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6 Budget-friendly and Nutritious Recipes for a Wholesome Feast

As we embrace the season of gratitude and togetherness, it's that time of year to start planning holiday feasts that not only tantalize the taste buds but also nourish the body. These six recipes offer budget-friendly menu options that taste good, feel good, and won't break the bank.

Simple, nourishing ingredients like whole grains and fresh seasonal produce add a guilt-free touch to these dishes, making them perfect for your taste buds and your well-being. Try mixing and matching with your usual dishes, or make all six, to create a balanced holiday spread this year!

Please note that the estimated costs provided with each recipe are rough estimates, and actual costs may vary based on location, store, and availability. It's advisable to check your local grocery store's website, app, or latest sale flyer for the most accurate pricing. If you already have some of these ingredients on hand, it will further reduce the overall cost of these delightful dishes, so be sure to also check your pantry before shopping for ingredients.

Looking for more budget-friendly and nutritious meal ideas or seeking guidance on making healthier choices? Consider exploring our free SNAP-Ed services! Fill out the form to request a series of classes offering practical tips and resources for nutritious eating within your budget, or learn more about available programs here.

Without further ado, let's dig into these mouthwatering recipes and start preparing for a feast that's not only memorable but also mindful of your holiday budget. Happy feasting!

Crispy Smashed Brussels Sprouts

Active Time: 20 mins

Total Time: 45 mins

Yield: 4 servings

Estimated Cost:

  • Cost per Serving: $1.37

  • Cost per Recipe: $5.46

Equipment needed:

  • Large saucepan

  • Large, rimmed baking sheet


  • 1 ½ pounds medium to large Brussels sprouts, trimmed (16-18)

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

  • 2 teaspoons everything bagel seasoning

  • Zest from 1 large lemon


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Fill a large bowl with ice water.

  2. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add Brussels sprouts, reduce heat to maintain a lively simmer, and cook until just tender when pierced with a skewer, 8 to 10 minutes.

  3. Drain the sprouts and plunge them into the ice bath. Let stand until cool enough to handle.

  4. Transfer the sprouts to a clean dish towel and pat dry.

  5. Spread the sprouts on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with oil; toss to coat.

  6. Space the sprouts evenly on the pan, then flatten them with the bottom of a Mason jar or sturdy glass.

  7. Roast for 10 minutes. Gently flip the flattened sprouts and sprinkle with Parmesan, everything bagel seasoning, and lemon zest.

  8. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes more.

Honey Wheat Rolls

Active Time: 25 mins

Total Time: 2 hrs 30 mins

Yield: 12 servings

Estimated Cost:

  • Cost per Serving: $0.20

  • Cost per Recipe: $2.40

Equipment needed:

  • Large mixing bowl, or stand mixer

  • Wooden spoon

  • 6-qt. (or larger) slow cooker

  • Parchment paper


  • 1 cup 2% milk, warmed

  • 4 tablespoons honey, divided

  • 1 ¼ ounce envelope active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)

  • 5 tablespoons canola oil

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

  • ½ teaspoon salt


  1. Combine milk, 1 tablespoon honey, and yeast in large mixing bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer). Set aside for 5 minutes.

  2. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons honey, oil, egg, whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, and salt to the yeast mixture. Mix with wooden spoon (or on low speed, if using stand mixer) until a smooth, elastic ball forms and pulls away from the sides; about 5 minutes.

  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface; divide into 12 pieces, about 2 ½ ounces each. Roll each piece into a smooth ball.

  4. Line a 6-quart or larger slow cooker with a large piece of parchment paper (it's OK to pleat it slightly to get it over the bottom and partway up the sides); grease the parchment paper.

  5. Add the rolls in a single layer. Cover and cook on HIGH until the rolls are starting to brown around the edges and spring back lightly when touched, 2 to 2 ½ hours.

  6. Transfer the rolls to a wire rack and let cool slightly before serving warm.

Melted Sweet Potatoes

Active Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 50 mins

Yield: 6 servings

Estimated Cost:

  • Cost per Serving: $0.93

  • Cost per Recipe: $5.60

Equipment needed:

  • Large mixing bowl

  • 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan (Do not use a glass dish as it could shatter!)

  • Liquid measuring cup, or small bowl


  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch slices

  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • ¾ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper

  • ½ cup low-sodium vegetable broth or chicken broth

  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 500°F.

  2. Toss sweet potatoes, butter, oil, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.

  3. Arrange in a single layer in a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan.

  4. Roast sweet potatoes, flipping once, until browned, 25 to 30 minutes.

  5. Whisk broth, maple syrup, and lemon juice together in a liquid measuring cup or small bowl. Then, carefully add mixture to pan with sweet potatoes.

  6. Continue roasting until most of the liquid is absorbed and the sweet potatoes are very tender, 5 to 8 more minutes. Serve hot.

Skillet Corn

Active Time: 20 mins

Total Time: 20 mins

Yield: 6 servings

Estimated Cost:

  • Cost per Serving: $0.65

  • Cost per Recipe: $3.92

Equipment needed:

  • Large skillet


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • ¾ cup chopped sweet onion

  • 4 cups fresh corn kernels (from 6 to 8 ears)

  • 1 large clove garlic, minced

  • ¾ teaspoon salt

  • ⅛ teaspoon ground pepper

  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar (optional)

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

  2. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 3 minutes.

  3. Add corn and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is tender and juicy, about 6 minutes.

  4. Stir in salt, pepper, and sugar (if desired).

  5. Remove from heat and stir in parsley.

The Best Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Active Time: 5 mins

Total Time: 20 mins

Yield: 16 servings

Estimated Cost:

  • Cost per Serving: $0.17

  • Cost per Recipe: $2.70

Equipment needed:

  • Medium saucepan


  • 1 (12 oz.) bag fresh cranberries

  • 1 cup water

  • ½ cup sugar

  • 2x 1-by-4-inch strips orange peel

  • Pinch of kosher salt


  1. Place cranberries, water, sugar, orange peel, and salt in a medium saucepan.

  2. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring often, until most of the cranberries have burst, 10 to 12 minutes.

  3. Remove the orange peel. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

  4. To make ahead: Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Simple Roast Chicken

Active Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 1 hr 35 mins

Yield: 6 servings

Estimated Cost:

  • Cost per Serving: $2.55

  • Cost per Recipe: $15.27

Equipment needed:

  • Small bowl

  • Cooking twine

  • Large, broiler-safe pot with lid

  • Large cutting board

  • Meat thermometer


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, divided (such as sage, rosemary and/or thyme)

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • ¾ teaspoon ground pepper

  • 1 (4 to 5 pound) whole chicken

  • 1 small lemon, halved crosswise

  • 1 medium head garlic, halved crosswise

  • 3 medium carrots, cut into 3-inch pieces

  • 3 stalks celery, cut into 3-inch pieces

  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced


  1. Position rack in the bottom third of oven. Preheat to 375°F.

  2. Combine butter, 1 tablespoon herbs, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper in a small bowl.

  3. Remove giblets from chicken and reserve them for another use.

  4. Using your fingers, loosen and lift skin from chicken breast and spread the herb butter mixture underneath, starting at the neck end. Place lemon and garlic in the cavity. Tie the legs together with cooking twine.

  5. Place carrots, celery, and onion in a large broiler-safe pot. Place the chicken breast-side up on top of the vegetables and put the lid on.

  6. Roast chicken for 1 hour.

  7. Increase oven temperature to broil, uncover, and broil until golden brown and a thermometer inserted in a thigh without touching bone registers 165°F, 6 to 10 minutes.

  8. Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board and let stand for 15 minutes before carving. Serve sprinkled with the remaining 1 tablespoon herbs and ½ teaspoon salt.

All recipes are reviewed and adapted from EatingWell. Recipe photos accredited to respective authors.



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