Easy Cheap Dinner Ideas from the Mediterranean

By Winter LeBlanc
Updated July 8, 2022

Here are some quick and easy cheap dinner ideas from the Mediterranean Diet. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. The traditional Mediterranean Diet is actually a peasant diet and based on the foods they had available to them for thousands of years. Eating Mediterranean is all about simplicity so these cheap dinner ideas are also super simple.

Cheap Dinner Ideas

Need cheap dinner ideas for 2? These recipes all serve 2 or more people and can easily be doubled, tripled or quadrupled if your hosting a larger gathering and don’t want to break the bank. These recipes are great for families too. I’d recommend the recipes for Tuna Pasta with Peas or the Turkey meatballs for more picky eaters but I promise that once you and your family try these recipes you’ll fall in love with eating this way.

Find our cheap dinner ideas and meals below!

Cheap Mediterranean Dinner Ideas

Tuna Pasta with Peas (Italy)

Super easy and fast to make, this tuna pasta from Italy is a great solution as a week-night dinner. Delightfully simple and cheap!

Recipe Here!

Lentil Pita Pockets (Vegetarian Hawawshi)

Lentils Hawawshi

Invented in 1971 by a butcher named Ahmed al-Hawawsh who had a stall in central Cairo’s Tawfiqiyya Market, the original sandwich was a cheap, hot meal that proved so irresistible that it has spread across the entire country and become a national dish.  This is the vegetarian version of the original.

Recipe Here!

Creamy White Beans with Tahini (Vartabit Pacha)

Make these creamy white beans with tahini in under 20 minutes. This Turkish recipe is easy, delicious and a little bit spicy!

Recipe Here!

Pasta alla Puttanesca with Canned Tuna (Italy)

Pasta alla Puttanesca is really simple to make and uses just a handful of ingredients. This is a yummy decadent meal on a budget.

Recipe Here!

Check out this video to see how this recipe stacks up in cost versus a Big Mac Meal

Cod with Tomato Sauce (Bacalao a la Riojana)

Cod with Tomato Sauce (Bacalao a la riojana - Spain)

Try this cheap and easy way to make traditional Spanish Cod with thickened tomato sauce. Bacalao has been a delicious part of the Mediterranean Diet for centuries.

Recipe Here!

Moroccan Harira (Lentil and Chickpea Soup)

Moroccan Harira (Lentil, Chickpea and Tomato Soup)

Try, Harira, an authentic Moroccan soup. Lentils, chickpeas, pasta and tomatoes stewed with turmeric and ginger make this a delicious meal.

Recipe Here!

30 Minute Baked Turkey Meatballs

30 Minute Baked Turkey Meatballs

These baked turkey meatballs are loaded with herbs that make them taste amazing. Make sure you try these when herbs are in season and you can get a good variety for a low price.

Recipe Here!

Baked Zucchini Noodles (Low Carb Pasta)

Zucchini Noodles Baked in Olive Oil (Low Carb Pasta)

These noodles are amazing with just a simple tomato sauce or dolloped with pesto, but my favorite recipe by far is Zucchini Noodles with Turkey Meatballs (above) and Tomato Sauce.

Recipe Here!

Cherry Tomato Sauce and Bela Mushrooms on Pasta

Beyond pasta being cheap, a study came out recently that showed that Italians who ate more pasta tended to lose more weight than those who ate less pasta.

Recipe Here!

Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs with Peppers and Onions

Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs with Peppers and Onions

Try these sheet pan chicken thighs with peppers and onions for a delicious Mediterranean Diet dinner on a budget.

Recipe Here!

Want more? Check out What I Eat in a Day on a Budget!


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