31 Cheap Dinner Ideas to Make Every Night in August
This month, splurge on fabulous vacations, great wine and spending time with your family (yes, even kooky Cousin Sandy). Presenting 31 easy, budget-friendly dinners to make in August so you can use your savings for more important stuff.
August 1: Crispy Baked Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw
Invite a few friends over for a group fiesta. Tell them to bring the beer, and the whole meal will only set you back $20.
August 2: Lime Chicken with Corn and Poblano Salad
You can make this hearty tray of spicy chicken and veggies for about $10, total.
August 3: Cacio E Pepe Pasta
Guess what? The best meal you’ve ever eaten in your life has only six ingredients. (And costs only $2 a serving.)
August 4: Greek Turkey Burgers with Tzatziki
A hearty, delicious dinner with serious Santorini vibes that costs about $3.50 a serving? Don’t mind if we do.
August 5: Zoodle Stir-Fry
There's a reason stir-fry is one of our go-to weekday meals. It's flavorful and filling, and it comes together in no time. Add zoodles to the party, and we’re even more excited.
August 6: Pearl Couscous with Chickpeas, Eggplant and Peaches
Raise your hand if peach season is your Christmas in August. (Same.) We’d eat the summer fruit every day in every dish if we could.
August 7: Salmon and Fennel Dinner Salad
Looks can be deceiving. This salad looks light, but it’s actually surprisingly hearty and filling.
August 8: Pasta Alla Norma
It costs less than $10 to make this hearty, decadent—and, dare we say, fancy—weeknight dinner for four.
August 9: Low-Carb Zucchini Enchiladas
These chicken enchiladas have a secret: They’re made with zucchini instead of tortillas, so they have all the gooey, cheesy goodness, minus the carbs.
August 10: Red Shakshuka
This Israeli dish is equally delicious for breakfast, lunch or dinner. And our favorite part: It costs less than $2 a serving.
August 11: One-Pot Mac and Cheese
OK, this dinner costs slightly more than the stuff in the blue box. But it’s also infinitely tastier, and you only need five ingredients to pull it off.
August 12: Cauliflower Steaks with Lemon-Herb Sauce
In this recipe we cut the head into thick slices, coat them with olive oil and smoked paprika, and then sear the “steaks” on the stove top. Drizzle them with a fresh lemon-herb sauce and serve with a side of steamed wild rice. The damage? $2.50 a serving.
August 13: 30-Minute Creamy Chicken, Corn and Tomato Skillet
Psst: If chicken breast isn’t on sale at the supermarket this week, you can totally use thighs.
August 14: Polenta and Meatballs
Spaghetti and meatballs? Yawn. It’s time to give your weekly dinner staple a much-needed makeover. (And best of all, it costs only $15 to whip up four servings.)
August 15: Grilled Peach, Prosciutto and Mozzarella Sandwich
This calls for a picnic by the lake, stat. (And if prosciutto is too pricey this week, this sandwich will work with pretty much any salty, savory lunchmeat, like salami or pepper turkey.)
August 16: Chopped Thai Chicken Salad
You probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry already, like peanut butter, soy sauce and chili paste.
August 17: Cherry Tomato Galette
Sweet, roasted cherry tomatoes and a beyond-flaky crust? Sorry, takeout pizza, but we’re breaking up with you.
August 18: Tortellini Soup with Italian Sausage
If you asked us our favorite food, we’d respond with a resounding “pasta.” Oh, wait, maybe soup. (We really love soup.) Now, we no longer have to choose. And at less than $5 a serving, the price is right, too.
August 19: Slow-Cooker Pulled Chicken
Serve this juicy main with some hearty sides (hello, potato salad), or pile it high on a sandwich bun.
August 20: Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa
Want to cut down on the cost? Sub in frozen shrimp and frozen mango chunks.
August 21: White Risotto with Corn, Carrots and Kale
The best part? You can add any veggies you have on hand (even frozen ones, if you’re looking to keep the cost down).
August 22: Cauliflower and Plantain Tacos with Lemony Pesto Dressing
The combo of sweet, savory produce and bright, tangy dressing is quickly becoming one of our favorites.
August 23: Sweet-and-Sour Pork Skewers with Pineapple
Pinching pennies? Grab a whole pineapple instead of pre-cut chunks and slice it yourself (or go even cheaper and get the canned stuff).
August 24: Orecchiette with Burrata, Tomatoes and Almond Pesto
Wanna take a quick trip to Italy? No, not in the budget this summer? Think again.
August 25: Bruschetta Chicken
Grab some chicken at the grocery store, a few in-season tomatoes from the farmers market and a couple of pantry ingredients you probably already have at home, and dinner is on the table in under an hour.
August 26: Creamy Gochujang Zoodles
Spiralized zucchini is tossed in a blended red pepper-gochujang-kimchi sauce and topped off with fried eggs and tons of grated Parmesan cheese. Is it dinnertime yet?
August 27: Grilled Flatbread Pizza with Artichoke, Ricotta and Lemon
No delivery for you tonight. This summery pizza starts with store-bought flatbread, and you can customize it with whatever veggies and cheese you have on hand.
August 28: Pan-Fried Cod with Orange and Swiss Chard
Cod typically isn’t outrageously priced, but feel free to sub in any flaky white fish, like tilapia, if you can get a better deal.
August 29: One-Pot Creamy Chicken Alfredo
Traditionally, you’d cook the pasta and sauce in at least two different pans, but in this 35-minute recipe, everything comes together in a single pot.
August 30: Easy Five-Ingredient Corn Soup
Pair it with a light salad and a hunk of crusty bread, and we’re in business.
August 31: Kale Caesar Pasta Salad
Let’s end the month on an extremely delicious high note, shall we?