15 Budget Friendly Family Recipes

Who doesn’t love a few new ideas for budget friendly family recipes? We all get into a rut, cooking the same few things week after week, often out of habit and routine rather than the fact that our families love the recipes. Am I right?

Unless, of course, you’re one of those really great meal planners that spends time over the weekend sifting through cookbooks and recipe sites to craft the perfect weeknight menu…posted on the kitchen chalkboard.

That’s not me. But, I am kinda jealous of those menu chalkboards and of meal planning. True story.

I do try and throw new recipes into the mix at least once a week. Sometimes new ideas stem from what I’ve received in my Hometown Harvest bag – the small fixed bag shows up with a variety of produce, none of which I’ve selected myself. It’s fun! Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon was an example of this from last week. YUM!

Here’s a treat for today to get your weekly meal routine changed up! It’s a recipe round up of 15 budget friendly family recipes, pulled together by fellow blogger Angela from WriterMom’s Blog. My Baked Ziti is #12, but there are 14 other great recipes to check out too!

15 Budget Friendly Family Recipes

15 Budget Friendly Family Recipes

1. WriterMom’s Blog – Creamy Chicken & Mashed Potato Casserole
2. Mommifried – Easy Beef Stroganoff 
3. City Girl on Hicks Farm – Honey Garlic Pork Chops
4. One Tipsy Chick – Turkey Tostada with Avocado Cream
5. Baking in a Tornado – Individual Taco Pies
6. Foreclosure to Frugal – Deli Sandwich Roll up
7. PinkWhen – Baked Pork Chops
8. Joyful Scribblings – Breakfast Pizza
9. Adventures of a Jayhawk Mommy – Sweet & Sour Pork Chops and Outback Baked Potatoes
10. Working on Working Mom – Homemade Vegetable Stock
11. Foody Schmoody – Crock Pot Chicken Caesar Wraps
12. (a)Musing Foodie – Baked Ziti
13. Stop Lookin’ Get Cookin’ – Marinated Grilled Chicken
14. A Peek Inside My Paradise – Weight Watchers Supreme Breakfast Biscuits
15. Close to Home – Stuffed Peppers


Note: Hometown Harvest is a blog sponsor, which means I’m compensated for spreading the word about what they do, my experiences and the deliveries I get. Interested? Click here to learn more, and make sure to tell them I sent you. All opinions are my own!

Baked Creamy Chicken Spaghetti

I’m all for comfort food, and when I saw The Pioneer Woman’s recipe for Chicken Spaghetti a few years ago, I thought, “Is there a way to make that better?”

The answer is no. It’s just about perfect the way it is.

BUT, when one craves Chicken Spaghetti, but one doesn’t necessarily have all the ingredients to make THE Chicken Spaghetti…one must improvise.

And truly, some of the best recipe twists come from using things I already have on hand, versus traditional menu planning! Like transforming her Chicken Spaghetti into Baked Creamy Chicken Spaghetti – kinda the same, but different.

Baked Creamy Chicken Spaghetti Recipe

In this case, I took Ree’s recipe and made these changes:

  • I substituted farmers’ market tomato, diced small, for the pimentos. I love supporting local farms, and whenever I can use a fresh piece of in-season produce in lieu of a canned item, I try!
  • I used cream of chicken and cream of celery soups because that’s what I happened to have in my pantry. I considered making my own Béchamel sauce instead of “cream of” soup, but……………. Yeah.
  • I used fresh mushrooms, sliced chunky. Aside from those found in “cream of” soups, I never ever EVER used canned mushrooms. Like, ever. Ew.
  • I used half chicken broth and half beef broth because that’s all I had in my pantry.
  • I used whole wheat spaghetti instead of regular. I’m not opposed to regular pasta, but I was out of it, and whole wheat adds a healthy twist!
  • I substituted generous amounts of mozzarella instead of cheddar. Nothing against cheddar – mozzarella just sounded good. And creamier. Mmmm…

Perhaps the biggest update was the addition of a topping – crushed Kettle Brand Potato Chips!

baked creamy chicken spaghetti

There’s nothing like the bite of a crunchy, salty topping against the cheesy goodness of creamy chicken spaghetti casserole. Kettle Brand Potato Chips are the real kettle chips – able to withstand baking to proper crispy topping perfection!

baked creamy chicken spaghetti, chicken spaghetti recipe

I love Kettle Brand Potato Chips because not only are they all natural, they’re also the first chip to be verified GMO-free by the NonGMO Project! We may not be totally GMO-free in our house, but I’ve become keenly aware of GMOs over the past couple of years, and the negative impact – especially to our health. So, yay! Kettle Brand Potato Chips are GMO-free!

baked creamy chicken spaghetti

To connect with Kettle Brand Potato Chips, follow #therealkettlechips and @KettleChips on Twitter.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Kettle Brand. The opinions and text are all mine.

Easy Creamy Scalloped Potatoes

Easy Creamy Scalloped Potato Recipe

I believe I could eat potatoes every day of the year.

I’m not sure my family would agree.

I mean, my son practically wretches at the sight of a potato – unless its form is that of a French fry. It’s true;  I’m not kidding. How does that even happen? Don’t all kids eat their weight in mashed potatoes? Not this one.

And my husband and daughter like a little variety in their dinner regime. Imagine.

So, there you have it. I manage one potato dish a week. Sometimes if I’m extra crafty, I can sneak in two.

That’s where scalloped potatoes come in to play. Not your everyday mashed or baked; a break from plain old herb roasted.

Creamy, cheesy, baked dish of yum.

So, there you go.

Easy Creamy Scalloped Potatoes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 3 medium white potatoes
  • ½ stick salted butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ cup freshly chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 green onions, diced
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Thinly and evenly slice the potatoes (use a mandolin if you have one).
  3. Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour until the mixture becomes creamy, and then let it cook for another minute. Pour in the milk all at once, add the garlic salt and pepper, and then continue whisking until the sauce becomes thick and bubbly. Remove the pan from heat, then stir in the Parmesan until it's melted through.
  4. Spoon just enough sauce to coat the bottom of a 1-1/2 quart baking dish. Place one thin layer of potatoes on top, then sprinkle them with sea salt, green onions and parsley. Pour more sauce on top (about ½ cup) and then repeat the layers until you're left with sauce as the last layer. Sprinkle a little more parsley and pepper on top.
  5. Cover the casserole tightly, and bake it for 30 minutes. Uncover it, then continue baking for another 15 minutes, or until the scalloped potatoes are golden on top and bubbling.
  6. Let the potatoes rest for 5 or 10 minutes before serving.



Spinach, Mushroom & Italian Sausage Lasagna

My family really doesn’t love lasagna. Not just my lasagna, any lasagna.

How does this happen?

Actually, my husband has grown to like it more over the years. Or he’s just being nice. For him it’s a texture thing – he’s not a big fan of ricotta cheese, so lasagnas loaded with it are a turnoff.

My kids, however? They’d rather eat a pile of vegetables. I’m not complaining, mind you, but really?? Who doesn’t like the cheesy goodness that is lasagna?

Oh well. It’s a good thing lasagna works awesomely for lunch-leftovers, and this particular batch turned out amazing!

Spinach, Mushroom & Italian Sausage Lasagna


lasagna, how to make lasagna, dinner recipes

{Print this recipe}

Prep: 30 minutes | Bake: 50 to 60 minutes | Serves: 6

1 24oz jar marinara sauce
9 cooked lasagna noodles, broken in half
1 15oz container ricotta cheese
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/4 cup freshly chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 Italian sausage link, pre-cooked and sliced in bite-sized chunks

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Warm the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the onions and mushrooms, and saute them until the onions become translucent – about 5 minutes. Throw in the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Pour in the marinara, and bring the mixture to a simmer, then remove the pan from heat and set it aside.

Combine the ricotta, egg, 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, pepper, basil, fresh parsley and spinach in a large mixing bowl.

Ladle 1/4 of the marinara sauce into the bottom of a 9×9″ baking dish. Add 1/3 of the lasagna, arranging them in a layer, to cover the bottom. Spread another fourth of the marinara on top, then 1/2 of the ricotta mixture, 1/2 of the Italian sausage and 1/3 of each of the cheeses. Sprinkle dried parsley on top. Add another layer of lasagna.

Ladle another fourth of the marinara, followed by the other half of the ricotta mixture and a third of each the cheeses. For the final layer you won’t use the ricotta mixture. Instead, layer lasagna, sauce, cheese, parsley.

Spinach, Mushroom and Italian Sausage Lasagna

Cover the pan with aluminum foil and set it on a baking sheet (this makes it easier to get in and out of the oven). Bake for 40 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking until the lasagna’s bubbly and the cheese is all melted on top – another 10 to 15 minutes.

Let the lasagna cool slightly before serving.
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