Save on Pinterest

50 Cheap, Healthy Meals You’ll Want to Make All the Time

Yes, you can eat well on a budget without sacrificing flavor. Try out these cheap, healthy meals that are tasty, too.

1 / 50

Cool Beans Salad

This protein-filled dish is one of our favorite cheap, healthy dinner ideas. When you make it, double the recipe because it will be gone in a flash! The basmati rice add a unique flavor and the dressing gives it a bit of a tang. —Janelle Lee, Appleton, Wisconsin

Get Recipe

2 / 50
Modern Tuna CasseroleTaste of Home

Modern Tuna Casserole

I loved tuna casserole as a kid and found myself craving it as an adult. However, the massive amounts of fat and salt in the traditional recipe were a turnoff healthwise, and it just didn't taste as good as I remembered. I reconfigured the recipe to include more vegetables and the result was delicious. —Rebecca Blanton, St. Helena, California

Want more? Get your guide to healthy eating on a budget.

3 / 50
Apples 'n' Onion Topped ChopsTaste of Home

Apples 'n' Onion Topped Chops

Now that my husband and I are trying to lose weight, I find it a challenge to come up with cheap, healthy dinner ideas that are flavorful, quick and appealing to us and our young daughter. This one fits the bill on all counts. —Beverly McLain, Endicott, New York

4 / 50
Vegetarian Enchilada BakeTaste of Home

Vegetarian Enchilada Bake

I’ve had this vegetarian enchilada bake recipe for years. You’ll enjoy the delicious Tex-Mex flavors so much that you won't even miss the meat. —Barbara Stelluto, Devon, Pennsylvania

5 / 50
Red Pepper & Parmesan TilapiaTaste of Home

Red Pepper & Parmesan Tilapia

My husband and I are always looking for light fish recipes because of the health benefits. This Parmesan tilapia is a hit with him, and we've tried it for dinner parties, too. It's a staple! —Michelle Martin, Durham, North Carolina

Pro tip: Here’s the easiest way to portion your meals.

6 / 50
Beefy Cabbage Bean StewTaste of Home

Beefy Cabbage Bean Stew

While on one of our small group quilting retreats, one of my friends made this wonderful recipe packed with cheap, healthy foods. We all loved it and have since passed it around for others to enjoy—now I’m passing it on to you. —Melissa Glancy, La Grange, Kentucky

7 / 50
Spinach 'n' Broccoli EnchiladasTaste of Home

Spinach 'n' Broccoli Enchiladas

I like to top this wonderful meatless meal with lettuce and serve it with extra picante sauce. It's quick, easy, filled with fresh flavor and definitely satisfying! —Lesley Tragesser, Charleston, Missouri

Psst…Find ways to save money on groceries.

8 / 50
Grilled Basil Chicken and TomatoesTaste of Home

Grilled Basil Chicken and Tomatoes

Relax after work with a cold drink while this savory chicken marinates in an herby tomato blend for an hour, then toss it on the grill. It tastes just like summer. —Laura Lunardi, West Chester, Pennsylvania

9 / 50
Contest-Winning Greek Pasta BakeTaste of Home

Contest-Winning Greek Pasta Bake

I’ve taken this hot dish to potlucks and it’s received rave reviews. There’s never a morsel left. Best of all, it’s a simple, healthy and hearty supper made with cheap, healthy foods that are easy to find. —Anne Taglienti, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

10 / 50
Cobb Salad WrapsTaste of Home

Cobb Salad Wraps

A homemade dressing lightens up these refreshing tortilla wraps. The avocado, bacon, blue cheese and tomato deliver the flavors I enjoy most while keeping me on my healthy eating plan. -Lynne Van Wagenen of Salt Lake City, Utah

11 / 50
Chicken JambalayaTaste of Home

Chicken Jambalaya

This is a great easy chicken jambalaya recipe. It's great to serve at parties and it reheats well after! —Lynn Desjardins, Atkinson, New Hampshire

12 / 50
Tex-Mex Pork ChopsTaste of Home

Tex-Mex Pork Chops

These easy Tex-Mex pork chops won a contest for me. Salsa, cumin and green chiles give them the kick they need to earn their name. —Jo Ann Dalrymple, Claremore, Oklahoma

13 / 50
Penne with Veggies and Black BeansTaste of Home

Penne with Veggies and Black Beans

Chock-full of zucchini, tomatoes, sweet pepper and carrots, this hearty pasta dish puts your garden harvest to good use. For variety, I sometimes add one-half cup of salsa or one-half cup of thickened teriyaki sauce. —Vickie Spoerle, Indianapolis, Indiana

14 / 50
Seasoned Tilapia FilletsTaste of Home

Seasoned Tilapia Fillets

If you need a healthy, keep-it-simple solution to dinner tonight, you just found it. This restaurant-quality tilapia fillet recipe relies on spices you're likely to have on hand to deliver big flavor. This is how to make tilapia. —Dana Alexander, Lebanon, Missouri

15 / 50
Lentil-Tomato SoupTaste of Home

Lentil-Tomato Soup

Double the recipe and share this hearty soup with neighbors and loved ones on cold winter nights. I serve it with cornbread for dunking. —Michelle Curtis, Baker City, Oregon

16 / 50
Italian Beef and ShellsTaste of Home

Italian Beef and Shells

A veggie and pasta combo makes a hearty entree that comes together easily. Wine lends an extra touch of flavor to the sauce and makes this main dish a winner. —Mike Tchou, Pepper Pike, Ohio

17 / 50
Veggie-Cashew Stir-FryTaste of Home

Veggie-Cashew Stir-Fry

Getting my meat-loving husband and two sons, ages 5 and 7, to eat more veggies has always been a struggle until I whipped up this stir-fry one night. I was shocked when they cleaned their plates and asked for seconds. —Abbey Hoffman, Ashland, Ohio

18 / 50
Cheese Tortellini with Tomatoes and CornTaste of Home

Cheese Tortellini with Tomatoes and Corn

Fresh corn and basil make this dish taste like summer. I think it's a good one for bringing to picnics or gatherings, but it's great along with any side dish for a weeknight dinner! —Sally Maloney, Dallas, Georgia

19 / 50
Vegetable and Barley PilafTaste of Home

Vegetable and Barley Pilaf

Hearty, colorful, easy and fast were the reviews we gave this good-for-you dish. Barley has a healthy amount of soluble fiber, which aids digestion. And it can help to lower cholesterol, too! You can easily substitute other fresh veggies you have on hand. —Jesse Klausmeier, Burbank, California

20 / 50
Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken with PotatoesTaste of Home

Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken with Potatoes

This is a meal I have my students make in our nutrition unit. It has a delicious lemon-herb flavor and is simple to make. —Mindy Rottmund, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

21 / 50
Tuscan Portobello StewTaste of Home

Tuscan Portobello Stew

This is a heart-healthy, one-skillet meal that is quick and easy to prepare, yet elegant enough for company. Vegetarian teachers and students alike appreciate this stew at school potlucks. —Jane Siemon, Viroqua, Wisconsin

22 / 50
Tomato-Melon Chicken SaladTaste of Home

Tomato-Melon Chicken Salad

Nothing says summer like picking watermelon, tomatoes and raspberries, then tossing them together in a salad. The addition of grilled chicken makes it a satisfying yet still summery meal. —Betsy Hite, Wilton, California

23 / 50
Spicy Tomato Pork ChopsTaste of Home

Spicy Tomato Pork Chops

Simmered in tomato sauce, these pork chops are big at our house. I add garlic powder and Creole or Cajun seasoning before browning the chops to give them extra punch. —Holly Neuharth, Mesa, Arizona

24 / 50
Hummus & Veggie Wrap-UpTaste of Home

Hummus & Veggie Wrap-Up

I had a sandwich similar to this once when I stopped at a diner while on a long and arduous walk. I enjoyed it so much that I modified it to my own taste and now have it for lunch on a regular basis. Everyone at work wants to know how to make it.—Michael Steffens, Indianapolis, Indiana

25 / 50
Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed DressingTaste of Home

Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

My family is always happy to see this fruit and veggie salad on the table. If strawberries aren’t available, substitute mandarin oranges and dried cranberries. —Irene Keller, Kalamazoo, Michigan

26 / 50
Meatless Chili MacTaste of Home

Meatless Chili Mac

I came across this recipe in a newspaper years ago and it’s been a hit at our house ever since. It’s fast and flavorful, and it appeals to all ages. — Cindy Ragan, North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania

27 / 50
Cashew Turkey Salad SandwichesTaste of Home

Cashew Turkey Salad Sandwiches

One bite and you'll be hooked on this slightly sweet turkey salad sandwich. It's protein-packed so you can feel good while you munch! —Mary Wilhelm, Sparta, Wisconsin

28 / 50
Satisfying Beef StewTaste of Home

Satisfying Beef Stew

This beef stew is so hearty and tastes even better the next day—if there are leftovers! It goes great with corn bread or any crusty loaf. —Abbey Mueller, Enid, Oklahoma

29 / 50
Roasted Butternut LinguineTaste of Home

Roasted Butternut Linguine

Squash is one of our favorite vegetables, and this is my husband's favorite fall dish. He looks forward to it all year. —Kim Caputo, Cannon Falls, Minnesota

30 / 50
Roast Pork with Apples & OnionsTaste of Home

Roast Pork with Apples & Onions

The sweetness of the apples and onions nicely complements the roast pork. With its crisp skin and melt-in-your-mouth flavor, this is my family's favorite weekend dinner. —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia

31 / 50
Mandarin Pork Stir-FryTaste of Home

Mandarin Pork Stir-Fry

When my husband and I were dating, he told me he liked Asian food. I got a wok and discovered the joy of dishes like this pork stir-fry. —Laurie Martignon, Niagara, Wisconsin

32 / 50
Black Bean 'n' Pumpkin ChiliTaste of Home

Black Bean 'n' Pumpkin Chili

My family is crazy about this slow cooker chili because it uses ingredients you don't usually find in chili. Believe it or not, I discovered that pumpkin is what makes the dish so special. Cook up a big batch and freeze some for later; it tastes even better reheated. —Deborah Vliet, Holland, Michigan

33 / 50
Egg Roll Noodle BowlTaste of Home

Egg Roll Noodle Bowl

We love Asian egg rolls, but they can be challenging to make. Simplify everything with this deconstructed egg roll made on the stovetop and served in a bowl. —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas

34 / 50
Slow-Cooked Caribbean Pot RoastTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Caribbean Pot Roast

This dish is definitely a year-round recipe. Sweet potatoes, orange zest and baking cocoa are my surprise ingredients. —Jenn Tidwell, Fair Oaks, California

35 / 50
Asian Pork MedallionsTaste of Home

Asian Pork Medallions

When I became serious about losing weight and getting healthy, my kids missed the Chinese delivery that I used to order so frequently. I combined a few recipes to come up with this tasty winner. —Dianne James, Edmond, Oklahoma

Serve with one of these 8 healthy alternatives to plain white rice.

36 / 50
Italian Sausage-Stuffed ZucchiniTaste of Home

Italian Sausage-Stuffed Zucchini

I've always had to be creative when getting my family to eat vegetables, so I decided to make stuffed zucchini using the pizza flavors that everyone loves. It worked! We like to include sausage for a main dish but it could be a meatless side dish, too. —Donna Marie Ryan, Topsfield, Massachusetts

37 / 50
Golden Summer Peach GazpachoTaste of Home

Golden Summer Peach Gazpacho

Since peaches and tomatoes are in season together, I like to blend them into a cool, delicious soup. Leftovers keep well in the fridge—but there's rarely anything left to make it there. —Julie Hession, Las Vegas, Nevada

38 / 50
Chicken Florentine MeatballsTaste of Home

Chicken Florentine Meatballs

Served over squash and a chunky, mushroom-tomato sauce, these tender meatballs are tops when it comes to great flavor. —Diane Nemitz, Ludington, Michigan

39 / 50
Rustic Italian Tortellini SoupTaste of Home

Rustic Italian Tortellini Soup

This is my favorite tortellini soup recipe. It's one of those types of soup that are quick to fix on a busy night and full of healthy, tasty ingredients. It originally called for spicy sausage links, but I've found that turkey sausage, or even ground turkey breast, is just as good. —Tracy Fasnacht, Irwin, Pennsylvania

40 / 50
Asparagus Ham DinnerTaste of Home

Asparagus Ham Dinner

I've been making this low-fat ham dinner for my family for years, and we always look forward to it. With asparagus, tomato, pasta and chunks of ham, it's a tempting blend of tastes and textures. —Rhonda Zavodny, David City, Nebraska

41 / 50
Chicken Thighs with Shallots & SpinachTaste of Home

Chicken Thighs with Shallots & Spinach

This moist and tender chicken comes complete with its own creamy spinach side dish! It makes a pretty presentation and comes together in no time flat for a nutritious weeknight meal. —Genna Johannes, Wrightstown, Wisconsin

42 / 50
Buttery Grilled ShrimpTaste of Home

Buttery Grilled Shrimp

This is easy and delicious! These shrimp are great with steak, but for a special occasion, brush the sauce on lobster tails and grill. —Sheryl Shenberger, Albuquerque, New Mexico

43 / 50
Cinnamon-Apple Pork ChopsTaste of Home

Cinnamon-Apple Pork Chops

When I found these pork chops and apples recipe online years ago, it quickly became a favorite. The ingredients are easy to keep on hand, and the one-pan cleanup is a bonus. —Christina Price, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

44 / 50
Slow-Cooked Lemon ChickenTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Lemon Chicken

Garlic, oregano and lemon juice give spark to this memorable main dish. It's easy to fix—just brown the chicken in a skillet, then let the slow cooker do the work. I like to serve this dish to company. —Walter Powell, Wilmington, Delaware

45 / 50
Spicy Lemon Chicken KabobsTaste of Home

Spicy Lemon Chicken Kabobs

When I see Meyer lemons in the store, it must be spring. I like using them for these easy chicken kabobs, but regular grilled lemons still add the signature smoky tang. —Terri Crandall, Gardnerville, Nevada

46 / 50
Spinach QuesadillasTaste of Home

Spinach Quesadillas

My family gave these cheesy quesadillas oohs and aahs. Remove the spinach from the heat as soon as it wilts so it keeps a little bit of crunch. —Pam Kaiser, Mansfield, Missouri

47 / 50
Tortellini Caesar SaladTaste of Home

Tortellini Caesar Salad

This salad was served at a dear friend's baby shower by a health-conscious friend, who suggested the dressing be prepared with low-fat or fat-free ingredients. Either way, the creamy dressing has plenty of garlic flavor and coats the pasta, romaine and croutons nicely. —Tammy Steenbock, Sembach Air Base, Germany

48 / 50
Herbed Lemon Pork ChopsTaste of Home

Herbed Lemon Pork Chops

Expect to get plenty of compliments on these fast, flavor-packed chops. They're tender and juicy. —Billi Jo Sylvester, New Smyrna Beach, Florida

49 / 50
Zucchini & Sausage Stovetop CasseroleTaste of Home

Zucchini & Sausage Stovetop Casserole

Gather zucchini from your garden or farm stand and start cooking. My family goes wild for this wholesome casserole. We like our zucchini grated, not sliced. —LeAnn Gray, Taylorsville, Utah

50 / 50
Parmesan Chicken with Artichoke HeartsTaste of Home

Parmesan Chicken with Artichoke Hearts

I've liked the chicken and artichoke combo for a long time. Here's my own lemony twist. With all the praise it gets, this dinner is so much fun to serve. —Carly Giles, Hoquiam, Washington

Jennifer Shaffer
Jennifer has always had a passion for home design, the arts and travel. She is a graduate from Eastern Florida State College. Her motto: "If you never step forward, you'll always be in the same place."