These healthy budget dinners don't compromise nutrition or flavor. The roundup includes gluten free, paleo and low carb options!
Do you ever feel like you have to choose to either eat healthily or keep your grocery budget reasonable?
With rising food costs, it can definitely seem that way.
With a bit of strategic meal planning though, you can find budget-friendly dinners that actually support your nutritional goals as well. The below 20 recipes are gluten free and full of vitamins and nutrients. Many are paleo as well!
You can find more of my tips on saving money at the grocery store here!
How was the cost for these budget dinner recipes calculated?
Each recipe below includes the approximate cost. Here are the details on what the costs include:
- The below costs depict prices from a Kroger in Texas, calculated using Instacart.
- The cost includes all items other than salt, pepper and olive oil so your costs will likely be lower. You probably have garlic powder, oregano, etc. but they are included just in case.
- Grocery prices include the price for an entire package (e.g., a whole package of butter, a whole jar of cumin), not just the price for the amounts you'll actually use.
- Most of our Prep Dish recipes provide 4 servings but you will sometimes have leftovers, making your grocery money stretch further.
- Most of the recipes below include the whole meal but a couple, like the frittata, necessitate a side. Roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes, a simple salad, or crusty bread make budget friendly side dishes for these meals.
20 Budget Dinner Recipes
$8-$15 Healthy Dinner Recipes
This vegetarian soup recipe is both gluten free and paleo. The hint of chili powder adds a nice depth of flavor. Serve with crusty bread or a simple salad!
It's easy to overlook eggs when you're thinking of dinner recipes but I urge you to think outside the box on this one. Eggs are perfect for healthy budget dinners. They're an incredibly budget-friendly protein that's just as good for dinner as for breakfast! My Asparagus, Bacon & Feta frittata makes a good dinner too.
Beans are another excellent choice for budget-friendly protein. They're filling, inexpensive and can be quite tasty when cooked with plenty of spices like in this chili!
If you're looking for a low carb budget-friendly dinner option, you can't go wrong with this parsley chicken. My simple parsley marinade gives so much flavor!
Requiring only freezer and pantry ingredients, this is a good one to keep in your back pocket for those nights when the fridge is bare and you're thinking of resorting to takeout.
Similar to soups, casseroles tend to be budget-friendly dinner options. My baked polenta casserole has similar flavors to lasagna but with polenta in place of the noodles.
Chicken thighs are often less expensive than chicken breast and they also tend to have more flavor. Root vegetables round out this low cost sheet pan meal.
$15-$20 Budget Dinner Recipes
Beans star again here but the flavor comes from smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin and garlic powder. Much of the cost of this recipe comes from the spices so if you have a well-stocked spice cabinet, this one will cost even less.
My slow cooker chicken verde makes quite a lot. This is good news because the leftover chicken is great atop a salad or in a wrap for lunch!
This pork is versatile so serve it with whatever veggies you have on hand. This would also be quite satisfying over a baked potato, which is of course a budget-friendly choice.
A perennial Prep Dish favorite, my chicken vegetable soup has simple ingredients but is elevated by fresh parsley and lemon. Just one or two special ingredients can go far in making healthy budget dinners flavorful.
You can make this shepherd's pie with either ground beef or ground lamb. The cost listed above is for the version with beef. Any time you're looking to cut your grocery bill, be flexible with the proteins for your recipes. Many recipes are flexible so use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts or ground beef instead of lamb if the prices are better.
$20-$25 Healthy Budget Dinners
The spices account for much of the cost in this one so it may cost considerably less for you. Its subtle sweetness makes this Moroccan chicken a hit with the kiddos!
With just 7 ingredients, this simple paleo dinner is easy, budget-friendly, approachable and delicious.
One of our most popular recipes, my turkey taco soup has all of the irresistible flavor of tacos, but in a healthy soup.
The yogurt mint sauce that accompanies this chicken is so good! You'll want to dip veggies on it, spread it on a wrap and pretty much eat with everything.
Cashew cream comes into play again here, although there's also an option to sub Greek yogurt if you eat dairy. While it has all of the classic flavor associated with lasagna, my version is lighter and far more nutritious.
Need more healthy budget dinners? Check out 5 Healthy Dinners in 1 Hour for Under $100!