Best Easy Recipes Under $20
Cooking delicious and affordable meals doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With a little creativity, you can whip up tasty dishes without breaking the bank. Here are some of the best easy recipes that you can prepare for under $20:
1. Spaghetti Aglio e Olio: This classic Italian pasta dish requires just a few simple ingredients like spaghetti, garlic, olive oil, and chili flakes. It’s a quick and flavorful recipe that will satisfy your taste buds without emptying your wallet.
2. Vegetable Stir-Fry: A colorful stir-fry with fresh vegetables is not only healthy but also budget-friendly. Use a variety of vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, and mushrooms, and toss them in a simple sauce made with soy sauce, ginger, and garlic.
3. Black Bean Quesadillas: These cheesy quesadillas are a great option for a quick and inexpensive meal. Just fill tortillas with black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, and shredded cheese, and cook until golden and crispy.
4. Chickpea Curry: A hearty and flavorful chickpea curry can be made with just a few pantry staples. Combine canned chickpeas with coconut milk, curry powder, and diced tomatoes, and let it simmer until the flavors meld together.
5. Caprese Salad: This refreshing salad is made with ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and basil leaves, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. It’s a simple yet elegant dish that can be enjoyed as a light lunch or a side dish.
6. Tuna Pasta Salad: A budget-friendly option for lunch or dinner, this tuna pasta salad is both filling and delicious. Combine cooked pasta, canned tuna, mayonnaise, diced celery, and onion, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
7. Baked Chicken Drumsticks: Chicken drumsticks are an affordable and versatile meat option. Season them with your favorite spices and bake them in the oven until crispy and golden. Pair them with a side of roasted potatoes or steamed vegetables for a complete meal.
8. Margherita Pizza: Making your own pizza at home is not only fun but also cost-effective. Spread tomato sauce on a pre-made pizza crust, top it with mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves, and bake until the cheese is bubbly and golden.
9. Lentil Soup: Lentils are a nutritious and affordable ingredient that can be transformed into a hearty soup. Combine lentils, carrots, celery, onion, and vegetable broth, and let it simmer until the lentils are tender and the flavors meld together.
Questions and Answers:
1. Can I substitute fresh ingredients with frozen ones?
Yes, you can substitute fresh ingredients with frozen ones in most recipes. Just make sure to thaw them before cooking and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
2. Can I use different types of pasta in the spaghetti recipe?
Absolutely! Spaghetti Aglio e Olio can be made with any type of pasta you have on hand, such as fettuccine or linguine.
3. How can I make the stir-fry more filling?
To make the stir-fry more filling, you can add protein such as tofu, chicken, or shrimp. Cook the protein separately and then mix it in with the vegetables and sauce.
4. Can I make the chickpea curry spicier?
Yes, if you prefer a spicier curry, you can add extra chili powder or red pepper flakes to the recipe.
5. Are there any vegetarian options among these recipes?
Yes, the Vegetable Stir-Fry, Caprese Salad, and Lentil Soup are all vegetarian-friendly.
6. Can I make the tuna pasta salad ahead of time?
Yes, the tuna pasta salad can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for a day or two. Just make sure to keep it covered to maintain freshness.
7. Can I use boneless chicken instead of drumsticks for the baked chicken recipe?
Yes, you can use boneless chicken thighs or breasts instead of drumsticks. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly, as boneless chicken may cook faster.
8. Can I add additional toppings to the Margherita pizza?
Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with additional toppings like sliced olives, bell peppers, or even cooked bacon to customize your pizza.
9. Can I use canned lentils instead of dried ones for the lentil soup?
Yes, you can use canned lentils as a time-saving alternative. Just rinse them thoroughly before using and adjust the cooking time accordingly, as canned lentils are already cooked.