15 Cheap Meal Prep Recipes

Imagine having a meal plan for the entire week. This not only saves you time but also makes you stress-free. Planning meals for the entire week is what makes my daily routine easier and stress-free.

If you’re struggling with your meal plans and want a smoothie routine without thinking too much about food, this guide is for you. I’ve shared easy and budget-friendly meal prep recipes that will help you a lot.

cheap meal prep

From comforting chicken soup and beans to delicious vegetarian and lentil curries, this article covers a variety of delicious meals.

Another benefit is you don’t need to visit the grocery store frequently to get the ingredients. First, make the list of recipes, then ingredients, and shop for all items at once from the grocery store.

Now let’s dive into the 15 best and most affordable meal prep recipes.

1- Chicken Soup Recipe

This chicken soup is comforting, satisfying, delicious, and healthy, too. Made with bone-in chicken and some colorful vegetables. 

Feel free to add the vegetables you desire for an additional taste. I like to use bell peppers, potatoes, and peas in the soup to make it look more appealing. 

  • Calories: 153 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 4g
  • Protein: 20g
  • Fat: 60


If you’re looking or a high-protein meal that is flavorful and easy to make, try this sweet potato and black bean stew. This budget-friendly recipe is heartfelt and comforting. Also, it’s the best option for your kids. 

This stew is prepared in tomato-based sauce along with herbs, onions, garlic, and potatoes. 

  • Calories: 303 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 59.7g
  • Protein: 9.8g
  • Fat: 4.1g

3- Harissa Chickpea Smash Sandwich

This Harissa Chickpea smash sandwich is a healthier treat for lunch. The high fiber and protein chickpeas, along with lettuce, radishes, and celery, develop a most comforting taste. 

Feel free to use different variations to make this recipe even more better and according to your taste buds. For example, you can use sriracha instead of harissa paste or chili sauce. 

  • Calories: 106 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 18g
  • Protein: 4.1g
  • Fat: 3.4g

4- Healthy Black Bean Burrito Bowls

This healthy black bean burrito bowl not only looks appealing but is also a flavor-packed bowl. It features creamy avocado, refreshing tomatoes, brown rice, cilantro, romaine lettuce, and salsa. 

Top it with avocado creme or your favorite salad. You can pair it with any substantial BBQ recipe, chicken or meat. 

  • Calories: 420 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 61g
  • Protein: 14g
  • Fat: 16g


Make your dinner special and savory with this hearty chickpea curry. This is not only a budget-friendly meal but also super delicious and best for your kids. 

This chickpea curry recipe comes from South Asia, and it’s prepared with Garam Masala and some other famous Indian spices. The potatoes in the curry are optional, but they make the texture more appealing and filling. 

Calories: 434kcal

6- Lemon Pepper Chicken

If you’re looking for refreshing, tangy, and zesty lemon-based chicken curry? Try this Lemon Pepper chicken. One of my favorite chicken recipes is made with minimal spices and comes out in just 25 minutes. 

The yogurt and lemon-based marinate make the chicken bites so much more flavorful, succulent, and juicy. I bet your kids will surely like this amazing treat.

7- Aloo Gobi Matar 

gobi matar aloo

Aloo gobi matar is one of the classic Indian and Pakistani vegan recipes made with some traditional Indian spices. The bursting flavors and tangy taste make it the best recipe for spicy lovers. Thankfully, you can craft this recipe in under 30 minutes. 

8- Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

If you’re craving for something spicy and zesty, try this chicken tikka masala recipe. The aroma of smoky chicken with zesty Indian tomato sauce makes this recipe better than any takeout menu. 

This Chicken tikka masala is prepared in tomato-based sauce along with a few staple aromatics. The secret ingredient in this recipe is “Tikka Masala”, but if you don’t have this one, use the BBQ sauce. 

9- Butter Chicken 

The Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) originates from India and is one of the most relaxing chicken curries made with common aromatics. The creamy, buttery, and tangy chicken curry can make you mad when its pleasant aroma wafts around the kitchen. 


This saucy Eggplant lentil curry is hearty, comforting, and simple to prepare. The plant-based protein is budget-friendly, which is why I often make this recipe on weekends. 

Along with the spices, make sure to use the coconut milk to make the curry smooth, rich, and flavorful. The aromatics inside the recipe develop a mouthwatering aroma that will make your guests drool. 

  • Calories: 381.5 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 62.1g
  • Protein: 15.8g
  • Fat: 9.9g


Save time by making these air fryer green beans. These beans require only four ingredients and 15 minutes to prepare. You can pair these beans with BBQ chicken, cornbread, or any meal. 

And if you’re going out for picnics or hiking, you can easily tuck these green beans into your lunchbox for a hassle-free meal.

12- Turkey Zucchini Meatballs

For an easy, clean dinner, go for these Turkey Zucchini Meatballs. A versatile, healthy, and delicious recipe that feeds your entire family. These juicy meatballs are prepared in Teriyaki sauce. 

Unlike the other recipes, this one uses the oven to bake the meat balls. So, if you hate the deep frying method like me, this clean recipe is definitely your thing. 

  • Calories: 238 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 7g
  • Protein: 25g
  • Fat: 11g

13- Honey Teriyaki Chicken

This Honey Teriyaki Chicken is the best option for lazy summer days. It’s cooked in a slower cooker, which is why the chicken comes out more juicy, flavorful, and succulent. 

This protein-rich marvel pairs succulent chicken with aromatic rice and crisp veggies, creating a satisfying and nourishing dish tailored to fit your busy week.

  • Calories: 394 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 32g
  • Protein: 35g
  • Fat: 18g


I’ve mastered the easiest Tomato Chickpea Pasta recipe, perfect for my weeknight dinners or cozy nights in. With chickpea pasta’s added fiber and protein, I ensure it tastes delicious with a flavorful tomato sauce and proper seasoning. 

Add protein like chicken or tofu for extra heartiness. It’s a meal prep dream, staying tasty in the fridge for days. Trust me, this dish is a game-changer for any pasta lover!

  • Calories: 564 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 56g
  • Protein: 30g
  • Fat: 29g


Creating this Caprese Gnocchi sheet pan dinner is my go-to for a breezy summer meal. With fresh cherry tomatoes and basil in abundance, it’s a delightful way to elevate any weeknight dinner. 

The simplicity of tossing everything onto one pan means less cleanup and more time to enjoy the warm weather. Plus, the combination of gnocchi, mozzarella, and pesto is a taste of pure comfort. Trust me, this dish will become a summer staple in your kitchen!

  • Calories: 268 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 30.2g
  • Protein: 10.6g
  • Fat: 11.4g

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