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    Frugal Dinner Ideas: 30 Healthy Recipes Fitnessnacks

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    Blue pot with text: 30 frugal dinner recipes less than $1 per serving

    These 30 frugal dinner ideas each cost less than $1 per serving. Add a few of these healthy dinner recipes to your next meal plan to help stick to your monthly food budget.

    Blue pot with text: 30 frugal dinner recipes less than $1 per serving

    Many people struggle to provide their families with good food on a tight budget. I often hear from people who are looking for frugal, healthy dinner recipes to help keep their food spending in check. As a busy work-at-home mom, I get it.

    Fortunately, homemade food is usually less expensive than its store-bought counterpart. If you make the commitment to cook most of your food from scratch, you’ll be able to zero in on a grocery budget that works for your family.

    I’ve gathered a collection of frugal dinner ideas that each cost less than $1 per serving. By plugging one or two of these healthy recipes into your plan of weeknight dinners, you’ll bring down your monthly food budget and add some variety to your dinner menu. A little meal prep goes a long way, and it helps to have lots of easy dinner ideas ready to go each week.

    Visit my post for detailed guidance about how to meal plan. Planning ahead is the key to enjoying frugal, healthy meals.

    30 Frugal Dinner Ideas

    These healthy dinner recipes include something for everyone. From hearty soups and salads to casseroles and Instant Pot recipes, this list will add lots of variety to your frugal dinner menu.

    Vegetarian Cassoulet

    This Vegetarian Cassoulet is such a hearty meatless skillet dinner recipe! Beans, leeks, carrots, and celery make the base of this delicious meal.

    $.88 per serving

    Click here for the recipe

    This vegan cassoulet is such a cozy meal!

    Healthy Crockpot Chili

    This healthy Crockpot chili is such an easy vegan dinner recipe for a busy night. It’s full of beans and veggies, and it’s finished with lemon juice, chili powder, and cumin for a delicious combination of flavors. ($.69 per serving) 

    Click here for the recipe

    Healthy vegan slow cooker chili

    Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup

    This Instant Pot butternut squash soup is a quick, easy recipe for fall. This is so much easier than roasting butternut squash in a sheet pan since the Instant Pot does all the work for you.

    $.89 per one-cup serving

    Click here for the recipe

    This Instant Pot butternut squash soup is a quick, easy recipe for fall. It’ll make the perfect healthy addition to your holiday table.

    Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole

    This vegetarian enchilada casserole is an easy, flavorful recipe for a busy night. It’s a delicious combination of beans, bell peppers, onion, enchilada sauce, cheese, and tortillas baked in the oven. Great alternative to tacos!

    $.99 per serving

    Click here for the recipe

    This vegetarian enchilada casserole is such an easy dinner recipe!

    Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

    This Instant Pot mac and cheese is loaded with so much flavor! It tastes like classic macaroni and cheese, but it’s much easier to make. ($.57 per one-cup serving)

    Click here for the recipe

    Kids and adults love this loaded Instant Pot mac and cheese!

    Instant Pot Vegetable Soup

    This Instant Pot Vegetable Soup is an easy, healthy recipe full of carrots, celery, onions, broccoli, cabbage, garlic, and tomatoes. It’s perfect for a light lunch or dinner. ($.86 per serving)

    Click here for the recipe

    Instant Pot vegetable soup in a bowl

    Peanut Ramen Noodle Salad

    This peanut ramen noodle salad is a healthy, delicious recipe full of veggies for lunch or dinner. It’s simple to make this flavorful dish.

    $.92 per serving

    Click here for the recipe

    Peanut ramen noodle salad in a bowl

    Peach Mango Burrito Bowls

    These peach mango burrito bowls are a delicious light dinner featuring mango and peaches along with beans, rice, chicken thighs, and a lime juice dressing. ($.85 per serving)

    Click here for the recipe

    These peach mango burrito bowls are so delicious for a light summer dinner. Sweet and savory flavors come together in this healthy recipe.

    Instant Pot Pinto Beans and Rice

    This Instant Pot pinto beans and rice recipe is such an easy one to make for a quick meal. Top with avocados, fresh herbs, sour cream, and an extra sprinkle of cumin and chili powder for a delicious meal. ($.80 per serving)

    Click here for the recipe

    Crock Pot Taco Soup

    This Crock Pot Taco Soup is a quick, easy recipe with just 7 ingredients, including ground beef, vegetables, broth and beans. ($.98 per serving)

    Click here for the recipe

    Pizza Soup Recipe

    This pizza soup is such a fun, easy dinner recipe. It’s made with tomato sauce, mushrooms, onion, garlic, broth, mozzarella, parmesan cheese, and a delicious combination of seasonings including basil and oregano. ($.96 per serving)

    Click here for the recipe

    Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad

    This cranberry walnut chicken salad is a delicious light meal made with chicken breast, celery, walnuts, dried cranberries, and a light dressing.

    $.81 per serving

    Click here for the recipe

    Cape Cod chicken salad on a bed of lettuce

    Curry Chicken Salad Recipe

    This curry chicken salad recipe is a healthy combination of savory and sweet flavors. It’s made with chicken, veggies, walnuts, raisins, and a creamy curry dressing.

    $.92 per serving

    Click here for the recipe

    Chicken Salad with Grapes and Almonds

    Chicken salad with grapes and almonds is a classic potluck recipe that’s the perfect combination of savory and sweet. It’s a protein-rich dish that everyone loves. ($.80 per serving)

    Click here for the recipe

    Homemade Vegetarian Chili

    This homemade vegetarian chili recipe is a healthy dinner full of vegetables, beans, and classic chili seasonings.

    $.93 per serving

    Click here for the recipe

    Homemade Chicken Soup

    This homemade chicken soup is perfect for a cold day. It’s a simple combination of chicken, carrots, onions, celery, quinoa/rice blend, and broth. Classic comfort food!

    $.78 per serving

    Click here for the recipe

    American Chop Suey Recipe

    This American Chop Suey recipe is a delicious, healthy alternative to Hamburger Helper. It features whole grain pasta along with ground beef and a flavorful tomato sauce. ($.97 per serving)

    Click here for the recipe

    Vegan Butternut Squash Chili

    This vegan butternut squash chili is one of the best cozy dinner recipes for fall and winter. It features squash, beans, tomatoes, onions, and a flavorful chili sauce. ($.58 per serving)

    Click here for the recipe

    Baked Pasta Casserole

    This baked pasta casserole is a delicious, flavorful, frugal dinner recipe. It comes together with just five ingredients – pasta, egg, ricotta, marinara sauce, and cheese. ($.74 per serving)

    Click here for the recipe

    Rice Noodles with Peanut Sauce

    These rice noodles with peanut sauce are perfect for a light vegan meal. This whole grain recipe features brown rice noodles, veggies, and a delicious peanut sauce.

    $.96 per serving

    Click here for the recipe

    Macaroni and Cheese Muffins

    These single-portion macaroni and cheese muffins are a great healthy dinner for evenings on the go. They’re simple to make with an easy cheese sauce and a few green veggies. ($.23 per muffin)

    Click here for the recipe

    Cauliflower Chickpea Curry

    This cauliflower chickpea curry is such a delicious, healthy recipe for lunch or dinner. It features cauliflower, chickpeas, red pepper, and curry tomato sauce.

    $.86 per serving

    Click here for the recipe

    Cauliflower curry in a bowl

    Smoky Red Lentil Stew

    This smoky red lentil stew is delicious vegan comfort food. It’s a simple combination of carrots, celery, onions, lentils, and a flavorful broth.

    $.62 per serving

    Click here for the recipe

    Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese

    This pumpkin macaroni and cheese is a healthy, kid-friendly meal that will add extra vegetables to your dinner table or lunch box.

    $.68 per serving

    Click here for the recipe

    Pumpkin mac and cheese is a delicious, healthy fall dinner.

    Broccoli Fried Rice

    This broccoli fried rice comes together quickly for a delicious alternative to takeout. It’s made with non-dairy butter, eggs, vegetables, leftover rice, soy sauce, and sesame oil.

    $.91 per serving

    Click here for the recipe

    Broccoli fried rice in a bowl

    Mediterranean Rice

    This Mediterranean rice is a delicious lemon rice side dish that goes well with so many things. Make this recipe using jasmine rice in the Instant Pot or on the stove. ($.72 per serving) 

    Click here for the recipe

    This Mediterranean rice recipe is a delicious lemon rice side dish.

    Air Fryer Twice Baked Potatoes

    These air fryer twice baked potatoes are the best crowd-pleasing side dish! They’re so easy to make, and the flavor is delicious.

    $.65 per serving

    Click here for the recipe

    Air fryer twice baked potatoes

    Lentil Sweet Potato Casserole

    This lentil sweet potato casserole is such a flavorful vegan dinner! It’s full of tender sweet potatoes, red peppers, green beans, ginger, garlic, and lentils, which are a great plant-based protein.

    $.75 per serving

    Click here for the recipe

    Black Bean Soup

    This black bean soup is a delicious vegan recipe full of flavor. Red onions, sun-dried tomatoes, and diced green chilis come together with beans, broth, and seasonings in this simple, tasty meal.

    $.40 per serving

    Click here for the recipe

    Corn Chowder

    This corn chowder is a delicious summertime meal featuring fresh corn, bacon, onions, carrots, and potatoes.

    $.69 per serving

    Click here for the recipe

    Healthy Dinner Ideas: Cost Analysis

    Your cost may vary based on the ingredient prices in your area. Check out my price chart to see typical prices in my area of Massachusetts. I use these amounts to calculate the cost per serving in each of these frugal dinner ideas.

    Pin it here:

    30 healthy dinner recipes, each less than $1 per serving. It pays to make your dinner from scratch! Great resource for frugal meal planning.

    Check out this post for more frugal recipes to add to your meal plan.



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