Join our mailing list to find out more ways to make and save money with little time and effort.

12 Cheap Healthy Meals That Will Save You Money

Some of these links may be affiliate links and we may receive compensation when you sign-up for offers. See our disclosure policy. All information on this site is for educational and informational purposes only.
WANT TO EARN EXTRA MONEY?

cheap healthy mealsEating out at expensive restaurants can be an enormous drain on your pocketbook.

In addition, you should also realize that the choice of food you eat affects your health and well-being, so here are 12 cheap healthy meals to save you money.

That’s why it is so important to eat not only foods that are cheap but are also healthy. Now we all know that the word cheap means “to be inexpensive.”

However, the word healthy has a wide array of definitions, so let’s be clear about the use of this word in this article.

To clarify, healthy foods do not have high levels of salt, saturated fats, or carbohydrates.

Therefore, if you can stay away from these things, you are usually left with a sensible meal plan.

However, food that is cheap and healthy can also be packed with flavor and rich in taste.

So here are twelve inexpensive meals that not only taste good, but will also make you will feel good when you eat them.

Above all, please note that this list is not merely a collection of recipes for light dishes that will only serve one or two people but are complete meals for four hungry individuals.

Items Needed for These Cheap Healthy Meals

Because making high quality gourmet bread can be both difficult and time-consuming, it is recommended that you buy the bread found in some of these meals at either your local bakery or your neighborhood grocery store.

However, you may also purchase inexpensive French baguettes online for a little under three dollars per loaf.

Likewise, the other pre-made items you will need to purchase in order to make these meals are extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, soy sauce, dijon mustard, marinara sauce, honey, cornmeal, peanut butter, and cooking spray.

However, you will probably already have most of these things in your kitchen. In addition, you will need Romano cheese, milk, and butter.

Most importantly, the vegetables and fruits should be bought fresh at a nearby farmer’s market or harvested from your own garden.

In other words, save money by doing it yourself and by helping out your friends and neighbors. If not, then you may get them at your neighborhood grocery store.

Similarly, the various meats should be bought fresh from the butcher. In addition, it is also recommended that you use fresh herbs and freshly ground black pepper.

Above all, it is important to note that the ingredients for each of these twelve meals can be purchased for twelve dollars or less. Each one of these meals serves four.

1. Roasted Chicken and Vegetables with Romaine Salad

This cheap healthy meal is an amazing combination of vegetable flavors and includes a side salad with a tasty dressing.

In addition, the meat is prepared in a delicate way that allows the subtle flavors of the chicken skin to be absorbed into the meat itself.

Serves four

INGREDIENTS FOR ENTRÉ

Whole chicken – Three pounds
Butternut squash – Eight ounces (peeled and cubed)
Red potatoes – twelve ounces (cut into wedges)
Butter – Two tablespoons (melted and unsalted)
Garlic – Two tablespoons (minced)
Black pepper – ½ teaspoon (freshly ground)
Sage – ½ teaspoon (rubbed and dried)

INGREDIENTS FOR SALAD

Romaine lettuce – Six cups (chopped)
Baby spinach – Two cups (chopped)
Cilantro – One cup (chopped)
Extra virgin olive oil – Four tablespoons
White wine vinegar – One tablespoon

Entré

Mix half of the garlic and black pepper in a bowl with the sage. Secondly, remove the neck and giblets from the chicken. After that, rub the pepper, sage, and garlic mixture underneath the loosened skin of the chicken.

Spray the rack of a broiler pan with cooking spray and place the chicken on it. Next, place the rack in the broiler pan.

Mix the squash, potatoes, and butter with the remaining black pepper and garlic. After that, place the vegetable mixture around the chicken and bake the dish for an hour at 400°. In addition, make sure that the thick, meaty part of the chicken is at least 165°.

Remove the skin from the chicken and let stand for ten minutes before serving.

Salad

To make the salad, mix the lettuce, spinach, and cilantro together in a container. Meanwhile, make the dressing by combining the oil and vinegar in a small bowl. Serve with the chicken and vegetables.

2. Squash and Tomato Stew With French Bread

The unique taste of French bread highlights the natural flavors of the vegetables. This cheap healthy meal makes great leftovers, so feel free to make a little extra for the next few days.

Serves four

INGREDIENTS FOR ENTRÉ

Boneless lean pork shoulder – One pound (cut into ½ inch pieces)
Tomatoes – Two large (cut into pieces and stems removed)
Butternut squash – Four cups (peeled and cubed)
Chicken broth – Two cups
Canola oil – One tablespoon
Onion – One cup (chopped)
Garlic – One clove (minced)
Chili powder – One tablespoon
Cumin – One teaspoon
Ground red pepper – ¼ teaspoon

FROM THE BAKERY

French bread – One footlong loaf (cut into eight slices)

Entré

First, heat the oil in a saucepan, add the garlic and onion. and sauté for two minutes while stirring.

Next, add the pork and heat for 5 minutes so that all sides turn brown. After that, mix in the cumin, chili powder, and red pepper. Cook for another half a minute while continually stirring.

Stir in the tomatoes and chicken broth and continue heating until the liquid begins simmering. Reduce heat and cover. Continue to cook for ninety minutes while stirring occasionally. Finally, mix in the squash and simmer for another half hour or so until the squash and pork are soft and tender.

Serve each helping with two freshly cut slices of French bread.

3. Turkey Sausage Ragù and Polenta With Garden Salad

The combined flavors of the marinara sauce and turkey come together for a tasty version of this Italian classic. In addition, this cheap healthy meal is served with a fresh garden salad topped with a freshly made red wine vinaigrette.

Serves four

INGREDIENTS FOR ENTRÉ

Turkey sausage – Twelve ounces (casings removed)
Onion – One cup (chopped)
Garlic – Four cloves (minced)
Marinara sauce – Two cups

INGREDIENTS FOR SIDE DISH

Cornmeal – One cup
Water – Four cups
Butter – One tablespoon (unsalted)
Romano cheese – One cup (grated)

INGREDIENTS FOR SALAD

Iceberg lettuce – Four cups (chopped)
Romaine lettuce – Four cups (chopped)
Extra virgin olive oil – ½ cup
Red wine vinegar – ¼ cup
Dijon mustard – One tablespoon
Garlic – Two cloves (minced)
Oregano – One tablespoon (finely chopped)
Black pepper – One teaspoon (freshly ground)

Entré

First, add the sausage to a heated skillet and sauté for five to seven minutes while stirring the meat until it crumbles. Secondly, drain the meat after removing it from the pan.

After that, return the wiped pan to medium heat and add oil. Add the chopped onion pieces and sauté for three to five minutes. Next, add the garlic and sauté for another minute.

Add the sausage, marinara, and ⅓ cup water, then wait for this mixture to boil. Next, reduce the heat and simmer for fifteen to twenty minutes.

Side Dish

Bring water to a boil in a saucepan and then stir in the cornmeal with a whisk. When the water boils, whisk in the cornmeal and continue stirring for about a minute until the mixture begins to thicken.

After that, reduce the heat and cook until the cornmeal loses its raw flavor (usually about twenty minutes or so).

Using a whisk, add butter and cheese.

Salad

To create the salad, mix the iceberg and Romaine lettuce together in a bowl. Using a whisk, combine the mustard, vinegar, oil, garlic, oregano, and pepper in a separate container. After that, serve salad with turkey and polenta.

4. Mushroom Chicken With Rice

This cheap healthy meal uses porcini mushrooms to evoke a hearty taste that perfectly complements the flavor of the chicken, rice, and cremini mushrooms.

In other words, this magnificent creation provides a healthy and inexpensive way to serve your loved ones a high-quality gourmet meal.

Serves four

INGREDIENTS FOR ENTRÉ

Chicken thighs – One pound (cut into small pieces after removing skin and bones)
Cremini mushrooms – Eight ounces (sliced)
Green peas – Two cups
Onion – One cup (chopped)
Brown basmati rice – One cup (uncooked)
Porcini mushrooms – ¼ cup
Olive oil – Two tablespoons
Water – Two cups
Paprika – One teaspoon
Thyme – One tablespoon

Entré

The first step of this cheap healthy meal requires that you place the porcini mushrooms in boiling water and let stand for twenty minutes. Secondly, using a sieve, drain them over a bowl and keep the liquid. After that, chop them into tiny pieces.

Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Sprinkle the paprika on the chicken pieces and place them in the skillet. While stirring occasionally, sauté the chicken pieces for several minutes until they are brown and then remove them from the pan.

Return the pan to medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Secondly, add the onion and cremini mushrooms and sauté for several minutes while stirring occasionally until everything is browned.

Finally, add the water used to boil the chopped porcini mushroom, the chopped porcini mushrooms, and the rice. Next, bring to a boil and then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about thirty minutes. After this, stir in the chicken, thyme, and peas. Cover and cook for ten minutes or until the rice is tender.

5. Avocado and Shrimp Salad With Garlic Bread

The basic flavor of the grapefruit combines perfectly with the rich taste of the avocado and shrimp. In addition, this cheap healthy meal includes freshly cooked garlic bread.

Serves four

INGREDIENTS FOR ENTRÉ

Jumbo shrimp – Twelve ounces (peeled and deveined)
Grapefruit – One large (peeled and separated into sections)
Avocado – One large (cut into wedges)
Romaine lettuce – Five cups (chopped)
Tarragon – Two tablespoons (chopped)
Olive oil – Two tablespoons

FROM THE BAKERY

French bread – One footlong loaf (sliced lengthwise and then into three inch portions)

INGREDIENTS FOR SIDE DISH

Parsley – One tablespoon (chopped)
Garlic – Two cloves (minced)
Butter – ½ cup (melted)
Oregano – ½ tablespoon

Entré

First, heat a skillet over medium heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Secondly, add the shrimp and stir them frequently as you heat them for two to four minutes. or until they are cooked.

Divide the sections of the grapefruit in a bowl while reserving at least two tablespoons of its juice. After that, stirring with a whisk, combine the juice, with the remaining olive oil, tarragon, and shallots.

Finally, stir in the shrimp and lettuce.

Side Dish

To make the side dish of this cheap healthy meal, blend the seasoning, garlic, parsely, and butter together in a bowl. After that, spread this mixture onto bread slices and place them on an oven pan.

Bake bread for 15 minutes at 350° degrees, flipping it after seven or eight minutes. After that, remove from oven and serve with the shrimp salad.

6. Potato Gratin and Turkey With Mushrooms and Green Beans

Serves four

This cheap healthy meal provides comfort food that is both nutritious and healthy. In addition, the turkey is served with mushrooms and green beans in order to bring out a wider array of flavors.

INGREDIENTS FOR ENTRÉ

Turkey sausage links – Eight ounces (remove casings)
Red potatoes – One and a half pounds (chopped)
Onion – Three cups (chopped)
Cremini mushrooms – Four ounces (sliced)
Swiss cheese – Three ounces (shredded)
Chicken broth – ½ cup
Butter – One tablespoon
Thyme – Two tablespoons (chopped)

INGREDIENTS FOR SIDE DISH

Extra virgin olive oil – Two tablespoons
Green beans – One and a half pounds (trimmed)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
2 tablespoons water

Entré

In a skillet, sauté sausage for four to six minutes until it starts turning brown. While doing this, stir the sausage so that it crumbles. After that, remove the sausage from the pan and drain.

The next part of this cheap healthy meal requires that you wipe the skillet with a paper towel and then melt the butter in it. Secondly, sauté chopped onion for three to four minutes while stirring. Next, add the mushrooms and sauté for five to eight minutes while stirring the mixture every few minutes or so.

As you continue stirring occasionally, add the potatoes and sauté for four to five minutes or until they begin turning a light golden brown. Finally, mix in the sausage and broth and remove from heat.

Spoon the entire mixture into a baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray and sprinkle the cheese on top. Cover the dish and bake it at 400° for half an hour. Next, remove cover and bake for another fifteen minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle thyme on top. Allow the dish to cool for a few minutes.

Side dish

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and stir to coat the pepper in the oil. Add green beans and cook for six minutes or until they are blistering and browning in areas.

After that, add garlic and cook for another minute, stirring constantly. Add water and cover. Cook covered for two more minutes. Serve with entré.

7. Cauliflower With Lean Angus Beef and French Bread

The cauliflower becomes tender in marinara sauce and highlights the taste of the sirloin beef. On top of that, a baked topping of French bread and Romano cheese completes this frugal meal.

This cheap healthy meal includes a loaf of fresh French bread.

Serves four

INGREDIENTS FOR ENTRÉ

Angus beef – Six ounces (lean ground sirloin)
Cauliflower – One and a half pounds (cut into florets)
Marinara sauce – Two cups
Kalamata olives – Two ounces (pitted and chopped)
Onion – One cup (chopped)
Garlic – Four cloves (minced)
Romano cheese – One ounce (grated)
Olive oil – One tablespoon
Crushed pepper – ¼ teaspoon (crushed)

FROM THE BAKERY

French bread – One loaf (footlong)

Entré

Add oil to a heated skillet and then add onion and garlic and sauté for three or four minutes. Secondly, stir in the beef and red pepper and sauté for three minutes or until the beef turns brown and crumbles. After that, add olives and sauce.

Steam cauliflower for a few minutes until it is tender and then place it in a baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray. Top with the beef and sauce mixture.

Using a chopper, create coarse crumbs from the bread and combine them with the Romano cheese. Secondly, sprinkle this newly created mixture over the mixture in the baking dish. After that, roil for three or four minutes and serve with French bread.

8. Grilled Chicken Satay With Cucumber Salad

This cheap healthy meal is a type of Indonesian kebab that features cubes of meat served with a peanut sauce. In addition, this dish is traditionally served with cucumber salad in order to highlight the peanut flavor.

Serves four

INGREDIENTS FOR ENTRÉ

Chicken breast – One and a half pounds (cut into strips)
Lime juice – Three tablespoons
Fish sauce – Two teaspoons
Garlic – Two cloves (minced)
Red pepper – ½ teaspoon (crushed)
Canola oil – One tablespoon

INGREDIENTS FOR SIDE DISH

Soy Sauce – Three tablespoons
Lime juice – Three tablespoons
Peanut butter – Two tablespoons
Honey – One tablespoon
Ginger – One teaspoon (peeled and grated)
Garlic – One clove (minced)

INGREDIENTS FOR SALAD

Cucumbers – Two
Onion – One
White wine vinegar – ¼ cup
Water – ¼ cup
Black pepper – One teaspoon

Entré

Combine chicken, lime juice, fish sauce, garlic, red pepper, and canola oil in a container. Secondly, shake the container so that the chicken is coated. After that, place the container with the chicken and marinade in the refrigerator for twenty minutes.

Side Dish

As the chicken mixture of this cheap healthy meal marinates, combine the soy sauce, lime juice, peanut butter, honey, ginger, and garlic while stirring the mixture. Set this other mixture aside and serve as a peanut sauce for the grilled chicken pieces.

Meanwhile, remove the chicken container from the refrigerator and discard the marinade. Secondly, place the chicken pieces (on skewers) on a heated grill. After that, cover and cook for three minutes on each side. Remove from grill and serve with peanut sauce and cucumber salad.

Salad

To make the cucumber salad, mix the onion and cucumber slices in a container. Secondly, mix the white wine vinegar, water, and black pepper in a small bowl. After that, pour this liquid over the vegetable slices and stir.

9. Grilled Chicken Wraps With Avocado Salad

Serves four

This cheap healthy meal is served with dijon mustard and wrapped in flatbread. Most importantly, however, these delicious creations are perfectly complemented with the natural textures of the avocado side salad.

INGREDIENTS FOR ENTRÉ

Chicken breast – Two halves (without skin and bones)
Cabbage – One cup (shredded)
Flatbread sandwich wraps – Four
Olive oil mayonnaise – ½ cup
White wine vinegar – Three tablespoons
Lemon juice – One teaspoon
Black pepper – Two teaspoons

INGREDIENTS FOR SALAD

Avocados – Two large (cut into small pieces)
Tomatoes – Two medium (cut into small pieces)
Cilantro – Three tablespoon (finely chopped)
Olive oil – One tablespoon

Entré

First, combine mayonnaise, two tablespoons of vinegar, black pepper, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Secondly, in another bowl, mix the remaining tablespoon of vinegar with the cabbage and toss.

After that, put the chicken on a on heated grill and cook five to six minutes on both sides. Next, allow chicken to cool and shred it before mixing it with mayonnaise. Finally, spoon the chicken and cabbage mixtures on top of the flatbread wraps. Roll up and serve with the avocado salad.

Salad

To make the salad, mix the avocado, and tomato pieces together with cilantro and oil.

10. Shrimp Salad with Pasta

This cheap healthy meal can be served fresh or refrigerated for a day and served chilled. In addition, this dish may be served by itself or as a side dish.

Serves four

INGREDIENTS FOR ENTRÉ

Jumbo shrimp – Twelve ounces (peeled and deveined)
Bow tie pasta – Three cups
Lemon juice – ¼ cup
Dijon mustard – One tablespoon
Garlic – One teaspoon (minced)
Olive oil – Three tablespoons
Fresh spinach – Two cups (chopped)
Red onion – ¼ cup
Chopped capers – Two tablespoons

Entré

The first step of the cheap healthy meal involves bringing the water to a boil and then adding pasta. Secondly, reduce heat and cook for ten minutes. After that, mix one tablespoon of olive oil, garlic, juice, and mustard in a bowl while stirring with a whisk.

Meanwhile, pour the remaining tablespoon of oil into a heated skillet, and cook shrimp for two or three minutes. Secondly, add the spinach, capers, and onion before adding the juice mixture and pasta. After that, toss the ingredients and serve.

11. Southwest Turkey Burgers With Baked Potato Wedges

Serves four

Poblano chiles are rather hot, depending on how dark the skin is. In other words, the darker the color, the more heat it will contain. This cheap healthy meal features baked potato wedges so that you have a nutritious meal that is easy on your pocketbook.

In addition, this meal also requires pre-made hamburger buns that may be purchased online for less than two dollars for a package of eight. You may also buy them at a nearby store.

INGREDIENTS FOR ENTRÉ

Turkey breast – One pound (ground)
Poblano chiles – ½ pound (usually two or three chiles)
Hamburger buns – Four
Tomato – One large (sliced into four thick pieces)
Lettuce leaves – Four large
French bread baguette – One slice
Dijon mustard – Four tablespoons
Milk – ¼ cup

INGREDIENTS FOR SIDE DISH

Potatoes – Two medium (sliced into thin pieces)

Entré

Cut the poblano peppers in half (lengthwise) and place them (skin sides down) on a heated grill. Secondly, cook them until they are blackened. After that, let them stand for twelve minutes or so, and then peel off the skin and then dice them.

Meanwhile, the next step of this cheap healthy meal involves putting the French bread in a blender and creating a ½ cup of crumbs.

Secondly, combine these crumbs with milk in a bowl and add ½ teaspoon of chili powder, cumin, and turkey. After that, divide this stirred mixture into four patties. and grill for three minutes on both sides.

Use the rest of the ingredients to create four burgers.

Side dish

Place potato slices on skewers and grill until crispy and golden brown. After that, remove them from the grill and serve with the burgers.

12. Mediterranean Pork Chops With Baked Pita Wedges

Serves four

These pork chops feature classic ingredients like oregano, dill, garlic, yogurt, red onion, and cucumber. In addition, when served with toasted pita wedges, this dish makes a fabulous meal for almost any occasion.

INGREDIENTS FOR ENTRÉ

Pork chops – Four medium (boneless, center-cut loin)
Pita bread – Four pieces
Greek yogurt – One cup
Plum tomatoes – Two medium (diced)
Cucumber – One cup (diced)
Red onion – ½ cup (diced)
Red wine vinegar – Two tablespoons
Olive oil – Two teaspoons
Garlic – Two cloves (minced)
Dill – One tablespoon
Oregano – One teaspoon

Entré

The first step of this cheap healthy meal involves combining pork with one tablespoon of red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, and one teaspoon olive oil in a container. Marinate for twenty minutes.

Meanwhile, in another container, combine the yogurt with the remaining tablespoon of vinegar, the remaining teaspoon of olive oil, and the dill. Next, stir this mixture well using a whisk. Finally, seal container and chill.

After that, combine the tomatoes with the cucumber and onion pieces in yet another container.

Using a grill pan, cook the marinated pork chops for three to four minutes on each side. Allow the meat to cool for a few minutes and then serve with both the tomato mixture and the yogurt mixture.

Side dish

Meanwhile, make the pita chips by slicing each piece of pita bread into quarters and baking at 400° degrees for four minutes on each side. To get the best results, cook and flip the pork and the chips simultaneously in a preheated oven and grill pan so that everything may be served together.

Final Thoughts About Cheap Healthy Meals

In conclusion, high-quality cuisine does not have to be expensive. It is also important to realize that gourmet meals can be very healthy for you and your loved ones.

The most important thing to realize is that you don’t have to skimp on taste in order to provide cheap meals that are also nutritious. So give some of these recipes a try, and let us know what you think.

Earn Fee Cash Online: The Survey Junkie survey site is a FREE survey site that pays you to take surveys online. There's absolutely no cost to join, and payouts can be made to either PayPal or for a gift card of your choosing. The best part? Some people are earning at a rate of up to $15 - $20 per hour. It's 100% free to join. We've partnered with Survey Junkie to give you a 25-point sign-up bonus when you register using our link and complete your initial profile information.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

shares