These are the best Budget Healthy Meals. From cheap, healthy dinner ideas to budget breakfasts, browse all the best cheap, easy, healthy meals!
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Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. If you’re looking to save a little bit of money on your grocery bill, there are tons of cheap healthy dinner recipes out there!
Cheap Healthy Meals
We always aim to save on our grocery bill where we can. You’ll find tons of budget friendly recipes on our website, but here are some of our favorite cheap options dinners! From ground beef to chicken, soups and meatless meals – there’s something for everyone!
How to make Healthy Meals on a Budget
Here’s our formula for building a cheap and healthy meal:
- Protein: Pick a protein that isn’t overly expensive. Ground beef and whole chicken are two of the most affordable proteins you can find in most stores.
- Vegetables: Fill your plate with veggies. Frozen and canned vegetables are significantly cheaper than fresh!
- Starch/Carb: Rice is the cheapest starch and sold in all stores. Beans/Potatoes are also a great form of healthy carbs!
Cheap Healthy Dinner Ideas
We have tons of cheap and healthy dinner recipes here. Ground beef is one of our favorite things to cook with for a healthy meal, but cooking a whole chicken or chicken breast can also be affordable. Here are our best healthy dinner ideas:
Healthy Cheap Meals with Ground Beef
Cabbage Roll Soup Recipe that is hearty, filling and healthy! The best easy weeknight dinner.
Homemade Hamburger Helper is easy, healthy and delicious – one of our favorite cheap healthy meals!
Stuffed Pepper Casserole is so yummy! A healthy dinner that is made in one dish in under an hour! Gluten free & delicious.
Homemade Meatballs are a staple in our house for a cheap healthy dinner. They’re loaded with protein and perfect over pasta!
Ground Beef Stuffed Zucchini Boats are loaded with cheese and meat. Baked and served up in a casserole dish for an easy, affordable dinner.
Korean Beef Bowls are ready in only 15 minutes! Easy, cheap and affordable!
Cheap and Healthy Meals with Chicken
Chicken can be a delicious, affordable dinner option. We like to cook with chicken breasts and chicken thighs- but the most affordable chicken recipe is cooking a whole chicken! You can get many meals out of one chicken and use the scraps to make broth!
Slow Cooker Chicken Stew is a healthy, easy dinner made in less than 10 minutes of prep time!
Easy Greek Chicken Thighs Recipe is the perfect meal! Made with simple ingredients, this sheet pan chicken thigh dinner is yummy & healthy!
Homemade Chicken Nuggets are so easy to make! These Healthy Chicken Nuggets are delicious, super crispy & so much better than fast food!
Healthy Fried Rice is packed with chicken, veggies and brown rice. Full of flavor + so delicious – just like takeout chicken fried rice at home! You can use up whatever veggies you have in the fridge or use frozen veggies to save money.
Crispy Baked Chicken Legs Recipe! Baking Chicken Legs in an oven is great for an easy, healthy dinner!
Best Mexican Chicken Casserole is so easy to make! This Mexican Chicken Casserole is perfect for a one-pan dinner.
Easy Chicken Parmesan Recipe is so easy to make! Perfectly crispy, coated with a delicious sauce and cheese for a healthy dinner! Serve it over pasta to make it a complete meal
Healthy Chicken Fajita Casserole Recipe is made in one pan with only a few ingredients. A healthy, quick and delicious dinner.
Buffalo Chicken Casserole Recipe is made with basic ingredients like potatoes & chicken in under an hour for an easy dinner. Quick, simple and delicious.
Chicken and Rice Casserole is easy and healthy! Made with broccoli and no condensed soup – this is the best dinner made in one dish!
Healthy Chicken Pot Pie is the perfect light dinner. Learn how to make chicken pot pie in under an hour for a delicious meal!
Chicken Fusilli Pasta is made with only 6 affordable ingredients. Done in less than 30 minutes.
Jalapeno Popper Hasselback Chicken is easy to make weeknight dinner option. It has tender chicken with slices of jalapenos, thick-cut bacon, cheddar cheese, and a cream cheese sauce!
Instant Pot Coconut Chicken Curry is a cheap and healthy dinner, made with just a few ingredients.
How do you eat healthy on a low budget?
Here are my best tips for eating healthy on a budget. You can read more about this in our Eating Healthy on a Budget post!
- Buy in bulk.
- Buy less convenience products.
- Plan your meals out.
- Always take inventory of your fridge before going to store.
- Only buy what’s on your list.
- Shop sales and stock up.
- Stop eating out for meals – cook at home!
- Use coupons
- Buy from the bulk section if your store has one
- Save your leftovers + repurpose.
We have a budget friendly meal plan that you can download here.
Healthy Cheap Soup Recipes
Soup is one of the best cheap and healthy meals you can make. We like to load them up with frozen vegetables, canned tomatoes, and a protein. Here are some of our favorite delicious soup recipes!
Easy Pasta Fagioli is one of the most affordable meals you can make. Made with pasta, beans, broth and tomatoes – it can feed a crowd for under $5!
15 Bean Soup Recipe is our favorite budget meal. It’s made from a cheap 15 Bean mix, broth, and some veggies. Simple, delicious and hearty!
Healthy Potato Soup is total comfort food! Paleo, Whole30 + vegan, this easy creamy potato soup can be made on the stove, in the slow cooker or instant pot or check out our Instant Pot Potato Soup Recipe or Crock Pot Potato Soup.
Homemade Tomato Basil Soup is so simple to make. Canned tomatoes, broth and some dried spices are all you need for a cozy dinner. Pair it with a grilled cheese!
Easy Minestrone Soup is another delicious cheap and healthy dinner. Loaded with veggies, pasta and broth!
Red Chicken Chili Recipe is so easy to make with simple ingredients. Healthy and delicious!
Cheap Easy Healthy Meals without Meat
Eating meatless is a great way to save money! Here are some of our favorite vegetarian, meatless recipes.
Vegetarian Chili is easy to make, cheap, and delicious. It’s made with canned beans, tomatoes and corn!
Vegan Orange Chicken is a delicious plant based dinner made with chickpeas! Gluten free, healthy, delicious and done in 30 minutes!.
Sweet Potato Gnocchi everyone will love! Learn how to make sweet potato gnocchi with only a few ingredients!
Vegetable Primavera Pasta is our favorite ‘clean out the fridge’ meal. Make it with whatever veggies you have on hand! This is our favorite vegetarian pasta dish.
Pasta with White Beans and garlicky kale is a classic combination of beans and greens the whole family will love! It’s a cheap and healthy, fast, and flavorful meatless meal.
Sweet Potato Red Lentil and Coconut Curry is nourishing comfort food at its best and consists of a handful of basic ingredients.
Gnocchi with White Beans and Spinach cooks quickly with fire-roasted diced tomatoes and Parmesan for a satisfying meatless meal in under 30 minutes.
Healthy Cheap Meals with Seafood
Seafood is usually more expensive than other cuts of meat, but sometimes it can be affordable! Here are some of our favorite seafood dinner recipes
Healthy Tuna Salad WITHOUT Mayo is cheap and healthy! Using a can of tuna, greek yogurt and some chopped veggies.
Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad is one of the best budget dinner recipes. Canned tuna gets tossed with pasta and tomatoes for flavor!
Honey Sriracha Salmon is another delicious dinner. Made with potatoes & zucchini, baked in the oven until perfectly cooked! You can use whatever veggies you have – it’s the perfect sweet and spicy.
Lemon Salmon is another easy dinner if you like fish. We like to buy a whole salmon filet and cook it with potatoes and green beans or other veggies.
Honey Garlic Shrimp is easy to make and delicious! A quick meal that you can serve over rice or frozen veggies.
Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas are super quick and easy to make. You’ll need shrimp, onions, peppers and a few spices to make them!
Canned Tuna Pasta is easy to make with canned tuna and a few other inexpensive pantry staples!
Cheap Healthy Food for Breakfast
Grabbing breakfast on the go can be expensive. Make one of these budget breakfast recipes at home for an affordable meal!
Egg White Oatmeal is an easy, high protein breakfast you’ll love. Made with only a few simple ingredients and great for meal prepping! You can’t even taste the eggs!
Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal is a delicious, healthy breakfast everyone will love. Vegan, GF & so easy to make -it’s the best way to cook Irish oatmeal! Regardless of what you top it with or mix in it – it’s so yummy!
Baked Apple Oatmeal is perfect for breakfast! Learn how to make the best baked apple oatmeal that is easy to make and delicious!
Egg Casserole with Hash Browns is so simple to make. This breakfast casserole with hash browns is great for a crowd or brunch!
How can I cut down on food costs?
It can be tough to cut down on food costs. Check out this post for Eating healthy on a budget where I outline all my best tips for saving money on food.
My top tips for cutting down on food costs are:
- Plan your meals in advance.
- Always take inventory of your fridge before going to store.
- Shop sales and stock up.
How to Store Prepared Food
Storing: Most prepared food will last for 4 days in an airtight container.
Freezing: Some foods freeze better than others. Soups and stews freeze very well, but other things like stir fries don’t. It’s best to check the recipe for freezing instructions.
Reheating: You can most prepared food in a pan or in the microwave.
crockpot whole chicken = cheap healthy food
This recipe is one of our favorite healthy, cheap dinners! Whole chickens are much more affordable to buy per pound compared to buying chicken breasts, thighs or legs!
Cheap Healthy Meals: Crockpot Whole Chicken
- Roll 4 2-inch balls with aluminum foil and place in a square at the bottom of the crockpot (This is not necessary, but allows the chicken to be propped up so it doesn’t get mushy.)
- Remove filling (giblets, organs, etc) from inside chicken and fill chicken with halved lemons + 2 whole rosemary sprigs. You can tie the chicken legs together with cooking twine.
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and place chicken on top of aluminum foil balls.
- Pour olive oil on chicken + rub into the skin to coat. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder & onion powder. Place excess rosemary springs around the chicken.
- Add in 1 cup of chicken stock to bottom of crockpot and set to cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Low is recommended for most tender chicken.
- You can transfer the chicken to a glass baking dish and broil to make the skin crispy, or serve directly from the crockpot!
- Tip: Save all of the bones, skin & other scraps in the crockpot so you can make Easy Crockpot Bone Broth
- Don’t be afraid. People seem to be so grossed out or nervous about cooking it… it’s really not that different than regular boring chicken breasts! If you’re really grossed out by it (I mean, I get it.. sticking your hand in a chicken is weird and unpleasant), you can wear disposable gloves.
- Make sure to clean out the inside of the chicken. Many chickens will come with the insides pre-cleaned. Sometimes they leave the organs inside in a little bag or pouch. You want to toss those (this is where those gloves come in handy.)
- Always pat your chicken dry before spraying, stuffing and seasoning it. This allows the skin to get really crispy + full absorb the flavors.
Substitutions for this recipe:
- Oil– You can use refined coconut oil or avocadol oil if you prefer
- Herbs – If you don’t like rosemary feel free to substitute with thyme/oregano. Any spices will be delicious. If using dried rosemary – only use 1.5 tablespoons