What to Cook This Week for Your Entire Family with $75 or Less

Picky eaters rejoice

what to cook this week for your family march 18-24: garlic roast chicken on a cutting board, partially sliced
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Kids are picky and inflation is real—but you still need to eat. Before you head to the supermarket and leave with three times the groceries you intended on buying (or worse, exactly what you needed for three times the usual price), consider this roundup of seven dinners to cook this week that was curated with a budget in mind. Not only are these meals relatively affordable, but the recipes are fancy enough to satisfy the adults at your table and approachable enough for finicky palates. 

You likely already have most of the pantry staples and basics needed. The more expensive ingredients, like chicken and bacon, are used in multiple recipes, so they’ll be worth the splurge (particularly if you can snag a discount by buying in bulk). Even better, we’ll point out where you can make a cost-effective substitute, in case you’d rather save than follow the recipes to a T.

56 Easy, Kid-Friendly Dinners the Whole Family Will Love

what to cook this week for your family march 18-24: mom holding child at the grocery store, who is picking up a tomato
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Shopping List

2 leeks
2 garlic cloves
1 lemon
1 pound sweet potatoes
1 large shallot
Arugula, for serving
6 leaves Boston or butter lettuce
2 tomatoes
1 avocado
1 lime
2 onions
2 large russet potatoes
1 medium head cauliflower
1 small bunch basil
1 bunch cilantro
1 small bunch scallions
1 small bunch chives

8 large eggs
2 split chicken breasts
1½ pounds thick-cut bacon
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken tenders

3 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
1 stick unsalted butter
12 ounces shredded cheddar or Jack cheese, plus more for serving
Sour cream, for serving

12 ounces spaghetti, linguine or bucatini
12 taco-size tortillas
13 ounces cooked quinoa
12 rectangular tortillas or wraps

Canned and Packaged Goods
3 ounces panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons brown rice flour
4 ounces salsa, plus more for serving
64 ounces chicken or vegetable stock

Pantry Ingredients: kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, all-purpose flour, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, ground cumin, extra-virgin olive oil, honey mustard, barbecue sauce

Monday: One-Pot, 15-Minute Pasta Limone

This ridiculously simple pasta is kid-friendly, delicious and hands-off. The trick to its 15-minute cook time is adding all the ingredients to the pot at once instead of waiting for a separate pot of water to boil before beginning.

Tuesday: Garlic-Breaded Roast Chicken Breast

We’re betting all you’ll need to buy for this high-protein pick is the chicken; the rest of the ingredients are likely in your pantry right now. The main pairs with pasta, greens, roasted veggies and mashed potatoes alike. Serve it with roasted garlic aioli, while the kids dunk theirs in ketchup.

Wednesday: Sweet Potato Rösti with Fried Eggs and Greens

Breakfast for dinner is always an easy win. If your picky eaters are suspicious of the sweet potato rösti, a type of Swiss potato pancake, tell them it’s like an extra crispy hash brown or tater tot. If it’s the runny egg that turns them off, you can sub it with a quick scramble. (Oh, and swap all-purpose flour in for brown rice flour to save a few bucks.)

Thursday: BLT Tacos

Black pepper bacon, juicy tomato, buttery avocado and crisp lettuce unite for a sandwich-inspired taco everyone can get behind. A spritz of lime is a sufficient garnish, but we wouldn’t blame you for slathering mustard and mayo on the tortillas before filling them.

Friday: Baked Quinoa Chicken Nuggets

A step above the frozen dino nugs you usually lean on, these bites are breaded in cooked quinoa, which is a whole grain and packed with plant-based protein and fiber. Pair them with a vegetable you and your kids will enjoy and you’re in business.

Saturday: Baking Sheet Quesadillas

You can likely find rectangular wraps or tortillas in your grocery store’s deli section. But if they’re priced at a premium, feel free to substitute round tortillas instead. This cheesy delight is all about the fillings and fixings—like scallions and sour cream—anyway.

Sunday: Loaded Baked Potato and Cauliflower Soup

Homemade soup is only six ingredients away, and this one’s pretty affordable. Cauliflower, potatoes, onion and chicken stock bulk up the dish without racking up the bill. The bacon is the priciest part. It offers tons of fatty, savory flavor, but you can try substituting liquid smoke, smoked paprika or even bacon bits if you want to save.

taryn pire

Food Editor

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s food editor and has been writing about all things delicious since 2016. She’s developed recipes, reviewed restaurants and investigated food trends at...