7 Easy, Budget-Friendly Recipes So You Don’t Have To Order In
These dishes were made for lazy girls.
When you’re in college or busy just starting your career after graduating, you may not have the money or time to always eat out with your friends or make restaurant-quality meals at home. While it’s always easy to just DoorDash or get Uber Eats takeout from your fave spot, that can add up quickly — especially with all those delivery fees. Instead of putting all your budget toward getting food brought to you, you can master a few quick and easy recipes to make at home. These simple and TikTok-approved dishes are budget-friendly and don’t require a lot of skills to throw them together.
Even though they are easy, these recipes don’t taste simple at all. They’re delicious and full of flavor — like a tender slow cooked pork or chicken fajitas — that you can make in your dorm room or first apartment. All you need are some basic ingredients and kitchen staples, like olive oil, spices, lemon juice, and brown sugar to get you started. If it’s time to start saving money, here are seven recipes to nail down. Pretty soon, you’ll be spending less time in the kitchen and more time with your besties.
1. These Chorizo Tacos Cost Just $5 To Make
TikToker @kaylaboudin has a series where she makes cheap and easy meals. She claims these chorizo tacos only cost about $5 to make. All you need is some chorizo, cilantro, corn, beans, and tortillas. The chorizo has enough spice already, so you don’t really need to add more. You can add more toppings, like cheese and sour cream, if you have them already at home. If you happen to have taco seasoning, you can also make these easy chicken tacos as well with pre-cooked chicken for some variety.
2. This Slow Cooker Pork And Sweet Potatoes Is Perfect For Extra Busy Days
A Crock-Pot, if your dorm allows you to have one, can save you so much time and money in college. While you’re in class all day, you can have a meal slow cooking in your room to enjoy later. Just put all the ingredients in your Crock-Pot in the morning, and it should be ready by dinnertime. If your slow cooker is big enough, you can also make extra servings to save as leftovers for lunch the rest of the week.
To make slow cooker pork and sweet potatoes, just add pork tenderloin, sliced sweet potatoes, chopped onion, and chopped green bell pepper into your Crock-Pot. Then, top it all off with a sauce made from diced tomatoes, brown sugar, cinnamon, parsley, and black pepper. Cook on low for about eight hours. If you’ve got a lot of pork to work with, you could also make pulled pork in your Crock-Pot, like TikToker @mac.larena, to have on its own or as BBQ sandwiches.
3. These Easy Chicken And Vegetable Fajitas Don’t Require Many Dishes
Most recipes for fajitas require you to cook the vegetables and protein separately. However, this dish lets you combine both the vegetables and protein into one pan before letting the oven do its magic. You’ll first want to spray your pan, and add the sliced chicken breast and vegetables (bell peppers and onion) inside with a drizzle of olive oil and fajita spices on top.
TikToker @cooking.con.claudia combines chili powder, onion powder, cumin, garlic salt, paprika, black pepper, salt, garlic cloves, lime juice, olive oil, and cilantro for her fajita seasoning, but you can also just use a packaged mix ($2, Walmart). Once that’s ready, cover your pan and bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes at 350-degrees. You can use your chicken fajitas to make quesadillas for lunch.
4. This Roasted Butternut Squash And Kale Salad Is Great For Meal Prepping
Meal prepping salad is a great idea for when you know you’ve got a packed schedule ahead. To make this butternut squash and kale salad, first roast your squash by placing it on a sheet pan with maple syrup and olive oil. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper before putting it in the oven for 15 minutes at 400-degrees.
Once you’ve got your squash ready to go, toss it with some kale and a dressing of your choice. Whisk together vinegar, mustard, olive oil, salt, and pepper for a homemade dressing, and then sprinkle on some parmesan cheese to your final salad. Enjoy right away or place in some Tupperware to bring with you to work or class. If you have a ton of butternut squash, eat it on its own or blend it up for a soup. TikToker @fufuinthekitchen recommends buying pre-cut and cubbed butternut squash to save you even more time.
5. These Roasted Tomatoes With Feta Is A TikTok Fave
If you’re on the foodie side of TikTok, you’ve likely seen baked feta pasta. The simple recipe of putting tomatoes and feta in one pan to create a creamy sauce for your pasta is so easy that it’s no wonder it went on to become a viral sensation. Roasted tomatoes with feta, though, can be enjoyed a number of ways — and not just with pasta.
After roasting your tomatoes with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in the oven for 20 minutes at 450-degrees, add in some shrimp, parsley, lemon juice, and feta to cook an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Then, you’ll have roasted tomatoes with shrimp and feta to enjoy or have over some orzo. You could even make simple homemade garlic bread to dip into any extra sauce.
6. This Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken Only Needs Two Ingredients
Barbecue chicken is always a hit. While there are a thousand ways to make it — from vinegar-based to tomato-based, chopped or pulled — this recipe allows you to customize the barbecue as you wish. The secret is to just cook it long and slow.
Spray your Crock-Pot and place your chicken inside with enough barbecue sauce to cover it. Let it cook for about four to five hours, and then shred for your own BBQ chicken sandwiches. If you sprinkle on some cheese, bacon bits, and green onions, you can have this cheesy barbecue chicken that TikToker @cookinginthemidwest says is great for weeknights when you’ve got a lot of deadlines.
7. This Lobster Bisque Pasta Can Be Made With Just Five Items
TikToker @traderjoes5itemsorless has a ton of recipes you can follow that require just a few ingredients you can pick up from your local Trader Joe’s. One of the most viral recipes with over 1.3M views is this lobster bisque pasta that combines Trader Joe’s lobster bisque, farfalle pasta, langostino tails, garlic cubes, and parmesan cheese. The end result is a dish that looks like it came from a fancy seafood restaurant, but you really just put it together in your kitchen at home. Even just a regular lobster bisque takes about 21 ingredients to make by itself, so you’re really saving time with this one.
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