15 Budget-Friendly Quick-Fix Meals
Everyone in your family will love the taste of these budget recipes - even the kids!
Cut costs at the supermarket by rethinking how you buy meats. Here, we use a less expensive cut of beef and stretch it by adding colorful fresh veggies to the entrée. Thinly slice the meat and stir-fry it quickly to keep it tender.
Recipe: Garlicky Beef-and-Bean Stir-Fry
Cleanup is easy with this one pan dinner (you'll make the sauce in the same pan you used to cook the cutlets). Serve the dish over mashed potatoes or with a loaf of crusty bread to sop up the earthy sauce. To cut costs, purchase fresh herbs labeled "poultry blend." You'll get an assortment of herbs for the price of one package.
Canned biscuits turn into delicious dumplings in this quick-and-easy version of the traditional recipe. Use deli-roasted chicken to save time; one roasted chicken yields about 3 cups, the amount needed for this recipe.
Recipe: Easy Chicken and Dumplings
Step-by-Step Video: Our Easiest Chicken and Dumplings
Total Time: 20 minutes
Just stir a few ingredients into cooked noodles for a super-fast, creamy supper. Maximize your time by steaming the broccoli and chopping the cooked ham while the pasta cooks.
- Recipe: Ham-and-Broccoli Ranch Noodles
Jarred spaghetti sauce and no-cook noodles take the labor out of this hearty traditional lasagna. The microwave speeds up the whole process and gets the dish on the table in an hour.
- Recipe: Speedy Lasagna
Our adult taste-testers described this dish as mildly hot. If your family prefers less kick, adjust the amount of pickled jalapeños (and liquid from the jar) to suit their tastes.
- Recipe: Richard’s Sloppy Joes
Ready in 20 Minutes
A homemade white sauce ready in 10 minutes? Yes, please. Round out the meal with a mixed green salad and lightly toasted Italian bread. You can lighten up the entrée by using reduced fat turkey bacon, 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, and 2% reduced-fat milk.
- Recipe: Bacon Bow Tie Pasta
Enjoy fried chicken without the added fat or mess. Dredge the tenders in saltine crackers and pecans to add an extra layer of crispiness and a nutty flavor. Then lightly coat them with cooking spray just before baking to ensure an extra crisp crust every time. Serve this simple weeknight meal of oven-fried yum with your favorite honey mustard or Ranch dressing.
- Recipe: Pecan-Crusted Chicken Tenders
A frozen garlic bread loaf and deli fried chicken strips ensure this five-ingredient pizza will be ready for the oven in only 15 minutes. Serve it with a simple romaine lettuce salad tossed with grated Parmesan cheese, croutons, and your favorite bottled Caesar dressing.
Recipe: Chicken Parmesan Pizza
Easy Skillet Cordon Bleu will be on the table in 20 minutes. If you don't have Swiss cheese or Canadian bacon, don't stress. Substitute with what you have on hand--cheddar or Provolone and ham or turkey deli slices would be delicious. Complete the meal with a microwavable bag of rice and a simple green salad.
- Recipe: Easy Skillet Cordon Bleu