14 Frugal and Healthy Family-Friendly Recipes From Scratch

Updated on February 14, 2017

Quick, Easy, Healthy, Cheap Recipes

Easy, Cheap, good food for your Family Recipes anyone can cook.
Easy, Cheap, good food for your Family Recipes anyone can cook. | Source

Creating a healthy, home-cooked meal can be a daunting and potentially difficult task. Here you'll find fourteen recipes that are simple, easy, and use quality ingredients. Some have meat, some are gluten-free, and some are vegetarian—but they can all be modified to fit your needs or whatever food is in season. Enjoy!

What You'll Find Here:

  1. Lazy Man's Cabbage Rolls
  2. Gluten-Free Vegetarian Lasagna
  3. Inside-Out Zucchini Boats
  4. Marinated Tomato Basil Salad
  5. Grilled Vegetables and Smoked Cheddar Cheese Sausage Strata
  6. Spinach Pesto Pasta
  7. Crab Spinach Pasta in a Garlic Butter Sauce
  8. Gluten-Free Pasta Using a Spaghetti Squash
  9. Crockpot Kale and Leek Noodle Soup
  10. Kale and Feta Pizza
  11. Jalapeno Popper Popcorn
  12. Gluten-Free Roasted Quaker Oat Turkey Thighs
  13. Greek Taboule-Filled Lettuce Boats
  14. No-Fry Vegetable and Beef Stir-Fry

1) Lazy Man's Cabbage Rolls

Layered Cabbage Rolls
Layered Cabbage Rolls | Source

This lazy cabbage roll recipe is so simple that anyone can make it. This recipe is for the people who want to provide a quick, nutritious meal to their family and get back in time for a football game.

This is a layered cabbage roll recipe. Let your children make it, and they will eat.

It could have a cheese or two of your choice on top, but I think that is not necessary for flavor.

2) Gluten-Free Vegetarian Lasagna


This vegetarian lasagna is so good you won't miss the wheat-flour flat pasta at all. This is a recipe the whole family will love because you can put so much in it, like cauliflower, zucchini, tomatos, and spinach. You can customize it to suit everyone's tastes (hopefully!).

3) Inside-Out Zucchini Boats

Awesome flavor.
Awesome flavor. | Source

These inside-out zucchini boats were discovered by accident. I wanted to make proper zucchini boats, but the zucchini I had was too small to put anything inside. So instead, I used the zucchini to stuff these meatloaf-esque dish.

4) Marinated Tomato Basil Salad

Tomato Basil Marinated Salad
Tomato Basil Marinated Salad | Source

Marinated Tomato Basil Salad: Tomatoes pair exceptionally well with basil and parsley. Take a peak at this wonderful salad, and it will make your taste buds sing and your tummy feel great. Cider vinegar can aid in weight loss when you take a tablespoonful after meals.

5) Grilled Vegetables and Cheddar Cheese Smoked Sausage Strata Recipe

Slice of Cedar Cheese Smoked Sausage Stratta with Whole Wheat English Muffins
Slice of Cedar Cheese Smoked Sausage Stratta with Whole Wheat English Muffins | Source

Strata is another name for bread pudding. In the good ole days, people would save their crusts and stale bread to make a pudding. It was very tasty. You can make a more flavorful strata by using grilled vegetables and smoked cheddar cheese sausage, instead of all that bread.

A time saver for this dish is to assemble it a day ahead. Then, when your company arrives for brunch, you pull it out of the refrigerator, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and bake for thirty minutes.

6) Spinach Pesto Pasta

Spinach Pesto Pasta
Spinach Pesto Pasta | Source

Spinach Pesto Sauce is a delicious alternative to tomato-based pasta sauces. Most people make pesto out of basil, but I have been exploring new and wonderful ways to add more spinach to my diet. That's how I came up with this spinach-based pesto.

Spinach is low in calories. It also has an abundance of vitamins and minerals to boost your immune system and lower your high blood pressure. It has also been called the "colon's little broom" by some food experts.

The recipe I've linked you to also includes a brief guide on how to infuse your own olive oil with flavors instead of buying the high-cost brands at your grocery store.

7) Crab Spinach Pasta in a Garlic Butter Sauce

Crab Meat Pasta
Crab Meat Pasta | Source

Just because we are short on money doesn't mean we have to be short on the heath benefits and flavor of our foods. Crab Spinach Pasta in a Garlic Buttery Sauce is an easy, healthy family recipe. Eating fish gives our bodies the fish oils we need to keep our joints from stiffening up as we grow older. Some doctors even recommend taking fish oil pills for joint pain. Cooking this recipe will help incorporate more fish into your diet.

8) Gluten-Free Pasta Using a Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash Pasta
Spaghetti Squash Pasta | Source

If you have Celiac disease, the gluten in wheat, barley, and rye affects the functioning of your small intestine. This is serious and can cause digestive problems, skin rashes, weakness, and depression. The single treatment for Celiac is a gluten-free diet.

Being a pasta lover, Suzzycue also wanted to share this pasta recipe with people who have this condition. She was totally amazed how good spaghetti squash was to eat. It has a crunch like al dente spaghetti and pairs well with tomato and garlic sauces like typical pasta does.

9) Crockpot Kale and Leek Noodle Soup

Kale and Leek Soup   Comfort Food
Kale and Leek Soup Comfort Food | Source

This crockpot kale and leek noodle soup is a delight to make. Kale is a curly, hearty, fall leafy green that tastes sweeter if picked after the first frost. The leeks are just big scallions loaded in vitamin C. Putting it all in a crockpot melds the flavors together without losing nutrients like you would if you boiled kale in a pot on the stove. The perfect fall comfort food for your family.

10) Kale and Feta Pizza

Healthy, easy Kale and feta Pizza
Healthy, easy Kale and feta Pizza | Source

Kale is a super food with many health benefits. Eating it provides fiber, vitamins A, K, C (which help to prevent cancer), and calcium to promote strong bones and teeth. Kale with Feta cheese pizza wins.

11) Jalapeno Popper Popcorn Recipe

Give this easy, cheap Jalapeno Popper treat a try.
Give this easy, cheap Jalapeno Popper treat a try. | Source

Try this easy jalapeno popper popcorn recipe at your next party. It is sure to be a hit with the pepper lovers.

12) Gluten-Free, Roasted Quaker Oat Turkey Thighs

Gluten Free Turkey Thigh Recipe
Gluten Free Turkey Thigh Recipe | Source

Sometimes roasting a whole turkey is too much food for a family of two. Being single, I still enjoy a good turkey meal. Here is a recipe for turkey leg or breast that you will love.

13) Greek Taboule-Filled Lettuce Boats

Make these great Taboule party favors.
Make these great Taboule party favors. | Source

What is taboule? It is also spelled "tabbouleh" and is a Middle Eastern, whole-wheat salad made with bulgur wheat that you don't cook. It pairs well with cucumbers, tomatoes, and spices on top of romaine.

Bulgur wheat can be used to thicken stews, as stuffing for tomatoes or bell peppers, or to fill up zucchini boats. This grain can even be used as a hot breakfast cereal; consider topping it with nuts and dried fruits.

14) No-Fry Vegetable & Beef Stir Fry

No fry Vegetable Beef Stir Fry
No fry Vegetable Beef Stir Fry | Source

DIY Vegetable Beef Stir Fry

This no-fry veggie and beef stir fry is perfect for a beginning cook. It can be hard to cook stir-fry perfectly with so many elements in play. Sometimes the carrots aren't quite done, but the mushrooms are so overcooked that they're falling apart. This recipe tries to save your veggies from such a fate by roasting them instead of stir-frying them.


Hi, everyone! Cook these recipes for a better you.
Hi, everyone! Cook these recipes for a better you. | Source

My Experience as a Chef

Most of my life, I have done pretty physical work. Some of my that work experience includes a ten-year period working as a cook at nursing homes, cafeterias, and a sous chef in a local restaurant. I worked with a chef who trained at the Culinary Institute of New York, specializing in French cuisine.

The sous chef was one of the best experiences of my life. I learned to take fresh local ingredients and turn them into easy, healthy recipes that you can do. The recipes that I'm sharing with you today are ones a few that I've gathered and have found to be quick, easy, healthy, and delicious.

Will you still eat from a box?

After seeing how easy, healthy,cheap and quick these recipes are to cook.Will you still eat from a box?

See results

Questions & Answers


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      • profile image

        @Patricia Scott 

        2 weeks ago

        Thank you so much. Pinning and emailing is the best compliment of all. I am so grateful for the Angels and that you gave my Hub some love. :)

        Please enjoy the recipes they are easy and delicious. I have tried and eaten everyone of them, over the years. The lazy mans' Cabbage rolls is still my favorite.

      • pstraubie48 profile image

        Patricia Scott 

        3 weeks ago from North Central Florida

        Of course now I am drooling. I am pinning this to 'good things to eat' and emailing it to my email addie. I did not see one dish I did not find tempting. thank you for sharing. Angels are headed your way this afternoon. ps

      • suzzycue profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Britton 

        5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Thank you @jtrader. These recipes are eye candy and they taste great. Thank you also for trying out the recipes. Let me know how you like them.

      • jtrader profile image


        5 years ago

        I'll try that layered cabbage roll and the roasted beets. All of these are quite colorful.

        Voted up and useful!

      • suzzycue profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Britton 

        6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Thank you Kathryn. It was a great job. I learned a lot and I still cook and eat this way. I love to cook from ingredients that we all have in our cupboards. Easy and good for you. Try wedge fries. Cut potatoes into wedges all the same size, mix in bowl with olive oil, rosemary, oregano, parsley, s/p , spread on cooking sheet and bake in oven at 375 for 30 minutes or until tender, You can do the same with sweet potatoes.

      • Kathryn Stratford profile image


        6 years ago from Windsor, Connecticut

        Nice! I'll come back soon to check out the various recipes. They look very good! Thanks for sharing them with us. I love cooking, but it is especially cool to see recipes for someone who has cooked as part of her job!

      • suzzycue profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Britton 

        6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Thank you breakfastpop. They are easy and tasty. Enjoy and thanks a lot for the votes.

      • breakfastpop profile image


        6 years ago

        These recipes look wonderful and I intend to use them. Voted up and useful.

      • suzzycue profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Britton 

        6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Thank you ChitrangadaSharan . You are welcome. Thanks also for stopping by.

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        6 years ago from New Delhi, India

        All your recipes are wonderful, nutritious and look quick and easy to prepare, as you have mentioned. The spinach pesto pasta is unique and so healthy.

        Thanks for sharing so many of them here.

      • suzzycue profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Britton 

        6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        You mix the oatmeal or cornmeal with the meat mixture raw. The oatmeal will cook and thicken your cabbage roll sauce as it cooks. You can also do this same trick with stuffed bell peppers.

      • suzzycue profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Britton 

        6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        You are always welcome Always. Thank you for commenting and I am happy I could help you and others who need to eat like that. You can make the cabbage rolls without the rice and then you could eat it. The cabbage rolls would taste just the same with oatmeal instead of the rice.

      • always exploring profile image

        Ruby Jean Richert 

        6 years ago from Southern Illinois

        All of your recipes look delicious. My sis makes cabbage rolls, i never have but maybe i will. I must eat a gluten free diet so this is great that you included the spaghetti squash. Thank you...

      • suzzycue profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Britton 

        6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        @Ericdierker Thank you for the compliment!

        @ Carol ,I love the Spaghetti Squash pasta and it surprised me that I did. Always a pleasure to hear from you. Thank you for pinning my hub.

        @Thank you vespawoolf. I am sure you will give that recipe a well deserved twist to your liking and I am thrilled to see what you do.

      • vespawoolf profile image

        Vespa Woolf 

        6 years ago from Peru, South America

        What a nice index! All of these look mouthwatering and I'm going to especially take a closer look at the strata. Thanks so much!

      • carol7777 profile image

        carol stanley 

        6 years ago from Arizona

        They all look delish...Thanks for taking the time to share all of these. I particularly like the squash for speghetti plus many of the others. Voting up and pinning.

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        6 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        Marvelous healthy recipes, well don hub.


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