50 Great Budget Dinners

If saving on groceries is at the top of your list, check out our fresh, delicious, and super-affordable meal ideas.
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Pasta Perfection

1. Creamy Asparagus Linguine
Cut 1 pound trimmed asparagus into 1-inch pieces; saute with olive oil and minced garlic until just soft, 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup cream and heat through. Toss with 1 pound cooked linguine, lemon zest, salt, and red pepper flakes.

2. Tuna and Lemon Spaghetti
Gently toss 1 pound cooked spaghetti with 1 can tuna, some sliced red onion, lemon zest, a splash of lemon juice, olive oil and a bit of fresh dill. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Gemelli with Bacon, Tomato, and Yellow Squash (pictured)
Cook 6 slices of bacon; set aside. In same skillet, cook 2 diced yellow squash until just tender. Add 1 pint grape tomatoes and heat through. Toss everything with 1 pound cooked gemelli, salt, pepper, and Parmesan.

4. Fusilli with Spicy Sausage, Avocado, and Black Olives
Toss 1 pound cooked fusilli with 1/4 cup chopped black olives, half a diced avocado, 2 cups baby spinach or arugula, 1/2 pound cooked and crumbled spicy Italian sausage, and some Italian vinaigrette. Serve with Parmesan.

5. Zucchini and Sage Penne
Saute a few sage leaves in 5 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil until crisp, about 4 minutes. Remove sage and cook 3 zucchini, sliced, until tender. Stir into 1 pound cooked penne with the sage, salt, and pepper.

6. Baked Ravioli and Spinach
Toss together one 15-ounce bag frozen cheese ravioli, one 6-ounce bag fresh spinach, and one 24-ounce jar marinara in a 2-quart baking dish. Bake, covered, at 400 degrees F. until cooked through, 25 minutes. Top with grated mozzarella.

7. Sausage Mushroom Penne
Saute 8 ounces sliced mushrooms in olive oil until tender; add 3/4 cup cream and simmer 2 minutes. Toss with 1 pound cooked penne, 1/2 pound cooked and crumbled sweet Italian sausage, chopped parsley, and salt and pepper.

8. Eggplant Marinara Rigatoni
Saute 4 cups diced eggplant in olive oil until tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in a little minced garlic, some chopped Kalamata olives, and a 24-ounce jar marinara. Heat and serve with 1 pound cooked rigatoni and mozzarella.

9. Spicy Tomato Clam Linguine
Saute 1 finely chopped onion and some minced garlic in olive oil until soft. Add 2 cans or packets of undrained minced clams, one 24-ounce jar marinara, and some red pepper flakes; simmer 15 minutes. Season with salt; toss with 1 pound cooked linguine and chopped parsley.

Continued on page 2:  Fantastic Vegetarian


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