Healthy Dinner Recipes Under $3 Per Serving
Turmeric-Ginger Marinated Chicken
Mini Meat Loaves, Green Beans, and Potatoes
Budget dinner price: $2.29 per serving
Meat loaf scores a top spot on the list of cheap healthy dinners when you use lean ground beef and boost the filling factor with inexpensive spuds. And don’t you love the way sheet-pan dinners like this one require so little cleanup time? Cooking everything on one foil-lined pan speeds it.
Chile-Lime Tilapia with Corn Saute
Budget dinner price: $2.80 per serving
Though not always a bargain, fish can earn a well-deserved spot on your list of cheap healthy dinner ideas. The trick is choosing the right fish. Budget-friendly tilapia definitely does the trick. Little touches like jalapeño and cilantro add loads of flavor to this skillet supper.
Chickpea Alfredo with Spring Veggies
Budget dinner price: $1.21 per serving
Noodle dishes are known to be easy on the wallet. Cashews? Not so much. Fortunately, a small handful of healthy nuts can go a long way to add a rich flavor to cheap healthy dinners like this one. Whole wheat noodles help too.
Budget dinner price: $1.70 per serving
Low in fat (6 grams per portion) yet high in protein (a strong 28 grams), this five-ingredient slow cooker pork recipe checks all the boxes. Healthy? Yes. Simple? Almost couldn't be easier. Affordable? Indeed—it’s one of the lowest-cost options in this collection of cheap healthy dinners. Related: More Healthy Slow-Cooker Pork Recipes
Baked Eggplant Parmesan
Budget dinner price: $1.82 per serving
Because it's breaded with whole wheat panko and baked instead of fried, this eggplant Parm is 600 calories slimmer than its classic Italian counterpart. Keep your healthy streak going by grabbing a couple zucchini at the store to spiralize, toss with the rest of the marinara, and serve under the baked eggplant.
Budget dinner price: $2.57 per serving
A few decades ago, “stretch the meat” was the mantra for cutting costs at dinner time. It’s still a great strategy for making healthy dinners less expensive. Here, wide egg noodles, mushrooms, and a bit of cheese stretches 8 ounces of ground beef to five hearty servings, proving once again that you can make satisfying suppers with only a bit of meat.
Veggie Tostadas with Cauliflower Mash
Budget dinner price: $2.48 per serving
Instead of refried beans, this flavorful Mexican entrée (ready in 30 minutes) uses a creamy cauliflower puree. If you’re hungry and have leftover chicken or shrimp, toss them on too.
Chicken with Parmesan Noodles
Budget dinner price: $2.10 per serving
Just 20 minutes and $12.60 worth of groceries are all you need to pull off our chicken and pasta dinner for six. P.S.: To make your cheap healthy dinner recipes keep on giving, never let any ingredients go to waste. Use any leftover pesto in these quick and easy pesto recipes.
Ham and Sweet Potato Mini Flatbreads
Budget dinner price: $1.78 per serving
Turn budget-friendly shaved cooked ham into something to savor by serving it on mashed sweet potatoes and topping it with cranberry sauce. It's a taste of Thanksgiving any time of year.
White Bean Tuna Salad
Budget dinner price: $1.36 per serving
Your favorite Tuscan-inspired restaurant may not be the first place you’d head to get inspiration for cheap and healthy dinners. But the truth is that much Tuscan cooking is quite humble and healthy. Tuscan cooks are fond of using cannellini beans; here, the beans partner with other great Italian ingredients for a true-to-Italy dish that won’t break the bank or your fat and calorie budgets.
Fish Tostadas with Chili-Lime Cream
Budget dinner price: $2.82 per serving
Whitefish is a great choice for inexpensive family dinners. The cheap and lean protein is mild enough to please even picky eaters. Enjoy it in these crowd-pleasing tostadas expertly seasoned with chili powder, garlic, and lime.
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 grams per serving.
Bacon-and-Egg Rice Bowls
Budget dinner price: $1.49 per serving
Still on the hunt for healthy dinner recipes on a budget? Get cracking—eggs, that is. Here, protein-rich, budget-friendly eggs pair with other inexpensive ingredients for a cheap and easy recipe that’s under 400 calories a serving. Save even more money when you substitute dried herbs you have in your pantry for fresh herbs.
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 25 minutes. Stir everything together in the slow cooker, and come home to a healthy dinner loaded with veggies and 8 grams of fiber.
Peanut Fettuccine with Roasted Cauliflower
Budget dinner price: $1.81 per serving
Sticking to healthy dinners on a budget often means driving past your favorite takeout joints and heading home. With healthful restaurant remakes like this, you can enjoy dining-out flavor while saving money and calories.
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 only 20 minutes of prep. Comforting chili flavors plus pasta and cheese make it a family-favorite.
Fall Vegetable Fajitas
Budget dinner price: $1.25 per serving
Grilling vegetables brings out their natural sweetness; here they’re spiced and seasoned to star in our fajita recipe. Bonus: If you’re someone who grills no matter the season, this dish belongs in your regular rotation of healthy dinner recipes on a budget because you can find these veggies any time of year.
Falafel and Vegetable Pitas
Budget dinner price: $1.53 per serving
Burger night got a healthy vegetarian upgrade. Here, we blend fiber- and protein-rich chickpeas with warm spices, fry them to perfection, then serve with crisp, good-for-you veggies. Ready in less than 30 minutes and under $2 per serving, this cheap, healthy dinner idea has a lot to love about it.
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 cut the cost of seafood.
Budget dinner price: $1.50 per serving
How many cheap healthy dinners can you make without chopping anything? Not many. But here’s one. It’s a no-knife-needed, “dump and done" slow cooker recipe for when you have no more than 10 minutes of hands-on prep time to spare.
Mexican Meatball Stew
Budget dinner price: $2.05 per serving
This slow cooker dump dinner might be the easiest of all: It requires no chopping and no measuring. How easy is that? Six ingredients, 10 minutes prep time, and great flavor combine to make this a go-to cheap and healthy dinner idea for any night of the week.
Chicken, Tomato, and Cucumber Dinner Salad
Budget dinner price: $2.57 per serving
Cheap, easy healthy dinners don’t get fresher or more flavorful than this. The 20-minute recipe features favorites from the Mediterranean diet, including chicken, feta cheese, olives, and tomatoes for a meal brimming with flavor.
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 seasonings to make one delicious dinner that you'd never guess is budget-friendly. The veggies up the nutrients in this healthy vegetarian recipe.
Farfalle with Mushrooms and Spinach
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 then a refreshing topping when mixed with yogurt. Grilled pineapple slices on the side lend their bold sweetness to this new grill-season favorite.
Smoky Mushroom Stroganoff
Budget dinner price: $1.90 per serving
Try our healthy vegetarian version of your favorite Stroganoff for a 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. Choose whatever is on sale to stick with the cheap meal theme.
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 more by opting for low-cal bottled plum sauce and low-sodium soy sauce.