Menu Ideas

$5 Dinner Inspiration

September 8, 2011 • 15 Comments

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Not sure how to tackle the Slow Food $5 dinner challenge? Here are 12 tasty recipes that fit the bill. Cheap never looked so classy.

World's Easiest Falafel and Tzatziki by marisab67

World's Easiest Falafel


Sausage and Kale Dinner Tart by My Pantry Shelf

Sausage and Kale Dinner Tart


Roasted Carrot Soup by Reeve

Roasted Carrot Soup


Mujaddara with Spiced Yogurt by Rivka

Mujaddara with Spiced Yogurt


Bean Salad with Pancetta by amanda

Bean Salad with Pancetta


Wishbone Roast Chicken with Herb Butter by monkeymom

Wishbone Roast Chicken


One Pot Kale and Quinoa Pilaf by deensiebat

One Pot Kale and Quinoa Pilaf


French "Peasant" Beets by Amy_N-B

French "Peasant" Beets


Rhonda's Spaghetti with Fried Eggs and Pangritata by Rhonda35

Rhonda's Spaghetti with Fried Eggs and Pangritata


Diana Kennedy's Carnitas from Genius Recipes

Diana Kennedy's Carnitas


Spicy Turkey Meatloaf by apartmentcooker

Spicy Turkey Meatloaf


Linguine with Sardines, Fennel & Tomato by lastnightsdinner

Linguine with Sardines, Fennel & Tomato


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Comments (15)


over 3 years ago CathyB

Thanks Food 52 for highlighting Slow Food USA's $5 Dinner. I just wanted to point out that the average cook doesn't have to bend over backwards to reach this challenge. We'll be having 5 for dinner this Saturday. That means I've got a budget of $25 for dinner. That's not too hard. We're having spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, green beans and lemon pudding cakes for dessert (it's not dinner at my house unless we have dessert.) The point of this challenge is to underscore how practical it can be to cook and eat this way.


over 3 years ago marisab67

$5 per person???? You can make my falafel for $5 for 4 people. I'm TOO cheap and easy:) Make twice as much then and take some to a friend!


over 3 years ago LynnCooks

Back in May I was lucky enough to be invited to a 5 course dinner for 8 produced at a cost of $5.03 per person. The courses were as follows:

1. Carrot and Red Capsicum Soup with Parmesan Cheese Puffs

2. Cuttlefish with Mushrooms and Cauliflower

3. Vegetarian Pot-sticker Dumplings

4. Roasted Porkneck with Potatoes and Broccoli

5. Lemon Posset

It was absolutely amazing. Needless to say that Sandra Lim, our host, is an accomplished cook, who sets herself these sort of challenges for fun.


over 3 years ago issybee

With the farmer's market being so trendy, the prices keep going up and it's harder to make the argument that eating whole healthy foods is not considerably more expensive than processed foods. I don't feed my family of four processed foods, but I certainly have a hard time feeding them tasty balanced filling and varied meals for $5 a head especially when I have a full time job. That said, it is pretty great to get inspiring new and creative recipes to add to the repertoire so thanks for that.


over 3 years ago beckymusician

Remember the $5 Challenge is to spend $5 per person, so if the spaghetti costs $3 total to make and you are serving 4 people, you have $17 more dollars to spend on vegetables, dessert, wine...


over 3 years ago dshush

Just made the sardine fennel pasta (again!) 2 nights ago - can't get enough of it and as long as I grab a fennel bulb, I've made sure to keep the rest of the ingredients in the pantry (and frozen bread crumbs in the freezer). So delish!


over 3 years ago bstovermot

These are great. We also eat local and organic foods. Just last night I made cheese stuffed (three cheese) manicotti in a basil tomato sauce with sausage, bread and salad for $15.00. This was a great meal and could feed 8 people or be frozen for a second meal for 4 people.


over 3 years ago bstovermot

Thanks for these. We eat local and organic food as well. Five dollars does go a long way when slow cooking. Last night I made cheese stuffed manicotti in a tomatoe sauce with sausage, bread and salad for $15.00....enough to feed 8 people! or freeze for a second meal for 4!


over 3 years ago Fairmount_market

Thanks for assembling these. What a great group of recipes for dinner inspirations.


over 3 years ago raspberryeggplant

A great collection of recipes, and I applaud your effort to highlight recipes that can be made for under $5, but some of these are not really good meals. How is a beet salad or carrot soup a satisfying dinner? And while I do love pasta with a fried egg on top, the complete lack of greens or any substantial amount produce is glaring. Same goes for the meatloaf and roast chicken. At a time when so many Americans aren't getting enough fruits and vegetables, suggesting that a slice of meatloaf alone as dinner is not really the greatest recommendation.


over 3 years ago lastnightsdinner

In defense of the beet salad, it actually does make a satisfying meal when served with the suggested Bucheron cheese and crusty bread on the side. I wouldn't have believed it, but my husband, a dedicated carnivore, wouldn't lie :)


over 3 years ago Rhonda35

My Spaghetti with Fried Eggs and Pangritata probably costs about $3 to make, leaving $2 for some steamed broccoli on the side. ;-)
raspberryeggplant - it is common practice for magazines, food product public relations firms, cooking shows, etc. to focus on the main dish cost and call it a "meal." I've worked in the culinary industry for years and many of the assignments I get are to develop recipes using (x) amount of ingredients, spending (x) amount of money and cooking it all in (x) amount of time. Every time I have one of these jobs, they call the dishes "meals" when they go to print.


over 3 years ago Shelly Peppel

I think my husband will lose his mind if I make the French "peasant" beats. I can't stop looking at the photo -- they're absolutely going on tomorrow's dinner menu!


over 3 years ago spiralgal

Most people believe that eating whole, healthy foods is more expensive than processed foods. This post proves that you can not only eat healthfully and creatively, but inexpensively. Beautiful presentation as well. Thanks!


over 3 years ago erinmcdowell

This is so true. I have a very low food budget. I go to a market that sells local/organic foods and I buy all the food I need for a week for $35 or less. Way less if I go to the farmer's market - what steals! Thanks Food52 for continuing to bring this to light!