5 Simple & Delicious Budget Dinner Recipes for the Whole Family

Cassandra Smet
by Cassandra Smet

I'm making five delicious budget dinner recipes for a family. They are all easy to make, affordable, and my family loves them. From lasagna to sloppy joes, I have an entire week of weeknight family dinners planned out that you can use.

Stuffed shell lasagna

1. Stuffed shell lasagna

I'm browning pork sausage, and I'm going to turn it into Italian sausage with just some seasonings. Italian-style seasonings, but you could use ground beef too. I have a pot filled with water going for the pasta.

All you're going to need for the lasagna are some jumbo shells to stuff and cheese to top it; I do a mixture of Colby Jack and mozzarella and some sort of pasta sauce. We can our pasta sauce, so that is what I'm using. We're going to have broccoli as our side tonight.

If you wanted to, you could stuff your shells with ricotta. We just don't particularly like that, so we skip it. We just fill ours with the meat and sauce mixture, top it with cheese, bake it in the oven until the cheese melts, and it is a little cup of lasagna. It's a family favorite.


I'm using pepper and some Lawry's seasoned salt for the seasonings on our meat. I heated a skillet with some oil on the bottom, added minced garlic, then browned Teheran beef in the pan and topped it with oregano and basil. I used a pound of meat, but you could do more if you wanted to. You could also do a mixture of pork and beef. I've done that as well, and it's really tasty.

Once our meat is cooked, I'm just going to dump the sauce right in with it, heat our sauce, and then we're just waiting for our pasta water to come to boil, and we'll be able to cook then stuff the shells. It's a really quick meal, especially because you can prepare all these things earlier and just have it ready to assemble when it comes to dinner time.


All you have to do for this part is take your cooked shells and stuff them in your meat and sauce mixture. After you stuff them, arrange them in the lasagna pan. Once all of my shells were filled and I ran out of space in my lasagna pan, I just topped the whole thing with shredded cheese and popped it in the oven until the cheese melted and everything was warm and ooey gooey and delicious.

Crunch wraps

2. Crunch wraps

One of our family favorites is that I am making crunch wraps. I have a pound of ground beef. You can use your meat of choice, but just regular taco meat and regular taco seasoning.

I take big, large flour tortillas from Aldi, small flour tortillas from Aldi, and a tostada, and I also use a can of gourmet nacho cheese. We top ours with sour cream or salsa, and I will serve an avocado ranch chopped salad kit on the side, and it's like a Mexican-style salad.

I just put them in a pan with a little bit of coconut oil, and I will sear it on that side to keep it closed. After a couple of minutes, I'll give it a flip; we'll give it a sear on the other side and it is easy as that.

To assemble the crunch wraps, I start with my large flour tortilla. I put my tostada right in the middle just because it gives me something to stack my meat and cheese on. I'm going to put my cheese next. I'm going to rub that on the tostada. 

If you wanted to, you could put your sour cream on here as well, your lettuce, your tomatoes, just making sure that it's all piled on your tostada. 

Now I'm going to put my little tortilla here, and then I will fold in my large tortilla. You might hear your tostada crunching. That's fine. I'm still waiting for the pan that has my other crunch wrap in it to finish baking, so while I'm waiting, I will just flip it over to keep it sealed that way.

If you're only using one pan or you can only fit a couple in a pan at a time, you can assemble all of your crunch wraps while you're waiting for the other ones to finish searing on the back end.

Hamburgers and cheeseburgers

3. Hamburgers and cheeseburgers

One night this week, we had homemade hamburger buns with homemade hamburgers or cheeseburgers.

Then we just paired them with some of our home-canned pickles and carrot sticks, cucumbers, and our cheeseburgers. These dinners are often some of our favorites because they are so easy to throw together.

Homemade stromboli

4. Homemade stromboli

Speaking of simple and delicious food, we also made some homemade Stromboli. We had two different Stromboli; one is a meat lovers, the other is a supreme style, and then we had some home-canned tomato sauce we used for dipping. I put butter and parmesan cheese on top of each Stromboli, which gets an extra layer of flavor.

Sloppy joes

5. Sloppy joes

For our final meal, we're having sloppy joes. We were out all day doing fun things with the kids. So I made some sloppy joes in a crock pot. I used some leftover buns that we made, and then we're just going to do apples or fruit and vegetables on the side. So really simple, easy dinner tonight. 

Budget dinner recipes for the family

We enjoyed each of these easy dinners and hope you will too. What are your favorite budget dinner recipes for your family? Share your recipes and ideas in the comments below.

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