Easy-to-Cook Meals on a Budget
You don't have to break your budget to make delicious meals when you're learning to cook, especially when you have the right easy recipes on your side. Cheap food doesn't have to be bland or boring. In fact, simple, inexpensive meals and easy dinner recipes can be just as tasty as those that take hours to prepare with expensive ingredients. Whether you're learning how to prepare salmon or assembling a casserole – all it takes is a little bit of creativity, the right ingredients, and some easy dinner recipes to get started.
Mac and Cheese With Spam
Mac and cheese with Spam is a grown-up version of a classic comfort food. It's an easy recipe that represents cheap food at its tastiest. Melt ¼ cup butter in a skillet while dicing the Spam, and then drop the Spam into the melted butter and let it simmer while the macaroni noodles cook (according to package directions). Drain the cooked noodles and add the milk as directed on the package before stirring the Spam into it. Serve with a small salad or your favorite vegetable.
Ramen, Veggies, and Chicken
Ramen noodles are an iconic cheap food and easy recipes don't get much simpler. They're tasty and easy to make, and can turn into a great meal with the addition of a couple of ingredients. For this one-pan meal, you need a package of ramen noodles, a can of your favorite vegetable, and a small can of cooked chicken. Pour 2 cups of water into a pan and bring it to a boil. Add the ramen noodles, the flavor packet, the drained vegetables, and the chicken. Cook 3–5 minutes, until the noodles are soft, and serve in a bowl.
Biscuit-and-stew casserole is an inexpensive and easy dinner recipe your whole family will love. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Canned biscuits normally require a higher temperature, but the lower heat and extended cooking time allow the biscuits to cook all the way through without burning. Pour a 38-ounce can of beef stew into a 9x9-inch baking dish. Open a can of refrigerated biscuits and place them in a layer on top of the stew. Sprinkle a thin layer of cheddar cheese on top and bake for about 45 minutes. Use a fork to lift one of the center biscuits a little to make sure it's cooked all the way through. Let the casserole stand about 5 minutes before serving. We promise, no one will know that you're serving up cheap food.
Mastering how to cook salmon will make you look like a pro in the kitchen. Although salmon isn't always the cheapest fish in the market, you can sometimes find filets on sale for a reasonable price. To prepare it quickly, melt a tablespoon of unsalted, real butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Drop the filets gently into the hot butter, sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper on top, and cook for approximately 6 minutes. Flip them over and cook about 3 minutes longer. Frying in butter gives the filets a golden-brown appearance. Serve with your favorite type of potato or pasta and a vegetable to complete the meal. Now that's an easy dinner recipe perfect for everyday or for entertaining.
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