Delicious Family Dinner Ideas for Under $10

Delicious Family Dinner Ideas for Under $10

You’ll love these delicious, hearty, and healthy meals anyone can whip up with ease.

By: Lorraine Allen

Family dinner is always an event: There’s shopping and prepping involved. There are ingredients and tastes to consider, which vary by person. There is cooking time and cleanup. And of course, there is always cost. Working within a tight family budget to provide healthy meals can be hard, but here to help you are a whole bunch of easy and delicious go-to dinner ideas for under $10 you’ll love:

Have a Mexican-inspired fiesta! Cook some beans, which are cheap and loaded with protein, and make some rice or warm up some tortillas. Serve with shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and a little sour cream, avocado, and lime, and you can enjoy a flavorful, affordable family feast any night.

Braise a pork shoulder or beef brisket. These are lean, cheap, and large cuts of meat, which require nothing more than lots of time, low heat, and some spices from your pantry to cook to mouth-watering, fork-tender perfection. (Allow about 5-7 hours). Season your meat generously with your favorite herbs and spices, cover with liquid like water or broth. You can add tomato paste, ketchup, mustard, or soy sauce for an extra boost of flavor. Simmer covered until done. Serve with rice, roasted or mashed potatoes, and simple greens for a cheap and tasty family meal.

Make soup! Soups are wonderful anytime of year, but especially during the cold months, and they can easily become a whole meal if you add enough ingredients, for very little cost. Begin with broth, and add in chopped protein of your choice like beans or lentils, leftover or fresh chicken, beef, stew meat, meatballs, or seafood. Toss in lots of veggies, both fresh and frozen, depending on what you have, like carrots, squash, peas, beans, corn, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, chard, or spinach. Add potatoes, or cooked rice or pasta. Serve this with a side of hot garlic bread and a sprinkle of parsley for a truly satisfying, healthy family meal any night.

More articles you may like: 9 Dinnertime Shortcuts for Busy Families

Make pizza or pasta. These Italian classics are incredibly versatile and affordable crowd-pleasers -- perfect for family meals. Roll out pizza dough, and top with sauce, cheese of your choice and/or veggies or protein. Or simply boil a large pot of pasta and serve with a hearty sauce like Bolognese made from ground meat and canned tomatoes, or a creamy bacon cheese sauce, or a lighter, vegetarian pesto version. Serve with a fresh salad for a complete, delicious, and affordable family dinner.


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Prepare a hearty “risotto.” Arborio rice tastes great, but you could use brown rice or even farro, millet, or barley for variations on this grain-based dish instead. They’re all healthy and very cheap. Add liquid, such as broth (the more flavor in this, the better), and veggies like tomatoes, mushrooms, asparagus, pumpkin, zucchini, peppers, broccoli, or peas. As protein, cheese is often used and it does add a rich creaminess to the dish, but you could also opt for fish, shellfish, or chicken instead to change things up. These one-dish meals are truly satisfying and delicious.

What’s are your favorite, cheap go-to family dinners to serve?

Lorraine Allen is a writer, and mom and personal chef to one spunky 6-year-old girl with severe food allergies. You can enjoy their delicious recipes and follow their amusing family cooking adventures at Feeding Lina.

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