Recipes - Dinner

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Andalusian Lentil Soup $1.03 per serving
Andalusian Lentil Soup
This lentil soup is the best we've ever tasted—really! It has its origins in the North African spices that have influenced southern Spanish cuisine. Oregano grows wild in the dry hillsides around the city of Granada (where $5 Foodie chef Amanda calls home), and bay trees dot the plazas of the Albayzín, Granada's historic quarter. This soup is vegan ... read more
Asparagus with Bowtie Pasta $1.77 per serving
Asparagus with Bowtie Pasta
The day that all the beautiful dark green asparagus hits the market, it is spring. On Sunday, a day for pasta, this recipe draws us into a reverie of a warm afternoon in May in the Italian part of southern Switzerland, near Lake Lugano. A blackboard outside a stately-looking restaurant on the town square announces the featured dish, bowtie pasta wi ... read more
Best Summertime Pasta with Fresh Tomato, Basil, and Garlic $1.73 per serving
Best Summertime Pasta with Fresh Tomato, Basil, and Garlic
This wins the vote among the Foodie Chefs for all-time best late summer eating, and it's truly fun to make. You set it up in a few minutes—no cooking—and come back later to boil pasta, toss the sauce and pasta together with shredded cheese, and mm-mmm! The ripest tomatoes you can get your hands on go into a bowl along with fresh basil, garlic, and ... read more
Broccoli with Beef and Ginger $1.73 per serving
Broccoli with Beef and Ginger
Quick, flavorful, healthful, and inexpensive—that's a good stir-fry! In our recipe, a zesty ginger sauce spikes broccoli and beef. Any number of other vegetables and protein combined with this sauce will make excellent eating and easy cooking, too. Think tofu with hoisin and cashews; fresh pineapple and pork; or mushrooms and spinach. At just $1.30 ... read more
Brunswick Stew $1.24 per serving
Brunswick Stew
Corn, tomatoes, and lima beans simmered with chicken make for comfort food at its best. This colorful yellow, green, and tomato-red stew invites everyone to gather around and serve themselves from the pot. It works equally well with fresh or frozen vegetables. For plain or fancy occasions, our family has made this farmhouse favorite almost forever ... read more
Butternut Squash and Kale Risotto $3.57 per serving
Butternut Squash and Kale Risotto
This classic Italian rice is made with some of our favorite winter vegetables: butternut squash and kale. Roasting the squash in the oven (while the risotto cooks) brings out its sweetness, which complements the rich flavors of the greens, onions, and garlic. We use arborio rice which, yes, requires some stirring, but we find that it can be stirred ... read more
Butternut Squash Soup 89¢ per serving
Butternut Squash Soup
This is our family's favorite butternut squash soup recipe, and we've tried many. Carrot and ginger add warm layers of flavor that complement the buttery squash. Besides wonderful flavor, butternut squash has a lot to offer—vitamins A, B6, and C, along with carotenes and high fiber content. Our method involves roasting the squash in the oven to bri ... read more
Chicken with Plum Tomato and Prosciutto $3.04 per serving
Chicken with Plum Tomato and Prosciutto
So many of our beloved dishes come to us by way of adaptation from the original. This was especially true of Italian American neighborhoods where everyone, it seems, was busy reinventing old world classics in a new world. Our chicken with plum tomato and prosciutto has its origins in the traditional veal saltimbocca—translation, “jumps in the mouth ... read more
Chicken, Herb, and Sweet Corn Pie $1.42 per serving
Chicken, Herb, and Sweet Corn Pie
Does it get any more comforting than this? Tender shredded chicken and corn baked in a creamy, herbed sauce under a golden pastry crust. This is a great day-two use of chicken when you want to make three meals from one roaster (see our Garlic and Lemon Roasted Chicken) for another economical supper. No need to say more!If you have time to make your ... read more
Chicken-Apple Sausage with Roasted Vegetables $2.21 per serving
Chicken-Apple Sausage with Roasted Vegetables
This is what to cook when you have assorted vegetables on hand and not a lot of time to stand at the stove. It only requires a little chopping, and once the dish goes in the oven you'll have time for other things. The colorful vegetables sweeten with roasting and go nicely with chicken-apple sausage (or any other type of precooked sausage) and cara ... read more
Chili with Cinnamon and Cacao $2.46 per serving
Chili with Cinnamon and Cacao
The classic Mexican pairing of chili pepper, tomato, and unsweetened chocolate gives a richness of flavor you have to taste to understand. And once you do, it's unlikely you'll ever turn back. Cook and feast within the hour, or keep the chili over a night or two and the flavor only deepens. It's mild enough for gringo-mouths, but splash it with gre ... read more
Classic Marinara Sauce 62¢ per serving
Classic Marinara Sauce
Most agree that marinara has roots in Naples and that cooks prepared this simple sauce for mariners returning to port. So it’s classic in one sense, but it’s also true that there are many personal and regional variations, involving onions, parsley, carrots, and chile peppers. At its simplest, and to our minds best, it centers on tomatoes, olive oil ... read more
Coconut Curried Lentils $1.23 per serving
Coconut Curried Lentils
Creamy, hearty lentils that taste sweet and flavorful? Yes, thanks to this blend of Indian spices and luscious coconut milk, lentils are transformed into a treat. You'll be surprised how delicious this dish is, and it's easy to prepare, not to mention economical. We're a big fan of lentils for their nutrition and versatility, and are excited to sha ... read more
Creamy Mac and Cheese $2.10 per serving
Creamy Mac and Cheese
We've spent years perfecting this recipe— it's so creamy and decadent that we only serve it to friends and family on very special occasions. The secret lies not only in the ingredients but how you make it as well. We start with al dente pasta, coated in olive oil or butter to maintain a freshly cooked texture. This is absolutely key, because it pr ... read more
Creamy Polenta with Mushrooms $2.41 per serving
Creamy Polenta with Mushrooms
This is quintessential, rustic Italian comfort food. Polenta differs slightly from what we know as cornmeal but nearly any available yellow or white cornmeal will do the job. Remember, "available" and "economical" are our watchwords! It's deliciously creamy, and offers and impressive meal for just pennies. I'll never forget when Carol and I (Hugo) ... read more
Cuban Picadillo $1.96 per serving
Cuban Picadillo
Picadillo is Cuban home cooking at its best. While it appears in many variations across Latin America, we bow to a traditional take on this gratifying recipe: beef or pork, green pepper, raisins, olives, and tomato. Typically, black beans and white rice accompany picadillo for a delightful, easily prepared, and—of course—inexpensive meal.
Easy Black Bean Posole $1.04 per serving
Easy Black Bean Posole
Too good to be true? Only until you try this rustic, healthful vegetarian stew filled with authentic Mexican flavor. You won't believe how easy and quick it is to prepare, and yet the result is astounding. Plus, you can make it all in one pot. Chewy, fiber-rich hominy and black beans combine with tangy salsa, green chiles, and lime to create a perf ... read more
Escarole Rice Soup $1.84 per serving
Escarole Rice Soup
The sum here is definitely greater than the parts: a rosy broth, aromatic with garlic and a hint of nutmeg, envelopes slightly chewy arborio rice laced with dark greens. Topped with melting parmesan or romano cheese, it makes a pleasing supper. This is also a refreshing way to make a meal from leftover chicken bones. Did we say super economical and ... read more
Farmhouse Sausage and Vegetable Soup $1.94 per serving
Farmhouse Sausage and Vegetable Soup
Everyone is hungry, we forgot to shop, and of course the fridge is almost bare. This awesome accidental soup—it’s thick, more like stew, and full-flavored—surprised even the cook when it was ready. From the fridge came 4 carrots, 3 sausages, 2 potatoes, 1 carton of chicken broth, some leftover marinara sauce and a takeout box of rice. With a little ... read more
French Onion Soup $2.56 per serving
French Onion Soup
French onion soup is a classic, originating as a super-inexpensive but warming supper in 18th-century Paris. We especially love this dish on cold winter evenings. The rich flavors of the beef broth are complemented by caramelized onions and melted gruyere (if you can't find an inexpensive one, you can use swiss cheese instead). Onions are cheap, fl ... read more
Garlic and Lemon-Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes $2.70 per serving
Garlic and Lemon-Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes
Fragrant with lemon and garlic, this comfort supper is truly economical. A whole chicken is surprisingly easy to prepare, requires little prep yet is impressive when on the table and makes 6 servings. If you have fewer to feed, you can save some of the chicken for other meals (try our Green Chili and Lime Chicken Stew, Chicken and Corn Pie, or our ... read more
Gemelli with Rustic Tuscan Sauce $2.83 per serving
Gemelli with Rustic Tuscan Sauce
The Tuscan approach to food is probably the closest of all to our idealized vision of perfect country cooking: ingredients produced locally, used in season or “put up” for winter, making them affordable, and because they do not travel, they are fresher, better tasting and more healthful. Tuscany happens to be blessed with some of the planet’s most ... read more
Ginger Curried Lentils $1.11 per serving
Ginger Curried Lentils
Here it is: our most inexpensive dinner ever, and the recipe that started the $5 Foodie experiment. Red lentils, shown here, turn saffron-hued in their brief cooking time, blending with a delicate balance of ginger, onion, garlic, curry, and—surprise—fresh lemon. Fragrant basmati rice complements the Indian flavor profile, though white or brown lon ... read more
Green Chile and Lime Chicken Stew $2.39 per serving
Green Chile and Lime Chicken Stew
This green chile chicken stew is one of our quickest dinners to prepare. We love making this on weeknights, since it requires minimal prep and can cook—in just one pot—while you do other things. The flavors of the green chiles are complemented by onion, garlic, lime, and fresh cilantro. You can use that leftover chicken from a previous dinner (if y ... read more
Green Chile Chicken and Vegetable Enchiladas $2.08 per serving
Green Chile Chicken and Vegetable Enchiladas
These are the tastiest, easiest enchiladas. Smothered in a tangy green chile sauce, tender chicken and assorted vegetables are sparked by a dash of cumin. We really like corn and spinach here, but you can use a variety of veggies, depending on what you have—bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, and mushrooms, to name a few.
Latin-Style Black Beans and Rice 52¢ per serving
Latin-Style Black Beans and Rice
There's nothing quite like a big pot of delicious Latin-style beans. Beans are among the least expensive of all foods, yet they are extremely nutritious, full of flavor, and packed with fiber, protein, iron, and calcium. Preparing dried beans is much easier than you think, and it doesn't require overnight soaking. The result is surprisingly flavorf ... read more
Lime-Coconut Green Curry with Chicken $2.23 per serving
Lime-Coconut Green Curry with Chicken
Green curry with lime is one of those dishes—when made this way—that leaves guests swooning and demanding the recipe. With tender, bright green vegetables and the fragrance of fresh cilantro, it melds gentle zings of spice and pepper with coconut milk and richly flavored chicken broth to create a tasty curried soup. Yes, a key to truly memorable gr ... read more
Mesquite Smoked Brisket (Done in your oven, no smoker or grill required!) $2.07 per serving
Mesquite Smoked Brisket (Done in your oven, no smoker or grill required!)
Get ready for delicious, mouth-watering brisket without having to dust off your smoker or grill or spend hours tending to it. This technique not only stands up to traditional slow-cook methods of preparing brisket using a wood-smoker but has actually WON competitions. We season our brisket with an assortment of aromatic spices, then we wrap it i ... read more
Orecchiette with Italian Sausage and Rapini $1.51 per serving
Orecchiette with Italian Sausage and Rapini
Orecchiette is paired with sweet Italian sausage and hearty greens in a white wine garlic sauce in this flavorful and filling dish. Rapini, also known as broccoli rabe, is a delicate, slightly bitter green that is packed full of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins A and C. Broccoli rabe is not broccoli, despite its misleading name; it's actu ... read more
Pan-Fried Noodles with Tofu and Soy-Chili Sauce $2.08 per serving
Pan-Fried Noodles with Tofu and Soy-Chili Sauce
This stir-fried pan noodle dish is a favorite with foodies of all ages—even our 2-year-old can't get enough—and it makes a good, quick weeknight dinner. Onion, zucchini, bean sprouts, and scallion went into the dish here, though many other vegetables will do nicely. For example, broccoli, carrot, bell pepper, celery, spinach, cabbage, snow peas, bo ... read more
Pasta e Ceci Stew $1.00 per serving
Pasta e Ceci Stew
It's getting to be soup season! Pasta e ceci, Italian pasta and chickpea stew, is a go-to for a quick and so-good dinner. Hearty chickpeas add protein and fiber to a subtly-flavored, tomato-based vegetable broth. Fresh greens, like kale, spinach, or escarole, complement the flavors in this delicious plant-based stew, topped off with a squeeze of le ... read more
Penne with Smoked Gouda, Bell Pepper, and Spinach $1.90 per serving
Penne with Smoked Gouda, Bell Pepper, and Spinach
Here's a quick and tasty pasta—with our Italian roots, we never get enough pasta! The foodie twist is a layer of smoky flavor from the gouda cheese, while the red pepper flakes give a bit of kick. If you can't find an inexpensive smoked gouda, you can substitute regular gouda or smoked mozzarella. We love to make this pasta with lots of veggies (be ... read more
Pesto for Pasta $1.08 per serving
Pesto for Pasta
Fragrant and piquant, this traditional blend of nuts, fresh basil, a bit of garlic, cheese and oil is made in five minutes. It is adaptable: almonds, walnuts or pine nuts are all excellent—choose what you have on hand or can find at a good price. Fresh mint, cilantro, parsley or spinach can replace the basil, though basil is traditional. Pesto goes ... read more
Pink Shrimp Sauce with Linguine $1.90 per serving
Pink Shrimp Sauce with Linguine
A pink sauce delicately laced with shrimp, wine, and cream melds with linguine for a romantic and luscious main dish. A hint of tomato paste creates the lovely hue and lends a soft flavor undertone. While shrimp is normally on the pricey side, this dish remains economical by blending a few shrimp in the sauce for flavor while topping each plate wit ... read more
Potatoes Gratin with Glazed Carrots $2.58 per serving
Potatoes Gratin with Glazed Carrots
The potato is an excellent, inexpensive staple. For centuries it's been known that potatoes contain most of the vitamins and minerals (vitamin C, B6, potassium, magnesium, and iron, to name a few) needed for sustenance, while being incredibly cheap. Here potatoes are dressed up in a classic gratin with onion and cheese. The meal is rounded off with ... read more
Puerto Rican Chicken and Cabbage Stew $2.26 per serving
Puerto Rican Chicken and Cabbage Stew
In college, a classmate of mine shared her family's recipe for this delicious, filling and inexpensive stew—perfect for a foodie student on a budget. It also seems a bit like a magic trick because you don't add any broth or water, the stew creates its own tasty broth as it cooks.You can use inexpensive cuts of chicken, like thighs, for this recipe ... read more
Sausage, Peppers and Onions $2.20 per serving
Sausage, Peppers and Onions
Fun to cook over an open fire in a cast iron pan, this summery classic takes little labor, whether you cook outdoors or in. Serve the sausages in rolls, accompanied by multicolored baked beans (see our BBQ-Baked Beans recipe below!) and relax. You probably deserve it! By the way, this menu easily adapts to a variety of preferences, as you can choos ... read more
Shepherd's Pie $3.82 per serving
Shepherd's Pie
This is a lighter take on the classic dish, which originated in Britain as a cheap but hearty meal made with lamb and potatoes. Cauliflower is substituted for the potatoes (though potatoes are also inexpensive) and ground turkey for the lamb, but most of us can’t really taste a difference. At just $1.56 per serving it's a foodie favorite, and it's ... read more
Simple Spicy Paella $3.41 per serving
Simple Spicy Paella
At last, a paella recipe that fits in a frugal foodie budget! Paella is the national dish of Spain, Valencia to be precise, where for a long time, rabbit and duck were simmered with rice over a wood fire made from orange tree branches. These days, and the closer to the coast you roam, the trend is towards seafood or a mix of seafood and meat. Our v ... read more
Spaghetti alla Carbonara $1.93 per serving
Spaghetti alla Carbonara
The fastest, cheapest, most elegant main dish ever. How and where this fabulous creation originated is disputed. Some say that American soldiers infatuated with pasta brought bacon and eggs to Italy at the end of World War II and asked their Italian friends for a dish that used these ingredients. This pasta has been a family favorite of ours for ye ... read more
Squash Stuffed with Spicy Beef $2.51 per serving
Squash Stuffed with Spicy Beef
This is a wonderful warming dinner, perfect to make during winter when squash is in season (and on sale at the supermarket). Acorn squash (or other type, such as kabocha) doubles as the serving bowl, providing a pretty—and impressive—presentation. Beef is spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and clove, and a little chili powder gives it some kick. ... read more
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas $1.73 per serving
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas
Enchiladas are simple, delicious and, of course, wildly inexpensive. What we like about this version is that it's full of sweet, nutritious potato and onion, with black beans adding fiber and protein. Plus, it's much easier to make than you might think. We're trying to eat more plant-based meals, and this fits the bill for satisfying and healthy. T ... read more
Sweet Potato Chili $1.25 per serving
Sweet Potato Chili
On a cold day, a warm bowl of delicious chili makes for a perfect dinner. This versatile, plant-based recipe is hearty and nutritious. Sweet potatoes, black and kidney beans, onion, and bell peppers simmer in a spiced tomato base. The key is the combination of spices — cocoa powder, chili powder, cumin, and cinnamon — which give rich layers of flav ... read more
Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Corn Tacos with Creamy Salsa Verde $1.56 per serving
Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Corn Tacos with Creamy Salsa Verde
Tacos are always a welcome economical dinner, and can be made countless ways. We love this flavorful version with lots of colorful vegetables, hearty black beans, and sweet corn, and it's full of protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The incredibly easy, creamy sauce gives this dish zip and the tang of green salsa especially enhances the flavors ... read more
Turkey Noodle Soup 76¢ per serving
Turkey Noodle Soup
What to do with leftover Thanksgiving turkey? Don't throw away those bones... use them to make soup! Turkey soup is so delicious and easy to prepare. It's the perfect way to maximize your leftovers after the holiday and makes for one comforting supper. Turkey bones provide a rich, nutritious broth that you can use right away for soup or freeze for ... read more
Tuscan White Bean Soup 69¢ per serving
Tuscan White Bean Soup
With the first cool weather come thoughts of soup—warming, nutritious, tasty! In Tuscany, cannellini beans are a favorite, simmered along with garlic, a splash of olive oil, and a hint of rosemary. Beans are full of healthful fiber, protein, and potassium, in addition to iron and calcium, and are an easy way to prepare a one-pot meal.  And at just ... read more
Twice-Baked Potatoes 31¢ per serving
Twice-Baked Potatoes
Perfect for the holidays, these elegant potatoes are so easy to make yet the presentation is something special. You can top them with cheese, scallions, sour cream, or bacon crumbles. The oven does most of the work!
Veggie Fried Rice 95¢ per serving
Veggie Fried Rice
Foodie fried rice is a healthful and flavorful dish that can be as exotic or as basic as you like. You can garnish it with so many optional extras that no two batches end up tasting the same. We like to start with a base of white or brown rice and load it up with caramelized onion, crispy carrot, peas, a bit of garlic, and ginger. Makes a quick lun ... read more
White Lasagne with Spinach and Bechamel Sauce $2.38 per serving
White Lasagne with Spinach and Bechamel Sauce
A pleasure to prepare, this unusual white lasagne has wonderful, complex flavor and a delightfully creamy texture. In France and Spain, lasagne is often made with bechamel (a silky white sauce) instead of tomato sauce. Combined with spinach and a balance of creamy and pungent cheeses, the bechamel binds the flavors and textures gracefully. In this ... read more
Zucchini and Carrot "Pasta" with Marinara $1.98 per serving
Zucchini and Carrot "Pasta" with Marinara
Here's a satisfying way to meet your quota of veggies. Marinara is the most versatile of all tomato sauces—a topping for pizza, a sauce for meat or pasta, and here a sauce for green, yellow and orange vegetables. The fettucine-like shapes can be made with an ordinary vegetable peeler, and zucchini lends itself especially well to this. If you have a ... read more
= quick and easy
= gluten free
= vegetarian
= vegan