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Putting a wholesome, flavorful, and family-friendly dinner on the table each night doesn’t have to break the bank! This collection of 35 of our favorite cheap dinners includes a variety of easy options for every day of the week, and for every budget.

Horizontal shot of a bowl of pesto pasta.

Some of the most budget-friendly dinner ingredients include beans, large cuts of meat (like pork shoulder or chuck roast) that you can cook once and enjoy in a variety of ways, chicken thighs and drumsticks, ground beef, ground turkey, bone-in pork chops, potatoes, rice, pasta, and cabbage.

Casseroles are great options for feeding a family on a budget, because they can stretch a small amount of meat to feed a big group. Similarly, soup recipes are also affordable ways to use up leftovers in new, satisfying meals. Add a warm skillet of buttermilk cornbread on the side and nobody will miss the filet mignon!

Cheap Family Dinners

This convenient recipe roundup includes some of our favorite cheap easy dinners to feed a family. From soups and stews to pulled pork, hearty casseroles, and big pots of beans, there’s something here for everyone at the table. Leave a comment below and let me know which one you will try first!

Square overhead bowl of hot dog casserole on a white table.

Hot Dog Casserole

This dump-and-bake hot dog casserole is sure to be a winner for your next family dinner! You don’t even have to boil the pasta before stirring everything together. The easy, cheesy comfort food bakes in the oven with one dish and just 10 minutes of prep time!

Square side shot of a platter of grilled golden chicken.

Golden Chicken

Flavorful golden chicken is a healthy dinner with just 10 minutes of hands-on prep time. The simple marinade includes olive oil, honey, Dijon, lemon, garlic, and turmeric, creating tender and juicy meat on the grill, in a skillet, or in the oven!

Square overhead image of a bowl of pesto pasta.

Pesto Pasta with Easy Homemade Pesto

Pesto pasta combines tender noodles with an easy, no-cook, traditional homemade pesto sauce. Classic ingredients like olive oil, Parmesan, pine nuts, garlic, and fresh basil come together in a simple and flavorful dish that’s ready in just minutes.

Square overhead shot of calico beans in a white dish.

Calico Beans

The perfect potluck side dish or easy weeknight dinner! Grandma’s calico beans recipe comes together in about 15 minutes, can be prepped in advance, and feed a crowd. With ground beef, bacon, and onion in a sweet and savory sauce, the baked beans are delicious alongside a skillet of Southern cornbread, grilled hamburgers, pulled pork, and fried chicken.

Square overhead shot of a pot of American chop suey.

American Chop Suey

With just 10 minutes of prep and a few pantry staples, my grandmother’s one-pot American chop suey is a quick and easy comfort food dinner that kids and adults will love! Top it with cheddar or Parmesan cheese, and serve it alongside a salad, cornbread, or biscuits. The made from scratch pasta and ground beef skillet is always a weeknight winner.

Stacked chicken burritos on a wooden board with chips and salsa in the background.

Chicken Burrito

If you love Chipotle but you don’t love the price of takeout, then this is the chicken burrito recipe for you! The easiest homemade burritos are simple, flavorful, and freezer-friendly. Keep them stashed in your kitchen and satisfy a craving for Mexican food any night of the week!

Square side shot of old fashioned sloppy joes recipe on a bun.

Old Fashioned Sloppy Joes Recipe

This old fashioned Sloppy Joes recipe comes together in less than 30 minutes for a quick and easy dinner — even on your busiest nights. A handful of simple pantry staples like ketchup, mustard, and cider vinegar create a homemade sweet and tangy sauce that’s so much better than the canned stuff!

Square overhead shot of tuna noodle casserole in a baking dish.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Classic tuna noodle casserole is an old-fashioned, easy dinner that has been loved for generations! Best of all, the family-friendly dish comes together in about 20 minutes. You can’t beat the cheesy combination of tender noodles, canned tuna fish, and sweet peas tossed in a creamy sauce with crushed potato chips on top!

Square overhead shot of a bowl of pasta pomodoro sauce.

Pomodoro Sauce

This quick and easy 5-ingredient pomodoro sauce is a simple, flavorful combination of sweet ripe tomatoes, herbs, garlic, onions, and olive oil. Toss the fresh tomato sauce with pasta and serve the light, healthy dish alongside a salad and garlic bread for your next family dinner. Homemade pasta pomodoro is like an Italian vacation — in the comfort of your own kitchen!

Square side shot of shredded Crock Pot ranch chicken on a sandwich.

Ranch Chicken Crock Pot Recipe

This easy ranch chicken crock pot recipe yields flavorful, tender, shredded meat that’s delicious in sandwiches and wraps, in tacos or burritos, and on salads or rice bowls. With just 10 minutes of prep, it’s a quick, simple, and family-friendly weeknight dinner!

Square side shot of a bowl of creamy beef tomato soup with a spoon.

Creamy Tomato Soup with Ground Beef and Noodles

Creamy tomato soup with ground beef and noodles is an easy one-pot dinner that’s ready in less than 45 minutes! Add a loaf of crusty bread or a simple green side salad for a delicious and family-friendly weeknight meal.

Square overhead image of a pan of French onion pasta bake.

French Onion Pasta Bake with Spinach and Mushrooms

All of the flavors that you love from a classic bowl of French onion soup are transformed into a hearty casserole! This easy French onion pasta includes sweet caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, fresh spinach, and gooey melted Gruyere cheese.

Overhead image of a white baking dish full of sour cream noodle bake.

Hamburger Casserole {Sour Cream Noodle Bake}

This Amish hamburger casserole is a comforting dinner that’s full of ground beef, pasta, vegetables, and three different types of cheese. My mom served the layered sour cream noodle bake when I was growing up, and my own kids now love the easy meal, too. Pair it with a simple green salad, broccoli, cornbread, or a crusty loaf of bread!

Square overhead shot of a pan of bisquick cheeseburger pie.

Cheeseburger Pie (Impossible Cheeseburger Pie)

This easy Bisquick cheeseburger pie, also called “impossible cheeseburger pie,” is one of those great old-fashioned dinners that the entire family will love! Serve each slice with a simple green salad, roasted broccoli, sauteed zucchini, or a fresh fruit salad!

Square overhead shot of a bean soup recipe in a white bowl

Bean Soup {Stovetop + Slow Cooker}

Thick, smoky and satisfying, this healthy ham and bean soup recipe is the perfect meal for a chilly day! The easy dinner can be prepared on the stovetop, in the slow cooker, or in an Instant Pot for a convenient option that suits your schedule. 15 bean soup is also a great way to use up that leftover ham from Christmas or Easter!

Square side shot of crock pot pulled pork sandwich

Crock Pot Pulled Pork

Crock Pot Pulled Pork is one of the easiest and most affordable slow cooker dinners you’ll ever make! With just a few minutes of prep, you can have a big batch of tender, juicy meat to use in tacos, sandwiches, wraps, or salads all week long. A flavorful bbq dry rub seasons the pulled pork, which is perfect when tossed with bbq sauce and piled high on buns! Serve it alongside coleslaw, pickles, collard greens, potato wedges, or cornbread!

Overhead image of chicken noodle casserole from scratch in a white casserole dish with red trim

Chicken Noodle Casserole

Make this cheesy Chicken Noodle Casserole from scratch with simple, wholesome ingredients. The egg noodles, vegetables and tender chicken come together in a creamy sauce with a buttery Ritz cracker topping. Add a salad and corn muffins or biscuits for an easy dinner any night of the week!

Square close up image of cast iron skillet burgers on a dinner table.

Cast Iron Skillet Burgers

These juicy, flavorful cast iron skillet burgers are ready from start to finish in about 20 minutes! Serve the restaurant-quality meal with potato salad, baked potato wedges, pasta salad, or baked beans for an easy dinner that the whole family will love!

Overhead shot of hands serving cheesy chicken broccoli and rice casserole from a white dish.

Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole

This simple, flavorful, and easy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole is an old-fashioned classic! You just can’t beat the convenience of a make-ahead one dish meal, complete with tender chicken, fresh broccoli, white rice, and cheddar cheese in a creamy sauce made from cream of mushroom soup. Top it off with Ritz crackers and serve it alongside a simple green salad or a basket of buttermilk biscuits!

Eating a bowl of hoppin john with a side of cornbread on a wooden table.

Hoppin’ John

A classic Southern dish! Hoppin’ John, or “Carolina Peas and Rice,” is a simple, flavorful combination of black-eyed peas, rice, bacon, smoked ham hock, onion, celery, garlic, and herbs. Often served on New Year’s Day, the delicious field peas pair nicely with other lucky foods like cornbread and collard greens. Don’t wait for a New Year’s tradition, though — this humble dish deserves an appearance on the table more than once a year!

Overhead shot of hands eating a bowl of cabbage soup with a spoon.

Crockpot Cabbage Soup with Hamburger

It doesn’t get much easier than a healthy, nourishing pot of Grandma’s Crockpot Cabbage Soup with hamburger, beans, and loads of veggies. Prep a big batch in advance and stash it in the fridge or freezer for easy lunches and satisfying dinners on chilly days. Serve each comforting bowl with a loaf of crusty bread, a skillet of cornbread, or a basket of flaky buttermilk biscuits.

Square overhead shot of pan fried pork chops

Pan Fried Pork Chops

Simple is best! These 5-ingredient pan fried pork chops come together with about 5 minutes of prep for an easy weeknight dinner that your family will love. Tender and juicy, the crisp, golden brown chops are delicious alongside buttermilk biscuits, grits, rice, Southern-style green beans, or a skillet of cornbread.

Hands serving cabbage roll casserole from a dish

Cabbage Roll Casserole

Total comfort food! This cabbage roll casserole is a nutritious dinner that’s full of flavor. With ground beef, tomato soup, veggies, rice, bacon, and cheese, the dish includes all of the ingredients from my great grandmother’s Polish stuffed cabbage rolls — with none of the rolling and stuffing required! Pair the cozy unstuffed cabbage roll casserole with a side of cornbread, 3-ingredient buttermilk biscuits, or a basket of blueberry muffins.

Square overhead shot of a pan of hamburger steak with gravy

Hamburger Steak {Poor Man’s Steak}

Total comfort food! This easy hamburger steak with mushroom gravy (also known as “poor man’s steak”) is an affordable, easy dinner recipe that the whole family can enjoy! Serve the ground beef patties with mashed potatoes, egg noodles, 3-ingredient buttermilk biscuits, or a loaf of crusty bread to soak up any extra sauce.

Overhead shot of a plate of stuffed peppers with rice

Stuffed Peppers with Rice

Classic stuffed peppers with rice, ground beef, two different types of cheese, and Italian herbs are baked in tomato sauce until tender and flavorful. This easy dinner recipe appeals to both kids and adults, is a cozy and satisfying meal, and even looks elegant enough for entertaining! Pair the stuffed peppers with a side salad, crusty bread, or fluffy buttermilk biscuits.

Large square featured image of a bowl of pasta with cherry tomatoes on a dinner table

Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes {5 Ingredients!}

Pasta with cherry tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and fresh basil is an easy 5-ingredient vegetarian dinner that’s ready from start to finish in about 20 minutes! It’s the perfect summer meal when you don’t feel like cooking, as the simple recipe let’s summer’s produce shine. Garnish the pasta and burst cherry tomato sauce with Parmesan cheese, and serve each bowl with a crisp green salad and a loaf of crusty bread.

Featured image of baked 5-ingredient crispy and sticky honey garlic chicken

Sticky Honey Garlic Chicken {5 Ingredients}

With just 5 ingredients and 5 minutes of prep, this sticky and crispy honey garlic chicken is an easy weeknight dinner recipe for stress-free evenings! Use white meat chicken breasts, thighs, wings, or drumsticks — or a combination of parts. The tender, juicy, and flavorful meat is delicious served with rice, sesame noodles, steamed broccoli, or ramen noodle salad, and can easily be adjusted to feed only 2 people.

Square overhead image of an easy one pot chicken bog recipe

One-Pot Easy Chicken Bog

A quick and simplified version of this Southern classic is perfect for your busy weeknight meals! Easy chicken bog is a one-pot dinner that includes chicken, smoked sausage, rice, and vegetables in a single Dutch oven. Pair it with a side salad, corn muffins, or buttermilk biscuits for the ultimate comfort food supper!

Close up square featured image of a bowl of chicken and noodles

Farmhouse Chicken and Noodles

A simple farmhouse classic, these old-fashioned Chicken and Noodles are total comfort food! The affordable, easy dinner recipe is perfect for busy families — prepare a big batch in advance and serve a warm bowl whenever you need a quick and hearty meal. Everyone loves the homemade chicken broth, fluffy noodles, and tender, shredded chicken. Don’t forget the cornbread, buttermilk biscuits, or side salad, too!

Square overhead shot of a bowl of hamburger soup

Grandmother’s Hamburger Soup

This simple, healthy, and easy hamburger soup recipe is pure comfort in a bowl, and it has stood the test of time for generations! Loaded with ground beef, vegetables, and potatoes, the one pot meal can be made on the stovetop or in the slow cooker for a simple weeknight dinner. Serve each bowl with buttermilk biscuits, a skillet of cornbread, or a simple green salad.

Square overhead image of beans and greens

Appalachian Beans and Greens

Hearty and humble, beans and greens with a side of cornbread has been a staple dish in Appalachia for generations. Use collards, turnip greens, kale, or spinach — whatever you have on hand. Simmered in broth with herbs, garlic, onions, and bacon, these Southern beans and greens make a simple, flavorful, and affordable meal in about 30 minutes!

Square overhead image of a bowl of appalachian soup beans on a wooden table with a side of cornbread

Appalachian Soup Beans {Pinto Bean Soup}

Simple, hearty, and flavorful, soup beans is a traditional Appalachian meal that’s been enjoyed for generations. The cozy pinto bean soup is delicious topped with bacon, chow chow, onions or ramps, and served alongside cornbread, potatoes, and greens. Prepare the classic dish in a Dutch oven or in a Crock Pot, and savor a taste of the mountain South!

Side shot of two bowls of butter beans with ham and cornbread

Southern Lima Beans with Ham {Butter Beans}

This classic Southern Lima Bean recipe is a delicious side dish or budget-friendly entrée. The rich, smoky butter beans are flavored with a ham hock and slowly simmered until tender. Serve a bowl of the thick, creamy lima beans with a side of sweet honey cornbread for the ultimate comfort food supper!

Square overhead shot of Crock Pot beans and cornbread with a side salad

Crock Pot Beans and Cornbread

Simple, hearty, and flavorful, Crock Pot beans and cornbread is a traditional meal that’s been enjoyed throughout the south, southwest, and Appalachia for generations. The cozy pinto beans are delicious alongside a simple skillet of cornbread, and paired with greens or a crisp salad. It’s an affordable, satisfying, and easy dinner!

Square side shot of a plate of creamed chicken over biscuits with salad in the background

Creamed Chicken and Biscuits

Serve this old fashioned creamed chicken on biscuits, with toast, or over rice for easy, Southern comfort food! The simple weeknight dinner is ready in just 20 minutes, and is delicious alongside a crisp green salad, Arkansas green beans with bacon, or oven-roasted Brussels sprouts.

Square front shot of chef holding a pan of buttermilk marinated chicken

Roasted Buttermilk Marinated Chicken

Crispy roasted buttermilk marinated chicken comes together with just 15 minutes of prep and a handful of pantry staples. The juicy, golden brown chicken thighs, chicken breasts, or other chicken parts are flavored with garlic and herbs for a simple, delicious, and easy dinner recipe. Serve the meat with a tray of your favorite roasted vegetables, a bowl of buttermilk mashed potatoes, a pan of fluffy buttermilk biscuits, or a skillet of Southern cornbread.

Square overhead shot of crock pot pot roast on a serving platter on a wooden table

Crock Pot Pot Roast

This easy Crock Pot pot roast recipe comes from our neighbors, who make it a regular post-church meal on Sunday afternoons. The unique combination of Coca Cola, onion soup seasoning mix, potatoes, carrots, onions, and herbs results in tender, flavorful, and succulent shredded beef. Serve the meat and veggies with a skillet of cornbread, a pan of buttermilk biscuits, or a basket of old-fashioned cranberry muffins.

Close overhead shot of pork ragu with pasta in a bowl on a table

Pork Ragu {Crock Pot or Stovetop}

Total comfort food — with just 10 minutes of prep! Prepare this pork ragu recipe in the slow cooker or on the stovetop for an Italian-inspired, easy dinner that your family will adore! Serve the hearty meat sauce over pappardelle (or other pasta), and pair it with a simple green salad and garlic bread for a cozy supper any night of the week.

Square shot of the best turkey chili recipe served with toppings

Easy Ground Turkey Chili

Your search for the best turkey chili recipe stops here! With just the right amount of zesty seasoning, this simple and easy ground turkey chili is thick, rich, and incredibly flavorful. Serve it with a side of cornbread, pumpkin bread, or corn muffins for the ultimate family-friendly dinner!


Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Square overhead shot of hands serving a chicken pot pie recipe with biscuits
Overhead image of a bowl of chili mac on a dinner table with cornbread
Hands serving a platter of sheet pan sausage and potatoes

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