Providing your family with delicious, hearty and affordable dinners can be challenging. To help, I’ve curated a list of 60 budget-friendly family dinners that everyone will love! Cooking on a budget doesn’t mean compromising on taste or nutrition. This list of 60 affordable family dinners shows how you can create delicious, wholesome meals without draining your wallet.

Beef stew - a budget-friendly family dinner.Pin

Tips for Cooking on a Budget:

  1. Buy in Bulk: Stock up on pantry staples like rice, pasta, and canned goods to save money in the long run.
  2. Embrace Frozen Produce: Frozen fruits and vegetables offer affordability without sacrificing nutritional value.
  3. Plan Your Meals: Create a weekly meal plan to streamline grocery shopping and minimize food waste.
  4. DIY Convenience Foods: Make your own sauces, dressings, and spice blends at home to cut costs and enhance flavors.
sweet potato and black bean enchiladas - a budget-friendly family dinnerPin

My Favorite Budget-Friendly Dinner Recipes

Crock Pot Spaghetti from weelicious.comPin
Crock Pot Spaghetti
Make dinner a breeze with this kid-friendly crock pot spaghetti recipe! It's perfect for busy families who want a hearty, affordable meal on the table with little effort.
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Baked BBQ Chicken Legs
Opt for budget friendly drumsticks when you're at the store and make these juicy and delicious baked BBQ chicken legs.
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Ramen Noodle Stir Fry
This Ramen Noodle Stir Fry takes packaged ramen to a whole other level! Add any extra vegetables you’ve got on hand and make the easiest, most affordable one pot dish ever!
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Tuna Pasta Salad
Using what pasta you have on hand in your pantry and make this tasty tuna pasta salad that the whole family will love.
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Vegetarian Chimichangas
Vegetarian Chimichangas are crispy crunchy and filled with an array of beans and vegetables to make a perfect affordable meal for the whole family to enjoy!
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Chicken Meatballs with Mini Wheel Pasta
Chicken Meatballs with Mini Wheel Pasta is a quick and easy weeknight dinner that even the pickiest of eaters will want time and time again.
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Beef Stew in the Crock Pot
Beef Stew is super, hearty and filling while being a great choice when making dinner on a budget if you use a more cost effective cut of meat like beef chuck.
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Smoky Red Lentil Stew
Smoky Red Lentil Stew is the perfect cozy meal. Not only is it easy to make, but it's also packed with protein and filling thanks to the lentils.
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Crock Pot Lentil Veggie Stew
I love this crock pot lentil veggie stew because it uses lentils that I usually always have on hand in the pantry, and is chock full of good-for-you veggies!
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Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole
Making a casserole is a great way to stretch your ingredients to make a filling, affordable meal. This vegetarian enchilada casserole is one of our all time favorites!
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Pizza Stuffed Potatoes
Who doesn't love pizza and baked potatoes? When combined, they create a mouth-watering dish that is both easy to make, budget-friendly and delicious – Pizza Stuffed Potatoes!
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Roasted Tomato Soup
There's nothing more comforting than a warm bowl of roasted tomato soup served with a grilled cheese. It's always a great simple go-to dinner for us!
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Four Bean Chili
This Four Bean Chili is not only delicious, but so incredibly easy to make. What's even better, is you can use it on a multitude of different recipes. 
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Baked Ziti
Baked Ziti is a simple one pot meal that is the ultimate comfort food. Packed with lots of gooey cheese and delicious pasta sauce, what's not to love? 
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Turkey Sloppy Joes
These Turkey Sloppy Joes are a healthier take on a timeless American classic while still being super delicious. This wholesome and family friendly dish will satisfy kids and adults alike!
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Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
Need dinner on the table in no time and on a budget? Then this Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry is for you!
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Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers are a hearty, delicious weeknight meal the entire family will love. They're bursting with flavor and so simple to make!
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One Sheet Pan Shrimp and Vegetable Dinner
One Sheet Pan Shrimp and Vegetable Dinner is any easy, inexpensive weeknight dinner the whole family will love.
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Cheesy Turkey Meatloaf Bites
Cheesy Turkey Meatloaf bites are an affordable, yet tasty weeknight dinner that everyone will love. Serve with some mashed potatoes and a roasted veggie for the ultimate combo.
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Crispy Rice with Shiitakes and Cabbage
This Crispy Rice with Shiitakes and Cabbage has been one of our go-to's for an easy and delicious weeknight meal. 
Salmon Sheet Pan Dinner recipe from weelicious.comPin
Salmon Sheet Pan Dinner
In this recipe, salmon becomes crispy and golden with the vegetables just starting to caramelize in no time flat. Plus, clean up is a breeze!
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Turkey Veggie Chili
Turkey Veggie Chili is always a great way to stretch a dollar. Plus, it's a total crowd pleaser!
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Mu Shu Chicken
Mu Shu Chicken is an easy and affordable Chinese recipe that's packed with flavor. Have the comfort of Chinese takeout without having to leave your house!
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Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork
Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork aka Carnitas is full of flavor and so easy to make, and pork shoulder is a really affordable cut of meat. Plus, it only takes 5 minutes to prep and the slow cooker does the rest!
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One Pot Spiced Chicken with Toasted Couscous
Using chicken thighs in this One-Pot Spiced Chicken with Toasted Couscous dish makes this easy recipe super budget-friendly.
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Chinese Chicken Salad
Chinese Chicken Salad is an easy, yet flavorful lunch or weeknight dinner. With a perfect blend of savory chicken, fresh veggies, and a delectable dressing, this salad is a total crowd pleaser.
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Roast Vegetable Pasta Sauce
This Roast Vegetable Pasta Sauce creates a delicious, vegetarian meal that only takes a few steps to make. It's super filling and a great way to use up vegetables that are about to go bad. 
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Mexican Egg & Cheese Quesadilla
Mexican Egg and Cheese Quesadillas are a great, healthy breakfast for dinner idea to feed the whole family with just a few ingredients! We're obsessed with these and I know you will be too.
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Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas
Sweet potatoes and black beans are super budget-friendly. Make these enchiladas for a quick, easy meal that the whole family will love!
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Lemon Herb Chicken
This simple Lemon Herb Chicken recipe is an easy way to prepare chicken and is absolutely delicious! Plus, you only need a couple ingredients for this tasty marinade.
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Spinach Ricotta Bites
Spinach Ricotta bites are one of the most kid-friendly, healthy recipes you could ask for! They're absolutely delicious and so easy to make. 
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Stuffed Butternut Squash
These stuffed butternut squash are a great vegetarian main dish for vegetarians at your dinner table. They're healthy and filling too!
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Crock Pot Hawaiian Chicken
Make Crock Pot Hawaiian Chicken using budget friendly bone in chicken breasts! It makes for juicy, delicious chicken every time too.
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Japanese Vegetable Curry
Japanese Vegetable Curry is a flavorful and simple recipe that gets tons of vegetables packed into one meal.
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Greek Style Shrimp
This Greek Style Shrimp recipe is a super easy, yet impressive weeknight meal. Beautiful shrimp baked in tomatoes and topped with feta is a tough combo to beat!
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Ham and Asparagus Quiche
Making a quiche is a great way to stretch a dollar and leave every full and happy! Plus, they're a great way to use up vegetables that are maybe about to go bad.
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Chicken Tikka with Cucumber Mint Raita
These chicken skewers are super tender and delicious. Serve with some jasmine rice and a vegetable for an affordable family dinner.
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Spaghetti Squash Marinara
Spaghetti squash marinara is a fantastic way to serve a vegetable on a budget and please the whole family! My kids love this dish so much they never complain that it isn't "real" pasta!
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Crock Pot Mexican Corn and Bean Soup
I've said it once and I'll say it again, soup is one of the best ways to make dinner on a budget. This Mexican corn and black bean soup is one of my favorites because I usually have most of the ingredients in my pantry already!
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Sheet Pan Sausage with Cabbage and Apples
Want a quick, easy weeknight meal with minimal clean up? Sheet Pan Sausage with Cabbage and Apples is the way to go!
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Sheet Pan Pizza with No-Yeast Crust
This Sheet Pan Pizza with No Yeast Crust is like magic! When you want homemade pizza in a pinch, this recipe is for you.
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Mini Frittatas
Make frittatas in muffins cups using up whatever vegetables you have on hand for a quick and easy dinner!
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Chicken Pesto Pasta
I love making this pasta when I have leftover chicken. It's only a few ingredients but absolutely delicious!
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Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
Nothing is more cozy than this butternut squash and apple soup. Serve with some crusty bread and enjoy.
California Style Cauliflower Rice and Beans from weelicious.comPin
California Style Cauliflower Rice and Beans
California Style Cauliflower Rice and Beans is a filling and affordable vegetarian dinner. Plus, it's really healthy!
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Vegetarian Skillet Lasagna
This Vegetarian Skillet Lasagna is a simplified version of classic lasagna and is one of my family's favorites. It's packed with veggies and cooks all in one skillet! A win-win!
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Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken Pot Pie is classic recipe for a reason. It's simple to make, comforting to eat and warms you up from the inside out.
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Chicken Soup & Rice
Chicken Soup and Rice is a classic staple when it comes to making soup. It's hearty and delicious and the perfect thing to eat when you're looking for comfort.
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Sweet Gingery Tofu
My vegetarian son loves this sweet gingery tofu recipe, and I love to make it! It's super simple and when served with brown rice and bok choy it's a dinner you can't beat!
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Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
This Slow Cooker Chicken Chili yields a lot of chili with a few ingredients. Store it in the freezer or eat the leftovers for lunch the next day!
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Baked Farro with Lentils, Tomato and Mozzarella
Baked Farro with Lentils, Tomato and Mozzarella is the ultimate affordable, easy to whip up vegetarian meal that kids and adults love equally. 
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Broccoli Soup
Have broccoli sitting in your refrigerator on the verge of going bad? Use it up and make this filling and healthy broccoli soup!
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Caprese Quiche
Caprese Quiche is a total showstopper and much easier to make than you would imagine. Again, quiche is a great way to use the vegetables you have on hand to make something exciting!
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Turkey Bolognese
Craving a dish that's both comforting and nutritious? Look no further than Turkey Bolognese! This spin on the classic Italian favorite is perfect for cozy, affordable family dinners.
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Mapo Tofu
Whether you're a vegetarian or not, this Mapo Tofu recipe is so incredibly delicious, your entire family will be sure to love it. 
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White Chicken Chili
This White Chicken Chili is super flavorful with filling white beans and tender chicken in a delicious broth.
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Ultimate DIY Hot Dog Bar
This DIY Hot Dog Bar is the ultimate budget friendly meal that takes basically zero effort. Everyone gets to build their dog the way they like it!
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Stove Top Mac and Cheese
Homemade mac and cheese doesn't have to be difficult! This Stove Top Mac and Cheese is ready in minutes and absolutely delicious.
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Perfect Roast Chicken
Roasting a chicken at the beginning of the week and using it in multiple recipes is the ultimate budget-friendly hack! This recipe will give you fantastic crispy chicken that's juicy on the inside every single time.
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Cheesy Pizza Hot Dogs
If your family likes pizza and hot dogs (duh, who doesn’t?!) then you need to make these Cheesy Pizza Hot Dogs STAT!

There you have it – 60 budget-friendly family dinners that will bring joy to your kitchen without breaking the bank! If you need some more inspiration for making dinner with what you have (a great way to save money) take a look at 23 Pantry and Refrigerator Staple Recipes! Let me know in the comments what you make when you’re trying to stick to a budget and tag me on social media if you make any of these!

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