These 109 cheap easy meal ideas are simple, perfect for busy nights, and budget-friendly.
Like everyone else these days, I’m finding it hard to buy my normal things at the grocery store with the inflation of food! For me, I’ve had to start to get creative and reinvent what we are eating for our weeknight meals.
I know I’m not the only one who is struggling with grocery store inflation, so I wanted to create a list of easy meals that are affordable. Depending on where you’re at with your weekly grocery budget, there should be some ideas here for everyone.
I tried my best to make this list easy to follow, and something you can come back to for new ideas. I hope you’ll bookmark this page for inspiration and share it with your friends who are also struggling with inflation costs!
109 Cheap Meal Ideas
Here are 109 easy ideas that you can make for dinner.
1. TERIYAKI GROUND TURKEY WITH RICE: Cook chopped onion in a frying pan. Add in the ground turkey and cook until it turns brown. Add shredded carrot, frozen broccoli and frozen peas. Pour teriyaki sauce over everything and cook until warmed through. Serve over rice. See the full teriyaki ground turkey with rice recipe here.
2. MAC AND CHEESE WITH ADDITIONS: The value boxes of mac and cheese at Walmart are only 43 cents a box. Add a couple of slices of cheese or Velveeta. Add in chopped ham or chopped hot dog weiners. You can also add canned tuna and frozen peas, canned chicken, Spam, ground beef, and diced tomatoes. Cook the macaroni according to instructions. Drain it then add the other ingredients and mix to melt the cheese.
3. MAC AND CHEESE CASSEROLE: Cook 1 lb of ground beef (ground pork, ground turkey or ground chicken) with chopped onion in a skillet until browned. Make 2 boxes of mac and cheese. In a bowl, mix together the cooked ground beef, cooked mac and cheese, and 1 can of drained diced tomatoes. Pour it all into a casserole dish and bake at 350°F for 30-45 minutes.
4. CHEESY HASH BROWNS: Mix 1 bag of thawed frozen hashbrowns, 16 oz sour cream, 1 cup chopped onion, 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1 cup shredded cheese, 1/4 cup melted butter, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Pour into a casserole dish and sprinkle breadcrumbs, panko crumbs or crushed corn flakes cereal on top. Bake at 375°F for about 60 minutes, until bubbling and golden.
5. CROCKPOT CRACK CHICKEN: Add 2 lbs of chicken thighs to a slow cooker. Sprinkle 1 packet of ranch dressing on top. Place 16 oz of cream cheese on top of the chicken. Cook on low for 6-7 hrs. Shred the chicken with two forks. Stir in a container of sour cream (16 oz), and 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese. Cover and cook 10 minutes to let cheese melt. Serve with rice, a baked potato, or on pasta.
6. BURRITO CASSEROLE: Cook 1 lb of ground beef with 1 small chopped onion and 3 minced garlic cloves in a frying pan until beef is browned. Drain the grease. Add in 1/2 tsp cumin and 1 can of chili beans. Stir in 1 cup salsa and 1/3 cup parmesan cheese. Spoon the mixture into 8 flour tortilla wraps. Roll them up and place in a greased casserole dish. Sprinkle the tops with cheddar cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Remove the foil then bake 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
7. TATER TOT CASSEROLE: Brown 2 lbs of ground beef with chopped yellow onion. Mix in a bowl with 2 bags of frozen tater tots, 2 cans of mushroom soup, and 1 cup of frozen corn. Pour into a casserole dish and Bake at 350°F for 30-45 minutes.
8. PANCAKES: Pancakes for dinner is always a hit! Use a boxed pancake mix (or make it from scratch). Add peanut butter, sliced apples, oranges or bananas.
9. BLENDER BANANA OATMEAL PANCAKES: These are healthier take on traditional pancakes, but with no refined flour and no sugar. Ripe bananas are used to sweeten. Mix 2 cups of rolled oats, 3 ripe bananas, 1 cup milk, 2 eggs, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla extract in a blender. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into a heated large frying pan to create one pancake. Repeat until all pancakes are cooked. See the full blender banana oatmeal pancakes recipe here.
10. SAUSAGE VEGGIES & RICE: Slice some smoked sausage and cook with chopped onion in a frying pan. Add a bag of frozen vegetables and heat them through. Cook one 10 oz package of yellow rice according to package instructions. Serve rice with cooked sausage and vegetables.
11. GRILLED CHEESE AND TOMATO SOUP: Make grilled cheese sandwiches using bread, sliced cheese and butter. Cook canned tomato soup according to package instructions. Serve together.
12. HAMBURGERS: Do not buy premade burgers as those are too expensive. You can make your own using any ground meat. You can even mix ground beef and ground pork together to stretch it out (ground pork is cheaper). Or you can add chopped veggies or beans to the ground beef like our mushroom beef burger, or add lentils to stretch out the hamburger meat. Skip the meat all together and try veggie burgers like our black bean burger recipe.
13. HOT DOGS: Hot dogs are simple and easy. Make a hot dog bar for a fun family night! Add toppings like chili, shredded cheese, pickled vegetables, tomato, lettuce, ketchup, mustard, mayo, ranch dressing, bbq sauce, or buffalo wing sauce.
14. GRAVY TUNA TOAST: Serve slices of toast topped with canned tuna and mayo. Make a packet of gravy mix and drizzle the gravy over top.
15. GROUND BEEF TACO SALAD: Cook chopped onion and ground beef in a frying pan until beef is browned. Mix the beef with taco seasoning. Add in some salsa, chopped tomatoes and a can of kidney beans. Add chopped lettuce and crushed tortilla chips to serving plates and top with the ground beef mixture. See our full ground beef taco salad here.
16. CHEESY BEEF PASTA: Cook macaroni pasta noodles according to package instructions. Add 1 lb of ground beef to a frying pan with chopped onion. Add a can of tomato soup and a can of drained diced tomatoes. Add some cubed Velveeta, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix everything together. Add pasta noodles to serving plates and top with cheesy beef. Or mix pasta with beef in the pot before serving.
17. FRENCH BREAD PIZZA: Buy a loaf of french bread and slice it in half lengthwise. Spread a can of pizza sauce on top of the bread slices. Add some chopped bell pepper, pepperoni slices, cooked sausage, or shredded chicken. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 400°F until cheese melts and is warm and bubbly. TIP: Look at the day-old bakery bread – there are usually loafs for cheaper!
18. LEFTOVER FRENCH BREAD PIZZA: Use up leftover ground beef, chopped onion, bell peppers sliced mushrooms, etc from previous meals. Slice bread in half and spread pizza sauce. Top with the leftovers and mozzarella cheese. Bake at 400°F. Use the same steps in the recipe above.
19. SAVORY ZUCCHINI PIE: This easy recipe can be put together using Bisquick or a quick homemade biscuit mix. Add zucchini, parmesan cheese, onion and spices. See our full zucchini pie recipe here.
20. BEEF & BEAN CASSEROLE: Cook 1 lb of ground beef with 1 chopped yellow onion in a frying pan until beef is browned. Mix in a can of pork n beans, 1 can of drained kidney beans, 1 cup ketchup, 1/2 tsp mustard, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1 Tbsp white vinegar. Pour into a casserole dish and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, or until bubbling and warmed through.
21. CHICKEN STUFFING CASSEROLE: Buy a cooked rotisserie chicken and shred it with two forks. Add it to a casserole dish. Pour a can of cream of chicken soup on top. Sprinkle a package of onion soup mix. Prepare one box of Stovetop stuffing according to package instructions. Sprinkle over top of the ingredients in the casserole dish. Bake covered at 375°F for 35-45 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the stove top gets a little crispy.
22. VEGGIE RAMEN: Cook 6 packs of ramen noodles according to package instructions. Drain the excess water then add in the frozen vegetables (with broccoli, water chestnuts and sugar snap peas) to the large pot. In a small bowl mix together 1 cup water, 1 cup soy sauce and 2-3 Tbsp of cornstarch. Cook in a small sauce pot until thickened. Pour over top of noodles and vegetables and toss together to serve.
23. PINEAPPLE SWEET AND SOUR FISH: Broccoli, canned pineapple, and tilapia fish fillets are mixed with a sauce from ketchup, soy sauce, honey, cornstarch and spices. Serve with cooked rice. See the full pineapple sweet and sour fish recipe here.
24. ENCHILADA BOWLS: Cook some rice according to the package instructions. Buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it, or cook 1 lb of ground beef in a frying pan. Mix together the rice, cooked chicken or beef, a jar of enchilada sauce, some drained and rinsed pinto beans, and canned corn. Add to serving bowl and top with grated cheese.
25. MACARONI SALAD: Cook macaroni noodles according to package instructions. Add them to a bowl with some chopped celery, chopped onion, chopped carrots and chopped hard-boiled eggs. Add in mayonnaise or Miracle whip and season with some salt and pepper. Mix everything together. Store cold in the fridge for an easy side dish.
26. OPEN-FACED PIZZA BURGERS: Top one side of a burger bun with pizza sauce, some veggies like bell peppers, some sliced pepperoni, and grated mozzarella cheese. Bake at 400°F for 10-12 minutes, or until the bread gets crispy and the cheese is melted and bubbling.
27. RAMEN WITH BEEF: Cook 1 lb of ground beef in a frying pan and season with the ramen noodle seasoning packets. Once cooked add in 3 packs of ramen noodles and just enough water to cover the noodles. Cook until noodles are soft. Serve as-is or add in some canned corn and canned peas.
28. WALKING TACOS: Cook 1 lb of ground beef with taco seasoning in a frying pan. Buy single serving bags of Doritos. Crush the bag of chips to make the chips smaller, then cut down the side of the bag with scissors. Scoop the cooked taco meat inside and add some shredded cheese, shredded lettuce and tomatoes. Top with your favorites like salsa, hot sauce or sour cream.
29. MEATBALLS MUSHROOM CASSEROLE: Add 2 lbs of ground beef to a large bowl along with 1 cup of minute rice, 1 egg, and 1 packet of Lipton mushroom onion soup mix. Sprinkle in some parmesan cheese. Roll this mixture into meatballs. Place the meatballs in a single layer in a casserole dish. Pour canned cream of mushroom soup (or cream of chicken, or cream of celery soup) along with 1/2 cup of milk over top. Bake 350°F for about 50-60 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through (smaller meatballs will cook faster).
30. CHICKEN BOWTIE PASTA: Cook a box of bowtie pasta (or any other pasta shape) according to package instructions. Drain and add to a bowl. Add in shredded cooked rotisserie chicken or 3 cans of drained tuna. Add some shredded cheese, some chopped bell peppers and chopped or shredded carrots. Mix with a bottle of zesty Italian dressing. Let chill for 2-3 hours before serving. This recipe is served cold.
31. SWEET POTATO TACO BOWL: Chop some sweet potatoes into small cubes. Toss them with taco seasoning and bake until crispy. Serve with cooked rice, black beans, corn and tomatoes. Drizzle our avocado lime dressing or any other dressing on top. See our full sweet potato taco bowl recipe here.
32. BEANS AND FRANKS: Add canned beans in tomato sauce, 4 chopped hot dogs, 2 Tbsp ketchup, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, and 1 tsp mustard to a pot. Bring to a boil then reduce to let simmer until wieners are warmed through, about 5-6 minutes. Serve with bread or toast.
33. HAMBURGER HELPER: Cook ground beef in a skillet until it’s browned. Drain any excess grease. Add 1 1/2 cups of hot water, 2 cups of milk, and the sauce mix and pasta from a hamburger helper box. Bring to a boil and reduce to let it simmer. Cover for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can stir in chopped bacon, shredded cheese, or chopped tomatoes at the end if you want.
34. SLOPPY JOES: Cook 1 lb of ground beef or ground turkey in a skillet until browned. Drain the excess grease. Stir in one can of sloppy joe sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to let simmer 2-3 minutes. Serve on top of fresh or toasted buns, over hot dogs, or on pasta or rice.
35. ONE POT SPAGHETTI: Cook 1 lb of ground beef and some chopped onion in a large pot until beef is browned. Drain the excess grease. Add in spaghetti sauce, spaghetti noodles, chopped mushrooms, ½ cup of water, salt and pepper to the large pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to let it simmer until the noodles are tender. Be sure to stir frequently so noodles don’t stick to the pot. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve. See our full one-pot spaghetti recipe here.
36. CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP FROM SCRATCH: Boil some chicken legs in water until they’re cooked. Keep the water and use it as chicken stock for the soup. Cook some egg noodles in the soup stock along with chopped celery, chopped onion, chopped carrots and peas. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the carrots are tender when poked with a fork. Use a fork to remove the chicken meat and add it back to the soup. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, then serve with toast or crackers.
37. TUNA HELPER: Make 4 boxes of mac and cheese, stir in 4 or 5 cans of tuna, add some frozen peas and chopped carrots (or just dump in a bag of frozen vegetables). Top with shredded cheese, salt and pepper. Heat until the cheese melts and serve.
38. MEATLOAF MUFFINS: Mix 1 lb ground beef, an egg, some milk, breadcrumbs, dried garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add to a muffin pan and create a well in each center. Add some diced onion, frozen peas, shredded cheese and ketchup. Bake until fully cooked. See our full easy meatloaf muffins recipe here.
39. SKILLET CHILI: Cook ground meat with chopped onion until browned. Drain the excess grease. Add drained canned kidney beans, diced canned tomatoes, and 1 Tbsp of chili seasoning. Bring to a boil then reduce to let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Top with shredded cheese and corn chips.
40. BEEF AND BEAN BURRITOS: Cook 2 lbs of ground beef in a skillet with chopped onion and taco seasoning until browned. Drain excess grease. Stir in pinto beans until warmed through. Add to flour tortillas and wrap them up. These can be stored frozen and reheated later. Can also be served with rice and refried beans.
41. CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS: Use a cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store or bake some chicken legs. Cook frozen store-bought dumplings according to package instructions. Serve the dumplings with shredded chicken and canned or frozen corn.
42. PORK CHOPS AND SAUERKRAUT: Cook ½ lb of bacon and chop it into pieces. Add bacon, drained sauerkraut, applesauce, broth, brown sugar, thyme, basil, oregano, mustard, salt and pepper to a large bowl. Pour into a casserole dish. Sear pork chops on both sides in a hot frying pan. Add on top of the sauerkraut and cover the dish with foil. Bake until the pork is cooked. See our full pork chops and sauerkraut recipe here.
43. CROCKPOT MEAT AND POTATOES: Look for cheap cuts of meat that are on sale at the grocery store. Slice them into bite-size pieces and add them to the crock pot with chopped potatoes. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until meat is
44. SCRAMBLED EGGS: Crack 6-8 eggs into a large bowl with 2-3 tsp milk and whisk together. Pour into a greased frying pan and bring to medium heat. Use a spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan. Repeat until all the eggs are cooked. Season with salt and pepper. Serve on toast.
45. SOUP AND SANDWICH: Buy canned soup and make your favorite sandwich. Turkey, tuna melts, BLT, grilled cheese etc. It’s cheap and gives you a break from cooking if you use a store-bought soup.
46. CREAMY CHICKEN PASTA: Buy a store-bought rotisserie chicken and shred it with a fork. Cook some egg noodles in a large pot of boiling water. Drain the noodles and add them back to the pot along with the shredded chicken. Pour enough cream of mushroom soup to create a sauce and mix together.
47. SAUSAGE AND BEANS: Cook chopped yellow onion, chopped bell pepper and sliced sausage in a frying pan. Mix in some drained canned navy beans. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top if you’d like.
48. OATMEAL FOR DINNER: Make a pot of oatmeal and serve it with your favorite toppings. You can cook instant pot steel cut oats. Or you can microwave old fashioned rolled oats. Oatmeal can be served with cinnamon, berries, banana, nuts and seeds. It can also be savory and served with a fried egg, some fried vegetables, salt and pepper, etc.
49. HAM CHEESE PASTA CASSEROLE: Cook some elbow pasta noodles. Add cooked pasta to a bowl with some chopped broccoli, chopped ham, shredded cheese, bell pepper, mayonnaise, milk, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Pour into a casserole dish, and top with croutons and shredded cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. See the full ham cheese pasta casserole recipe here.
50. CEREAL FOR DINNER: Having cereal for dinner once in a while can really help to cut back on the grocery bill.
51. BEEF BISCUIT SANDWICHES: Cook 1 lb of ground sausage. Add in a package of gravy. Serve on biscuits. These also freeze well for future meals.
52. GROUND CHICKEN CHILI: Saute chopped onion, garlic, and bell pepper in a pot. Add in the ground chicken and cook until browned. Add canned diced tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, some cumin, paprika and a pinch of chili flakes. Cook for 5-10 minutes. Once done, stir in kidney beans and salt. Cook until warmed through. See our instant pot ground chicken chili recipe here.
53. BEEF EGG BISCUIT SANDWICHES: Cook 1 lb of ground sausage. Add in a package of gravy and mix. Add 1 cart of beaten eggs and 1-2 cups of cheese (Velveeta works or cheddar cut into cubes). Mix everything together to melt cheese. Add on top of biscuits. These can be wrapped and frozen for future easy meals. Just heat in the microwave, toaster oven or regular oven.
54. CHICKEN CAESAR WRAPS: Use store-bought rotisserie chicken or frozen chicken strips. Cut into slices. Add them to tortilla wraps along with romaine lettuce and caesar dressing. Wrap and serve.
55. BEEF HASH: Add 1 lb of ground beef and chopped yellow onion to a large frying pan and cook until browned. Drain the excess grease. Add in a bag of hashbrowns and some frozen corn. Cook to heat through. Beat two eggs and add them to the pan along with shredded cheese. Mix everything together and cook until cheese melts then serve.
56. FRENCH TOAST: Another great breakfast for dinner idea. Beat four eggs in a bowl, add ⅔ cup milk, 2 Tbsp sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Mix together and pour into a shallow dish. Dip bread quicky and shake off excess. Cook 2-3 minutes each side in a hot frying pan. Serve with butter and syrup. See our yummy pumpkin french toast recipe here.
57. TACO CASSEROLE: Cook a bag of pasta or rice according to package instructions. Drain and set aside. Cook 1 lb of ground meat (beef, pork, chicken or turkey) in a frying pan with some chopped yellow onion, chopped green pepper, and taco seasoning. Add canned black beans, canned corn, canned diced tomatoes (drained), some salsa, the cooked pasta noodles (or rice), and 1 can of fiesta nacho cheese dip. Mix together and pour into a casserole dish. Bake at 375°F until heated and bubbling. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and serve.
58. VEGETABLE PARMESAN PASTA SKILLET: Cook some pasta. Add some chopped onion, chopped zucchini, chopped bell pepper and minced garlic to a frying pan. Add the cooked pasta, some chopped tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Mix together and cook until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and sprinkle with parmesan or shredded cheese. See our full vegetable parmesan pasta skillet recipe here.
59. ENCHILADA PIE: Cook 1 lb of ground beef in a frying pan until browned. Drain the excess grease. In a casserole dish add corn tortillas, then enchilada sauce, the cooked ground beef, refried beans, canned crushed tomatoes, chopped onions, sliced tomatoes, green chiles and shredded cheese. Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbling.
60. BISCUIT BEEF CHEESE CASSEROLE: You need four cans of refrigerated biscuits. Bake two cans of refrigerated biscuits in a casserole dish according to the package instructions. While they are cooking, add 1 lb of ground beef to a frying pan and cook until browned. Drain excess grease. Add in 1 jar of spaghetti sauce to ground beef and mix together. Pour over top of the cooked biscuits in the casserole dish. Cover with shredded cheese. Add the last two cans of uncooked biscuits on top. Bake using the biscuit instructions.
61. HAM AND CHEESE ON BAGELS: Spread butter on sliced bagels. Place on a baking sheet at 400°F until browned and toasted. On bottom half place ham and cheese, add bottoms back to the oven and bake until melted. Remove and add mayonnaise and tomato slices to the top half. Put sandwich together and serve.
62. BAKED POTATO BAR: Pierce some russet potatoes with a fork. Bake at 375°F for 40-50 minutes or until tender when poked. Let cool, the slice down the middle and open slightly. While potatoes are baking, make serving bowls with shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped green onion, crumbled bacon, chopped tomato, broccoli, black beans, hot sauce and salsa. Everyone can spoon their favorite toppings into the potatoes.
63. GROUND TURKEY ZUCCHINI CHICKPEA SKILLET: Cook 1 lb of ground turkey, some chopped onion and minced garlic in a skillet until turkey is browned. Add in chopped zucchini, chickpeas, frozen peas, canned diced tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Cook on low until the zucchini is crisp-tender when poked with a fork. See the full turkey zucchini chickpea skillet recipe here.
64. CHEESEBURGER MACARONI: Cook 1 lb of ground beef in a large pot with chopped onion. Drain any excess grease. Add in 3 Tbsp tomato paste, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp sugar, salt and pepper. Add 2 Tbsp flour, 2 cups milk, 1 1/2 cups broth or water and stir everything together. Add in 2 cups of dried macaroni pasta. Bring to a boil, then reduce to let simmer until the macaroni is cooked al dente, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese and let it melt. Remove from heat then serve.
65. GRILLED FOIL PACKETS: Inside aluminum foil, add a bit of chopped potatoes, some frozen corn, some sliced cooked sausage or cooked chicken, and cheese. Don’t overfill. Cook on the barbecue until potatoes are tender.
66. BLACK BEAN TORTILLA SOUP: Cook some chopped onion in a large pot. Add in canned black beans, canned diced tomatoes (drained), canned crushed tomatoes, frozen corn, canned lentils, and some spices. Mix everything together. Add some heavy cream and water (or broth.) Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. See the full black bean tortilla soup recipe here.
67. COWBOY CASSEROLE: Cook some pasta. Drain and set aside. Cook 1 lb of ground beef in a frying pan until browned. Drain excess grease. Mix in a bowl 1 jar of cheese whiz, a small can of tomato paste, cooked pasta, and some chopped onion. Pour into a casserole dish and bake at 375°F for 30-40 minutes or until brown and bubbling. Top with shredded cheese if desired.
68. PULLED PORK: Look for an inexpensive pork shoulder. Throw it in the crock pot to cook and use for nachos, on buns or in tacos.
69. HAM AND EGGS: Beat 8 eggs, 3 Tbsp milk, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add 1 cup of chopped ham to a frying pan and warm through. Pour in egg mixture and use a silicone spatula to cook and scramble the eggs. Sprinkle 1/2 up of cheddar cheese on top and cook until melted. Serve on toast.
70. HAM AND CHEESE PINWHEELS: Mix 1 package of cream cheese with 1/4 cup mayonnaise. Spread onto flour tortillas in a thin layer. Add sliced ham and sliced cheese down the middle of the tortilla. Roll up tightly. Cut of a small portion of each end, then slice into 1″ slices.
71. SHREDDED BARBECUE CHICKEN CASSEROLE: Shred a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. Add 2 cups cooked rice, 1 cup black beans, 1 cup corn, ½ chopped yellow onion, and crushed tortilla chips to a bowl. Mix with 1 ½ cups barbecue sauce. Pour into a casserole dish. Sprinkle cheese on top and more crushed tortilla chips. Cover and bake. See the full shredded barbecue chicken casserole here.
72. HAM AND BEANS: Drain and rinse 2 cans of great Northern beans. Add them to a large pot with chopped cooked ham, 1 small onion (chopped), 1/4 cup brown sugar, salt and pepper. Pour just enough water to cover the ingredients. Bring to a boil then reduce to let simmer for 30 minutes.
73. INSTANT POT BEEF BURRITO BOWLS: Cook 1 small chopped onion and 1 lb ground beef on saute mode in the instant pot. Turn off saute mode. Add in chopped zucchini, frozen corn, canned black beans, canned tomato sauce, some cumin, and rice. Stir everything together then add 1 cup of water. Close the lid and cook 10 minutes. Stir then add to bowls. Top with shredded cheese and fresh veggies. See the full instant pot beef burrito bowl recipe here.
74. STUFFED BELL PEPPERS: Cook a packet of rice according to instructions. Cook ground meat with chopped onion in a skillet. Drain excess grease and add to a bowl. Cook 1 chopped zucchini, with 2 cups chopped cherry tomatoes in the frying pan until the zucchini is tender. Add in the ground beef, 1 cup of cooked rice, and 1 cup of shredded cheese. Cut the tops off of six bell peppers. Remove seeds and inner membrane. Place bell peppers on a baking sheet. Add the ground beef filling ot the inside of each bell pepper. Top with shredded cheese. Drizzle each with a bit of cooking oil. Cover with foil and bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes, remove foil and bake another 15 minutes.
75. GOULASH: Cook some macaroni noodles in a pot of boiling water. Cook 1 lb ground beef with chopped onion and chopped bell pepper in a frying pan. Mix together with enough spaghetti sauce to coat it. Add in noodles and stir. Top it with shredded cheese.
76. BEEF & CABBAGE ROLL CASSEROLE: Cook some rice and slice some cabbage thin. Cook some onion in a large pot. Add ground beef and cook until it turns brown. Add the cabbage, cooked rice, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes (or spaghetti sauce), Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix together. Cover with a lid and sautee the meat mixture for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to an oven-safe dish and bake 30 minutes. See the full beef and cabbage roll casserole recipe here.
77. TUNA & NOODLES: Cook some macaroni noodles in a pot of boiling water, then drain. Add in two cans of tuna (water drained from them) and frozen peas. Stir in enough mayonnaise to coat for a sauce. Add to toast or serve with crackers.
78. CHICKEN BOG: Cook some rice according to package instructions. Add it to a pot with a canned cream of chicken soup and cooked shredded rotisserie chicken. Heat until warmed through then serve.
79. BARBECUE CHICKEN SHEET PAN DINNER: Add chicken drumsticks, chopped potatoes and chopped broccoli to a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil. Pour barbecue sauce over top of the chicken. Season everything with salt and pepper. Drizzle with a bit of cooking oil over top. Bake at 400°F for about 30-45 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
80. SALMON LOAF: Add two cans of salmon to a bowl. Flake into small pieces with a fork (this part is important). Add the 1 cup panko crumbs, 1 cup parmesan cheese, 2 green onions (chopped) and ½ cup yellow onion. In a separate bowl mix together ½ cup milk, 1 tsp dried dill, 1 tsp dried parsley, some salt and pepper. Beat two eggs and pour it into the salmon bowl. Add the milk ingredients and mix everything together. Pack the salmon loaf into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 40 minutes at 350°F. See our full detailed salmon loaf recipe here.
81. WAFFLES AND SCRAMBLED EGGS: Buy a box of waffle mix. Cook according to package instructions in a waffle maker (this mini Dash waffle maker is affordable). Make scrambled eggs in a frying pan. Add shredded cheese and chopped green onion to the scrambled eggs and cook until cheese melts. Eggs can be served on top of waffles or on the side with syrup, butter, salsa and ketchup.
82. FUNERAL POTATOES: Mix a can of cream of chicken soup with 2 cups sour cream, 1/4 cup butter, 1 tsp minced onion, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add a bag of thawed hashbrowns, and 2 cups shredded cheese. Pour into a casserole dish. Crush 2 cups of cornflakes in a bowl and mix with 1/4 cup melted butter. Sprinkle on top of the casserole. Bake 350°F for 35-45 minutes.
83. CHICKPEA ZUCCHINI STIR FRY WRAPS: Cook half of a chopped onion with 2 minced garlic cloves in a frying pan. Add in 2 chopped carrots, 1 chopped zucchini and cook until it softens (chop them small so they cook faster). Add 1 ½ cups of canned chickpeas and sprinkle taco seasoning over top. Spread mayonnaise onto tortilla wraps. Add ½ cup of the chickpea zucchini mixture. Top with cheese. Fold into a wrap and slice in half. See the full chickpea zucchini stir fry wraps here.
84. HEALTHY TOAST IDEAS: Toast for dinner is quick and easy! The flavor options are truly endless – all thanks to a huge variety of delicious toppings. From nut butter, cream cheese, hummus, mashed avocado, eggs, vegetables, fruits and seeds – you’re totally covered whether you’re craving something sweet or savory. See our 12 healthy toast ideas blog post for easy inspiration.
85. ALFREDO WITH GARLIC TOAST: Cook spaghetti noodles in a pot of boiling water, then drain and add to a large serving bowl. Heat 1 jar of alfredo sauce in a pot. Pour overtop of the spaghetti noodles. Bake some garlic bread according to package instructions and serve with the pasta.
86. GROUND BEEF SWEET POTATO SKILLET: Cook 1 lb ground beef and half a chopped onion in a frying pan. Drain excess grease and add it to a plate. Add chopped sweet potato (chop it small so it will cook faster), diced tomato (drained), frozen or canned corn and canned black beans to the frying pan. Season with ½ tsp chili powder, plus salt and pepper. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes, enough so sweet potatoes are tender. Remove from heat and mix with the ground beef. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese. See the full ground beef sweet potato skillet recipe here.
87. PIZZA PASTA CASSEROLE: Cook 5 cups of spiral pasta in a pot of boiling water. Cook 1 lb ground beef and 1 chopped onion in a frying pan. Add cooked ground beef and pasta to a large bowl along with 1 jar of spaghetti sauce, 1 ½ cups of shredded mozzarella cheese, and 1/4 cup of pepperoni. Stir everything together. Pour into a casserole dish. Sprinkle the top with mozzarella cheese and pepperoni. Bake 25-30 minutes at 350°F. See the full pizza pasta casserole recipe here.
88. CORN DOGS: Cook corn dogs according to package instructions. Serve with canned chili, fries or a side salad.
89. QUESADILLAS: Use 1 lb of chopped cooked chicken. It can be from a store-bought rotisserie chicken, cooked ground chicken or diced chicken breast. Mix the chicken with 1 packet of fajita seasoning while cooking it. Add 3-4 sliced bell peppers and 1 chopped onion to a frying pan with oil. Cook until they soften. Stir in the cooked chicken. Spread the chicken mixture on to half of flour tortilla. Top with shredded cheese. Fold in half and place on the baking sheet. Bake about 10 minutes at 350F or until cheese melts. Slice into wedges before serving. (Chicken can be replaced with chopped pork or beef)
90. CRUSTLESS QUICHE WITH MUSHROOMS AND TOMATOES: Add chopped onion and chopped tomatoes to a quiche pan or pie dish. Top with chopped spinach and sliced mushrooms. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese. In a medium bowl whisk together 8 eggs, 1/3 cup heavy cream, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, salt and pepper. Pour on top of the vegetables in the dish. Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes. See the full crustless mushroom tomato quiche recipe here.
91. SHEET PAN PANCAKES: Mix 3 cups flour, 2 Tbsp baking powder, ½ cup sugar, and ½ tsp salt in a bowl. Beat two eggs in a small bowl, add 2 ½ cups of milk and ½ cup of oil. Mix ingredients together an pour into a greased baking sheet. Smooth out with a spatula out and add toppings like sliced bananas, berries, chocolate chips, chopped nuts and seeds. Bake at 425°F for 20-25 minutes. Slice and serve with butter and syrup. See the full sheet pan pancakes recipe here.
92. EGG IN A HOLE: Butter both sides of the bread. Use a glass to cut a hole through the center. Place bread on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake 5 minutes. Remove from oven, flip each piece over and crack an egg into the center. Bake another 10-12 minutes at 375°F. See our egg in a hole recipe here.
93. EGG SALAD SANDWICHES: Boil 8 eggs in water. Cool them, then peel and chop them. Add the chopped eggs to a large bowl, with 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 tsp yellow mustard, 1 chopped green onion, some salt and pepper. Serve on fresh bread, toast or crackers.
94. SWEET AND SOUR MEATBALLS: Mix 1 lb of ground beef with 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp flour or breadcrumbs, plus some salt and pepper. Roll into a meatball shape. Cook in a frying pan with cooking oil until browned on all sides. In a separate bowl mix together 1 can crushed pineapple (drained), 6 oz can tomato paste, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, and 1 tsp garlic. Add the sauce to the cooked meatballs in the frying pan and cook til heated through and thickened. Serve with rice or pasta. See the full sweet and sour meatballs recipe here.
95. TUNA ON FRENCH BREAD: Add canned tuna and mozzarella cheese to sliced garlic french bread. Heat in the oven until the cheese is melted and the edges of bread get crispy. Cut into slices.
96. SWEET AND SOUR MEATLOAF: In a small bowl, mix one 8 oz can of tomato paste with 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup vinegar. Set aside. Chop one onion small. Add chopped onion to a bowl with 1 lb ground meat (beef, pork, turkey or chicken), 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (or crushed crackers), and half of the sweet and sour sauce mixture. Mix these ingredients together then pour into a loaf pan. Spread the last half of the sauce on top. Bake for about 1 hr, or until fully cooked.
97. CARROT TOMATO SOUP: Chop one yellow onion and 3 minced garlic cloves and cook in a pot until translucent. Add 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots. Add two 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes, 2 Tbsp tomato paste, 1 can coconut milk (or 1 1/2 cups heavy cream), 1 tsp Italian seasoning, and some salt and pepper to the pot. Cook until carrots are tender. Pour into a blender in smaller batches. Blend until smooth and creamy. Serve with croutons, crackers or roasted chickpeas. See the full carrot tomato soup recipe here.
98. AVOCADO TUNA MELT: Mash a can of chunk light tuna with 1 avocado, 2 tsp dijon mustard, 1 tsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Butter both sides of bread and place one in a frying pan. Add a slice of cheese, the tuna mixture, and sliced tomatoes. Top with more cheese and the other piece of bread. Cook on each side until the cheese is melted. See the full avocado tuna melt recipe here.
99. CHILI: Cook 1/2 lb of ground beef, 1/2 cup chopped onion, and 3 minced garlic cloves in a large pot until beef is browned. Drain any excess grease. Add a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes, 6 oz can of tomato paste, 15 oz can of kidney beans, 4 cups of water, some salt and pepper. Let simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring frequently. Mix 2 Tbsp cornstarch with 1/4 cup water in a small bowl. Pour into the chili and mix. Let simmer until the chili is thickened, about 1-3 minutes.
100. RIGATONI WITH GROUND CHICKEN AND PEAS: Cook 1 ½ cups of dried pasta. Drain and set aside. Cook 1 lb of ground chicken with 3 minced garlic cloves in a frying pan. Stir in 1 small can of tomato paste. Add the cooked pasta, 1 ½ cups frozen peas, 1 can of crushed tomatoes, 1 tsp dried basil, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Mix together and let simmer. Sprinkle with feta cheese just before serving. See the full rigatoni ground chicken peas skillet recipe here.
101. HOBO DINNER FOIL PACKETS: Prepare 4 sheets of aluminum foil with cooking spray. Cut one package of smoked sausage into small pieces. Add thin slices of potatoes, carrots and onions. Drizzle with oil, salt and pepper. Divide on to each foil piece. Add a bit of butter. Seal each packet tightly so no air can come out. Grill 20-30 minutes. Or bake 400F for 30-35 minutes. Carefully open each packet as they will be hot!
102. GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE: Brown 1 lb of ground meat (beef, pork, chicken or turkey) with 1 small chopped onion. Drain the excess grease. Pour it into a casserole dish. Add 1 can of drained green beans on top, then 1 package of tater tots. In a small bowl, mix together 1 can of cream of chicken soup and 1 cup milk. Pour it overtop. Bake at 350F for about 45-60 minutes, or until golden brown and warmed through.
103. HEALTHY HAMBURGER SOUP: Cook 1 lb of ground beef, 1/2 yellow onion, and 3 garlic cloves in a frying pan with cooking oil. Drain the excess grease. Add the mixture ot a slow cooker along with 4 chopped carrots, 3 chopped celery sticks, 1 cup frozen corn, 1 cup frozen peas, 14 oz can diced tomatoes, 14 oz can tomato sauce, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, salt and pepper and 1 carton of beef broth. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until veggies are tender. See our full Crockpot Hamburger Soup recipe here.
104. LAZY LASAGNA MADE WITH RAVIOLI: Cook 1 lb ground Italian sausage in a frying pan until browned. Drain the excess grease. Stir in 24 oz of pasta sauce with the ground beef and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Grease a casserole dish. Add half of a 25 oz package of frozen cheese ravioli (don’t need to thaw) to the casserole dish. Add half of the ground beef mixture. Sprinkle 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Add the last half of the ravioli, then the last half of ground beef mixture, then last half of shredded cheese. Cover the casserole dish with foil, bake at 350F for 20-30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 10 more minutes. Let sit 15 minutes before slicing to serve.
105. GROUND BEEF SHEET PAN NACHOS: Cook ground beef in a frying pan with some garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Drain excess grease. Spread tortilla chips on a baking sheet. Add ground beef on top with some chopped green onion, tomatoes, corn, black beans, and olives. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Bake at 350°F for 12-15 minutes. See the full ground beef sheet pan nachos recipe here.
106. BBQ PULLED CHICKEN SANDWICHES: Add 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup bbq sauce, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 Tbsp vinegar to a slow cooker and stir. Add 1 1/2 boneless skinless chicken thighs to the slow cooker and mix with the sauce. Cook on high 3 hours, or low 6-7 hours. Shred the chicken with a fork. Add chicken to toasted buns and top with cheese.
107. ZUCCHINI SPINACH QUESADILLA: Chop half of zucchini. Add it to a frying pan with 1 cup of spinach. Cook for 3-4 minutes with a bit of cooking oil. Push to the side of the pan. Beat 2 eggs in a bowl with 1 Tbsp milk. Pour into the other half of the frying pan. Cook and scramble the eggs. Add a tortilla wrap to a plate. Spread scrambled eggs and vegetables on one side. Spread mayo or mashed avocado on the other side. Top with cheese slices. Fold in half. Cook the folded tortilla in a frying pan for 1-2 minutes on each side. See the full zucchini spinach quesadilla recipe here.
108. CHICKEN BROCCOLI AND RICE: Cook a bag of frozen popcorn chicken, minute rice and frozen broccoli florets separately in the microwave according to the directions on each package. Mix them together in a bowl along with general tso sauce.
109. PIGS IN A BLANKET: Wrap lil smokie sausages in refrigerated crescent rolls dough. Bake according to package instructions.
110. GROUND TURKEY SWEET POTATO SKILLET: Cook ground turkey with some chopped sweet potato. Add in minced garlic, chopped onion, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Cook 10 minutes or so until the sweet potatoes are tender. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese on top. Let melt then serve. See the full ground turkey sweet potato skillet recipe here.