Healthy Dinner Recipes Under $3

We all want the same thing: a delicious (and healthy!) inexpensive dinner. Try our recipes, each of which is a healthy dinner idea full of nutrition without skimping on taste. Plus, at less than $3 per serving, our cheap healthy recipes are easy on the wallet and the waistline. These will make you feel good about feeding the family!


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Chicken with Parmesan Noodles

      Budget dinner price: $2.10 per serving

      Just 20 minutes is all you'll need to pull off our all-in-one chicken and pasta dinner. The combination of veggies, angel hair pasta, and high-protein chicken covers all the bases at dinnertime.

    • Fajita-Style Quesadillas

      Budget dinner price: 43 cents per serving

      It's fiesta time! Dive into our cheesy quesadillas for your next Mexican night. They are filled with not only good-for-you veggies, but also cilantro and lime to heighten the fresh Mexican flavor without adding excess calories. Make it an entree by adding your favorite protein.

      Free Week of Healthy Meals Shop do-it-all Dutch ovens now!
    • Veggie Mac and Cheese

      Budget dinner price: $1.29 per serving

      Mac and cheese probably isn't the first thing to come to mind when thinking of healthy dinner ideas, but when you use whole grain pasta, broccoli, carrots, and reduced-fat cheese, it becomes a nutritious and cheap recipe.

    • Ham and Sweet Potato Mini Flatbreads

      Budget dinner price: $1.78 per serving

      With this cheap healthy recipe we grant you permission to eat cranberry sauce year-round! You're welcome.

    • Fish Tostadas with Chili-Lime Cream

      Budget dinner price: $2.82 per serving

      Whitefish is a lean source of protein that's mild in flavor and easily complements stronger flavors like the chili powder, garlic, and lime in these tostadas. Even with our homemade chili-lime cream, this dinner recipe rings in at just 278 calories for two tostadas!

    • Triple-Veggie Pasta

      Budget dinner price: $2.95 per serving

      Noodles made of nutritious zucchini, yellow squash, and carrots combine with silky alfredo and savory basil pesto sauces for a "pasta" dinner that's actually healthy! Chicken and more veggies keep calories low and protein high with 26 g per serving.


    • Peanut Fettuccine with Roasted Cauliflower

      Budget dinner price: $1.81 per serving

      Sticking to healthy meals on a budget often means skipping restaurant fare. With this restaurant remake you can enjoy restaurant flavor while saving money and calories.

      Must-Try Ethnic Recipes
    • Bacon-and-Egg Rice Bowls

      Budget dinner price: $1.49 per serving

      Is it breakfast? Is it dinner? That's up to you. No matter when you eat this healthy meal in a bowl, it's a cheap and easy recipe under 400 calories.

      Our Best Breakfasts
    • Easy Pasta Primavera

      Budget dinner price: $1.15 per serving

      Lighten traditionally heavy pasta dishes while still enjoying a creamy sauce with loads of vegetables. Our five-ingredient pasta primavera is full of fiber and delicious fresh flavor.

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      Beef and Black Bean Chili

      Budget dinner price: $1.36 per serving

      Start planning your next chili night! This slow cooker chili recipe can be prepped in just 25 minutes. Add everything to the slow cooker and come home to a healthy dinner loaded with veggies and 8 grams of fiber.

      Shop slow cookers now!
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      Crispy Fish and Peppers

      Budget dinner price: $2.18 per serving

      This finger-licking good (and low-calorie) fried fish main dish can be yours in just 20 minutes. Spicy Cajun-style batter adds fantastic crunch to your favorite lean fish fillets, and mini sweet peppers provide a great dose of vitamins. Serve it with your favorite veggie side dish for a complete meal.

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      Chili-Pasta Skillet

      Budget dinner price: $1.61 per serving

      Not only does our healthy pasta recipe ring in at under 300 calories per serving, but it also requires just 20 minutes of prep. Make it a family dinner recipe by adding more or less chili powder to suit your kids' tastes.

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      Fall Vegetable Fajitas

      Budget dinner price: $1.25 per serving

      Spiced and seasoned veggies -- grilled to bring out their natural sweetness -- star in our fajita dinner recipe. You can find the produce year-round, so enjoy the healthy recipe any time you seek a cheap dinner.

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      Falafel and Vegetable Pitas

      Budget dinner price: $1.53 per serving

      Here it is! A meatless sandwich that's also a cheap and easy meal. Ready in less than 30 minutes and under $2 per serving, it's a no brainer! Oh yeah, it's also loaded with fiber and protein thanks to garbanzo beans.

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      Red Beans and Rice with Squash

      Budget dinner price: $2.90 per serving

      As long as you've got cooked brown rice on hand (or a microwaveable rice product) this cheap dinner comes together all in one pan for easy cleanup.

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      Fajita-Ranch Chicken Wraps

      Budget dinner price: $2.05 per serving

      Enjoy a light supper with this simple meal that's loaded with protein and veggies -- you'll feel satisfied even with smaller portions. Plus, you'll definitely save money dining in rather than out at a Mexican hot spot.

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      Spaghetti with Tomatoes and Shrimp

      Budget dinner price: $2.58 per serving

      Whole wheat noodles, no-salt-added canned tomatoes, and shrimp make this delicious meal surprisingly low-cal. Use frozen shrimp instead of fresh to avoid the high cost of seafood.

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      How to Cook Shrimp

      Learning how to cook shrimp is surprisingly simple. We'll show you how to peel and devein shrimp so you can use it in delicious everyday recipes.

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      Vegetarian Gumbo

      Budget dinner price: $1.50 per serving

      When it comes to cheap easy dinners, it's hard to beat this protein-packed vegetarian soup recipe. A hint of Cajun seasoning gives the healthy dinner its bold flavor.

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      Mexican White Bean Soup

      Budget dinner price: 99 cents per serving

      A high-fiber, high-flavor soup recipe is the perfect fuel on a chilly night. The addition of salsa verde and a good dose of cumin give this budget meal unique Mexican flavor.

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      Chicken, Tomato, and Cucumber Dinner Salad

      Budget dinner price: $2.57 per serving

      Whip up a delicious Mediterranean salad in 20 minutes with a few simple ingredients, including chicken, feta cheese, olives, and tomatoes. It's the epitome of easy, healthy dinner recipes.

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      DIY Dressing: Shaken, Not Stirred

      Ditch the bottled stuff for a healthier -- and more delicious -- salad topper. Watch our secrets for homemade dressing.

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      Lentil Soup with Beef and Red Pepper

      Budget dinner price: $1.90 per serving

      Make expensive meats go further with some help from additional protein-rich ingredients, such as tender French lentils. Spice up this savory soup with a smoky blend of cumin and cayenne for a flavorful and inexpensive healthy meal.

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      Smoky Mushroom Stroganoff

      Budget dinner price: $1.90 per serving

      Try our healthy vegetarian version of your favorite stroganoff for a new low-cal take on the classic. Our light cream sauce goes well with flat, long pastas, so try swapping fettuccine or tagliatelle for the pappardelle. Just choose whatever's on sale to stick with the cheap meal theme.

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      White Bean Tuna Salad

      Budget dinner price: $1.36 per serving

      Perfect to pack for lunch or as a light, summery dinner recipe, this main-dish salad explodes with fresh flavor. Heart-healthy tuna and fiber-rich beans join with peppery greens, fresh herbs, and a citrusy dressing for a healthy salad recipe that's a cheap easy meal.

      Fresh Salad Recipes
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      Gnocchi, Sweet Corn, and Arugula in Cream Sauce

      Budget dinner price: $2.24 per serving

      Gnocchi, a traditional Italian dumpling, joins sweet corn, arugula, and a plethora of savory seasonings to make one delicious dinner that you'd never guess is budget-friendly, too. The addition of veggies to the dish adds extra nutrients to your meal.

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      Farfalle with Mushrooms and Spinach

      Budget dinner price: $1.48 per serving

      Two pans and 20 minutes later, a serving of this tasty low-sodium dish fulfills 20 percent of your daily iron requirement. Bonus: You likely have most of the ingredients on hand, saving you gas money from a grocery trip.

      Tip: Grab prewashed packaged spinach to make meal prep even faster. Even though the package says it's washed, be sure to rinse the spinach in a colander before using.

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      Vegetable Lasagna

      Budget dinner price: $1.73 per serving

      Just as rich -- and twice as nutritious -- as traditional lasagna, this veggie-packed version has only 322 calories per serving. We swapped veggies for red meat but kept all the cheeses you love for a healthy meal idea.

      Healthy Dinner in a Flash
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      Fast Shrimp Bisque

      Budget dinner price: $2.03 per serving

      Soups often make cheap meal ideas! Preparing a delicious and healthy meal is a breeze with our quick shrimp bisque recipe. In just 25 minutes, you can create a savory seafood dinner full of warm, succulent shrimp.

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      Chicken Noodle Casserole

      Budget dinner price: 98 cents per serving

      Win over your dinner crowd with this scrumptious chicken noodle casserole. For a crispy topper, simply combine pieces of fresh bread, chopped onion, and celery instead of the usual high-cal fried onion mix. All the cozy, bubbly comfort makes for one of our favorite healthy recipes for dinner.

      Chicken Breast Recipes
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      Lemon-Dill Shrimp and Pasta

      Budget dinner price: $2.45 per serving

      Enjoy a dine-out experience at home with our favorite Italian pasta dish, complete with succulent shrimp and spinach tossed in a zesty lemon-garlic sauce. The easy-to-find ingredients help keep this a healthy cheap meal.

      20+ Healthy Recipes
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      Italian-Style French Dips

      Budget dinner price: $1.26 per serving

      Yes, you can enjoy meat while making inexpensive healthy dinners. Give classic French dip sandwiches a makeover with green pepper, onion, and lean meat. For a healthy boost, we recommend using reduced-sodium beef broth instead of the original.

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      Potato Frittata

      Budget dinner price: 87 cents per serving

      When you think of cheap and healthy meals, think frittatas! Thinly sliced potatoes form an inexpensive topper when you flip over this hearty frittata. Filled with veggies and protein, this dish proves that eggs aren't just for breakfast.

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      Grilled Pork and Pineapple

      Budget dinner price: $2.67 per serving

      Turn a classic pork chop into a tangy, tropical meal. Orange marmalade creates a mouthwatering (and easy!) glaze and a refreshing topping when mixed with yogurt. Grilled pineapple slices on the side lend their bold sweetness to this new grill-season favorite.

    • 35 of 46

      How to Pick a Pork Chop

      If you've ever been intimidated at the meat counter, we understand. Knowing the good from the not-so-good takes practice. This video will show you how to find tender, flavorful pork chops like a pro.

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      Sweet Potato, Chicken, and Spinach in Browned Butter

      Budget dinner price: $2.08 per serving

      Make healthy veggies delicious with the addition of butter, herbs, and cheese. There's also lean chicken and heart-healthy walnuts for a hearty and healthy budget meal.

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      Jamaican Pork Stir-Fry

      Budget dinner price: $2 per serving

      When you need a cheap quick meal, it's time for a stir-fry. The prechopped packaged frozen vegetables save time in the kitchen and keep you on budget without losing any of the nutrition. Lighten the meal even more by opting for low-cal bottled plum sauce and low-sodium soy sauce.

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      Sunday Dinner Stew

      Budget dinner price: $2.14 per serving

      With just four ingredients and minimal prep, you'll be able to quickly pull together a hearty, beefy Sunday stew. Bonus: It's low in fat and has only 300 calories per serving.

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      Herbed Salmon

      Budget dinner price: $2.49 per serving

      Sprinkled with zesty lemon juice and coated in fresh herbs and savory seasonings, our sophisticated salmon dinner is a real catch. Plus, salmon is low in fat, high in protein, and full of great flavor.

      Healthy & Fast Recipes
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      Five-Spice Pork Kabobs

      Budget dinner price: $1.96 per serving

      The surprise ingredient in this healthy recipe? Ketchup! Mix it with soy sauce and brown sugar for a hoisin-style sauce perfect for grilled kabobs.

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      Turkey-Vegetable Casserole

      Budget dinner price: $2.89 per serving

      You don't have to wait for Thanksgiving to get your fix of holiday turkey. The inviting aroma of this healthy casserole pulls you in, while the hint of sweet apple flavor keeps you coming back for more. 

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      Tuna and Fruit Salsa

      Budget dinner price: $2.23 per serving

      Fruit salsa is a tasty and healthy way to dress up lean seared tuna steaks. We used warm apricot preserves and vinegar for the liquid and mixed in fresh raspberries and roasted peaches.

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      Honey-Glazed Pork Roast

      Budget dinner price: $2.64 per serving

      The goodness of this pork roast recipe starts with a paprika rub and ends with a honey-and-lime glaze. Roasted peppers are an inexpensive addition that offer a dose of nutrients and fresh flavor.

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      Fast Chicken Fettuccine

      Budget dinner price: $2.02 per serving

      Don't deny yourself a bowl of pasta once in a while -- just combine the noodles with other healthy ingredients. We love tangy sun-dried tomatoes and sauteed zucchini. Add protein with wallet-friendly chicken breast.

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      Herb-Garlic Beef Roast

      Budget dinner price: $1.46 per serving

      You won't want to miss our take on a classic beef roast. It's brimming with plump roasted vegetables and plenty of garlic. Punch up the flavor even more with lemon zest and fresh parsley.

    • Next Slideshow Quick and Easy Healthy Dinner Recipes

      Quick and Easy Healthy Dinner Recipes

      With 30 minutes, you have enough time to make a healthy dinner that's tasty, too. Our quick and healthy recipes are a snap to make, and each easy recipe features lean protein with creative ways to cook fruits and vegetables so the whole family will eat them. With delicious ideas for easy chicken recipes, healthy salads, and quick stir-fries, these simple recipes make meal planning a cinch.
      Begin Slideshow »

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