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10 Cheap Recipes You Can Make in 15 Minutes or Less

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10 Cheap Recipes You Can Make in 15 Minutes or Less!

This post has been written by our talented staff writer, Kimberly Studdard.

Even if you love cooking, chances are life can get in the way sometimes. Many days, families, busy professionals, or college kids just don’t have the time to make a delicious 4-course meal. And to top it all off, food can get expensive! But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are 10 cheap recipes you can make in 15 minutes or less.

#1. Simple Fried Rice

Fried rice is one of the ultimate cheap recipes you can make in 15 minutes or less! Mix your favorite frozen veggies with soy sauce, rice, and scrambled eggs and you’ve got yourself a meal. Jasmine rice is a super fast cooking rice, but if you only have about 5 minutes to spare, try using already prepared rice. This is even great if you don’t have a stove. Did you know you can make eggs in a microwave

#2. Breakfast Burritos

Not only are breakfast burritos easy to make, but they’re even easier to customize. All you need is a few tortillas, eggs (or tofu if you’re a vegan like me), any type of bean (my favorites are chickpeas and black beans) and your favorite toppings. You can top your burritos with anything from sour cream, salsa, cheese, or any type of veggie. Wrap your filling choices into the burrito, and cook in the microwave or in the oven. Delicious, nutritious, quick, and cheap!

#3. Grilled Cheese & Soup

You can never go wrong with the classic grilled cheese and soup. Bread with whatever cheese you have on hand, and some pre-made inexpensive tomato (or red pepper if you’re feeling fancy) soup is a delicious combo that won’t break the bank.

#4. Overnight Oatmeal

If you love breakfast as much as I do, you’ve got to try this choice of cheap recipes you can make in 15 minutes or less. Overnight oatmeal is just rolled oats, a milk of your choice (I like coconut or almond milk), a sweetener, and toppings all mixed together. That’s it! Best part? You can make it in 5 minutes, right before bed, and have a delicious treat ready for you in the morning.

cheap recipes you can make in 15 minutes or less


#5. Chickpea Cakes & Fries

Since I’m vegan, a few comfort foods are no longer an option with me. But I love a fried crispy chickpea cake! Of course it won’t replace a crab cake, but it will do in a pinch! Chickpeas are a great, inexpensive, and protein heavy choice for those on the go.

Mash them with some onion and bell pepper (green is typically the cheapest). Then add a little cornstarch, flour, and cajun seasoning. Shape into patties and fry. With chickpeas typically being under a $1 a can, I can get 7-8 chickpea cakes for as little as $1.50. I couple this with some fries for a delicious comfort food type dinner.

#6. Scrambled Eggs & Avocado Toast

I know you’re probably thinking that avocados aren’t exactly a wallet friendly option. However, when in season, avocados can be as cheap as .25 each. Add sliced avocado on a piece of toast and top with salt and pepper, or red pepper flakes. Scramble and egg or two and serve on top or on the side. Not only is this filling, but you’ll also be able to get this on the table in 15 minutes or less.

#7. English Muffin Pizza

Everyone loves pizza. But who has the time to wait 30-45 minutes for delivery? Instead, cut an english muffin in half and top each half with pizza sauce, cheese, and your favorite toppings.

It can be all veggies, or you can add meats like pepperoni, sausage, or even ground turkey. English muffins are inexpensive, and you can make your toppings cost as much, or as little, as you want! Not only is this one of easiest cheap recipes you can make in 15 minutes or less, but it’s also a great option instead of eating out!

cheap recipes you can make in 15 minutes or less

#8. TBLT

Bacon can be expensive, but a BLT is so easy to make! So to cut costs, try using turkey bacon! You can fry it in a skillet until crispy, and layer with lettuce and tomato on a nice crusty bread. You’ll save a few bucks, plus you’ll have a delicious sandwich that can be made in just a few minutes.

#9. “Baked” Potato

As much as I love a baked potato, sometimes they can take a while to cook in the oven. So instead, I wrap one in saran wrap, pierce it a few times with a fork, and microwave for 7-8 minutes until tender. Once it’s cooked, I’ll slice it in half and top with anything from chili to a cheese sauce with some veggies. This can be a great lunch or even dinner if served with a salad.

#10. Salad

I love comfort food as much as the next girl, but sometimes I just crave fresh veggies. I typically buy whatever pre-made salad is on sale, take out the dressing packet, and load up the lettuce with whatever veggies I could find on the cheap. Depending on the season, you’ll be able to top your salad with avocados, peppers, broccoli, or whatever else is inexpensive. Top with your favorite dressing or vinaigrette (I love lemon, olive oil, and garlic). Fresh, tasty, and super cheap!

So there you have it, 10 cheap recipes you can make in 15 minutes or less. These recipes are delicious, mostly nutritious, and won’t break the bank. Plus, everyone can enjoy these recipes! What are your favorite cheap and easy to make meals?

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AUTHOR Derek Sall

Derek has a Bachelor's degree in Finance and a Master's in Business. As a finance manager in the corporate world, he regularly identified and solved problems at the C-suite level. Today, Derek isn't interested in helping big companies. Instead, he's helping individuals win financially--one email, one article, one person at a time.

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