# Budget meals # budget recipes

6 Budget Dinner Ideas | What's For Dinner?


Welcome to a new episode of What's for Dinner? Today I'm sharing family-friendly budget meals that will please your dinner guests and your bank account! 

Today's video
 is a collaboration with my friend, Robin from Faith and Flour. She is also sharing her budget meals so make sure you also check out her video to get twice the inspiration. 

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This Tomato Feta Pasta is a recipe that's gone viral through TikTok. I found the original recipe on Delish and modified it for my own family. 

Tomato Feta Pasta

Tomato Feta Pasta

Yield: serves 6


  • 2 pints of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 shallot, quartered
  • 3 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 6 to 8 oz block feta (or crumbled feta)
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 10 oz. elbow macaroni
  • ½ cup cooking water from pasta
  • Zest of one lemon


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In an ovenproof casserole dish combine tomatoes, shallot, garlic, and the majority of the olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes (if using) and mix to combine.
  2. Place the feta block (or if using crumbled feta, keep it together in the center) in the center of the tomato mixture and drizzle with the rest of the olive oil. Scatter the thyme over the tomatoes. Bake for 45 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water according to the package instructions, reserving ½ cup of cooking water before draining.
  4. Add the pasta and reserved pasta water to the tomatoes and feta and toss to combine. Sprinkle with lemon zest. Enjoy.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Slow Cooker Cheesy Beef and Potato Casserole is a family-friendly meal that can be assembled in the morning and served to the delight of your children at dinnertime. I originally found this recipe on Pinterest

Slow Cooker Cheesy Beef and Potato Casserole

Slow Cooker Cheesy Beef and Potato Casserole

Yield: serves 8


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 oz taco seasoning
  • 5 oz cheddar cheese soup
  • 4 cups potatoes, sliced
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup beef broth


  1. Brown the ground beef with garlic and drain. Grease the slow cooker and spread the potato slices in the bottom. Spread the ground beef on top of the potatoes. Sprinkle the taco seasoning on top of the beef. Spoon the soup on top. Sprinkle cheese as the top layer. Pour beef broth over the whole mixture. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Chicken Pot Pie Stromboli this recipe is adapted from The Everyday Dishes Turkey Pot Pie Stromboli. It's a fun take on the traditional chicken pot pie. 

Chicken Pot Pie Stromboli

Chicken Pot Pie Stromboli

Yield: serves 8


  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrot mix
  • 1 ½ cup cooked, shredded chicken
  • ½ cup Monterey jack or cheddar cheese
  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten


  1. In a large skillet, sauté the onion and celery in butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and flour. Cook for one minute. Add the broth and heavy cream and stir until a thick sauce forms. Add the chicken, peas and carrot mix and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Allow the chicken mixture to cool. This step is important so you don’t burn through the pastry.
  2. While the chicken mixture is cooking, roll out a puff pastry sheet on a cutting board. Place the cool or room temperature chicken pot pie filling inside the pastry and top with cheese. Brush the edges of the puff pastry with egg wash and roll the dough into a log shape. Place the Stromboli seam side down on a prepared baking sheet. Brush the top with the rest of the egg wash, cut a few slits into the pastry, and bake for 35 minutes at 400 degrees F.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Spinach Mushroom Quiche with Herbed Cheese I make this easy quiche all the time and frequently substitute ingredients based on what I have. The herbed cheese sends this over the edge. It also makes a delicious breakfast. 

Spinach Mushroom Quiche with Herbed Cheese

Spinach Mushroom Quiche with Herbed Cheese

Yield: Serves 6


  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 10 oz fresh spinach, chopped
  • 8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 6oz container of herbed cheese (Boursin)
  • 8 oz shredded cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pie crust that could fit a 9-inch-deep dish
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg beaten (for egg wash)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the garlic and shallot in butter until shallot is softened, but not brown. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft. Add the spinach and stir until it cooks down. Add the herbed cheese and shredded cheese and stir for one minute (not too long… you don’t want it to get rubbery). Remove from heat. Beat the eggs with the milk in a separate bowl and set aside. On a floured surface, roll out the pie crust and place in the deep-dish pie pan. Fill the pie crust with the spinach cheese mixture. Pour the egg mixture on top. Brush the edges of the pie crust with egg wash. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the egg mixture is set when tested with a fork.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Tuna Melts on Croissants Tuna melts are a classic budget dish. I enjoy making them on croissants for a fresh new taste. 

Tuna Melts on Croissants

Tuna Melts on Croissants

Yield: 4 - 6


  • 2 cans tuna, drained 
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup chopped celery
  • ¼ cup chopped scallion or red onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped apple
  • 2 dill pickles finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp garlic salt
  • 6 slices of cheddar cheese
  • 6 croissants (or 12 slices of sourdough bread)
  • Tomato and lettuce (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degree F. In a large bowl, mix 2 cans of tuna with the mayonnaise, celery, onion, apple, and pickles. Mix well. Add the garlic salt and mix to incorporate. Cut your croissants in half and lay them on a baking sheet lined with foil. Spread the tuna mixture on top of each opened croissant half. Top with cheese. Bake in the oven for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the cheese melts and the croissants are crispy. Add tomato and lettuce if desired. Enjoy.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Clam Chowder with fresh clams is ideal, but pantry clams are frugal and still make for a great, hearty soup. 

Clam Chowder

Clam Chowder

serves 6


  • 4 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cans minced clams
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 large celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 medium potatoes, cubed
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • Drizzle of heavy cream
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley


  1. In a large stock pot, sauté the bacon until cooked. Remove the bacon and keep the fat in the pan. Add the butter to the bacon fat. Add the onion and celery and sauté over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add the all-purpose flour and stir for one minute. Add the milk, stock, and bay leaf and stir until a thick sauce forms. Add the potatoes and cook until they are tender, around 15 minutes. Add the clams and stir to combine. Cook another 5 minutes. Distribute the soup evenly among soup bowls. Drizzle with heavy cream and top with bacon and chopped parsley. Enjoy.
Created using The Recipes Generator


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Comment of the Week
Monday's video on 5 ways to be more elegant really sparked a great conversation in the comments on YouTube. I appreciated reading all of your additions to my list. 

Megroux wrote, "One more, knowing when a person wants advice and when they simply want to be heard."

This is fantastic advice, Megroux. Being a good listener and being there for our friends and family is very elegant. We don't need to try to solve everyone's problems. Sometimes people just need to be heard. Thank you for sharing that. 

I hope you enjoyed this episode of What's for Dinner? Let us know if you've discovered any great dinner ideas in the comments and your comment could be chosen as comment of the week on the blog. See you soon! 

~ Jennifer 

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Jessica said...

These are wonderful! I’ve been in a cooking rut, and watching this gave me great ideas! My family will love these!

Susanne Sutton said...

Hi, Jennifer. I'm not leaving this for you to post but just FYI. You have a typo on the intro to the clam recipe: instead of pantry, you've got panty. Knew you wouldn't want to leave it like that! Every blessing, Susanne

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Jessica- thank you so much!

Susanne- thank you SO much for telling me about typo. Although I laughed until I cried before I fixed it. What a terrible error! haha! Much love

~ Jennifer xx

CatsPJs said...

Making the chicken pot pie tonight! Looks so yummy. A few dinner posts back you mentioned doing a future post on your recipe for macaroni and cheese. Still excited to see it. Hope I didn’t miss it. 😊

Jackie B. said...

Delicious clam chowder, Jennifer. Made 1/2 recipe for my husband and me and we felt very treated :) Thank you for the work you put into the blog. You enrich my life. 🌿

Unknown said...

I made the tuna melt for lunch today, using a tuna salad recipe that I improvised. The croissant just elevated the experience. I thought to myself, "Restaurants serve stuff on croissants, why can't I?" I'm glad I did -- so delicious and satisfying. Thank you, Jennifer!