15 Cheap and Easy Dinners

Calling for pantry staples and seasonings you probably already have on hand, these recipes require only a handful of ingredients from the store.

Carrot-Star Anise Soup

"Star anise is used in pho which I love, and the aroma of carrots is just spellbinding; they go well together."

Crunchy Pecan-Toffee Cookies

Crunchy, buttery pecan cookies with chocolate-covered toffee bits.

Air Fryer Chicken Fajitas

With an air fryer, chicken stays nice and moist while the vegetables have a nice crisp texture.

Award-Winning Apple Cream Pie

This prize-winning pie has a layer of almond paste and a cream cheese filling under the spiced apples.

Pineapple Mojito

If you love mojitos and pineapple, then this minty and refreshing cocktail is for you!

Mediterranean Salmon Pasta Salad

A quick and easy pasta salad featuring cooked salmon, penne pasta, tomatoes, cucumbers, shallot, and a lemon pepper-dill vinaigrette.

Sesame Chicken Thighs

Delicious fall-off-the-bone chicken thighs with a garlicky sesame seed dressing are so good on any night of the week! Serve with rice. Any remaining sauce is delicious over rice as well!

Cucumber-Basil Syrup

If your garden produces more cukes than you can eat, try this syrup. Great with seltzer water, in a gin tonic, or just with vodka on ice.

Simple Apricot-Glazed Meatloaf

"While I love it served fresh and hot, a good next-day meatloaf sandwich is also a comfort food."

Kentucky Spoon Bread

Corn spoon bread is a lovely and easy side dish to accompany any dinner.

World's Best Lasagna

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It takes a little work, but it is worth it.

Quick and Almost-Professional Buttercream Icing

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After failing to find the perfect recipe for buttercream icing, I found one that worked for me and then added my own two cents.

Joy's Easy Banana Bread

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This easy banana bread recipe is quick to prepare, and everyone always comes back for seconds!

Easy Sugar Cookies

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Quick and easy sugar cookies! They are really good, plain or with candies in them. My friend uses chocolate mints on top, and they're great!

Quick and Easy Brownies

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Takes about 45 minutes to make.

Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork

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Slow cooked, Texas-style pulled pork that is served on a buttered and toasted roll. My family's favorite.

Apple Pie by Grandma Ople

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This was my grandmother's apple pie recipe. I have never seen another one quite like it. It will always be my favorite and has won me several first place prizes in local competitions. I hope it becomes one of your favorites as well!

Juicy Roasted Chicken

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My grandmother's recipe for roasted chicken. We are German and she used to do it this way all the time. I never have had a chicken this juicy before; this little trick works and makes the people eating it go silent. It's funny. We nibble on the celery after.

Spinach and Chicken Casserole

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My son, who is an extremely picky eater, loves this quick and simple dish. It's great for pot-luck dinners.

Waffles I

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You can keep the batter covered in the fridge for up to a week. Just be sure to whisk well before using again. You may also use whole wheat flour for this recipe.

Basic Crepes

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Here is a simple but delicious crepe batter which can be made in minutes. It's made from ingredients that everyone has on hand.

Absolutely the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

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This is a secret family recipe for chocolate chip cookies! Everyone who tries them begs for more. Enjoy!!

Basic Mashed Potatoes

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If you love good, old fashioned mashed potatoes this is the perfect recipe. Simple and delicious.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

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This tangy, creamy dip tastes just like Buffalo chicken wings. It's best served hot with crackers and celery sticks. Everyone loves the results!

Chicken Parmesan

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My version of chicken parmesan is a little different than what they do in the restaurants, with less sauce and a crispier crust.

Spaghetti Pizza I

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This is a recipe from my children's preschool. The children love it!

Homemade Mac and Cheese

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This is a nice rich mac and cheese. Serve with a salad for a great meatless dinner. Hope you enjoy it.

Quick and Easy Pizza Crust

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This is a great recipe when you don't want to wait for the dough to rise. You just mix it and allow it to rest for 5 minutes and then it's ready to go!! It yields a soft, chewy crust. For a real treat, I recommend you use bread flour and bake it on a pizza stone, but all-purpose flour works well too. Enjoy!

To Die For Blueberry Muffins

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These muffins are extra large and yummy with the sugary-cinnamon crumb topping. I usually double the recipe and fill the muffin cups just to the top edge for a wonderful extra-generously-sized deli style muffin. Add extra blueberries too, if you want!

Classic Peanut Butter Cookies

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Makes great cookies!

Easy Sausage Gravy and Biscuits

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Hot jumbo buttermilk biscuits with creamy sausage gravy are ready in just 15 minutes for a hearty, family-favorite breakfast.

Best Steak Marinade in Existence

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This is a family recipe that has been developed only over the last 5 years. In this short time it's made me famous in our close circle, but until now I've never shared it with anyone.

Simple Roasted Butternut Squash

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Butternut squash is so good on its own, that barely any seasoning is needed. This recipe is so simple and easy.

The Real Mojito

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This is an authentic recipe for mojito. I sized the recipe for one serving, but you can adjust it accordingly and make a pitcher full. It's a very refreshing drink for hot summer days. Be careful when drinking it, however. If you make a pitcher you might be tempted to drink the whole thing yourself, and you just might find yourself talking Spanish in no time! Tonic water can be substituted instead of the soda water but the taste is different and somewhat bitter.

French Toast I

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There are many, fancy variations on this basic recipe. This recipe works with many types of bread - white, whole wheat, cinnamon-raisin, Italian or French. Serve hot with butter or margarine and maple syrup.

Chicken Pot Pie IX

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A delicious chicken pie made from scratch with carrots, peas and celery.

Brunch Potato Casserole

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This recipe was given to me, and I continue to pass it down to everyone who tries it! Aside from being so delicious, it's so versatile that I've even used it as a side dish for steak! This can be made the night before, then baked the next day -- allow 10 extra minutes of cooking time.

Mamaw's Chicken and Rice Casserole

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I grew up on this recipe, my Grandmother got it from a lady from church at a pot luck a long time ago! She passed it down to my mom and it's always been a family favorite. Quick and easy for school nights, and the leftovers are just as good! You can use less butter on top of course, my Momma and Mamaw always put the full stick on top (gotta love Southern ladies and their butter!)

Butter Fried Potatoes

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This is not the healthiest dish, although it is delicious. For the people who do not like them, the onion is optional. I make it for my family often and the restaurant I work at changed their recipe to this! Add diced tomatoes alongside the onion and garlic for a tasty addition.

Best Fried Green Tomatoes

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You can also fry up red tomatoes with this recipe but make sure they are not over ripe or they will be mushy. Serve these tomatoes outside with a glass of iced tea one summer night and enjoy the sunset with someone you love.

Garden Fresh Tomato Soup

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A quick and easy recipe for real homemade tomato soup like no other you've had before.

Delicious Egg Salad for Sandwiches

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This is a wonderful-tasting egg salad sandwich that you will definitely devour. It's really good on rye.

Classic Waffles

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A lovely, crispy waffle perfect for the morning.

Sarah's Applesauce

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This applesauce is delicious! I make it for my younger brother all the time and he loves it - and he hates canned applesauce!

Simple Macaroni and Cheese

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A very quick and easy fix to a tasty side-dish. Fancy, designer mac and cheese often costs forty or fifty dollars to prepare when you have so many exotic and expensive cheeses, but they aren't always the best tasting. This recipe is cheap and tasty.

Microwave Chocolate Mug Cake

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This is my own version of the chocolate microwave mug cake. This chocolaty fudgy treat is truly decadent and great for nights when I need a yummy dessert that is ready in less than 10 minutes! Chocolate chips make this recipe even better.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew I

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A hearty, savory slow cooker stew with potatoes, carrots, celery, broth, herbs and spices. You won't be slow to say 'yum'!

Simple Teriyaki Sauce

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This simple but amazing teriyaki sauce will take your chicken and rice to the next level!

Fried Rice Restaurant Style

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A quick fried rice like you get at your favorite Chinese restaurant. A couple of eggs, baby carrots, peas and soy sauce is all you need.

Simple White Cake

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This cake was sent home from our children's school. It is the simplest, great tasting cake I've ever made. Great to make with the kids, especially for cupcakes.

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

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Better than the typical poppers.

Balsamic Bruschetta

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Simple appetizer - the balsamic vinegar gives it a little kick. Best if the mixture has 1 or 2 hours to blend flavors before serving.

Soft Oatmeal Cookies

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These oatmeal cookies are very moist with a good flavor. Add a cup of raisins or nuts if you desire.

Fresh Southern Peach Cobbler

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I've been experimenting with cobbler for some time and this recipe is the final result. Loved by all. Use fresh Georgia peaches, of course!

Thyme-Rubbed Steaks with Sauteed Mushrooms

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This is an easy recipe. My family just loves the mushroom topping. Add some boiled carrots and mashed potatoes to make a wonderful meal.

Basic Cream Cheese Frosting

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This recipe delivers a basic cream cheese frosting using just butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla.
By JJ

Apple Crisp with Oat Topping

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This is the best dessert for the early fall when the sweet and firm apples are just in season. Use the best quality cinnamon you can get and get it from a spice merchant or even a store where you can get it bulk; it does make a difference. Within ten minutes of going in the oven the scent will fill the house and neighbors you loaned things to years ago will return them just to invite themselves in and wonder aloud if there is any left (Note: there isn't). Optional accompaniments would be caramel sauce, ice cream, and whipped cream.

Golden Sweet Cornbread

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If you like sweet cornbread, this is the recipe for you! My mom made this for me as a child, and now it's my family's favorite.

Eggplant Parmesan II

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This is a no fry variation of this popular dish, and is just as delicious!