Five Cheap and Easy Dinner Ideas

Five Cheap and Easy Dinner IdeasMoms (and Dads), are you tired of making the same things for dinner week in and week out? Are your kids eating you out of house and home, and do you need some more affordable recipes?

Here are five recipes that won’t break the bank and are kid-friendly! One of them even lasts for two nights, which means you have an entire week of meals (plus one night for eating out!) right here. These are all tried and true from moms and grandmas. Enjoy! 

Copycat Chick-fil-A Night 


-Hamburger buns 
-Frozen chicken patties (breaded or plain) 
-Frozen waffle fries 
-Chicken sauce 

-Add a veggie on the side if you want!

Fish Tacos 


-Frozen fish sticks 
-Fajita size flour or corn tortillas 
-Sour cream 
-Shredded cheese 
-Whatever other toppings sound good to you 

-Coleslaw for the side

Ramen Stir-Fry 


-2 packs Instant Ramen in soy sauce flavor 
-1 lb. ground beef (or ground turkey) 
-1 bag frozen stir-fry veggies 
-2 cups of water 

Cook the ground beef with one pack of ramen seasoning mixed in, then drain. Put the ramen noodles, veggies, and other seasoning pack in a pot with the 2 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Cook until most of the water boils off. Add the meat to the noodle veggie mixture.

Pesto Gnocchi and Sausage


(makes enough for two nights depending on your crowd!) 
-2 packs gnocchi (if you haven’t made gnocchi before, it cooks even faster than pasta!) 
-1 lb. meat: sweet Italian turkey sausage, ground beef, polska kielbasa, whatever sounds good! 
-2 packs steamer broccoli florets (also good are pea pods and red peppers)
-2 jars of pesto 
-milk or heavy cream 
Boil gnocchi according to directions. At the same time, cook your meat and microwave the broccoli. Drain the gnocchi and meat, and put together with broccoli in your big pot. Now mix 1 jar of pesto with enough heavy cream (I usually use milk since it’s what I have on hand) to cover your ingredients. I save the second jar of pesto and add more milk for the second night when I reheat it on the stove.  

The beauty of this recipe is that it’s customizable! Use whole wheat gnocchi or pasta instead, or sub out for any kind of meat or vegetable that sounds good to you. You can even use sun dried tomato pesto instead of basil pesto. And the whole meal goes in one bowl with no need for sides, although garlic bread is always a favorite!

Chicken Casserole 


-1 rotisserie or whole cooked chicken, shredded 
-1 can cream of chicken soup 
-1 can cream of mushroom soup 
-1 (8 oz.) bag of herb stuffing mix 
-1 stick of butter, melted 
-1 can chicken broth 

Preheat the oven to 350F. Mix chicken, chicken soup, and mushroom soup in a bowl. Pour mixture into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. In a second bowl, mix the stuffing, butter, and chicken broth. Layer over the chicken mixture. Bake for 30 minutes.

Bonus: Dessert! 

Chiller Dillers 


-any kind of ice cream, but we like vanilla bean or chocolate as a base 
-add any topping or syrup you want! 
Put a couple of scoops of ice cream in a tall glass, and add milk halfway up. Gently mash until almost milkshake-like. Then eat with a spoon! It’s easy but a fun treat.  

Moms, what other quick and easy recipes do you have to share with us? 


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