Thursday, May 14, 2020

16 Casseroles for UNDER $1 Per Person

I am posting 16 casseroles that you can make for $1 or less per serving.  Many of these are kid friendly as well!  I am using Walmart's regular prices for the cost analysis.  I am sure you can find items for less, but assuming you don't have time to shop around for better prices or don't want to, these are the prices you would pay.  The cost for each serving varies between 65 cents to 99 cents.  The purpose of this post is to show how you can take some of your recipes or random ones on the internet and find a way to fit into your budget.  Some of the recipes didn't need to be tweaked at all.  Some definitely had to be tweaked to stay in the budget and there were a few we couldn't make because it was just too costly.  But, there are so many you CAN make on a limited budget.  Thanks to all of the families who helped by making the casseroles for this post.

Casserole #1 

Chicken and Stuffing Casserole

1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup milk
2 Tablespoons chopped onions
Dash pepper 
2 pkgs Great Value 6 oz. Stuffing mix
2 cans cream of celery soup, undiluted
1 lb. chicken breasts
3/4 cup frozen peas

Cook chicken ahead of time.  Set aside.  Melt butter and pour over stuffing.  Set aside.  Mix the milk with the  undiluted soups.  Add COOKED chicken, frozen peas and onions to the milk/soup mixture.  Grease a 9x13 casserole dish.  Put half of the stuffing/butter mixture in the dish.  Pour the chicken/soup mixture on top of the stuffing/butter mix in the casserole dish. Then top with the rest of the stuffing/butter mix.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Cost analysis:

Stuffing mix - 82 cents each or 1.64 total
Cream of celery  - 76 cents each or 1.52 total
Frozen peas  -  about 28 cents for recipe (84 cents for 1 lb package)
1 cup margarine  - 42 cents for margarine or 1.49 for butter
Onion - about 10 cents  (46 cents for whole onion)
Pepper   2 cents
Milk - 17 cents
Chicken - 1 lb boneless breasts 1.98    (5.94 for 3 lb. pkg.)

Total Cost for Recipe:  $6.13
8 Servings
Cost Per Serving:  77 cents

Casserole #2

Chicken and 3 Soup Rice

2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cans cream of celery soup
1 lb. boneless chicken breasts


Put chicken breasts in a 9 x 13 pan.  Mix UNDILUTED cream of soups together and cooks at 350 for about 1 1/2 hours until chicken is cooked completely through.  Cook rice according to directions on the package.  Serve on top of rice.   I usually cut up all of the cooked chicken pieces after it is cooked  with soups and before serving.  That way it is more evenly distributed.  But you can serve it in larger pieces if you prefer.

Cost analysis:

Cream of Mushroom - I got one family size for 1.28 instead of two small cans because it was cheaper
Ceam of chicken - 50 cents each
Cream of celery - 76 cents each
1 pound boneless chicken breasts - 1.98  (5.94 for 3 lb. pkg.)

Rice - 72 cents for 1 pound of uncooked rice

Total cost for Recipe:  $6.50
8 Servings
Cost Per Serving:  82 cents

Casserole #3

Quick and Easy Chicken Pot Pie With Tater Tots

2 cans cream of chicken
1 lb. frozen mixed vegetables
1 lb. chicken breasts
32 oz bag tater tots

Cook chicken breasts ahead.  Mix cans of cream of chicken, frozen mixed vegetables, and COOKED chicken together.  Put in 9x13 inch casserole dish.  Top with as many tater tots as needed to cover the top.  Bake at 350 for around 35 minutes or so until done.

Cost analysis:

Cream of chicken - 50 cents per can
Frozen veggies - 84 cents to 1.11 for 16 ounces
Tater tots - 1.68
Chicken - 1.98

Total cost for the recipe:  $5.77
8 Servings
Cost Per Serving:  72 cents per serving

Casserole #4

Macaroni and Cheese

I used this recipe but substituted the sharp white cheddar for sharp orange cheddar to save $1.16.  You can also use margarine instead of butter to save an additional 33 cents.

Cost analysis:

Pasta - 82 cents
Salt - 1 cent
Milk - 82 cents
Butter/Margarine - Butter 47 cents, Margarine 14 cents
Flour - 3 cents
Dijon Mustard - 3ccents
Pepper - 4 cents
Cayenne Pepper - 5 cents
16 oz. Sharp cheddar cheese  $3.58
Romano cheese - 5 oz   $1.39

Total cost for the recipe:  $6.91
8 servings
Cost per serving:  87 cents per serving

Casserole #5

Spaghetti Pie

6 ounces spaghetti
2 eggs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 T. Butter
1/3 cup chopped onion  (optional)
1 cup sour cream
1 pound Italian Sausage
1 can tomato paste
1 cup water
4 ounces mozzarella cheese


Break spaghetti in half.  Cook in boiling salted water until done according to package.  Drain.  While still warm, combine cooked spaghetti with eggs and Parmesan cheese.  pour into a well greased 10 inch pie plate and pat mixtures up and around the sides with a spoon.  Melt butter, add onion and saute until limp.  Stir in sour cream and spoon over spaghetti.  Cook sausage in skillet until done.  Drain.  Add tomato paste and water.  Simmer 10 minutes.  Spoon sausage on top of sour cream mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top and return to oven until cheese melts.  Take out of the oven and cool slightly before serving.

Cost analysis:

Pasta   31 cents
Eggs   40 cents
Parmesan cheese   21 cents
Butter 19 cents or Margarine 6 cents
Onion   16 cents
Sour cream   $1.00
Italian sausage - 1 pound   $3.48
Tomato paste   46 cents
Water - free
Mozzarella cheese   $1.11

Total cost:  $7.32 with butter or $7.19 with margarine
8 servings
Cost per serving:  92 cents with butter or 90 cents per serving with margarine

Ways to save money:  Use only half of the Italian sausage and that would significantly change the cost, use margarine instead of butter to save 13 cents, and buy items on sale which would save as well.

Casserole #6

Cheesy Taco Pasta

Recipe for this is found here.    To save money, you could use less meat or use ground turkey.

Cost analysis:

Pasta - 41 cents
Ground beef - $3.42
Taco seasoning - 44 cents
Water - Free
Salsa - 66 cents
Cheddar Cheese - $1.11

Total cost for the recipe:  $6.04
Servings:  8
Cost per serving:  76 cents

Casserole #7

Chicken Spaghetti

I used this recipe here for this casserole.  I did replace the whole chicken with 1 pound of chicken breasts.  This change made the recipe easier to make and save money.I also used 2 cups of cheese instead of 2 1/2 to help the recipe stay in the $1 or less per serving category.

Cost Analysis:

Chicken - 1.98 for 1 pound of boneless chicken breasts
Spaghetti - 82 cents
Sharp cheese - $2.22
Green pepper - 19 cents
Red pepper - 35 cents
Seasoning Salt - 10 cents
Cayenne Pepper - 5 cents
2 cans Cream of mushroom - $1.52
Onion - 46 cents
Salt and pepper to taste - 5 cents

Total cost for the recipe: $7.74
Servings:  8
Cost per serving:  97 cents

Casserole #8

Cowboy Casserole

I made a few modifications to this recipe to make it fit in the budget I wanted.  I used half of a pound of Italian sausage, I used 1 pound of red potatoes and just sliced them small instead of using baby potatoes, I also used regular corn instead of fire roasted corn to save almost a dollar.  I used regular canned tomatoes instead of fire roasted as well to save 24 cents.  I used half of an onion and half of a green pepper instead of a whole.  I used 1/3 cup of cheese instead of 1 cup.   I didn't realize when I had originally done the cost analysis that the recipe was only for 6 instead of 8 servings, so I made more changes because of that.

Cost Analysis:

Italian Sausage - $1.44
Yellow Onion - 23 cents
Red Potatoes 1 lb. - 99 cents (instead of baby reds)
Green Pepper - 40 cents
Corn (instead of fire roasted) - 50 cents
Kidney beans - 72 cents
Canned tomatoes (instead of fire roasted)  - 74 cents
Garlic, minced - 18 cents
Tabasco sauce - 17 cents
Chicken broth - 13 cents
Chili Powder - 3 cents
Cojack Cheese - 37 cents
Salt and Pepper to Taste - 5 cents

Total cost for the recipe - $5.95
Servings:  6
Cost Per Serving - 99 cents per person

Casserole #9

Chicken Divan

The recipe I used is found here.  I made a few modifications, but you can still use butter and fresh broccoli be close to the budget.  By using frozen broccoli, you save about 33 cents and by using margarine for the dish and the topping you save another 23 cents.  The prices below are using frozen broccoli and margarine.  I also used 1 pound of cooked chicken breasts, cubed instead of 3 cups of rotisserie chicken.

Cost Analysis:

Broccoli  $1.00
Cooked chicken 1 lb. breasts, cut up into cubes - $1.98
Margarine - 8 cents
Flour - 6 cents
Milk - 17 cents
Chicken broth - 17 cents
Sharp cheese - $1.38
Chicken Bullion powder - 6 cents
Dijon mustard - 4 cents
Garlic powder - 7 cents
Onion powder - 7 cents
Dried Parsley - 10 cents
Salt and Pepper to taste - 5 cents

Panko - 28 cents
Margarine - 6 cents

Total cost for the recipe - $5.57
Servings - 6
Total cost per serving:  93 cents

Casserole #10

Tuna Noodle Casserole 

This recipe from Taste of Home is found here.  Since the price was so reasonable I didn't make any changes to the recipe.

Here is the Cost Analysis:

Cream of Celery - 76 cents
Milk - 9 cents
Noodles - 50 cents
Frozen Peas - 34 cents
Tuna - 68 cents
Pimentos (jar) - $1.22
Bread crumbs - 6 cents
Margarine - 3 cents    (if you use butter, it will cost 10 cents)

Cost for recipe:  $3.68
4 Servings
Cost per serving:  92 cents

Casserole # 11

Classic Goulash

The recipe for this is found here.  I made a few changes.  Instead of 2 pounds of ground beef, I just used one.  Instead of 2 onions, I used one.  I used 1/2 pepper instead of a whole pepper.  I used 2 cloves of garlic as well.  I also used regular salt instead of kosher salt.

Cost Analysis:

Ground beef - $3.42
Onion - 46 cents
Green Bell Pepper - 40 cents
Garlic - 16 cents
Water - Free
29 oz. Tomato sauce - $1.24
29 ounces diced tomatoes - $1.24
Worcestershire sauce - 11 cents
Dried Oregano - 3 cents
Dried Basil - 6 cents
Salt - 1 cent
Elbow Macaroni - 41 cents

Total cost for the recipe:  $7.54
8 Servings
Cost per serving - 95 cents per serving

Casserole # 12

Cajun Pasta

The Cajun Pasta Recipe I used is here.  I toned down the spice by using less (1/3) than the original recipe.  It was plenty spicy still.  I used about 1/2 the chicken and Cajun sausage and total eliminated the shrimp to cut the cost of the recipe.  The last change was to use regular salt instead of Kosher salt.

Cost Analysis:

Chicken - 99 cents
Cajun Sausage - $1.36
1/2 Red pepper - 69 cents
1/2 Green pepper - 40 cents
1/2 Red onion - 41 cents
Garlic - 20 cents
Oil - 6 cents
Pasta - 82 cents
Chicken broth - 25 cents
Salt - 1 cent
Black Pepper - 2 cents
Diced tomato - 48 cents

Cajun Spice Blend:

Salt - 1 cent
Garlic Powder - 4 cents
Paprika - 1 cent
Black Pepper - 4 cents
Onion Powder - 2 cents
Cayenne Pepper - 4 cents
Oregano - 2 cents
Thyme - 2 cents

Total Cost of the recipe: $5.87
6 servings
Cost per serving:  98 cents

Casserole # 13

Cajun Beef Casserole

The recipe for this casserole is found here.  I had to make a few changes to fit in the budget, since it only makes 6 servings.  I used half the ground beef, bought a 29 oz can of tomatoes which was less than two cans of 14 oz tomatoes, and reduced the frozen veggies to 1 1/2 cups instead of 2.

Cost Analysis:

Cornbread Mix - 53 cents
Ground beef - $1.71
Canned Diced Tomatoes - $1.24
Frozen Mixed Veggies - 63 cents
Tomato paste - 46 cents
Cajun seasoning - 8 cents   (Tony Chachere's)
Shredded cheese - $1.11
Green onions - 18 cents

Total cost for the recipe:  $5.94
6 servings
Cost Per serving:  99 cents

Casserole # 14

Chili Mac Casserole

This recipe is found here.  The changes I made to this was to use half of the ground beef and skip the green onions.

Pasta - 21 cents
Ground beef - $3.42
Onion - 46 cents
Garlic - 10 cents
29 oz. Canned tomatoes - $1.24
Kidney beans - 72 cents
Tomato paste - 46 cents
Green chilies - 76 cents
Salt - 1 cent
Chili powder - 3 cents
Black pepper - 4 cents
Mexican cheese $2.22

Total cost for the recipe:  $967
10 servings
Cost per serving:  97 cents

Casserole # 15

Corn Dog Casserole

The recipe for this is found here

I made a few changes.  I used 1 1/2 cups of celery instead of 2 cups.  I used 1 cup (bunch) green onions instead of 1 1/2 and I used only 1 pound of hot dogs instead of 1 1/2 pounds and cut them very small.

Celery - 33 cents
Margarine - 6 cents      (if you use butter it is 19 cents)
Green onions - 78 cents
Hot dogs - $1.18
2 eggs - 40 cents
Milk - 25 cents
Sage - 20 cents
Black pepper - 2 cents
2 packages corn bread mix - 53 cents each for Jiffy or $1.06
Sharp cheese - $2.22

Total cost for the recipe:  $6.50
10 servings
Cost per serving:  65 cents

This last casserole is made up from one of the other Spendwise Moms who wanted to use up some things in her cupboard.  It is a take off from the regular Shepherd's Pie.

Easy Shepherd's Pie

1 pound ground beef  - $3.42
1 onion - 46 cents
16 oz. frozen vegetables - $1.11
1 canned diced tomatoes - 72 cents
1 32 ounce package tater tots - $1.68
Salt and Pepper to taste - 5 cents

Total cost for the recipe:  $7.44
8 Servings
Cost per Serving:  93 cents

Brown beef and onions together and then drain grease.  Add frozen vegetables, diced tomatoes, salt and pepper.  Put beggie/meat mixture into a 9x13 inch pan and then top with the tater tots.  Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes or until the tater tots are crispy and golden brown.

Note:  Cream of mushroom would probably work well in place of the canned tomatoes if you wish.

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