3 Easy, Tasty & Cheap Crockpot Meals That Serve 4 People
This week, I challenged myself to create three cheap crockpot meals that will serve four people each.
The original budget was $15, but I wanted something that was not just rice and beans and vegetable soup, so I took a pack of chicken and divided it across three meals, added ingredients to make it delicious, and ended up spending about $16.50. (Prices as of February 2023)
Let me show you what each of these easy cheap crockpot meals cost, how I made them, and how it turned out.
1. Creamy chicken noodle soup
The cost of the whole meal is $4.66. You will need ¾ pound of chicken, four cups of water, optionally some chicken bouillon, cream of chicken soup, and some noodles.
Get the chicken into the crockpot, and add in some water. You can add two chicken bouillon cubes; if not, just add four cups of water, and add salt and pepper.
Be careful with the salt if you are using bouillon because it comes salty. Then add in the cream of chicken soup. That is what is going to make this creamy. Give that a stir.
Put the lid on it and cook it on low for about 6-8 hours, or on high for probably about 3- 4 hours. You just have to check your chicken and see if it is done. It should shred easily.
After it has cooked all day, take the chicken out and cut it up, shred it up, and add it back in together with the noodles. The soup will be ready in about 30 minutes.
Here is our creamy chicken noodle soup. The noodles soaked up a lot of that soup, so if you want it soupier, you could add in some more water. It smells and tastes amazing.
2. Chicken fajitas
This cost $6.78 with fresh veggies. The ingredients are ¾ pound of chicken and a pepper and onion blend or fresh onion and peppers.
I recommend using this pepper and onion blend from Walmart. It is $2.40. Alternatively, you can just get a green pepper, a yellow pepper, and an onion, but that is going to add up to be a little more expensive.
In that case, start by slicing up your veggies. The reason you want the peppers and onions is it really bulk up this chicken. ¾ pounds is not a lot, so we are trying to stretch the protein.
Dump some of the peppers and onions on the bottom of the crockpot to cover most of the bottom. Add in the chicken, so it sits on top of the veggies.
Season the chicken with just salt and pepper. You could put taco seasoning or fajita seasoning in here if you want. I am trying to stick on the budget, so I am only adding salt and pepper.
For flavor, add one can of Ro-Tel tomatoes. Life hack: the great value Ro-Tel is cheaper than the name brand. You could use the hot one if you want it spicier. Spread the tomatoes all around, and add in the rest of your peppers and onions.
Fill the empty Ro-Tel can with water, and pour it into the crockpot. Finally, add a little bit more salt and pepper to the top for these onions and peppers. Put a lid on this and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
Here is what the fajita chicken mix looks like after cooking all day. It made four portions. Take out these pieces of chicken, shred them, and put them back in. You can eat it just like this, serve it over rice, or serve it in a tortilla.
Here are my chicken fajitas served on tortillas. Chicken and stuffing
The ingredients include stuffing mix, cream of mushroom, optionally bouillon cubes, and, as always, ¾ pound of chicken. This comes up to $5.06 altogether.
Start this just like we did the chicken noodle soup: put the chicken in four cups of water. Add in the chicken bouillon cubes if you are using those, and mix in the cream of mushroom.
Give it a stir. Add salt in case you did not use bouillon cubes, and pepper. Cook it all for 6 hours on low or for 3-4 hours on high.
Pull out the chicken, shred it and put it back into the liquid. Then pour the stuffing mix in there; it is best that some of it stays below the liquid and some above, so you still have a little bit of crunch. Put the lid on it and let that sit for another 30 minutes.
This is what the result looked like in the bowl. You could serve this over rice or just eat it as is. This is one of the best and most comforting budget crockpot meals you can make. It feels like Thanksgiving in a bowl.
Cheap crockpot meals
So these were the three amazing meals I cooked for my challenge of three crockpot meals on a budget of $15. Which one did you like best? If you made one at home, how did that go? Please share in the comments!