Looking for some cheap dinner ideas? Trying to cut down on food expenses? Cooking at home can be a great way to save but the recipes you choose will really determine how much of an impact it has on your wallet. There are certain foods that tend to be less expensive and make for great ingredients in any budget recipe. Some of these foods include: beans, canned tuna, pasta, potatoes, spinach and tomatoes. Many traditional Mediterranean recipes use inexpensive ingredients so the cheap dinner ideas are endless.
Delicious and Healthy Budget Recipes
These cheap dinner ideas are super tasty and follow the Mediterranean Diet. Inexpensive recipes don’t have to be bland or less desirable. In fact, the traditional Mediterranean Diet is based on the diets of people who didn’t have a lot of money, but who were very creative and loved good food. We hope you enjoy these recipes!
1. Tuna Patties Fried in Olive Oil (France)
These small French tuna patties are quick to make and require only ingredients that you probably already have. Don’t worry if you have most of the ingredients, but are missing one or two. These patties adapt to what you have, especially with herbs. If you don’t have parsley, but you do have dill then use dill. If you don’t have shallots, add onions. Tuna patties work with lots of different ingredients.
2. Bean Burgers with Garlic and Sage
Bean burgers are super quick and great to make when you don’t know what you are making for lunch or dinner. Just grab the ingredients from the pantry, prepare (10 minutes), fry (10 minutes) and within 20 minutes your meal is ready.
3. Beans and Greens Over Polenta
Beans and greens are popular in the southern U.S., but did you know they are eaten all the time in the Mediterranean? Mediterranean Diet recipes with greens and beans are cooked in extra virgin olive oil and are usually vegan. You’re definitely going to want to use a lot of extra virgin olive oil for this dish because that’s where most of the flavor comes from. You can use whatever greens are available to you. I recommend swiss chard, collard greens, spinach, or dandelion greens, but any greens will work.
4. Mediterranean Fish Stew (30 Minute Recipe)
My favorite type of problem to solve is how to make a delicious meal with what is on hand and do it fast. Mediterranean fish stew is one of those meals: quick (5 minutes of prep, 25 minutes on the stovetop), yummy (even our little one loved it) and enough leftover for lunch the next day.
5. Pasta alla Puttanesca with Canned Tuna (Italy)
Pasta alla Puttanesca is arguably one of the most classic pasta dishes, both in Italy and around the world and one of my absolute favorites to cook and eat. It’s pungent and rich in traditional Mediterranean flavors like olives, capers, tomatoes and oregano, so much so that is impossible not to love it!
6. Lentil Soup with Olive Oil and Orange (Greek Island of Crete)
This traditional Cretan Lentil Soup is a hearty and delicious Mediterranean Diet recipe. It’s easy to prepare, and you can prep your other ingredients while cooking the lentils. I love making this soup on Sunday for weekday lunches. Enjoy with a tasty and healthy chunk of sourdough bread.
7. Green Beans with Pork and Potatoes in the Slow Cooker
This recipe works really well for the person who is a meat and potato eater who wants to gradually head towards eating Mediterranean. I would serve this with a Greek salad and some nice crusty whole grain bread.