When you’re a college student, chances are you’re on a budget. Especially when it comes to food. But that doesn’t mean you can live off of Ramen noodles and Mac’N’Cheese (I mean you could, but you shouldn’t). There are tons of healthy food options out there, and you don’t need to be a wiz in the kitchen to make these dishes either. Thanks to the Food Network, we’ve got six healthy dinner meals (which you can refrigerate and have for lunch too) that cost about $10. It’s time to say bye-bye to the McDonald’s dollar menu for a while! Many of these recipes include beef, bacon, chicken, and some are vegetarian. In any case, each dinner has vegetables so you are guaranteed to give your body all of the nutrients it needs to properly fuel you as the day goes on.
1. Roast Chicken and Vegetables
($2.72 per serving)
Similar to that of a Sunday roast and it’s not complicated to make. If you don’t have an oven, there’s probably a communal kitchen on campus or maybe you have a friend who lives in an apartment. Regardless of the circumstances, you’ll find the right way to dish up this meal! All you need are some potatoes, carrots, celery, and onion (toss a smidge of olive oil) on a baking sheet. Then just place the chicken breasts on top to fully cook.
2. Antipasti Penne
($2.81 per serving)
Tastier and healthier than Ramen noodles and Mac’N’Cheese, we promise. Plus, super easier to make. Grab some antipasto ingredients such as olives, artichoke hearts, soppressata and mozzarella. These ingredients will help fill out the tomato sauce with some whole-grain penne.
3. Bacon and Broccoli Rice Bowl
($2.70 per serving)
Way more colorful, fun, and tasty than just a simple rice bowl. This cheap dinner adds brown rice, chopped bacon, a hard-boiled egg, and veggies like broccoli and carrots.
4. Vegetarian Tortilla Casserole
($2.34 per serving)
Again, you’ll need an oven but we’re sure you’ll find a solution. Corn tortillas will form the layers of this particular meatless casserole. No one said a casserole had to load up on meat, especially if you’re on a budget. This casserole has tons of vegetables like tomato, spinach, and salsa verde. Plus it’s sprinkled with two kinds of yummy cheese.
5. Beefy Stuffed Sweet Potato
($2.69 per serving)
Instead of a baked potato, use a sweet potato that’s loaded beta carotene. And you get to top it all off with a simple ground beef filling. Add an easy vegetable side too, with shredded carrots and cilantro.
6. Chicken, Pepper and Corn Stir-Fry
($2.38 per serving)
Choose some boneless chicken and colorful vegetables like red peppers and corn to whip up this delicious dish. Either cook the stir-fry in a wok or even a nonstick skillet.