Putting a delicious meal on the table doesn't have to break the bank. In fact, if you shop smart, you can create a variety of nutrient-rich meals for just a few dollars per serving. Not only will it save you money in the long run, but you'll become more creative with those fridge and pantry items that never seem to be used up until the expiration date passes.
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We tapped two registered dietitians to get 10 nutritious one-pot dinners that are delicious and comforting— and they're all under $5 per serving. Check them out below.
1. One Pot Lemon Artichoke Chicken and Rice
"Artichokes are low in fat and high in fiber, folate and vitamins C and K," Andrea Mathis, RD says. "The fiber in artichokes helps to keep our digestive system functioning by promoting gut-friendly bacteria and reducing the risk of constipation and diarrhea." Not to mention, the use of chicken breast in this recipe will help you keep full for longer.
Get the One Pot Lemon Artichoke Chicken and Rice recipe and nutrition info from Budget Bytes.
2. Buckwheat and Pork
Buckwheat is a good source of fiber and magnesium and helps to make this dish hearty and filling. It's also rich in fiber, which has been linked to improved heart health and blood sugar levels, Mathis says. And because this recipe is naturally gluten and dairy-free, it's ideal for a variety of diets.
Get the Buckwheat and Pork recipe and nutrition info from Natasha's Kitchen.
3. One-Pot Penne With Cauliflower and White Beans
"The combination of white beans and cauliflower offer many nutrients in this dish," Mathis says. "Cauliflower is a great source of fiber, B-vitamins and antioxidants that have been linked to reduced inflammation and protection against some cancers." And white beans are a good source of fiber and protein.
Get the One-Pot Penne With Cauliflower and White Beans recipe and nutrition info here.
4. One-Pan Eggplant Chicken Dinner
In this dish you'll get 2 servings of veggies thanks to the spinach and eggplant. "Just 1 cup provides a great source of manganese, folate and vitamins A and C, which help protect against cell damage," Mathis says. If you don't have eggplant on hand, feel free to substitute for green or yellow squash.
Get the One-Pan Eggplant Chicken Dinner recipe and nutrition info from Lexi's Clean Kitchen.
5. Spinach Artichoke Wonderpot
Spinach is one of those veggies you can bulk up on in a recipe without altering the flavor. "In 3 cups of raw spinach, you'll get over 300 percent of the daily need for vitamin K, which helps to support bone health," Mathis says. In other words, add as much spinach as humanely possible without transforming your pasta into a salad.
Get the Spinach and Artichoke Wonderpot recipe and nutrition info from Budget Bytes.
6. One-Pot Chicken Piccata
This recipe is a complete protein, but is also high in saturated fat, according to Nicole Rodriguez, RD. "Consider swapping the butter for olive oil for a more heart-healthy take on this classic," she suggests. "And serve it with plenty of vegetables to balance out the high amount of sodium."
Get the One-Pot Chicken Piccata recipe and nutrition info from Easy Chicken Dinners.
7. Garlic Butter Shrimp and Rice
"Shrimp is recommended by the American Heart Association as a lean protein source, as long as they're not fried," Rodriguez says. "Shrimp is low in saturated fat and calories and an excellent source of selenium, a mineral that plays an important role in reproductive health." If you're looking to reduce the calories of this dish, consider splitting it into more than 4 servings.
Get the Garlic Butter Shrimp and Rice recipe and nutrition info from Diethood.
8. Honey Mustard Chicken and Sweet Potato Sheet Pan Dinner
This recipe is quick-to-make and has minimal ingredients. To make it a well-balanced meal, consider adding more vegetables to your sheet pan like brussels sprouts, zucchini or broccoli florets.
Get the Honey Mustard Chicken and Sweet Potato Sheet Pan Dinner recipe and nutrition info from The Creative Bite.
9. Vegetable Pot Pie Skillet With Cheddar Biscuit Topping
Even though this is a comfort food dish, a few swaps will make it more of a wholesome meal, according to Rodriguez. "Pump up the protein with shredded rotisserie chicken and substitute in skim milk for half of the whole milk in this recipe." Feel free to use reduced-fat cheese to reduce calories, too.
Get the Vegetable Pot Pie Skillet With Cheddar Biscuit Topping recipe and nutrition info from Budget Bytes.
10. One-Pot White Chicken Lasagna Soup
This soup is ideal on a cold winter night, but it does require a few swaps to make it a better-for-you option. Bulk up on veggies in this soup — it will not only add additional vitamins and minerals, but it will also help you stay full longer. And to it lighten up even more, consider skipping the heavy cream and swapping the half and half for regular whole milk.
Get the One-Pot White Chicken Lasagna Soup recipe and nutrition info from Real Housemoms.