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5-Ingredient Recipes: 21 Easy Dinner Ideas with 5 Ingredients or Less

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12 Dinner Ideas Under $10

These tasty, filling dinners won't break the bank!

By: Amy Jackson, Editor,
12 Dinner Ideas Under 10

Mealtimes can be tough when you're cooking on a budget. Eating on a budget also tends to force you into eating foods that are less than healthy. When you can get a greasy, gray cheeseburger for $1.50, it can be difficult to make the choice to eat well. On the other hand, you might think that budget cooking at home can lead to some pretty tasteless options. There's only so many servings of peanut butter and jelly, rice, beans, cheese sandwiches, and buttered noodles that a person can take!

However, being frugal doesn't mean that you have to sacrifice taste and health. The flavorful recipes below are a satisfying compromise. They all make great use of spices and cooking techniques, so that they utilize each inexpensive ingredient to its fullest potential. Full of plenty of cheap vegetables, you'll be sure to get your nutrients too. Many of these budget-friendly recipes use the same ingredient in several different ways, so that there is minimal food waste and you get the most out of your precious money. These cheap dinner ideas should all cost under $10 each to prepare, and several of them will probably leave you with leftovers. It's always good when you can get multiple uses out of the same grocery trip! Best of all, these are all $10 dinners that feed four or more people.

This collection of easy, inexpensive dinner recipes has enough variety that there should be a little something for everyone. Whether you're partial to pork, pasta, chicken, soup, or vibrant southwestern flavors, it will feel good to take advantage of these 12 Dinner Ideas Under $10.

Beef Dinners Under $10

Southwestern Shepherd's Pie

Just because you're dining for $10 or less doesn't mean that you have to forgo your favorite hearty, meaty foods. Meat is an important part of any diet, and just because you're eating on a budget doesn't mean that you should neglect that fact. For example, this Southwestern Shepherd's Pie is made of simple ingredients like potatoes and butter, yet it comes together in an incredibly filling meal.

These easy beef recipes for $10 and under will feed the family. If you're eating for one, they're sure to leave leftovers to spare.

  • Simple Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

    These Galumpkis, or Polish stuffed cabbage rolls, use budget-friendly ingredients you probably already have on hand, like cabbage, ground beef, rice, and tomato soup. You won't be able to believe this hearty and flavorful dish was made from just a few simple ingredients. This is definitely a good, tasty choice if you only have $10 on hand.

  • Beggar's American Goulash

    This fantastic budget-friendly recipe made with ground beef, macaroni, tomato sauce, and cheese is one delicious dinner. Goulash has historically been an excellent choice for a budget-dinner. Serve it up with a vegetable and dinner rolls, and dinner is complete.

Chicken Dinners Under $10

Skillet Cheesy Chicken & Rice

Chicken is one of the most popular proteins there is, and it's no wonder as to why. Filled with nutrients and flavor, chicken is a meat that will add some heft to any recipe. Take, for example, this Skillet Cheesy Chicken & Rice. This inexpensive recipe is filled with rice, vegetables, and, of course, mountains of cheese, making this recipe both healthy and delicious. All of these amazingly inexpensive chicken recipes will taste like a hundred bucks.

  • 5-Ingredient Skillet French Onion Chicken

    This 5-Ingredient Skillet French Onion Chicken will shock your taste buds. This is one of the best chicken breast recipes for the price it costs to make. With only 5 ingredients, any budget-conscious household can make this delicious meal.

  • 3 Ingredient Honey Mustard Chicken

    If you make 3 Ingredient Honey Mustard Chicken for your next weeknight dinner, you won't be disappointed. This one-skillet meal is ready in less than 30 minutes! Simply place chicken thighs in a skillet, smother them with honey mustard dressing, and bake to a juicy, tender perfection. This is a super cheap, quick meal.

Soups for Under $10

Red Lentil Soup Recipe

Soups are one of the easiest and most convenient meals to make on a budget. You truly can coax out massively complex tastes from just a few ingredients on your own stovetop if you're willing to let the flavors simmer and mingle.

Additionally, soups generally feature some of the most inexpensive ingredients around. Many of them focus on beans and rice. Every soup needs a good stock as its base, and fortunately, water is free. Lastly, soups refrigerate and freeze remarkably well, so you'll be able to eat every bit of them.

This creamy Red Lentil Soup is an excellent example of a cheap soup recipe that would be fabulous for any dinner. Full of turmeric and ginger, this soup lets you travel the world from the comfort of your kitchen--all for $10.

  • French Pumpkin Soup

    French Pumpkin soup has a milk-and-butter base, so you can probably make it with what you have in your fridge right now. Put a Continental stamp on your pumpkin soup with this recipe for under $10.

  • Broccoli & Cheddar Cheese Soup

    Simple soup recipes are always good for a comforting, inexpensive dinner. Loaded with cheese, Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup is a creamy classic. Keep warm this season and prepare a simple, inexpensive soup for dinner.

Vegetarian Dinners Under $10

$2.50 and 60 Minute Acorn Squash Bowls

Sadly, it can be incredibly difficult to adhere to a vegetarian lifestyle while both saving money and getting all the nutrients that the body needs. However, that doesn't always have to be the case. If you shop thriftily and follow a few of these clever recipes, you can get all of the flavors you crave while giving your body all of the fuel that it needs.

First of all, you definitely need to try these $2.50 and 60 Minute Acorn Squash Bowls. After all, who can say no to a $2.50 dinner? This sauteed vegetable dinner uses every bit of the acorn squash and introduces several other fresh veggies to the mix.

  • Best Vegan Tacos Recipe

    These stunning Best Vegan Tacos can be made with any roasted or grilled veggies. This recipe has a massive amount of flexibility. You can choose your favorite veggies, though a couple that fit best are: sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, and mushrooms. The trick is to cut them into bite-sized pieces and season generously. If you can, make the vegan tacos with fresh tortillas. You can't go wrong with these simple and delicious vegan tacos.

  • Baked Gnocchi Double Cheese Tomato Sauce

    Baked Gnocchi Double Cheese Tomato Sauce is a perfect fast and easy family recipe dish, cooked in a simple tomato sauce and topped with mozzarella & Parmesan. The oven does all the work for you in this cheesy Italian dinner. This meal is excellent when reheated.

What's the most inexpensive recipe in your arsenal? We'd love to hear what you're cooking!

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