet potato is a good tummy filler for kids. There are many ways you can prepare it, but this is one of my family’s favourites!!
|Beetroot Lentil Salad|
Nothing goes better than beetroot and goats cheese! This salad can be eaten hot or cold, on its own or as a side. Either way it is totally delicious!
|Roasted Cauliflower and Cashew Cous Cous Salad|
All of the flavours from the spices in this recipe really pack a punch! tickle your tongue’s taste buds with this one.
|Brocolli and Garlic Quesadillas|
If you like, it is easy to make these Broccoli and Garlic Quesadillas into a jaffle too! Just transfer the mixture to your jaffle maker and substitute the tortillas for bread – try and use wholegrain or multigrain bread!
|Spring Onion Pancakes|
Spring Onion Pancakes are really simple to make. It’s perfect for yummy snacks and dinner on hump days! This one is also ideal for those who are watching their sugar intake.
8. Cheap and Easy Dinner Recipes: Pasta and Rice
This meal, which I call ‘Faster Pasta‘ is not only fast (you can make it in under 12 minutes) – but is also incredibly frugal.
|Creamy Pasta Carbonara|
Creamy Pasta Carbonara is very easy to make and even the pickiest of people will be coming back for more!
Nothing says takeaway like Fried Rice! This is such versatile dish, you can add just about anything to it, so that it suits your family’s tastes.
|Leftover Pasta Bake|
Get rid of all the leftovers and bits and pieces out of the fridge – and throw them into a pasta bake. Feel free to substitute any of the ingredients – it’s really up to what you have left!
|Cold Rice Salad|
This Cold Rice Salad is perfect for the hot summer days as it is a no fuss recipe. It’s refreshing, crunchy to eat with the different textures and very simple!
|Schmancy Macaroni Cheese|
Macaroni Cheese can be a bit boring but rest assured this one is Schmancy, super delish & easy to whip up in no time! It has a bit more ‘grunt’ than the standard macaroni and cheese, so the grown up’s in the room won’t complain!
|Pea and Bacon Pasta|
Looking for a recipe that is quick, easy and delicious for dinner? Pea and Bacon Pasta has everything you need!
|Macaroni and Not Cheese|
Macaroni and not cheese is a scrumptious dairy free meal that will fill the hungry tummies.
|Baked Stuffed Ricotta Shells|
Not only are they are really yummy vegetarian option, they’re also just really yummy overall. For Meat-Free Monday, it doesn’t get much better than that as far as we’re concerned.
|Cheesy Broccoli Pasta Bake|
When money is tight we need to have a few key recipes up our sleeves to stretch the grocery budget, and this Cheesy Broccoli Pasta Bake is one of them.
|Garlic Butter Rice|
This buttery garlic rice is the best thing you can do for your dinner, and we can guarantee that your family (and anyone else who tries it) will love it!