44 Cheap and Easy Dinner Ideas for you.


In addition to allowing us to eat better, tastier and healthier food, cooking at home has a great advantage over delivery and restaurants: it is much cheaper. If we also do it wisely, we can plan easy and inexpensive recipes to manage a tight budget and save money. The first thing we should do is not lose our cool look carefully at our ingredients and buy only what we need. Better yet, cook with what we have. We often discard fruits or vegetables because they look a little wilted when they could be used in creams or fresh summer smoothies.

It is also a good strategy to use healthy and affordable foods such as legumes and cereals. When choosing fruits and vegetables, the most nutritious and economical are always in season. To preserve them well preserved and avoid waste, buying them as needed is best.

What vegetables and fruits to buy in spring
Seasonal vegetables are always the best option. They are well-priced and at their best in colour, texture and flavour. Basil, spinach, kale, zucchini, asparagus and artichokes shine in spring. There are also good specimens of broccoli, plump carrots and an abundance of parsley.

While we wait for summer with its juicy stone fruits, we enjoy red fruits such as strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. It is also the season for kiwis, which are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C. The first melons are beginning to appear , although the best and sweetest will arrive in December.

What cuts of meat to buy without spending a lot of money

In this case, there is no such thing as a season. So you have to go for the cuts that have historically been cheaper. Roast beef and ossobuco are juicy and somewhat fatty meats, ideal for making stews such as casserole, goulash or lentils; potato pie or meatballs.

The shoulder is inexpensive and used to make lean steaks on the grill or to fill empanadas. For the casserole, the popcorn; and for long cooking times, the skirt.

Once the shopping dilemma is resolved, it’s time to get down to business: cooking delicious food, no matter the calendar’s date! Here is a list of easy and cheap recipes.

44 easy and cheap food recipes

1. Rice salad
A fresh version with tomato, parsley, green apple and a creamy dressing.

2. Polenta pizza with grilled vegetables
A different version, using polenta as a base.

3. Noodle omelette
It goes well with angel hair but also with corkscrews. Any style of noodles are welcome to prepare this omelette.

4. Paraguayan soup
A cake with cheese, delicious.

5. Semolina gnocchi
They are very easy and quick to make. If you don’t have semolina, you can make them with polenta.

6. Stuffed potato gnocchi
Homemade pasta is considerably cheaper than store-bought pasta. This is Blanca Cotta’s recipe: homemade gnocchi with ham and cheese, which can be filled with different fillings.

7. Meatball sandwich
If you think about it, meatballs have the same ingredients as homemade hamburgers. Try a different sandwich with Santiago Giorgini’s recipe.

8. Cake without dough
A recipe with lots of vegetables, from the base to the filling.

9. Zucchini pie
A tart with vegetables and ham

10. Pascualina
The queen of cakes. This recipe uses chard and ricotta, but the latter can be replaced with cream cheese.

11. Homemade pizza
Ordering pizza from a local delivery service always means spending more than you should. Go ahead and prepare it! With a basic recipe you can make any pizza.

12. Pan-fried pizza
To use less gas, a pizza that is made on the stove.

13. Pizza with grilled vegetables
Adding vegetables not only makes the pizza more attractive, but also allows for the use of less mozzarella and therefore, lower costs.

14. Faina
It contains chickpea flour, water and a little oil. Try it as a pizza base, or as always, as a side dish.

15. Rice croquettes
Leftover rice? Turn it into wonderful croquettes.

16. Yamani rice bombs
A variation of healthy rice bombs.

17. Stuffed potato bombs
Guillermo Calabrese prepares some super easy stuffed potato bombs.

18. Vegetable crepes
A great way to empty the fridge and eat delicious food. All vegetables are welcome in the pancake wrap. The touch of hummus is great, but you can also use cream cheese and skip that step.

19. Carrot pizza
Few ingredients and a very tasty and healthy recipe. You can garnish the top with mozzarella, arugula or slices of ham.

20. Asparagus and pasta salad
They are reasonably priced and make a great salad with any short pasta. They can also be served warm, with a quick sauté with a few drops of olive oil.

21. Dry pasta with artichoke pesto
Using artichokes, a novel recipe with special pesto. Use the pasta you like best.

22. Omelette with spinach and cheese
The omelette makes a meal in just a few minutes. It can be used with a variety of fillings and spices.

23. Potato soufflé
An economical and top recipe. The key is to eat it as soon as it comes out of the oven.

24. Budget Potato Pudding
Serve it with a nice salad or use it as a garnish.

25. Meatloaf
1 kilo of minced meat, plus the filling, serves 6 people. It goes very well with cheese and also with hard-boiled egg.

26. Eggplant Milanese
Although it is an autumn vegetable, there are still specimens at a very good price. They are worth taking advantage of! They can be baked or fried. If you want them more substantial, gratinate them with a little cheese and white sauce or tomato sauce.

27. Stuffed eggplants
A kind of fake cannelloni, made with slices of eggplant. For the filling, use your imagination and whatever you have in the fridge.

28. Pickled eggplants
A way to enjoy eggplants all year round. Ideal to accompany meats.

29. Spinach waffle
It is very nutritious and also a simple way to incorporate vegetables into your diet.

30. Roasted Vegetable Salad
Accompanied with green leaves, it is a main dish, but it is also a good side dish for meats. Use seasonal vegetables to make it taste good and also cheaper!

31. Lentil toast with ham and mushrooms
Are you a fan of pizza for dinner? You’ll love this recipe! To make the dough, you only need 2 ingredients: water and lentils. The key is to hydrate the lentils, drain them, wash them well and mash them with water. Then, just spread the dough on the baking tray and bake at 200ºC for 15 minutes. You can shape it into a pizza like in this recipe or make individual portions for mini toasts!

32. Spinach crepes with mushrooms
This time, instead of sweet crepes, we’ll make them green with spinach. Karlos Arguiñano shows us how to make the dough with spinach, flour and milk. Once ready, we fill them with mushrooms sautéed with onion, garlic and mozzarella. They’re super easy to make! Another option is Breton crepes filled with salmon, egg, avocado, chicken, lettuce, and walnut crepes.

33. Pasta with pumpkin cream
Do you want a different and easy pasta recipe? Prepare this recipe for pasta with pumpkin cream and surprise everyone at the table. Simply add the pumpkin sauce to the cooked pasta, add gorgonzola cheese and walnuts to give it even more flavor. You can change it for whole wheat pasta.

34. Cod and orange salad
This is a fresh take on the classic Andalusian remojón with a mustard dressing that will make this salad a total success. Just serve the cod on top of the orange slices and add the julienned spring onion.

35. Sweet potato salad
Add microwave-roasted sweet potato cubes, pomegranate pieces, and shredded tuna to twist your classic salad. A complete, light and perfect option. If you prefer salad for dinner, try this potato and roasted pepper salad .

36. Homemade pumpkin cream
Pumpkin soup is one of the three most delicious soups and a classic of autumn and winter. It is one of those basic dishes that cannot be missing from your table when this vegetable is in season. And the best thing is that you can also make it in a Thermomix.

37. Cream of chard with fresh garlic
Light and easy. This chard cream with fresh garlic and bacon is perfect for any day of the week. You can also prepare it in the pressure cooker, thus saving time.

38. Potato omelette
The classic Spanish omelette or tortilla is a must-have in our recipe repertoire. It is potatoes, egg and onion. You can eat it for dinner, as a pintxo or snack, and even in sandwiches and snacks. You can also make it with mushrooms or a potato omelette with spicy tomato and salad.

39. Green asparagus omelette
The omelette is perfect for any time: breakfast, lunch or dinner. It is easy to make and always turns out great. Of course, the most famous is the French one, but there are many varieties: with cod, chard, zucchini and blood sausage, anchovies, broad beans, cauliflower, with caramelized onions … You can accompany it with a piece of crusty bread and a salad of lettuce, tomato or endive. Although Karlos Arguiñano opted for some cherry tomatoes cut in half on this occasion.

40. Rooster fillets with peppers
Make the most of those bell peppers in the kitchen and try this cheap and delicious fish recipe that Karlos Arguiñano brings us. If you like lemon-flavoured rooster fillets, you’ll love this breaded version accompanied by peppers, and the kids will like it, too.

41. Fresh baked cod
Here is another fish recipe. If you don’t know how to make delicious fresh baked cod, take note of this simple and tasty recipe. The key is to respect the time and temperature so that it becomes juicy in just 10 minutes in the oven! Also, with a few slices of lemon and some cherry tomatoes on the side, you will have a delicious and healthy dish.

42. Crispy marinated chicken with strawberry chutney
If you’re craving crispy fried chicken, take note of this recipe for marinated chicken breasts with a crispy batter of ground almonds and breadcrumbs. We suggest a homemade strawberry chutney to give the crispy chicken the perfect sweet touch.

43. Mango mousse
Dessert is a must on any list. Karlos Arguiñano has a super easy and delicious recipe for after-dinner: mango mousse. You can prepare the recipe a day in advance. Do you dare to try it at home?

44. Tiramisu balls
Maybe you’ve organised a quick dinner with friends and have no idea for an easy dessert… Make these tiramisu balls because you’ll have them ready in just three steps.