7 Hearty Meals You Can Make For Under $10

Blog | January 14th, 2021

By now the holiday food should be ready for composting and taste buds longing for something far, far away from creamy, soup-filled casseroles. But wait, before you discard that Holiday ham, wrap it well and freeze it to add to the winter parade of hot and hearty meals for cold winter nights! There’s something that feels incredible about grabbing a throw blanket, sinking into a cushy couch next to a blazing fire with a plate or bowl of tummy-filling warmth. Here is a list of hearty meals to get you through the icy months while saving you money along the way!

Winter Chili

Serves: 4 | Cost: under $10

  • 2 pounds of lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tablespoons cumin powder
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 15 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 30 ounces of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 10 ounce diced tomatoes and green chilis
  • 30 ounce can tomato sauce

  1. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and sauté beef until cooked thoroughly.
  2. Drain grease.
  3. Add onion to the beef and sauté until tender.
  4. Add minced garlic and seasonings: cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  5. Cook another minute, stirring constantly.
  6. Transfer to a 6-quart slow cooker.
  7. Place remaining ingredients into the slow cooker.
  8. Cook on low for 4 hours.

Taste delicious topped with sour cream, bacon bits, chopped green onions, cheddar cheese, and Fritos

Ham Bone Soup

Serves: 4 | Cost: around $7 (excluding holiday ham bone)

  • Ham bone with generous meat attached
  • One box of organic chicken broth
  • Water
  • 1 small white onion diced
  • 1/2 cup rice or 1 cup noodles
  • Choice of preferred vegetables
  • 2 diced potatoes
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • Lima beans
  • Sliced carrots
  • 1 bag of frozen organic corn
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Add ham bone.
  3. After it cooks down a bit add the chicken stock.
  4. Return to a boil.
  5. Cool until ham has fallen off the bone.
  6. Cut off any remaining ham and add to the pot.
  7. Add onions and cook until tender.
  8. Add rice, noodles, and any desired veggies.
  9. Cook until veggies are tender.
  10. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Chicken Stew

Serves: 4 | Cost: under $10

  • Whole chicken or boneless breast/thighs
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup diced, fresh potatoes
  • 1/2 cup white rice
  • 1 bag sliced frozen okra
  • 1 can sliced carrots
  • 1 can Lima beans
  • 1 can kernel corn
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Boil chicken in a large pot of water.
  2. If using boneless chicken breast, add two cans of chicken broth for extra flavor.
  3. When chicken is done, remove from pot, saving the broth/water.
  4. Remove any bones or skin and return chunks of pulled chicken to the pot.
  5. Add chopped onions, potatoes, and rice, cooking until tender.
  6. Add remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring often to prevent sticking.
  7. Simmer until veggies are done and the stew has thickened.
  8. Add salt and pepper.

Pairs well with hot cornbread!

Chicken Corn Chowder

Serves: 6 |Cost: $9

  • 3 cups corn divided, defrost if frozen
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 4 slices bacon, thick-cut
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound yellow potatoes peeled and diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups cooked chicken shredded or chopped
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

  1. Combine 1 ½ cups corn, 1 cup broth, and 1 tablespoon flour in the blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and set aside.
  3. Cook bacon in a large pot until crisp.
  4. Remove from the pot and place on a paper towel to drain.
  5. Turn heat to medium, add onion and celery to the bacon grease in the pan and cook until tender, 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add garlic and cook until tender.
  7. Add potatoes, remaining broth, and seasonings.
  8. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  9. Reduce to a simmer and cover.
  10. Cook 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  11. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  12. Garnish with reserved bacon and serve.

Homemade Pancake Bar

Serves: 4 | Cost: under $10 unless you go crazy with toppings!


You can use this homemade recipe but if you’re in a hurry, Bisquick works great too!

Pancake Mix
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Topping Ideas
  • Butter
  • Syrup
  • Whipped cream
  • Berries
  • Chopped pecans
  • Chocolate chips
  • Sliced bananas
  • Nutella
  • Powdered sugar

  1. Whisk milk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk.
  3. Stir just until combined, the batter should look slightly lumpy.
  4. It should be slightly thick yet pour smoothly.
  5. Add a bit more milk if needed. Preheat a griddle or frying pan over medium heat (or to 350°F).
  6. Lightly grease with butter or oil.
  7. Pour 1/4 cup batter for each pancake and cook on one side until bubbles form and pop for about 2 minutes.
  8. Flip and cook on the other side for about 1-2 minutes.
  9. Serve immediately.

Related: Watch: Make IHOP Inspired Grinch Pancakes This Christmas!

Cornbread Waffles with Hearty Toppings

Serves: 4 | Cost: $9

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 3 tablespoons oil (vegetable or canola oil)
  • 2 large eggs
  • Your favorite chili toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped green onions.

  • Preheat waffle iron.
  • In a large bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  • Add milk, oil, and eggs and stir until smooth, without over mixing.
  • Spray waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Pour batter onto hot waffle iron and bake one at a time.
  • Serve with chili over top.
  • If desired, garnish with shredded cheddar, sour cream, and chopped green onion, or any of your favorite toppings.

Nacho Chicken

Serves 4 | Cost: $9

  • 3 cups of cooked cubed or pulled chicken
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2/3 cup of milk
  • 1 4 ounces can diced chili peppers
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed tortilla chips

  • Mix the first five ingredients using 2/3 cup of the cheese.
  • Place 1/2 cup of the chips in the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 casserole dish.
  • Top with 1/2 of the chicken then 1/2 of the soup mix.
  • Repeat and top with the remaining 1/3 cup of cheese.
  • Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes until bubbly and cheese are slightly browned.