As always, I’ve been on the lookout for really inexpensive meals but I don’t want the same old things over and over. Fortunately I’ve found a few more really inexpensive meals that won’t feel like we’re not dining well. The recipes here will keep both your tummy and your wallet full!
I love tomato cream sauce so this tomato soup is perfect! And what goes better with tomato soup than grilled cheese?
Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes (crush by hand)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 3/4 cup vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish (optional)
For the grilled cheese croutons:
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 4 slices bread
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
- Spray a grill pan with non-stick spray and put over medium-high heat.
- Spread 1/2 tablespoon butter over 1 side of each bread slice.
- Turn the slices over and top 2 slices with cheddar and place remaining 2 slices of bread on top, buttered sides up.
- Add sandwich to pan and grill until the bread is golden and the cheese is melted, about 2-3 minutes per side.
- Cut into little triangles (about 1 inch each).
- Heat olive oil in Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes (if using) and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
- Stir in tomatoes.
- Stir in heavy cream and brown sugar.
- Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 8-10 minutes.
- Puree using an immersion blender or a regular blender with a towel held tightly on top of the blender lid.
- Return to Dutch oven and stir in vegetable broth until heated through, about 2 minutes.
- Ladle into individual bowls and garnish with parsley, if using.
- Serve immediately with grilled cheese croutons.
These tasty quesadillas are a good way to use up leftover chicken and cheese. I usually serve these quesadillas with Mexican rice for a full meal.
Easy Chicken Quesadillas
- 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
- 4 large (or 8 small) flour tortillas
- 8 ounces finely shredded Mexican blend cheese
- Spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray or melt a tablespoon of butter in the skillet.
- Lay tortillas in the skillet making sure that they do not overlap. You may have to do a couple at a time.
- Spread some of the cheese on the tortillas.
- Add chicken to half of the tortilla.
- Spoon a little well-drained salsa over chicken.
- Fold the tortilla in half to form a half circle.
- Continue to cook the tortilla until golden brown.
- Serve immediately.
Italian sausage is something I love and my husband can eat so when my garden is producing like crazy this is a super cheap meal. But even if you buy the vegetables it’s a money-saver!
Italian Sausage with Summer Vegetables and Potatoes
- 1 lb. baby red or yellow potatoes, quartered
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 5 Italian sausage links, sliced in 1-inch thick rounds
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1/2 orange bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 large spring rosemary, thyme or oregano
- 2 cups zucchini, sliced about 1/2 inch thick then quartered
- Pour oil in a large skillet with a tight lid and heat on high until the oil shimmers.
- Add potatoes.
- Season the potatoes with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Reduce heat to low and cook with lid on for about 20 minutes, stirring gently occasionally so potatoes don’t stick.
- Remove from heat, leaving lid on skillet for 5 minutes.
- Remove potatoes and set aside.
- Add the Italian sausage to the skillet and cook over medium-low heat until browned but not quite cooked through.
- Meanwhile, season the vegetables with salt and pepper.
- Add the onions, peppers, garlic, and herb to the skillet and stir.
- Cook until the onions and peppers are slightly browned, stirring occasionally.
- Add the zucchini and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring the vegetables occasionally until zucchini is tender-crisp.
- Return potatoes to the skillet and stir to combine.
- Season everything to taste with salt and pepper.
- Cook an additional 5 minutes.
I love frittatas because they can be adapted to use whatever you have on hand. I’ve included a few recipes for add-in ingredients but you can pick and choose your own favorites.
Your Way Frittata
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced onions
- 8 large eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup diced red bell pepper, sautéed
- 1cup zucchini, sautéed
- 1/ 4 cup basil leaves, chiffonade
- 3 Italian, turkey, or chicken sausages, removed from casing, browned, and crumbled
- 1/2 cup broccoli rabe, cut into 2 inch sections and cooked
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 pound baby spinach, wilted and squeezed dry
- 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons each chopped dill and green onions
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Add olive oil to preheated cast iron skillet (if baking the frittata in one).
- Add diced onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Mix the eggs until the whites and yolks are well combined.
- Pour the egg mixture and add-ins into a cast iron skillet or oven proof 2 quart baking dish.
- If using cast iron skillet cook over medium heat until edges begin to pull away from the skillet.
- Put pan in preheated oven and cook until set – 16 to 18 minutes.
- If using a baking dish place in preheated oven and cook until set – 22- 25 minutes.