15 Hearty and Cheap Winter Family Meals Your Kids Will Love

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Brrr – it’s really starting to get chilly out there. I’ve had the slow cooker out for the past week which I love because it’s such an easy way to cook, and it makes my freezing kitchen feel cosy.

BUT I’m starting to run out of hearty meal ideas for my hungry tribe.

Cheap winter meals the whole family will love

With a husband who works an uber-physical job and 2 growing kids, I need filling yet budget-friendly meal ideas.

So when I put a call out to some of my blogging buddies to share their best budget-friendly winter warmer recipes to warm the cockles for us poor sods in the antipodes, I was overwhelmed with some fantastic winter recipe ideas.

I’m excited to bring you these 15 delicious, winter-warmer meal ideas.

Some are vegetarian which is great for staying on-budget. I definitely recommend eating more vegetarian meals if you can.

All of these recipes are delicious, easy to make and kid-friendly.

(Quick note: lots of these recipes use the imperial measurements. For conversion to metric go here.)

15 Cheap Winter Meals The Whole Family Will Devour

Finding family meals that are budget-friendly but delicious is a constant challenge. These winter meal ideas won’t disappoint.

1. Vegetable Cheddar Chowder

Image: Wanna Bite

A creative take on regular old chunky veg soup, the cheddar makes this one of those hearty winter recipes you’ll keep coming back to.

Check out the recipe here: Vegetable Cheddar Chowder / Wanna Bite

2. Chef Boyardee Beefaroni

Image: Eat Thrive Glow

Mince and macaroni in the same dish! My kids are going to love this.

As budget family meals go, this one is right up there. I pretty much always have a spare packet of pasta in the cupboard and mince in the freezer. Looks delish!

Check out the recipe here: Chef Boyardee Beefaroni  / Eat Thrive Glow

3. Cheeseburger Pasta

Image: Two Kids and a Coupon

Mention the words cheese and burger and my boys are in.

This is one of those kid friendly meals for cold weather I’ll be coming back to often.

Check out the recipe here: One Pot Cheeseburger Pasta Recipe / Two Kids and a Coupon

4. Beef or Veggie Casserole

Image: Snapshots and Snippets

When it comes to cheap family meals, you can’t go past a casserole.

This simple recipe is easily adapted to use up any leftover veg in the fridge.

See the recipe here: Tummy-Warming Beef or Veggie Casserole  / Snapshots and Snippets

5. French Onion Soup

Soup is one of the easiest winter meals for kids and this recipe won’t disappoint.

Check it out here: Easy French Onion Soup / She Wears Many Hats

6. Beef Goulash

Image: Savory Tooth

Think ‘winter dinner ideas’ and goulash is right up there.

This Hungarian beef goulash will warm cockles and fill tummies.

See the recipe here: Hungarian Beef Goulash / Savory Tooth

7. Cuban Beef Stew

Image: Savory Beef Stew

One of our top family meals on a budget is stew, because it’s easy to make, cheap and lasts at least 2 meals.

This Cuban beef stew makes a delicious next-day meal, too.

Recipe here: Cuban Beef Stew  / Savory Tooth

8. Delicious Mujaddara

Image: Living Sweet Moments

I just love it when I find winter meals using lentils because they are super cheap and healthy.

Check it out here: Delicious Mujaddara / Living Sweet Moments

9. Macaroni Pizza Casserole

Image: Ann’s Entitled Life

This casserole rates highly on the budget meals for family scale.

Plus it contains the word ‘pizza’, so I know I’m not gonna struggle to get my kids to eat it.

Full recipe here: Macaroni Pizza Casserole  / Ann’s Entitled Life

10. Cheesy Burrito Casserole

Image: Ann’s Entitled Life

Another casserole because you just can’t beat them for cheap winter meals the kids will actually eat.

This time, Mexican inspired. Andale!

Recipe here: Cheesy Burrito Casserole  / Ann’s Entitled Life

11. Chickpea Sweet Potato and Peanut Curry

Image: Rhian’s Recipes

Hearty family meals aren’t just for carnivores.

This beautiful vegetarian curry will delight the whole family.

Make it here: Chickpea Sweet Potato Peanut Curry   / Rhian’s Recipes

12. Slow Cooker Vegan Barley Stew

Image: Mama Likes to Cook

The best winter family meals are the ones I can chuck in the slow cooker and forget about until dinner time.

And it’s vegan, so all goodness here.

Click here for the full recipe: Slow Cooker Vegan Barley Stew / Mama Likes to Cook

13. Asian Marinated Chicken Legs

Image: Fearless Dining

Marinated chicken is a winner when it comes to winter recipes for kids.

Recipe here: Asian Marinated Chicken Legs / Fearless Dining

14. Persian Creamy Barley Soup

Image: The Delicious Crescent

Hearty winter meals using barley are a great way to keep costs down and boost nutrition at the same time.

Check out the recipe here: Persian Creamy Barley Soup / The Delicious Crescent

15. Persian Noodle Soup

My kids and hubby adore noodles so I’m looking forward to adding this to my repertoire of hearty winter recipes.

Go here for more: Persian Noodle Soup with Beans and Herbs /  The Delicious Crescent


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Looking for winter meals on a budget? Check out this list of kid-friendly and budget-friendly winter meals.

About Emma Healey

Emma is a recognised family finance and budgeting expert and founder of Mum's Money. Her advice has been featured in Readers Digest, Yahoo Finance, Lifehacker, The Simple Dollar, MSN Money and more.