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12 Budget-Friendly Dinner Ideas That Cost $10 or Less

Look, we can’t order takeout every night of the week (trust us, we could if we would). And, some nights, we just don’t have the time — or the budget — to pull out all the stops and make an extravagant three-course feast. In fact, most nights, we have just enough time to make a quick pit-stop at the grocery store and put dinner on the table. That’s where these quick-and-easy recipes come into play.

For those looking for creative dinner ideas that won’t break the bank, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for here. From four-ingredient recipes, like cacio e pepe, to veggie-heavy dishes that’ll give the impression that you bought out the whole damn grocery store, here are 12 budget-friendly recipes that’ll cost you $10 or less.

Cacio e pepe

Image: Leite’s Culinaria.

Cacio e pepe, a simple, but flavorful Italian pasta dish, requires just four ingredients: spaghetti, pepper, salt, and Parmesan or Pecorino.

Get the recipe at Leite’s Culinaria.

One-pot chicken & rice

Image: Iowa Girl Eats.

This easy recipe — that’ll feed the family for days — calls for chicken breasts, chicken stock, jasmine rice, and a handful of herbs and veggies, including garlic, carrots, parsley, and onion.

Get the recipe at Iowa Girl Eats.

Crockpot chicken & dumplings

Image: Buns in My Oven.

In addition to the usual chicken-and-dumplings suspects such as chicken breasts, chicken broth, onion, and garlic, what really sets this set-it-and-forget-it recipe apart is its use of refrigerated biscuit dough.

Get the recipe at Buns in My Oven.

Buffalo turkey burger sliders

Image: The Mom 100.

Grab a pound of ground turkey, some Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, a pack of slider rolls, and in 30 minutes, you’ll have eight buffalo turkey burger sliders ready for the eating.

Get the recipe at The Mom 100.

Southwest quinoa bake

Image: The Real Food Dietitians.

If you’re well-stocked in the seasonings department, you’ll have no trouble keeping this southwest quinoa bake under $10. Simply pick up chicken breast (we suggest substituting with ground turkey!), quinoa, black beans, frozen corn, diced green chiles, salsa, fresh cilantro, and a bag of shredded cheese.

Get the recipe at The Real Food Dietitians.

Creamy garlic penne pasta

Image: Lil’ Luna.

Our weeknight go-to? Pasta. You can never go wrong with a creamy, buttery pasta dish. And this garlic penne dish is no exception. All you need is penne pasta, butter, garlic, flour, chicken broth, milk, dried parsley, and grated parmesan cheese.

Get the recipe at Lil’ Luna.

Healthy baked salmon

Image: Creme de la Crumb.

On nights when you don’t have a lot of time to prep, but you crave a healthy meal, go for salmon. In order to remain under $10, buy one or two salmon filets (versus the four this recipe calls for) — and don’t forget the lemon and Italian herb seasoning.

Get the recipe at Creme de la Crumb.

Chicken fajitas

Image: Downshiftology.

Chicken fajitas is the one-pan dinner your family needs tonight. All you need is chicken, bell pepper, onion, lime juice, spices, and — of course — tortillas.

Get the recipe at Downshiftology.

Crockpot BBQ chicken

Image: Sugar Spun Run.

Place chicken in crockpot. Pour BBQ sauce over it. Add spices. Cook, shred, and dollop onto buns.

Really, it’s as simple — and inexpensive — as that.

Get the recipe at Sugar Spun Run.

Beef & broccoli

Image: Just a Taste.

As long as you’re not starting from scratch in the pantry (i.e., you have cornstarch, brown sugar, and vegetable oil), then you’ll meet the $10 requirement pretty easily. All you’ll need to pick up are soy sauce, garlic, flank steak, ginger, broccoli florets, and white onions. Oh, and don’t forget the white (or brown) rice if you don’t already have some stashed away!

Get the recipe at Just a Taste.

Chickpea masala

Image: Budget Bytes.

What’s great about this recipe is it heavily relies on a variety of spices such as cumin, turmeric, smoked paprika, and cayenne; so, if you already have these on-hand, you’re in great shape. All that’s left to purchase is garam masala, cauliflower florets, chickpeas, ginger, garlic, onion, tomato sauce, and heavy cream.

Get the recipe at Budget Bytes.

Sesame peanut butter noodles

Image: The Wholesome Dish.

Have peanut butter, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar? Great, now pair all of that with garlic, ginger, green onions, sesame seeds, and Asian noodles — and you have yourself sesame peanut butter noodles.

Get the recipe at the Wholesome Dish.

Before you go, check out more dinner ideas from Ina Garten.

Dinner Recipes on a Budget

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