4 Easy and Delicious Family Meal Ideas That Won't Break Your Budget

Kristin Stepp
by Kristin Stepp

I have some great budget-family meal ideas to share with you. Cooking on a budget does not mean you have to sacrifice on flavor.

These simple, easy family meal ideas will fit any budget and leave you feeling satiated without worry of overspending.

Roasted garlic chicken thighs

1. Roasted garlic chicken thighs

I laid 8 boneless chicken thighs butterfly-style in a casserole dish and got out my Better Than Bouillon roasted garlic base.

This is the key ingredient. I put 2 heaping tablespoons of the sauce in a small bowl and added about 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil.

Making roasted garlic chicken thighs

I spread the marinade onto the chicken in an even, thin layer. Then I sprinkled some salt and pepper over it. I also added some smoked paprika.

I put the chicken in a 400-degree oven for 35 minutes. This meal was so flavorful. I served it with some rice and peas. Sometimes the simplest meals are the biggest hits.

Chili pot pie

2. Chili pot pie

I started this one by browning a pound of ground beef on the stove after seasoning it with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. When it was done browning, I drained out the grease.

Making chili pot pie
Making chili pot pie

I poured 2 8-ounce cans of tomato sauce into the pan, as well as a can of chili beans. I sprinkled in a packet of chili seasoning, covered the pan, and let it simmer.

Instead of making homemade cornbread, I used a box of Jiffy. I made that according to the instructions on the box. I just added 1/3 cup of milk and one egg to the Jiffy and mixed it well.

I decided to prepare the dish in individual servings using one small pot for each person. You can use a regular-sized dish if you prefer.

I sprayed each pot with cooking spray. Then I filled each halfway with the meat and chili mixture and topped them off with the cornbread mix.

I put them into a preheated 375-degree oven and baked them for 20-25 minutes. Then I put some sour cream and shredded cheese on top.

This was so delicious. Everyone cleaned their bowls, they loved it so much.

Cheeseburger gnocchi skillet

3. Cheeseburger gnocchi skillet

I started this one by melting a tablespoon of butter in my skillet. I threw in a bag of gnocchi and let it sauté for a couple of minutes. I did this just to heat them a little before I did anything else. Then I moved the gnocchi to a bowl and set it aside.

I used the same hot skillet to brown up a pound of ground beef. I seasoned the meat with some salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, and onion powder. I also added a teaspoon of cumin and a teaspoon of ground mustard.

Making cheeseburger gnocchi skillet

Next, I added a can of diced tomatoes to the skillet. I also added in a cup of beef broth and some chopped fresh garlic.

Once everything came to a simmer, I added the gnocchi back in. I covered the skillet and let everything simmer on a low flame.

Making cheeseburger gnocchi skillet

While that was simmering, I shredded a block of sharp cheddar cheese.

After about 5 minutes of simmering, I turned the flame to high heat to get rid of some of the extra liquid to thicken things up a bit.

Then I turned off the heat and added ½ a cup of shredded cheese and ¼ cup of heavy cream. I mixed that all up and then added another ½ cup of shredded cheese just sprinkling it over the top of the dish.

I put the lid back on and let it sit so the cheese would melt.

Baked pork chops

3. Baked pork chops

I started by seasoning both sides of the pork chops with garlic powder, seasoned salt, and black pepper. I decided to bread the pork chops.

To do this I beat an egg in one bowl, put some flour in another bowl, and poured some Italian-style breadcrumbs into the last bowl.

Making baked pork chops

I dipped each pork chop into the flour, followed by the egg, and then coated them with the breadcrumbs.

Making baked pork chops

I put them in a hot skillet with some olive oil and let them brown on both sides. I didn’t want to cook them all the way through. I just wanted to get the breadcrumbs nice and golden.

Making baked pork chops

Then I put them in a casserole dish and set it aside while I worked on the sauce.

To make the sauce I poured a can of cream of mushroom soup into a bowl. I added ½ a cup of milk and 1/3 a cup of beef broth. I whisked all the ingredients together and then poured them over the pork chops.

I covered the dish with tin foil and stuck it in the oven. The oven has preheated to 350 degrees. I let it cook for 1 hour. I served it with some green beans and mashed potatoes.

Spinach lasagna roll-ups

4. Spinach lasagna roll-ups

I started this dish by cooking up some lasagna pasta according to the directions on the box. Meanwhile, I worked on the filling.

Making spinach lasagna roll-ups

I poured a 15-ounce container of ricotta cheese into a bowl. I added ½ a cup of parmesan. I thawed out some frozen spinach and added that in. I cracked in one egg and added some seasoning of garlic salt and black pepper.

Making spinach lasagna roll-ups

I mixed everything up well. Then I laid out the dried lasagna noodles and spread the filling over them.

I smoothed the filling into an even layer and then rolled up each noodle. I poured some spaghetti sauce into the bottom of a casserole dish and placed each lasagna roll into the dish.

Making spinach lasagna roll-ups

I drizzled some more spaghetti sauce over the rolls and put some shredded mozzarella cheese over everything. I covered the dish with tin foil and baked it at 350 for 40 minutes.

Easy family meal ideas

Each of these budget family meal ideas came out delicious. Try them at home and see what you think. Don’t forget to leave me a comment.

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 1 comment
  • Madelyn Madelyn on Jan 24, 2024
    All of the recipes sound good! The spinach enchiladas are my first choice to try. Thanks for sharing! Madelyn