Chicken Dinners Under $3
Chicken and Poblano Pepper Soup
Roasted tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and bone-in chicken thighs infuse this soup's broth with loads of flavor. Scoop up with a spoon -- or skip it and use tortilla chips instead.
Budget Dinner Price: $2.94
Spice-Rubbed Chicken and Poblano Tacos
Stuffed with equal amounts of grilled chicken and roasted poblano peppers, these tacos offer a pleasant amount of heat. Since corn tortillas are so budget-friendly, feel free to double up and make two-ply street tacos. It will only add 16 cents per serving to your tally!
Budget Dinner Price: $1.32
Bacon-Cheddar Chipotle Chicken Panini
Sliced deli chicken, rotisserie chicken, or leftover chicken would all work wonderfully in this wallet- and waistline-friendly sandwich. A light spiced-up ranch spread and reduced-fat cheddar bring this chicken and bacon sandwich together.
Budget Dinner Price: $1.98
Stovetop Chicken, Macaroni, and Cheese
With two types of cheese, plus plenty of chicken, fresh spinach, and tomatoes, this chicken skillet sneaks in right under $3 per serving. Our grown-up twist on mac and cheese is worth the splurge, though, and will make you forget all about the boxed stuff.
Budget Dinner Price: $2.99
Oven-Fried Chicken with Tomato Gravy
Instead of being battered and fried, the chicken breasts in this lightened-up recipe are coated in low-cost staples yogurt and cornflakes, then baked. The result: the irresistible crunchy texture you crave, just without all of the calories and fat. Pile the finished product on top of spaghetti and you'll still fall under $3 per serving.
Budget Dinner Price: $2.24
Smoky Chicken Pizzas
Skip the delivery and BYOP (build your own pizza) tonight. This barbecue chicken recipe starts with packaged pizza crusts to speed up prep time and make this weeknight dinner-appropriate.
Budget Dinner Price: $2.97
Chicken Breasts with Herbs
A fragrant mix of parsley, oregano, lemon peel, and garlic give a boost of fresh flavor to buttery chicken in our simple and succulent chicken dinner. The three words that best describe this meal: simple, cheap, and easy.
Budget Dinner Price: $2.21
Chicken Alfredo Cauliflower Rice Bake
Two statements that are generally true: 1. Kids love chicken alfredo. 2. Kids hate cauliflower and spinach. This cheesy rotisserie chicken casserole combines all of those ingredients in one dish -- and the result is a definite picky eater-pleaser.
Budget Dinner Price: $2.48
Tarragon Chicken Salad with Cranberries
Grab a package of cubed, cooked chicken from the refrigerator aisle or dice it up yourself from a rotisserie chicken to make this creamy chicken salad. Plenty of tarragon and dried cranberries make it taste much fresher than your typical salad sandwich.
Budget Dinner Price: $2.41
Chicken Lo Mein
Skip the Asian takeout and go the DIY route! Our version incorporates the just-right amount of fresh veggies. Those produce stars, plus chicken breasts and egg noodles, transform into international eats with a splash of rice vinegar, sesame oil, and soy sauce.
Budget Dinner Price: $1.47
Chicken Frittata with Chimichurri
Eggs are a budget-diner's BFF. Combine them with shredded chicken, a spicy cilantro chimichurri, and black beans for a south-of-the-border egg entree that's just as delicious reheated for brunch the next day.
Budget Dinner Price: $1.59
Southwestern Chicken and Macaroni Salad
Keep a bag of cooked chicken strips in the freezer and a box of macaroni in the pantry and you'll be just a few steps away from getting this remarkable affordable chicken dinner on the table. Just cook them both, add a spicy cream cheese sauce, and top with chopped avocado.
Budget Dinner Price: $0.99
Cornflakes are the secret to the crispy coating in this budget-friendly version of fried chicken. It's just like the fast food version that comes in a bucket...but better! Crunchy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside (and not a bit greasy), this chicken recipe is sure to leave your guests asking for more.
Budget Dinner Price: $2.75
Stuck in a chicken rut? Spice up a traditional chicken dinner recipe with chimichurri, an Argentine sauce made from pureed herbs and citrus. Lemon-seasoned green beans round out the meal.
Budget Dinner Price: $2.48
Hot Chicken Salad Skillet Casserole
Cream of chicken soup, plain low-fat yogurt, and mozzarella cheese are the budget-friendly ingredients that make this chicken skillet uber-creamy. Top with sliced almonds (just a handful to keep the price tag low) and crushed cornflakes for crunch.
Budget Dinner Price: $2.10
Nacho Cheese Chicken Chowder
Satisfy even your pickiest eater with a tomato-chicken chowder full of yummy nacho cheese flavoring. As one of our readers says, "My family loves it!"
Budget Dinner Price: $2.50
Beer-Braised Chicken Tacos
Stock up on a six-pack and crack open one bottle of Mexican cerveza for the poaching liquid for these chicken tacos. What you do with the other five bottles is up to you...
Budget Dinner Price: $1.79
French-inspired creamy Dijonnaise sauce tops pan-fried chicken in this 30-minute meal. Add green onions to a mixture of whipping cream, white wine, and mustard to make this simple sauce.
Budget Dinner Price: $2.95
Chicken Cassoulet-Style Soup
Cassoulet, a French slow-cooker pork-and-bean casserole, is a delicious option for a weeknight meal. Our six-ingredient version uses chicken and turkey sausage to help keep the price low.
Budget Dinner Price: $2.29
Chicken with Apricots
Sweet, juicy apricots balance the curry-spiced chicken in this quick and easy dinner. Serve with light, fluffy orzo for a complete chicken dinner that's ready in just 20 minutes.
Budget Dinner Price: $2.73
Garlic-Parmesan Chicken and Noodles
For a cozy dinner (that’s inexpensive, too!), fold egg noodles and Parmesan cheese into a mixture of frozen peas, garlic, milk, and shredded rotisserie chicken. A bread-and-Parmesan topping adds crunch to this bubbly chicken casserole.
Budget Dinner Price: $2.87
Grilled Rosemary Chicken
A marinade of lime and rosemary infuses this grilled chicken recipe with great flavor. This recipe is as quick as it is delicious -- the marinade takes just minutes to whip up!
Budget Dinner Price: $1.77
Slow Cooker Indian Chicken Stew
Introduce your family to Indian food with the flavors of aromatic curry, ground ginger, and hints of cayenne in this slow cooker chicken stew that’s delicious served over basmati rice.
Budget Dinner Price: $1.84
Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Combine two favorites -- buffalo chicken and pizza -- in this spicy homemade chicken dish. At just 20 minutes from start to finish, you'll love how quick it is to pull together these hot, peppery pizzas. Top with celery strips and crumbled blue cheese to fully embrace the buffalo wing flavor.
Budget Dinner Price: $1.90
Buttermilk-Brined Fried Chicken
This classic fried chicken recipe tastes just like it should -- juicy and tender with a crispy coating. A great budget-friendly option for any cookout or picnic, this finger-licking good recipe will be a hit with any crowd.
Budget Dinner Price: $0.78
Fast Chicken and Rice
Saucy chicken and brown rice pair with peas and crunchy almonds in this incredibly fast and inexpensive meal. It takes just 10 minutes -- a great solution for hectic weeknights (instead of resorting to takeout).
Budget Dinner Price: $2.45
Take traditional stroganoff to the next level with garlic-laced cream of mushroom soup and succulent braised chicken. Make this delicious dinner in the slow cooker to trim your prep time down to just 20 minutes.
Budget Dinner Price: $2.30
Temper the spice in this curry-flavor chicken dish with skillet-seared pineapple. A coconut milk sauce flavored with serrano chile pepper and brown sugar finishes off the spicy-sweetness of this chicken recipe.
Budget Dinner Price: $2.07
Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
This slow cooker version of the old-fashioned favorite is a triple threat -- it’s easy, inexpensive, and uses just five ingredients! Frozen veggies, canned soup, and egg noodles help keep the cost down.
Budget Dinner Price: $2.10
Pasta, Red Bean, and Parsley Toss
Tender broccoli, red beans, and smoky chili powder make this pasta dish anything but ordinary. A simple chicken broth and pecorino cheese sauce tie the whole dish together.
Budget Dinner Price: $2.29