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Cheap Meal Ideas

Cheap Meal Ideas

Are you expecting a lot of guests at your place and are a bit tight on the budget? If yes, you should refer to our quick cheap meal ideas. We have provided you with recipes for an entire meal, that aren't heavy on your pocket.
Tastessence Staff
Last Updated: Dec 08, 2018
People living alone often face the problem of preparing complete meals as they don't have much time to spend on cooking, nor do extensive lunch or dinner plans fit in the budget!
Not only these loners, but sometimes even families face this problem, especially during the festive season when the house is loaded with guests. That is when you need some cheap meal ideas for families. Here are some meal ideas for large groups, which are inexpensive yet tasty.
Herb Roasted Chicken
Lemon and herb whole chicken on wooden board
Ingredients:
  • Whole chicken, 1 (3½ lbs)
  • Water, ½ cup
  • Olive oil or butter, 1 tbsp (softened)
  • Garlic, 1 clove (crushed with press)Black pepper, 1¼ tsp (coarsely ground)
  • Salt, ¾ tsp
  • Oregano, ½ tsp (dried)
  • Basil, ½ tsp (dried)
  • Rosemary, ½ tsp (dried)
Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 450 ºF.
2. Discard the bag with giblets and the neck from the chicken.
3. Take a small bowl and mix herbs, garlic, and olive oil in it and set it aside. If there is skin on the chicken breast, remove it with fingertips.
4. Rub the herb mixture on the chicken and tie the legs with a string.
5. Now, make a mixture of ¾ tsp salt and ¼ tsp coarsely ground black pepper, rub this mixture on the entire chicken.
6. Place the chicken, breast side up, in a small roasting pan with a rack. Pour ¼ cup water in the pan and then roast chicken for about 1 hour, until the thermometer inserted in the meat reaches 175 ºF.
7. When the chicken is thoroughly cooked, tilt it until the juices which are inside the cavity run down into the pan. When done, place it on a platter and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
Homemade Beans
Kidney Bean Dish or Rajma Masala
Ingredients:
  • Red kidney beans, 16 oz (dried)
  • Onion, 1 (small, cut in half)
  • Garlic, 1 clove (pressed)
  • Parsley, 1 sprig
  • Bay leaf, 1
  • Water
Directions:

1. In a strainer rinse the beans with cold water. Discard any shriveled beans or stones and set the rest aside.
2. Take a 5 quart saucepan, pour about 2 inches water in it, place beans in it and cover the pot. Let the beans soak overnight.
3. The next day, drain the beans and put them again in the saucepan. Add parsley, bay leaf, onion, and garlic; pour 6 cups water and boil on high heat.
4. When the water boils, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender. When done, drain beans and throw away the bay leaf and parsley.
Rice Pilaf
Chicken biryani served with crockery
Ingredients:
  • Chicken broth, 1 can (10¾ oz., condensed and undiluted)
  • Onion soup mix, 1 pack (1¼ oz.)
  • Water 2 cups
  • Long-grain rice, 1½ cup (uncooked)
  • White wine, ⅓ cup (dry)Lemon juice, 2 tbsp
  • Butter, 1 tspWhole basil, 1 tsp (dried)
  • Pepper, 1/8 tsp
Directions:

1. Take a 12×8×2 baking dish and combine all the given ingredients into it, and stir well.
2. When done, cover with a heat-proof dish and bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes at 350 degrees, until the rice is tender and all the juices are absorbed.
This is an easy and cheap meal idea for college students.

With these ideas at hand, you do not need to worry about budget at all! So try all the given recipes at the next party at your place. Bon appetit!