Make 25 quick, easy delicious recipes to make cheap dinner ideas for family meals using one of five inexpensive ingredients. Too busy to cook dinner every night? Trying to not spend a ton of money at the grocery store? We like to take one protein source and make it into five different meals like we do with these ground turkey dinner ideas below.

Here’s how you can take 1 main ingredient and turn it into 5 new dinners.

Yes, that is correct, we have recipe inspiration so that you can have on protein source (like chicken) and use it in 5 different recipes so that you do not get bored with having the same baked or boiled or grilled chicken night after night. Variety is the spice of life and that is so true for being able to maintain healthy eating and lifestyle.

Ideas for Dinner based on Protein Source:

1) Chicken is one of our favorite cheap dinner ideas


  • Grilled chicken parmesan with mozzarella and tomato sauce
  • Chicken stir fry with brown rice, broccoli, and sauce of choice
  • Chicken paninis with spinach, roasted tomato, and pesto
  • Breaded and baked chicken strips with buffalo sauce served over salad
  • Chicken kabobs with zucchini, mushrooms, and peppers, marinade and BBQ on a stick

2) Ground Turkey Dinner Ideas is another cheap dinner idea

ground turkey dinner ideas

  • Turkey Chili
  • Turkey Burgers with carrot fries
  • English muffin pizzas with spinach, cheese, and ground turkey
  • Easy Rigatoni Pasta with Ground Turkey
  • Meatloaf in muffin tin 

3) Eggs for Dinner is certainly the most budget-friendly ingredient

eggs for dinner

Photo by Kaitlin Eckstein

4) Black Beans

black bean tomato soup

Photo by Kristin Jenkins

  • Healthy baked nachos with black beans, avocado, and salsa
  • Mix with rice, veggies, and tofu for a vegetarian stir fry
  • Black bean burgers
  • Black bean salsa
  • Black bean soup

5) Salmon Dinner



What are some of your favorite ways to use these ingredients?

Want more cheap dinner ideas? 

Take a look at our newest book filled with easy recipes. Nourished: 10 ingredients for happy, healthy eating

ground turkey dinner ideas

Let us know what you think of our cheap dinner ideas in the comments section below.

Contact us today to make an appointment with one of our dietitians. 

Blog updated September 2019

Rebecca Bitzer loves to empower Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) and their clients.  Co-author of Welcome to the Rebelution: Seven steps to the nutrition counseling practice of your dreams and  Taste the Sweet Rebellion: Rebel against dieting.