Top Five Dollar Recipes for Families

by Frugal Brian


We know that it’s more cost effective to cook meals at home rather than buying dinner. Cooking meals for your family that are not only inexpensive, but also quick, makes having to cook at home sound even more pleasing. Here are some recipes for quick and easy meals that can feed your family for $5 or less.

 -Tofu Stir Fry

1/2 package firm tofu cubed

1/2 bag broccoli, carrots, cauliflower cooked
3 packages ramen noodles cooked without flavoring packet

1/4 c. teriyaki sauce
2 tbs. oil

1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
2 tbs. water
dash garlic, onion powders
2 tbs. honey
1 tsp. soy sauce

 In sauté pan over low heat cook teriyaki sauce, oil, cornstarch, water, onion and garlic powder, and honey until thickens. Add and stir in tofu, vegetables, and cooked noodles until warmed and covered with sauce.

 -Tomato and Feta Pasta

olive oil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cans petite diced tomatoes

1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley or 4 tsp dried
2 tbs. lemon juice
8-12 oz. angel hair

4-6 oz. crumbled feta cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Optional: Add pieces of cooked chicken

Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add oregano and garlic, and sauté 30 seconds. Add tomato, parsley, and lemon juice; cook 2 minutes or until heated.
Cook pasta. Combine tomato mixture, pasta, and feta cheese, toss gently.

-Sloppy Joes

1 lb. browned hamburger
1/4 c. ketchup
1 can diced tomatoes
Diced onion

Worcestershire sauce
Brown sugar
Squirt of mustard

Cook all the ingredients together and serve over hamburger buns or bread.

 -Tatar Tots Casserole

1 pack of Tatar tots
1-2 cans of cream of mushroom
1 lb. of ground beef
Seasoning to taste

Brown the ground beef, put frozen Tatar tots into a large baking pan, pour 1-2 cans of cream of mushroom over, top w/ground beef.
Bake in oven at 400 F for about 35-40 minutes. Add sprinkles of cheese for the last 5 minutes.

 -Tuna Noodle Casserole

1 can of tuna
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup

1 can of peas

Pasta of your choice
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta. Mix in soup, peas, and tuna and simmer for a while. Put in baking dish add shredded cheese to top and put in oven until cheese is melted.

 -Mushroom Chicken

 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Jasmine rice

1-2 cans of cream of mushroom soup

 Coat the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish with uncooked jasmine rice. Place thawed boneless/skinless chicken breasts on top of rice. Mix cream of mushroom soup with milk and pour over chicken, use two cans if you need to cover chicken. Bake for about 20-25 minutes on 375 F.

 -Cheeseburger Casserole

1 lb ground meat

Diced Onion
Salt and Pepper

Worcestershire Sauce

Cheese (slices or shredded)
2 c. Bisquick Mix (can be substituted with generic)
3/4 c. Water

Brown ground meat and season like you would a burger. and add in part of the diced onion. Drain off most of the fat. Mix biscuit mix and water and put in the bottom of a casserole dish, top with the ground meat mix, lay slices of tomato, and sprinkle remaining onions on top, cover with cheese. Bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes.

 - Fiesta Chili

1 lb ground beef
1 onion, diced

1 can corn
1 can black beans
1 can hominy
1 can diced tomatoes
cumin powder
chili powder

Brown ground beef in a soup pot, add diced onion. When these are cooked, add cumin and chili powder. Then add tomatoes, corn, beans, hominy, and a couple of cups of water and simmer. Optional: Garnish with cheese. This can be served on rice, bread, or on tortillas.

 -Crockpot Pulled Pork

1 tbs. oil
2 chopped onions

6 minced garlic cloves
1 tbs. chili powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
12 oz. chili sauce
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. cider vinegar

1 tbs. Worcestershire
3 lb. pork shoulder


Saute the onions in the oil until soft. Add garlic, chili powder, and pepper and cook another minute or so. Add chili sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Heat till boiling stirring constantly.
Put the pork shoulder in the slow cooker and pour the sauce over it. Cover and cook on low 12 hours or on high 6 hours, until pork is basically falling apart. Shred the meat with a pair of forks and return to the pot and keep warm in the sauce. Serve over buns.

 -Pineapple Pork chops

4 boneless center cut pork chops, ¾-inch thick
1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple with juice
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce

oven to 350-degrees. Coat a baking pan with a spray of canola oil.
Place pork chops in a baking pan. In a small bowl, mix together pineapple, brown sugar and soy sauce. (I used chunk pineapple and put everything in the blender.) Spread pineapple mixture evenly over the top of pork chops. (I added a few chunks of pineapple on top.) Cover tightly and bake for 50 minutes or until well done. Place baking pan on cooling rack. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

 - Manicotti

12 large manicotti shells
4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese (divided)
2 c. ricotta (or one container)
1 jar spaghetti sauce (26oz)
1/2 c. grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Preheated oven to 350. Spray a 13×9 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Cook pasta according to directions on package. Rinse, drain. Lay them out on paper towels to dry. Mix 3 cups mozzarella with the ricotta. Use a teaspoon and stuff the shells.
Pour 2 cups (or 1/2 the jar) of sauce into bottom of pan. Lay stuffed shells on top. Cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella over top.
Bake 15 minutes. Add parmesan and bake additional 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

 -Ham & Scalloped potatoes

3 tbsp butter or margerine
1 sm onion, finely chopped (1/4 c)
3 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 1/2 c milk
6 med. potatoes (w or w/o skin) sliced thinly (6 c)
1 1/2 c cubed ham (fully cooked)
1 tbsp butter/margerine

Heat oven to 350, Spray 2qt casserole dish w/cooking spray.

In 2qt saucepan heat butter over med-high heat. Add onions and heat about 2 min until onions are tender. Add flour, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 min.

Add ham and potatoes to casserole dish. Press down to make sure they are evenly spread. Pour sauce over and add tsp butter cut into small pieces over top.

Cover and bake for 30mins. Uncover and bake 1-1 1/2hr longer until potatoes are tender. Let stand 5-10mins before serving (I added shredded cheddar the last 10 minutes).

 - Easy Homemade Mac and Cheese1 lb. box of elbows
1 block of cheese (any type will do) 

Handful of breadcrumbs

Cook noodles to al dente. Cut cheese into cubes. In a large baking dish mix elbow noodles and cheese cubes. Add milk until you can just barely see it under the top noodles. If desired, season with salt, pepper, garlic, oregano, basil, etc. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top for a crispy top. Bake on 350 F for about 45 minutes, until milk is absorbed.

 -Bruschetta Chicken Bake

1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 pkg. (6 oz.) Stuffing Mix for Chicken
1/2 c. water
1 tsp. salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
1 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place tomatoes with their liquid in medium bowl. Add stuffing mix, water, salt and garlic; stir just until stuffing mix is moistened. Set aside.
Place chicken in 13×9 inch baking dish; sprinkle with the basil and cheese. Top with the stuffing mixture. Bake for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

 -Deep Dish Chicken Pot Pie

2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 pkg. frozen mixed vegetables
2 c. cubed cooked chicken
Pour into a 2 ½ quart casserole dish.

Mix together:
½ c. milk
1 egg
1 c. biscuit mix-can use Bisquick or see below for a homemade recipe.

Pour dough over chicken mixture. Bake at 400º for 35 minutes or until golden.

Biscuit Mix:
10 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. baking powder
¼ c. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 c. shortening

In a bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

 -Tuna Patties

4 cans of tuna

Italian seasoned bread crumbs

splash of lemon juice
2 tbs. of mayo
1 egg
salt and pepper to taste
mix, form into patties, fry in a frying pan

Homemade tartar sauce:
Mix together mayo, sweet relish, lemon juice, and onion powder

 -Takeout Style Lemon Chicken

4 boneless chicken breasts
2 tbsp corn starch
1 egg
salt and pepper
oil for frying
Lemon sauce:
juice of 1 lemon
1 c. water
1/3 c sugar
2 tbs. vinegar
few dashes of salt
2 tbs. corn starch

Pound chicken breasts out until even and heat  1/4″ of oil in frying pan. In a small bowl beat the egg with corn starch and salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in mixture and add to frying pan. Cook until done and set aside.

For sauce:
In a small sauce pan add lemon, water and sugar bring to a boil stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved, reduce heat to low simmer. Add vinegar and pinch of salt in a separate bowl. Mix 2 tbs. corn starch with 2 tbs. cold water until smooth. Slowly pour into lemon mixture and stir until thickened.

- Mandarin Pork and Wild Rice

20 oz. boneless pork loin chops, cut into strips (any cheap boneless pork will do)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 can (11 oz.) mandarin oranges

1-1/2 c. of water
1 pkg. (6.2 oz) fast-cooking long grain and wild rice mix
1/4 c. thinly sliced green onions

Sprinkle pork with pepper and salt. In a large skillet, brown pork in oil. Meanwhile, drain oranges, reserving juice; set oranges aside. Add water, rice mix with contents of seasoning packet, onions and reserved juice to skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until pork juices run clear and liquid is absorbed. Stir in oranges and heat through.

 -Beef Noodle Shepherd’s Pie

1 lb. ground beef
1 1/2 c. hot water
1 (1.25 ounce) package beef with onion soup mix
1/2 c. uncooked elbow macaroni
2 c. prepared mashed potatoes

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a medium skillet, brown beef over medium high heat and drain. Stir in water, soup mix and elbow macaroni; let simmer all together for 5 minutes. Pour mixture into a 9×13 inch baking dish. Top with potatoes and sprinkle with paprika. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes and serve hot. Optional – Top with Brown Gravy

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