What is the cheapest meal to make? The answer may surprise you.

This article is a follow up to the recently published article: “What is the Cheapest most filling food? ” a great resource if you are curious about not only what is the cheapest, but the most healthy; and you need to cut back on your monthly grocery bill. Here’s a hint: it’s NOT a steaming bowl of Top Ramen. Sorry not sorry.

If you need to pinch pennies, you may wonder “What is the cheapest meal to make?” Here at The Goldilocks Kitchen we want to provide you with the best possible answer to this question, and have done a lot of research on the cheapest most filling food. Though the phrase “beans and rice” has become famous as the cheapest meal thanks to a certain financial guru, is it really?

According to research, since the cheapest food in the world is dry beans, and potatoes were the second cheapest food, then the cheapest meal to make would be home cooked beans and potatoes. That may not sound much like a gourmet meal, but we’ve included some really delicious ways to dress up beans and potatoes below!

Save even more on Bean and Potato recipes with these tips

  • Remember, in order for beans and potatoes to be your least expensive meal option, they need to be prepared at home. Canned, or pre-processed ingredients are usually more expensive because you have to pay for labor and packaging. Purchase dry beans and potatoes in bulk to save yourself even more “dough”. (Pun intended ;0)
  • A collection of dried herbs and spices will go a long way to making your beans and potatoes delicious, so if you can, ensure you have a decent supply in your pantry. Even better, grow your most commonly used herbs at home in small pots in your kitchen or home garden.
  • Ingredients like fresh onion and garlic, can usually be purchased for a small amount. Strong tasting ingredients like these can be cut back on without affecting the taste of the recipe very much. I usually use half the amount of fresh onion called for in recipes and I get twice as much use out of each onion!
Rectangular meal prep containers on a white marble table hold prepared chickpeas, lentil stew, rice and sliced avocado.
Photo by Ella Olsson on Unsplash

Delicious Bean and Potato Recipes

Here are a few bean and potato recipes that we found particularly delicious. You can always prepare a dish with just beans or just potatoes, you don’t have to eat them together (although it makes for fun and tasty recipe combinations :0) Enjoy the recipes!

Saucy Puerto Rican Beans and Potatoes – This recipe incorporate a lot of fresh vegetables, herbs and spices. It also includes a bell pepper, a not-so-cheap addition that could probably be skipped (I know it may no longer be “authentic” at that point but bell peppers are expensive).

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burritos – This recipe is excellent for make-ahead frozen burritos and is very simple and delicious.

Tuscan Potato Bean Soup – not only packed with potatoes and beans, but also full of great flavor. The Kale and parsley add a nice earthy flavor, but can be left out if you need to cut costs. The soup will still taste amazing.

Crispy Potato Tacos with Black Bean Slaw – You can make these as simple or as fancy as you like by adding (or leaving out) various toppings.

White Bean Salad with Lemon and Cumin – The simple lemon and herb flavors really shine in this simple and mouth watering bean salad.

The Best Dang Baked Beans – These beans are still my favorite and have a uniquely mouthwatering taste! If you need to leave out the ground beef and sausage, it will still turn out great- as long as you cook them with the bacon.

Black Bean and Crispy Potato Enchiladas – We love this recipe because it differs from the usual black bean and sweet potato pairing. If you can afford the cheese, this recipe is delicious and highly recommended.

Slow Cooker Three Bean Chili – Who doesn’t love to come home after a long day of work to a delicious hot dinner waiting for them? Serve this over a microwaved “baked” potato. Just be sure to season the potato with salt and pepper (and a pat of butter) before topping with chili. If you can, shredded cheese really puts this cheap and delicious meal over the top!

Baked Potato Soup – This dreamy-creamy soup looks divine! A little bit of bacon can go a long way to adding some great flavor to your soups and stews.

Weeknight Taco Soup – Still one of my go-to weeknight recipes, Taco soup was born from my college days trying to scrape by on a very limited budget. It’s extra good if you can give it that crispy corn chip or tortilla topping.

Potato Bean Stew – Recipes like this one are fantastic because you have lots of leftovers to eat for lunch for a couple days. A great recipe to use lots of home cooked dry beans.

Similar Posts