Pouring a glass of wine and slowly preparing a roast or pottering in the kitchen is one of my favourite things to do on the weekend, but when it comes to weeknight meals, I look for budget-friendly dinner options which are quick and easy to prepare. Feeding a family can be expensive, but you absolutely can create delicious, budget-friendly meals at home without sacrificing on quality or freshness. These are my top 20 dinners under $20.
Nasi Goreng is a seriously tasty Indonesian fried rice dish perfect for those busy weeknights when you want to make something quick and easy for your family. The chicken is tender and juicy, the rice is packed with flavour from the dark soy sauce, and the veggies can be customised to suit your family’s tastes. And let’s not forget about the runny egg on top – it’s the perfect finishing touch!
My homemade chicken gyros recipe is a delicious twist on the classic Greek street food. Tender, marinated chicken, cooked perfectly and served on warm pita bread. Top with your favourite fresh veggies and tangy tzatziki sauce. It’s a flavour-packed meal that’s easy to make and customisable to suit your family’s tastes. The best part is that it comes together in less than 15 minutes. Whether hosting a dinner party or just looking for a tasty meal on a busy weeknight, this chicken gyros recipe will quickly become your go-to!
San Choy Bow
Looking for a quick and easy dinner that’s bursting with flavour? Look no further than san choy bow, a delightful dish featuring lettuce cups filled with savoury and sweet mince. With just a few simple steps, you can create a meal that’s both delicious and nutritious. Plus, the recipe calls for a variety of veggies, making it a great way to use up leftovers from your fridge. Whether you prefer peas, carrots, bean sprouts, or something else, you can easily customise this dish to suit your family’s tastes.
Flavourful, fast and tasty homemade nachos are perfect for entertaining or a fun family dinner. Nestled on a bed of crispy corn chips, melted cheese, and a variety of flavorful toppings, this recipe will satisfy your Mexican cravings. And as a bonus – any leftover beef mixture can be refrigerated or frozen and used in other Mexican classics like burritos, tacos or quesadillas.
Peanut Chicken Satay
Looking for a quick and easy weeknight dinner that’s bursting with flavour? Look no further than my homemade Peanut Chicken Stir-Fry! Tender chicken pieces are stir-fried and coated in a mouthwatering peanut sauce. Plus, it’s a healthy meal you can whip up in under 15 minutes, making it perfect for busy nights. I like to serve it with rice and fresh crunchy textures with cucumbers, coriander, fresh chilli, crushed peanuts and lime wedges.
Sticky Pork Noodles
Quick, easy and delicious. My sticky pork noodles are a family favourite, and the best part is that I can have dinner on the table in just 15 minutes! Using frozen vegetables saves prep time, but you can make this recipe your own and use your favourite vegetables. This recipe is an excellent addition to your weekly meal plan. It’s budget-friendly, easy to prepare and a hit with the kids!
One Pot Greek Chicken and Rice
This one-pot meal features tender chicken that’s been infused with zesty lemon and garlic flavours, cooked to perfection on a bed of fluffy rice. Every bite is packed with flavour as the chicken juices seep into the rice. I like to serve it with crumbled feta on top for a creamy and tangy finish. This meal is delicious and easy to prepare, making it the perfect dinner option for a busy weeknight that your whole family will enjoy.
Roasted Pumpkin Soup
Warming and comforting pumpkin soup made better with a deep, roasted flavour. I love there is limited chopping and preparation required, the oven does all the work!
Chicken & Chorizo Paella
Although this is far from an authentic Spanish paella, it is a delicious weeknight alternative ready in under 25 minutes. Chicken, chorizo and creamy arborio rice come together to make this colourful signature dish packed with flavour. One pot is all you need, and the method is so simple.
Sticky Beef Noodles
Take humble beef mince to the next level with my sticky beef noodles in a flavour-packed sweet chilli soy sauce. This tasty recipe is perfect for busy weeknights, ready in under 15 minutes, and it’s budget-friendly, with the ingredients costing less than $15. Customise this dish by adding your favourite veggies and extra chilli if you like a bit of heat!
Chicken Teriyaki Bowl
Like many of us, I used to buy teriyaki marinade. The individual ingredients to make my own were too expensive, difficult to find at the shops, or I didn’t think I had time… I was wrong. Not only is this super easy and quick to get out on the dinner table, but it’s also better value! The taste is authentic and better than any store-bought marinade I’ve tried… Plus, you get the satisfaction of knowing exactly what is in yours! I love teriyaki served up in a bowl just like this. Try the recipe with beef or tofu – Equally delicious!
Mexican Beef Casserole
Are you looking for a delicious and easy midweek dinner idea? Look no further than this flavorful Mexican beef casserole recipe! With fragrant and perfectly cooked rice made in one pot, this hearty casserole is the perfect meal to satisfy your craving for a delicious Mexican fiesta. With all your favourite toppings included, this recipe will surely become a family favourite!
Creamy Pea & Bacon Spaghetti
Perfect for those nights when only a big bowl of comforting pasta will do! This meal is inexpensive and so quick to throw together. Don’t be fooled by how simple it looks. It is packed with flavour. I love serving it with a big bowl of dressed baby spinach leaves or steamed broccoli. Chilli flakes and extra parmesan are a must for me too!
This popular takeaway stir-fried noodle recipe is so easy to replicate at home, made with simple ingredients. Marinating the chicken in baking soda keeps the chicken incredibly soft and juicy, just like what you would find at your favourite local restaurant. Finished with a thick soy and garlic-infused sauce, this is one to reserve for when you need a delicious dinner on the table quickly.
Baked Chicken Risotto
This is chicken risotto made easy and fast. Traditionally risotto is a dish cooked by adding broth to rice until it reaches a creamy consistency. But this quick, no-fuss, oven-baked method produces perfectly fluffy, garlic infused rice. Stir through spinach leaves and parmesan at the end for a simple, one pot dinner or use any of the vegetable alternatives listed below.
Vietnamese Pork Bowl
My Vietnamese pork bowls are on high rotation at our place. Bright, fresh and fun to eat – my kids love them. Thin rice noodles topped with sweet, sticky pork, served with fresh salads and crunchy spring rolls. All the ingredients are brought together with a delicious Vietnamese-inspired dressing. Seriously simple, fast and tasty.
Chicken, Sun-dried Tomato Pasta Bake
If you’re looking for a hearty and satisfying meal that’s sure to please the whole family, then you have to try my chicken and sun-dried tomato pasta bake. This dish combines the classic and old-school flavours of tender chicken and sun-dried tomatoes, creating a meal that’s both comforting and delicious. This recipe is simple to prepare and can be made ahead of time, making it a great option for busy weeknights.
Easy Fried Rice
I always make extra rice when I’m cooking it for a dish and either freeze it for a later meal (yes! Rice freezes beautifully, and you can defrost it quickly in the microwave!) or save the leftover for this recipe. The kids love it, and it makes for a super quick lunch or the perfect side to an Asian-inspired dinner. Simple ingredients make this one of the BEST fried rice recipes you will try.
10 Minute Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta
The lengthiest part of this dish is waiting for the water to boil for your pasta! This dinner is super quick to cook and prepare, making it the ultimate weeknight meal. Enjoy perfectly cooked pasta and juicy chicken breast covered in a creamy pesto sauce and finished with lashings of parmesan.