8 Cheap and Healthy One Dish Meals

We’re all about cheap and healthy when it comes to meals. So we’ve rounded up some recipes beyond the chili and pasta dishes we’re always cooking for some variety. Most of these recipes should run around $10 – $15 to serve 4 – though pricing will vary across the country. But all of them contain good the foods that made our Cheap and Healthy Foods list.  Plus, they’re all made in a single skillet or pot. Enjoy!


This recipe calls for spinach, peppers, feta cheese and scallions, but you can add anything you like to a frittata.  Leftover veggies or potatoes, any type of cheese – whatever you like. Eggs are an inexpensive source of protein and B and D vitamins – and whatever you add boosts the nutritional value. Just avoid too much cheese or fatty meats. Figure a quarter of the pie per person – anywhere from 200 – 400 calories per serving (less for vegetarian versions, more for those with meats and cheese).  Add a salad, another vegetable or fruit for dinner.

Greek Chicken Rice Pilaf

This recipe lends itself to all sorts of variations beyond the Greek version provided. I’ve substituted spinach and/or tomatoes (drained – or using less stock if I want to use the juice) for the artichokes and cheese and it tastes great. Use brown rice for more fiber. And when it’s all said and done, one serving is about 600 – 700 calories and you’ll be packing in protein and fiber along with the nutritional goodies in the veggies you choose.

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Black Bean Soup

One cup of this black bean soup is 222 calories but it’s also full of fiber and nutrients thanks to the tomatoes and other veggies in the recipe.  This version is loaded with lots of peppers and hot spices which you can adjust to taste – but they, too, add some nutritional punch helping to lower bad cholesterol and blood pressure.  Add some sides like a salad, whole wheat crackers or an open face sandwich.

Slow Cooker Coq Au Vin

Made with chicken thighs, this classic dish clocks in at about 430 calories per serving. Besides the protein, onions, carrots and mushrooms add vitamins A, D and C. I skip the bacon and use less wine than called for – and if you don’t like mushrooms, don’t add them. No wine? Use a tablespoon of red wine or balsamic vinegar for each cup of broth and add a pinch of sugar if too acidic.


The ultimate leftover soup – but if you don’t have leftovers, inexpensive frozen vegetables will do the trick. Tomatoes add vitamin C and A and beans add fiber. With just the veggies, this recipe is less than 170 calories per cup. To stretch for dinner, add some brown rice or noodles, leftover meat – or both!

Taco Tamale Pie

Easy on the budget, taco pie contains just one pound of ground been and a box of corn bread mix. While this recipe calls for canned corn (use frozen instead!) you can add beans instead for even more fiber. And substitute a can of chopped tomatoes and spices for the Picante sauce if you don’t have that handy.  A ten ounce serving – more than enough for dinner – will be about 540 calories.

Spinach and Rice Stuffed Bell Peppers

With a good dose of fiber and vitamins A and C, one of these peppers stuffed with spinach and brown rice clocks in at 470 calories but you can lessen the load by skipping the bacon (I have never used it!) and cutting down on the cheese (and it doesn’t have to be Gouda – I usually use Parmesan or cheddar).  Sometimes I bake the “insides” as a casserole using chopped frozen peppers mixed in. Yummy still…

Italian Vegetable Stew

Served over day old bread, this hearty stew includes beans, tomatoes and various other veggies to make it a filling and nutritious dish. Though this recipe calls for fresh vegetables, I always use frozen and often substitute spinach for one of the greens. To keep salt content down, choose low/no sodium broths, beans and tomatoes. The cheese topping will add the salty kick you need.

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by on September 16th, 2014