Frugal Meals that Are Also Healthy & Delicious
These 26 Healthy Recipes for Delicious Frugal Meals will help you eat well while not blowing your grocery budget.
I don’t know anyone who isn’t trying to tighten their belt and their food budget. From groceries to gas, everything is getting more expensive lately.
Before we dive into recipes for frugal dinners, let’s step back for just a second and think about ways we can better spend our grocery money on a tight budget and how we can reduce food waste once we get those groceries home. Both of these posts are chock full of suggestions and actionable ideas. Incorporating some of these frugal living suggestions will further help us reign in our grocery bills and save money.
So, with that info under our belts, let’s look at some healthy, delicious, and filling frugal dinner ideas and recipes that use relatively inexpensive ingredients. These recipes run the gamut, from potato soup to pasta dishes and everything in between.
Frugal Meal Recipes
Just because these fall into the ‘frugal recipes’ category doesn’t mean they aren’t also healthy and delicious. Frugal and Delicious are not mutually exclusive.
Frugal Meal Recipes
These 26 Healthy and Frugal Meal Ideas will help you eat well while not blowing your grocery budget.
Tuscan White Bean Soup
This Tuscan White Bean Soup can be made in the Slow Cooker or on the Stove Top. The results are equally delicious; it’s just up to you what would make your day easier!
Copycat Panera Autumn Squash Soup
Simple and economical ingredients come together for this soul-satisfying Squash Soup. With squash being such an inexpensive vegetable, this is a very frugal meal. Pair this easy recipe with a nice salad for a delicious meal.
Creamy Turkey Soup (very low fat and gluten-free)
A very low-fat and gluten-free creamy turkey soup, that is also a great way to use up leftovers. Chicken and chicken broth can be substituted instead of turkey.
Creamy Tomato Soup (fat, dairy and gluten free)
A creamy tomato soup that is low fat, dairy- and gluten-free, but still very flavorful. Canned tomatoes and white beans, two very economical groceries, make a hearty, healthy and frugal soup.
Slow Cooker Pulled Beef
Let chuck roast slowly simmer in garlic, onion, Worcestershire, and soy sauce for the day, and you'll have the best fork-tender, pull-apart beef for sandwiches, enchilada or burrito filling, and more. Add this Slow Cooker Pulled Beef recipe to your recipe stash; it will be one you return to repeatedly.
Smoky Turkey Chili
This slow cooker turkey chili recipe is the perfect 'set and forget' meal. Whether it's a game day, a ski day, a busy day, or just a cold night, this ground turkey chili will be a welcome meal come at dinner time.
A few minutes of meal prep time in the morning will yield a big batch of healthy and hearty turkey chili for dinner. This chili has long been a family favorite recipe, luckily it happens to be a relatively cheap meal as well.
Both crock pot and stovetop instructions are provided.
Brothy Beans Recipe
This easy-to-make Brothy Beans Recipe is in regular rotation at our home; not only is this a VERY frugal meal, but it truly is one of our favorite meals.
Large White Beans (Cannellini Beans) are cooked in the oven until they are tender, flavorful, and brothy.
Suggested variations to this original recipe are included.
15 Bean Soup
This 15 Bean Soup Recipe is easy to make in the slow cooker and can be made healthier by substituting Smoked Turkey Wings and/or Legs instead of Smoked Ham Hocks.
Instructions for making this soup in the slow cooker, on the stovetop, or in the oven are included, as well as adjustments for soaking or not soaking your dried beans.
Hummus Wraps are an easy, quick, healthy, and economical lunch and light dinner options that can also be vegetarian and gluten-free depending on the wrap used.
Bow-Tie Pasta | A Creamy Pasta Recipe
Pasta is another grocery item that is a great base for any frugal meal.
One-Pot Lemon Garlic Pasta Recipe
This pasta dish includes vegetables, making it a healthy one-dish meal.
Greek Quinoa Bowls with Romesco Sauce
A fiber and protein-rich seed, quinoa is easily adaptable to many frugal meal recipes. It's a staple in our frugal meal planning.
Loaded Spaghetti Squash Casserole Boats
Squash is among the most economical groceries, making this low-carb, cheese, and vegetable-filled main dish frugal and delicious.
An added bonus is that it is healthy too!
Asian Spaghetti Squash
Another spaghetti squash recipe, this time with an Asian twist. In terms of nutritious meals, this one checks all the boxes.
CHERRY TOMATO PASTA
Budget-friendly pasta and cherry tomatoes make a healthy, filling and frugal main dish.
One-Pan Zucchini Lasagna
Pasta, squash and canned tomatoes come together for this very filling, very delicious and very frugal dinner in less than 30 minutes.
You'll love this easy skillet dish.
Air Fryer Stuffed Peppers
Ground beef and rice are stuffed into these bell peppers before they are tucked in the oven.
Oven Barbecue Chicken
Use chicken legs and thighs to make this dish even more economical. A whole chicken is typically the most frugal way to go, learn to cut a chicken up and save lots of money.
Pasta, canned tomatoes, ground beef and some budget-friendly vegetables are the foundation for this frugal dinner.
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
Economical chicken thighs seasoned with smoked paprika get that much desired crispy crust without the grease by using your air fryer.
Creamy Spinach Spaghetti Squash Casserole
Another spaghetti squash casserole frozen spinach for added nutrition. Add this to your meatless meals plan.
Best Potato Soup
Is there anything more filling and comforting than potato soup? With potatoes being one of the most economical vegetables around, you can make this dinner for 8 for less than $10.
Instant Pot Goulash
Instant Pot Goulash is a pressure-cooked American-style beef goulash. Made in an instant with Italian spices, elbow macaroni noodles, a tomato sauce, and ground beef.
This classic comfort food is a quick, delicious, inexpensive, and easy meal.
Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken
This Slow Cooker Chicken is an easy and versatile dinner recipe! Made with 3 Simple Ingredients - economical chicken breasts, taco seasoning, and your favorite salsa.
Slow cooking this dish results in the most tender and flavorful chicken the whole family will love.
Healthy Lentil Soup
Of all the beans, lentils are the most economical. Which is a great thing because they are healthy and filling. Budget-friendly carrots, celery, onion, and canned tomatoes make this soup a recipe that should be on rotation in a frugal kitchen.
Crock Pot Pinto Beans
These delicious crock pot pinto beans, flavored with onions, jalapeños, garlic and spices, have become a staple in our home because they are effortless to make and very versatile. In addition to the slow cooker pinto beans recipe, we discuss whether to soak or not soak your beans, as well as how to cook this recipe in an Instant Pot and on the stovetop.
More Ideas for Frugal Meals That are also Simple Meals
In addition to these delicious recipes, some other very frugal meals are:
- Tacos (with ground beef or turkey)
- French Bread Pizzas (Cut a loaf of french bread in half, top it with pizza sauce and sprinkle it with cheese. A couple of minutes under the broiler and you have a filling meal that is perfect when paired with a healthy salad)
- Egg Salad Sandwiches
- Garbage Soup (gather your leftover meat and vegetables and put them in a pot with some broth, seasonings, and diced tomatoes. This was a staple in our home growing up.)
- Bean and Cheese Burritos (any beans will work, but seasoned black beans or pinto beans are our favorites)
- Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
- Baked Potatoes or Baked Sweet Potatoes topped with broccoli, chili, sour cream, and/or cheese.
- Make quesadillas with your leftover taco meat or season leftover meat with taco seasoning. Fill with refried beans, cheese, and vegetables. The variations are endless.
- Sloppy Joes
Once you’ve gone through these recipes, a good idea is to make your weekly meal plans incorporate several of these recipes that use similar ingredients. Having items on your shopping list that you’ll use more than once is a great way to save money.
Bookmark this page or pin the following image to refer back to these 23 Frugal Meals and Recipes.
Thanks so much for spending a few minutes of your busy day with me!
If you want to ensure you don’t miss future content, pop your email in the pale green box on the right or click here. I usually send out one email weekly so that I won’t inundate your inbox. I’m sensitive to an overflowing email inbox!
We will only use your email address to send you emails, no more than 1-2 weekly. In addition, you will have access to my growing library of knit & crochet patterns, as well as other printables. Check back often as this library will continue to grow. Please know that you can unsubscribe anytime by emailing me or clicking on the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of all emails.
And you can access many of the products I refer to on my Nourish and Nestle Amazon Page. You can access it here.
So, if you’d like to get in on the ‘subscriber benefit’ action, simply subscribe to Nourish and Nestle here or use the form on the right sidebar. It’s towards the top a bit.
I have sent all my subscribers the link to the Subscriber Benefits Library. If you missed it or misplaced it, drop me a line.
Until next time…
Sooo many great recipes, my weekly meal planning is now done! Whoop!
Oh yay! That’s the intention.