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Easy & Cheap Dinner Ideas 2021

Nov 30, 2021
Coline Richard

In today’s world, it can be difficult to find a balance between meals that are easy to make and affordable to buy. Restaurants are becoming increasingly expensive, making going out for dinner an unviable option for many households.

JOW makes affordable meals easy by optimizing your grocery shopping and providing tons of easy, healthy, and delicious recipes that can be made in 30 minutes or less. We don’t always have time to make an intricate dinner—or the money to order in—but you don’t have to sacrifice simplicity for taste.

We’ve compiled a handy list of easy dinner recipes that strike that delicate balance of being affordable and easy to make! You deserve to have tons of yummy options that won’t break the bank when planning out your dinners for the week.

Bow Tie Pasta With Creamy Leeks

There’s nothing quite like rich and creamy pasta for dinner, and it tastes even better when it’s affordable! Our Bow Tie Pasta with Creamy Leeks is delicious, filling, and a breeze to put together on a budget.


This easy dinner idea only has three minutes of prep time and ten minutes of cooking time, making it easy to create at any time of the day. Use JOW’s one-click grocery shopper to grab farfalle pasta, sour cream, leeks, grated parmesan cheese, as well as salt and pepper.


Once you taste this fantastic pasta, you’ll come back for more. Feel free to take this recipe to the next level with more veggies, including anything from broccoli to mushrooms. 

Meatball Carbonara

If you’ve got a big appetite but don’t want to overspend, this is the easy dinner recipe for you. Our Meatball Carbonara pasta is incredibly filling, while being fast, easy, and affordable. With 38 grams of protein, these noodles pack a strong protein punch!


This recipe will be ready before you know it, after only five minutes of prep time and ten minutes of cook time. Start by combining fresh pasta, chipolata sausage, eggs, fresh parmesan, and parsley.


Garnish with herbs, and it’s ready to serve! For a lower-carb version of this weeknight meal, swap out pasta for zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash. You can also make this recipe vegetarian by substituting chipolata sausage with veggie meatballs made using breadcrumbs.


Spring Pizza

A runny egg yolk on a pizza? It’s a stroke of weeknight dinner genius. This incredible spring pizza recipe uses a handful of reasonably priced ingredients to create a fantastic, simple, and long-lasting pizza that you will love. Make it for a weeknight breakfast for dinner, or make it the centerpiece of your filling weekend brunch.


This pizza takes only five minutes of prep time and ten minutes of cooking time, which means you’ll get dinner on the table in under 20 minutes.


To make this pizza, you’ll need pizza dough, frozen green peas, sliced prosciutto, eggs, pesto sauce, mozzarella cheese, and arugula salad.


The best part about homemade pizza is sharing it with your friends and family, and we don’t just mean the finished product. Have a pizza making party and invite some kitchen helpers to craft the perfect pie along with you. You can even use this recipe to make individual pizzas, with each member of your family adding whatever toppings they love most and leaving out the rest.

Burrata Pasta

Burrata is one of our favorite cheeses, and it happens to be one of the healthiest types of cheese around! Burrata is delicious and affordable, but you may be wondering how to incorporate it into your weekly dinner routine. This excellent pasta recipe is a great place to start. 


With a preparation time of three minutes and a cook time of nine minutes, this pasta is as quick and simple as can be. 


JOW specializes in the simplest recipes with the most interesting flavor combinations, and we test all of our new inventions before presenting them to you. We make it easy to find your new favorite recipes and buy the highest-quality ingredients at the best value, so that it’s never difficult to figure out what to make for dinner tonight.


For this delectable dinner, you’ll need rigatoni pasta, cherry tomatoes, burrata cheese, raw prosciutto, fresh basil, and garlic.


Serve the finished pasta on a plate and top with prosciutto, burrata, and a few basil leaves. Swap out the prosciutto for shrimp or crispy chicken breasts, or add a touch of spinach to bring variety to this meal throughout the month. 

Summer Burger

Who doesn’t love a good burger? Whether you’re a meat-eater who loves a classic beef burger or a vegetarian who prefers a black bean alternative, burgers are a classic meal any time of the year. 


Our Summer Burger dish is a simple, elegant, and low-cost dinner option that is perfect for a sunny summer day, using seasonal ingredients that make this classic feel new again.


The summer burger requires four minutes of prep time and another four minutes of cook time, making it one of the fastest recipes on this list. 


Grab some burger buns, ground beef, mayonnaise, ketchup, dried tomatoes, Tomme cheese, and fresh parsley, then start the grill for a summer meal al fresco. The Tomme cheese is what makes this recipe really pop, but you can add avocado, bacon, or jalapeño mayo for even more of a summery twist.


Serve this burger with steak fries or a classic summer BBQ side like potato salad, grilled corn, or homemade coleslaw.


Primavera Poke

For something a little more light but equally delicious, try this Japanese classic. Our Primavera Poke bowl takes advantage of many different flavors to create an incredibly satisfying dinner for everyone.


The primavera poke bowl takes only four minutes to prepare and ten to cook. Collect salmon, avocado, soy sauce, rice vinegar, radish, cucumber, white sushi rice, and cilantro, then combine in a bowl for a fresh and filling meal. Top with sesame seeds or other poke favorites like crunchy rice, edamame, ginger, or ponzu sauce to complete the meal.

It’s just as good as takeout, but you did it yourself! 

Onion Soup

Soup is one of the best foods for a tight budget, requiring only a few key ingredients to make a hearty and rich meal that is as filling as it is delicious. 


Even better, soup is ideal for meal prep, if you prefer to make your weekly meals in advance and save even more time during the busy work week. Just refridger your soup in a mason jar, and reheat it when it’s time for family dinner.


Our Onion Soup and cheesy bread is a sophisticated take on a classic grilled cheese combo that you’ll want to keep eating all autumn long.


This soup only takes six minutes of preparation and about 30 minutes of cook time. Once you have that first taste, you’ll be hooked. Yellow onion and chicken broth combine to make the titular soup, then melted, grated cheese on sliced country bread is served alongside it for dipping. 


Sprinkle some grated cheese on top of the soup as well, and put chunks of hardened bread inside for a traditional French Onion soup. 


If you want to make this a heavier meal, serve our soup combo alongside chicken thighs and potatoes, or serve with green beans for lighter fare. 


Dinner Ideas That Last All Year

To maintain a balanced and healthy diet, it’s important to eat a variety of whole foods throughout the year. It can be hard to do that while also keeping dinners easy, cheap, and reasonable. That’s where these recipes come in handy.


Don’t overspend on groceries or eating out! Use JOW to optimize your grocery carts, so you only buy what you need. With a bit of creativity and a little help from our quick and easy recipes, you can make dinner time the easiest part of your day.

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