Whoever said delicious dining has to be expensive? These three one-dish dinners under $10 won’t bust your budget and will still keep mealtime pleasurable.
These meals serve four, so for many of us empty nesters there will be leftovers, which I refer to as “money in the bank.” Just warm up and enjoy a satisfying no-prep meal later in the week.
Big Turkey-Spinach Meatballs with Simple Tomato Sauce
Of the three meals under $10, the turkey meatballs are my personal favorite. For a more robust sauce, substitute red wine for the water. Serve the meatballs with crusty bread for sopping up the sauce.
- 6 peeled garlic cloves
- 1 pound ground turkey (93 percent lean)
- 1 box (10 ounces) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1/2 cup packed, finely crumbled feta cheese, plus extra for topping
- 8 crumbled saltine crackers
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons pure olive oil
- 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; toast until spotty brown, about 5 minutes. Remove cloves from skillet, smash and mince.
Meanwhile, break up ground turkey into a medium bowl. With a fork, stir in spinach, cheese and crackers. In a separate bowl, mix egg, tomato paste, oregano, 1/4 teaspoon salt and half the garlic cloves. Mix into meat mixture with fork until thoroughly combined; form into 4 balls.
Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Add meatballs and cook, carefully turning two or three times, until well browned, 7 to 8 minutes total. Add remaining minced garlic cloves, along with tomatoes and enough water (or wine, see note above) to make a sauce that is neither thin nor gloppy (start with 1/2 cup). Bring sauce to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, partially covered, until meatballs are tender and sauce has thickened, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.