Recipes - All

All Recipes | Breakfast | Lunch & Light Dishes | Dinner | Dessert
Almond Cake $1.08 per serving
Almond Cake
(5.0)
Inspired by Claude Monet’s favorite confection, this cake is subtle in taste, redolent of almond, and the kirsch adds a hint of cherry—no need to say more. Except that if you’ve eaten healthy and saved all week by cooking with us Five Dollar Foodies, here’s a treat.
Almond-Vanilla Granola 79¢ per serving
Almond-Vanilla Granola
(5.0)
Granola usually costs a mini-fortune. We can't figure out why since it's made of pretty basic ingredients. Plus, commercial granola often is loaded with sugar... too sweet for our delicate foodie palates! Try this healthful homemade version instead. It's simple to put together and really economical, especially if you buy the ingredients in bulk. Almonds are costly, so we use just a handful and add flavor with vanilla and almond extracts, and with ... read more
Bacon-Scallion Quesadillas $1.00 per serving
Bacon-Scallion Quesadillas
(5.0)
This simple, zesty dish relies on tortillas to make the budget work. It’s filling and quick to prepare. The tortilla is an excellent, economical staple, but ordinary quesadillas become more interesting with the addition of crispy bacon and scallion. Top with sour cream and fresh salsa for a foodie treat.
Best Summertime Pasta with Fresh Tomato, Basil, and Garlic $1.73 per serving
Best Summertime Pasta with Fresh Tomato, Basil, and Garlicnew
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 olive oil to marinate and meld their flavors and aromas, capturing the essence of late summer when t ... read more
Black Bean, Corn, and Zucchini Fritters with Creamy Dipping Sauce $1.81 per serving
Black Bean, Corn, and Zucchini Fritters with Creamy Dipping Sauce
(4.0)
These savory pancakes are a great way to enjoy many different vegetables and create a satisfying and healthful  meal. We started with zucchini, beans, and corn, the revered "three sisters" of Iroquois tradition, and gave it a Southwestern point of view with black beans and cilantro.  Sauteéd onion adds a sweetness that complements the texture of the protein-filled beans and corn. You can substitute in almost any greens, grated carrot, s ... read more
Blackberry-Lemon Muffins 41¢ per serving
Blackberry-Lemon Muffins
(4.8)
These homemade treats are not only easy to make, they are delicious, much healthier and, of course, cheaper (at just 41¢ per muffin) than store-bought ones. We used fresh blackberries, but raspberries or blueberries work great, too, depending on what is in season (or you can use frozen berries). These are a big hit with all of us for breakfast, and have been for generations — the recipe was adapted from our great-grandmother's original.
Blueberry-Nutmeg Whole Wheat Pancakes $1.09 per serving
Blueberry-Nutmeg Whole Wheat Pancakes
We love pancakes for a lazy weekend breakfast. This version is extra flavorful—and healthful—with whole wheat flour, fresh berries, nutmeg, and a rich maple butter syrup to top it all off. Enjoy these on their own or with a side of bacon on a weekend morning. If you have extra, set some aside for a quick weekday bite.
Brie Panini with Fresh Pear and Red Fruit Jam $1.73 per serving
Brie Panini with Fresh Pear and Red Fruit Jam
(4.5)
A luscious combination of creamy cheese and slightly crisp pear slices grilled in a pan makes for a marvelous lunch. The red fruit jam (strawberry or raspberry will do) adds a touch of sweetness that complements the rich notes in the brie. A fancy foodie treat for a great price!
Butternut Squash and Kale Risotto $2.18 per serving
Butternut Squash and Kale Risotto
(5.0)
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 occasionally while we multi-task (and if we forget to stir it for a few minutes, it still turns out ... read more
Chicken with Plum Tomato and Prosciutto $2.57 per serving
Chicken with Plum Tomato and Prosciutto
(5.0)
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.” In Italy this would be served as a separate course, following a vegetable or pasta, but feel free ... read more
Chicken, Herb, and Sweet Corn Pie $1.56 per serving
Chicken, Herb, and Sweet Corn Pie
(5.0)
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 pastry from scratch, feel free, but now you can easily buy good prepared pie crust, which is w ... read more
Chicken-Apple Sausage with Roasted Vegetables $1.61 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 caramelized onion. We like to keep things simple by seasoning just with salt and pepper and a good splas ... read more
Chickpea, Tomato, Mint, and Feta Salad with Garlic-Parmesan Crostini $2.07 per serving
Chickpea, Tomato, Mint, and Feta Salad with Garlic-Parmesan Crostini
(5.0)
This light but filling salad is loaded with protein and vitamins. Chickpeas are high in protein and fiber, while feta adds protein, calcium, and B-vitamins and a foodie touch to this inexpensive dish. The mint really makes it if you can find fresh mint at a good price (we often grow our own), though you can substitute other fresh or dried herbs if you have them. Garlic crostini are tasty and quick to prepare.
Chili with Cinnamon and Cacao $2.12 per serving
Chili with Cinnamon and Cacao
(5.0)
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 green and red pepper sauces if you like more fire. Along with scallion, sour cream and avocado, we love ... read more
Chocolate-Orange Spiced Banana Bread 47¢ per serving
Chocolate-Orange Spiced Banana Bread
(4.5)
We can't get enough of this decadent banana bread. It's a luxurious-tasting dessert (or breakfast, if you're in the mood for a real treat) and you get to use up those ripe bananas you have sitting around. Chocolate and orange (from its juice and zest) complement each other nicely, and a touch of spice adds a foodie twist to traditional banana bread. Plus, the orange zest makes a colorful garnish. This bread keeps well, and tastes even better the ... read more
Coconut Chia Pudding 88¢ per serving
Coconut Chia Pudding
(5.0)
Chia is the latest health craze, and with good reason—it's a superfood. Chia seeds are one of the best plant-based sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, with over 7 times more than found in salmon. They also are loaded with calcium, fiber, and iron. We first tasted chia pudding when experimenting with a dairy-free diet, and fell in love with it—and now we're obsessed with it. While chia pudding may be trendy, and therefore expensive at your local café, ... read more
Creamy Polenta with Mushrooms $1.80 per serving
Creamy Polenta with Mushrooms
(4.5)
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) climbed stone steps to a tiny restaurant perched precipitously over Lake Lugano. In the giant f ... read more
Cuban Picadillo $1.91 per serving
Cuban Picadillo
(5.0)
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.
Escarole Rice Soup $1.40 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 super healthful? Starting with a 5-pound roaster, we turned out Lemon-Garlic Roasted Chicken, then ... read more
Farmhouse Sausage and Vegetable Soup $1.22 per serving
Farmhouse Sausage and Vegetable Soup
(5.0)
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 oil, garlic, and dried herbs, we were enjoying a fantastic supper 30 minutes later. The best thing ... read more
French Onion Soup $1.62 per serving
French Onion Soup
(4.5)
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, flavorful, and good for you, too—they are packed with vitamin C, flavonoids, and phytochemicals (compo ... read more
Garlic and Lemon-Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes $1.90 per serving
Garlic and Lemon-Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes
(4.8)
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 Lime-Coconut Green Curry with Chicken)—and use the bones to make chicken broth (see our Ho ... read more
Gemelli with Rustic Tuscan Sauce $2.08 per serving
Gemelli with Rustic Tuscan Sauce
(5.0)
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 exquisite produce, cheeses, meats and wines. This rustic sauce reflects the very essence of the regi ... read more
Ginger Curried Lentils 88¢ 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 long-grained rice will be successful too. Lentils, which come in varied hues, are rich in iron and prov ... read more
Green Chile and Lime Chicken Stew $1.95 per serving
Green Chile and Lime Chicken Stew
(5.0)
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 you made our Garlic and Lemon-Roasted Chicken, for example), which brings the cost way down, or you c ... read more
Lemon-Spinach Orzo 90¢ per serving
Lemon-Spinach Orzo
(5.0)
This light, flavorful dish is full of lemon-scented pasta, garlic, and hearty greens. It's so simple to make, which is another reason to love it. Serve it on its own or as a side dish (without the feta and olives) to accompany our Chicken with Plum Tomato and Prosciutto. Or you might like to add a few pieces of grilled chicken or fish with a squeeze of lemon on top. However you choose to enjoy it, this is incredibly easy and quick to prepare—all ... read more
Lime-Coconut Green Curry with Chicken $1.89 per serving
Lime-Coconut Green Curry with Chicken
(1.0)
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 green curry is making the broth from scratch, which provides deep flavor. But before you give up in de ... read more
Oatmeal with Apple and Apricots 71¢ per serving
Oatmeal with Apple and Apricots
(5.0)
Forget prepackaged oatmeal, which can be pricey and ordinary. Buy rolled oats in bulk for just pennies and prepare them yourself for a delicious and hearty breakfast that's ready in just 5 minutes. Whole rolled oats are not just cheap, they are also extremely nutritious, offering loads of fiber, protein, potassium, and magnesium. The texture is chewy and apple adds some crunch while apricots give it tang.
Olive and Herb Tuna Wrap $1.54 per serving
Olive and Herb Tuna Wrap
(5.0)
Tuna is an excellent source of protein (here 15 grams per serving!), B vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids. Plus it’s inexpensive and makes a quick and easy lunch. Zesty bits of olive and fresh dill balance the flavors and let this dish stand out.
Orange-Banana French Toast $1.46 per serving
Orange-Banana French Toast
(5.0)
This ridiculously inexpensive breakfast is inspired by the New Orleans classic, bananas foster. French toast becomes a foodie favorite with caramelized bananas and a squeeze of fresh orange.
Orecchiette with Italian Sausage and Rapini $1.20 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 actually related to turnips. If you can't find rapini, you can use another green such as spinach, but we ... read more
Pan-Fried Noodles with Tofu and Soy-Chili Sauce $1.93 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, bok choy and others that you may have in stock (though not red beets). Chinese egg noodles, found at m ... read more
Panko Fried Chicken Sandwiches $1.96 per serving
Panko Fried Chicken Sandwiches
The fried-chicken sandwich is an indulgent classic. Here crunchy panko breadcrumbs give texture to a light but juicy take on an old-time tradition. Onion rolls and chopped scallions contribute extra flavor and dill pickle slices add tang. If you're feeling brave, add some hot sriracha! ... read more
Penne with Smoked Gouda, Bell Pepper, and Spinach $1.07 per serving
Penne with Smoked Gouda, Bell Pepper, and Spinach
(5.0)
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 (bell pepper and spinach here), though you can utilize most any vegetables you have on hand—eggplant an ... read more
Potatoes Gratin with Glazed Carrots $2.31 per serving
Potatoes Gratin with Glazed Carrots
(4.5)
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 fancy glazed carrots.
Rum Chocolate Ricotta $1.17 per serving
Rum Chocolate Ricotta
Chocolate, honey, and rum whipped together with ricotta cheese make for a denser, more intense dessert than traditional chocolate mousse. Think of it as the best of mousse and chocolate pudding combined. You can use farmer’s cheese rather than ricotta if you prefer. Add a little extra rum and whipped cream if you've had a long day!
Shepherd's Pie $1.56 per serving
Shepherd's Pie
(5.0)
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 healthful, too.
Spaghetti alla Carbonara $1.76 per serving
Spaghetti alla Carbonara
(5.0)
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 years. It is so simple but looks and tastes impressive. Great comfort food, and great for entertaining!
Spinach and Mushroom Crepes $1.72 per serving
Spinach and Mushroom Crepes
(5.0)
The crepe is a surprisingly economical treat, despite its glamorous French associations and astronomical price tag at restaurants. Crepes are made from a few basic ingredients, can be served hundreds of different ways, sweet or savory, and don’t require any special pan or utensils for cooking. Prepare a large batch of crepes ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator or freezer (between sheets of waxed paper) for a quick lunch or breakfast. ... read more
Squash Stuffed with Spicy Beef $2.35 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. There is lots of vitamin C and A in the squash and protein in the beef, so you won't go hungry afte ... read more
Summer Salad with Lemon Farro $2.09 per serving
Summer Salad with Lemon Farro
Contrasting color, texture, and sweet, sour, and salty flavors make a salad exciting. In this favorite hot-weather entree, we've mixed light and dark greens along with colorful vegetables, crunchy seeds, raisins, a dash of honey, fresh lemon, and blue cheese. Farro—a satisfying, chewy grain—cooks quickly and the lemony vinaigrette on both the greens and the grain is fragrant with zest. Plus, there are numerous heath benefits to farro. An ancient ... read more
Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Corn Tacos with Creamy Salsa Verde $1.49 per serving
Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Corn Tacos with Creamy Salsa Verde
(5.0)
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 (we really like Herdez Salsa Verde—it's authentic-tasting and the price is right). At only $1.49 per ... read more
Tea Sandwiches 95¢ per serving
Tea Sandwiches
(5.0)
Tea sandwiches somehow transform basic ingredients into a special, tasty, bite-size treat. Whether you have them for lunch or afternoon tea, they are so simple to make and so extraordinarily delectable. The key is to use thinly-sliced bread with crusts removed. We paired cucumber with cream cheese, avocado, and mint, and egg salad with dill and stoneground mustard. You can enjoy them knowing that each serving of four mini-sandwiches costs under $1.
Veggie Fried Rice $1.07 per serving
Veggie Fried Rice
(5.0)
Foodie fried rice is a healthy and flavorful dish that can be as exotic or simple 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, a bit of garlic, and ginger.
Zucchini and Carrot "Pasta" with Marinara $1.63 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 spiral vegetable slicer (we love ours!), you can easily create pretty convincing "spaghetti." ... read more
Zucchini and Goat Cheese Omelette with Fingerling Potatoes $1.73 per serving
Zucchini and Goat Cheese Omelette with Fingerling Potatoes
The omelette is a French classic, and it makes it onto our list for its super low cost and versatility (not to mention deliciousness). If you don’t have zucchini, you can substitute any vegetable that appeals to you. Grating the zucchini gives it a fine texture that blends well with goat cheese, and the sautéed fingerling potatoes round out the meal and leave us satisfied for hours. This is a favorite for Sunday mornings, and we love how inexpens ... read more
= quick and easy
= gluten free
= vegetarian
= vegan