15 One-Pan Dinner Recipes That Won't Blow Your Grocery Budget

Mini Meat Loaves, Green Beans, and Potatoes
Photo: Blaine Moats

Save cash and cleanup time by preparing these one-pan recipes for dinner. We've done the math, and each serving of these skillet dinners, slow cooker meals, or sheet-pan suppers adds up to less than $3 per serving.

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Mini Meat Loaves with Green Beans and Potatoes

Mini Meat Loaves, Green Beans, and Potatoes
Blaine Moats

Budget dinner price: $2.29 per serving

Comfort food gets a little more adorable with this delish twist on meatloaf dinner. Plus, since the individual portions of meatloaf are baked on a single foil-lined sheet pan alongside fingerling potatoes and crunchy green beans, cleanup is a breeze.

02 of 15

Skillet Turkey and Spinach Lasagna

turkey and spinach skillet lasagna

Budget dinner price: $1.78 per serving

Lasagna in less than an hour, in one pan, for less money than a cup of coffee per serving? Yes, please! Egg noodles—one of our favorite pantry staples for one-pan recipes—mimic lasagna sheets without needing that separate boiling step. Serve this alongside a simple green salad tossed with a basic vinaigrette, and you'll still fly under the $3-per-person limit.

03 of 15

Chicken with Ricotta Dumplings

chicken and ricotta dumplings with tomato
Jason Donnelly

Budget dinner price: $2.84 per serving

This Mediterranean meal features many Italian favorites in one easy casserole: olives, tomatoes, ricotta, Parmesan, and oregano. And it still comes in under budget.

04 of 15

Artichoke and Cheese Chicken Breasts with Rosemary Baby Carrots

Artichoke and Cheese Chicken Breasts with Rosemary Baby Carrots

Budget dinner price: $2.74 per serving

It's true that chicken breasts aren't as cheap as legs and thighs. But they can make the grade for budget one-pan dinner recipes if you buy them in bulk and freeze whatever you don't need right away. (Be sure you know how to safely thaw chicken when you're ready to use it.)

05 of 15

Cilantro-Lime Pork

Cilantro-Lime Pork

Budget dinner price: $1.70 per serving

Low in fat, but high in protein, this cilantro-lime pork recipe comes together with only five ingredients. Just pop everything in a slow cooker and serve the tender, tasty pork with tortillas and all your favorite taco toppings. If you're not serving a crowd—this slow cooker recipe serves 8—refrigerate or freeze the leftovers for a no-effort meal on a busy weeknight.

06 of 15

Veggie-Turkey Burgers

veggie-and-turkey burgers with toppings
Andy Lyons

Budget dinner price: $1.60 per serving

When pricing out ingredients for one-pan dinner recipes, meat is often the deal-breaker. For this grilled burger recipe, we extend 12 ounces of ground turkey (and add nutrition) by mixing in shredded carrot before forming the patties. Because the turkey burgers and hamburger buns are so affordable, you can afford to splurge on a variety of vegetable toppings and condiments. Try spiralized zucchini, tomato, lettuce, and a fancy aioli or mustard.

07 of 15

Smoky Beef Stroganoff with Cremini Mushrooms

beef stroganoff and mushrooms in casserole dish

Budget dinner price: $2.17 per serving

Beef Stroganoff has been on the home cook's list of great one-pan recipes for decades. So, what's new here? Smoked paprika (rather than regular) adds an irresistible smoky element, and cremini mushrooms have a deeper flavor than traditional white mushrooms. Is it still a budget dish? Yes! The sirloin steak and mushrooms are major investments, but the noodles, beef broth, herbs, and spices keep the recipe in budget.

08 of 15

Cilantro-Ginger Bulgur with Shrimp

Cilantro-Ginger Bulgur with Shrimp on white plate
Jason Donnelly

Budget dinner price: $1.79 per serving

Lots of one-pan recipes bulk up a seafood dish by pairing it with pasta. That's a budget-friendly move we can appreciate. However, this recipe one-ups the strategy by using big-flavored bulgur instead of pasta to stretch the shrimp. Add fresh herbs, jalapeño peppers, and ginger, and the dish tastes as good as (or better than) a seafood dish you'd pay $20 for at a restaurant.

09 of 15

Moroccan Chicken and Cauliflower Stew

Moroccan Chicken and Cauliflower Stew
Carson Downing

Budget dinner price: $2.97 per serving

Serving this North African-inspired chicken dish is easier and more affordable than you might think. Chicken thighs (or legs) are rubbed with a blend of cumin, ginger, cinnamon, and cayenne before simmering with cauliflower, chickpeas, olives, dried apricots, and crushed tomatoes. Even better, this hearty stew can be made on your stovetop in a Dutch oven, in a pressure cooker, or in a slow cooker.

10 of 15

Skillet Taco Pie

Skillet Taco Pie
Blaine Moats

Budget dinner price: $2.03 per serving

When kids want to invite a friend or two for dinner, a taco party can be great fun. But have you ever noticed how shells, meat, cheese, seasoning, salsa, and loads of toppings can add to the prep time and expense? (Not to mention the mess.) Keep costs in check by cooking a finite supply of taco-topping ingredients in one skillet for one of the most kid-friendly one-pan recipes in our files.

11 of 15

Cheesy Chicken-Chile Quesadillas

chicken-cheese quesadillas with green chiles
Andy Lyons

Budget dinner price: $1.24 per serving

For wraps, tacos, enchiladas, or quesadillas, tortillas are a budget-friendly starch that are handy for busy weeknights. Grab your grill pan and stuff those tortillas with chicken, chiles, and two types of cheese (cheddar and Monterey Jack) for this crowd-pleasing Mexican meal. Because you have more than half of your $3 budget left to play with, snag ingredients to mix up some beans and rice or a taco salad while the peppers and chicken grill.

12 of 15

Jamaican Pork Stir-Fry

Jamaican Pork Stir-Fry
Andy Lyons

Budget dinner price: $2.00 per serving

Yes, a hearty pork dish can be a budget-friendly dinner. If you are craving a little Caribbean flavor, toss sliced pork loin in a wok or skillet with peppers, onions, and lots of Jamaican jerk seasoning for a low-fat meal that is ready in less than 30 minutes.

13 of 15

Tuna Melts with Olives and Lemon

Tuna Melts with Olives and Lemon

Budget dinner price: $2.42 per serving

Most recipes made with canned tuna or salmon are affordable, easy, and packed with protein. But few are packed with as much flavor as these cheesy open-face sandwiches. Olives, lemon, Dijon-style mustard, and cornichons in the tuna make this easy treat a go-to one-pan recipe you'll whip up often.

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Lemon-Thyme Roasted Chicken with Fingerlings

Lemon-Thyme Roasted Chicken with Fingerlings

Budget dinner price: $1.99 per serving

Potatoes are great for inexpensive one-pan dinner recipes. For a little class, this dish swaps the usual russets for fingerlings. Flavored with garlic, lemon, and thyme, the chicken and potato recipe will bring plenty of "wows" for the price.

Test Kitchen Tip: The key to keeping this recipe under $3 is to use the small chicken breasts (4 ounces or so) called for in the recipe. If you can't find this size, cut two larger, thicker breasts in half horizontally.

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Pork Pot Roast in Cider

Pork Pot Roast in Cider

Budget dinner price: $2.77 per serving

Before dishwashers, cooks were pros at making one-pan recipes that cooked the meat, veggies, potatoes, and even the gravy together. This succulent pork recipe proves that the strategy is by no means a lost art. Keep in mind that pork sirloin roasts usually weigh in at 3 pounds or more. You'll only need 1½ pounds for this recipe, so freeze the rest of the meat for another inexpensive meal.

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