A Week of Weight-Loss-Friendly Dinners for Under $35

weight loss friendly dinners

Do you think it’s more expensive to eat healthfully?

There are a number of opinions out there regarding the expense of a healthy lifestyle. But Aldi has become one of my favorite grocery stores for helping my family stick to a budget while we focus on putting good foods into our bodies.

Aldi offers a good range of staple products, including steel cut oats and brown rice. It sells dry and canned beans. And the fresh produce is actually ready to be eaten the week I buy it.

Speaking of fresh produce, the following recipes do not include them, which is sad because many of the ingredients could be cheaper if they were purchased fresh. However, the prices on produce are less stable. And since I want you to have the most accuracy in planning your menu, I’ve stuck to canned or frozen vegetables.

Maybe $35 isn’t an impressive price point for you. That averages out to $5 per dinner for two people. However, some of these recipes would serve 4 at my house. And I can pretty much guarantee there would be leftovers.

Perhaps $35 sounded good to begin with, and I just made it sound even better. You’re welcome.

Either way, you have a week of high-fiber dinner recipes just ahead.


7 Dinner Recipes for Under $35

Tomato Pasta with White Beans and a Side of Broccoli

A meal with tomato pasta with white beans and broccoli

White Beans make a chunky tomato sauce for whole wheat spaghetti.

White beans add a solid boost of fiber and protein to pasta. Don’t be afraid to trade out the broccoli for peas that stir into the sauce right alongside the beans.

Naturally, whole wheat pasta is higher in fiber than traditional “white” pasta. I also find that the spaghetti “geometry” of the pasta is more economical because it goes farther when it’s served. That explains why I’ve chosen to replace the white rotini with whole wheat spaghetti.

Secondly, while it can be cheaper to make your own pasta sauce, using a jar is easier and more shelf-stable for these examples. I, personally, think homemade sauce does taste better and encourage you to use it if you have the time.

Original Recipe and My Revisions

Recipe: Tomato Pasta with White Beans

Cook half the box of pasta according to package directions. Combine sauce and beans in a covered, microwaveable dish. Heat through. Steam broccoli in the bag according to package directions. Then, season broccoli with garlic powder, onion powder, and salt to taste. Top pasta with sauce and serve broccoli on the side.


Whole Wheat Spaghetti (13 oz.)$0.89
Jarred Pasta Sauce (24 oz.) $0.99
White Beans (15 oz. can) $0.59
Garlic Powder $0.99
Onion Powder $0.99
Frozen Broccoli (12 oz. $0.99)

Guacamole Enchiladas with Black Beans and Corn

guacamole enchiladas with black beans and corn

Warm guacamole enchiladas with beans on the outside of the tortilla for a change.

Enchiladas are wonderful. But in case your family is looking for a change in flavor, here is a reversal of the ingredients. Serve the guacamole inside the tortilla and the beans and corn on the side instead of beans and corn inside the tortilla and the avocado on the side. A little change in routine keeps everyone from being bored.

I chose salsa over enchilada sauce because it is generally healthier in terms of fat. You’re welcome to replace it with your own if you have a fat-free enchilada sauce recipe.

Original Recipe and My Revisions

Recipe: Guacamole Enchilada

Fill tortillas with guacamole and roll. Place seam-side down in a casserole dish. If you don’t like chunky salsa, blend it in a blender and pour it over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with light cheese, if you use it at all. Cook according to recipe link. Drain and rinse the beans. Warm with the corn in a microwave or on a stove and serve on the side.


Corn Tortillas $1.29
Pre-made Guacamole $2.99
Salsa $1.69
Cheese* (8 oz. block, optional) $1.99
Black or Pinto Beans (15 oz. can) $0.59
Corn, frozen (16 oz.) $0.95

*Aldi doesn’t carry low-fat cheese, which is highly recommended if you choose to eat cheese. I recommend sharp cheddar because the flavor goes farther so you can use less. However, if you’d rather save the $2 and not buy any cheese at all, thereby also saving you lots of fat, that’s an even better choice.

Lima Bean, Corn, and Tomato Succotash

lima bean, tomato and corn succotash

Limas and corn swim in crushed tomatoes.

Very Southern, and a comfort food for many people, succotash is a mix of colorful vegetables and legumes, yielding a high-fiber one-dish meal because the lima beans provide excellent protein.

The original recipe uses fresh ingredients that are hard to find year round. I use canned or frozen ingredients in this example. Diced tomatoes are more traditional, but crushed tomatoes turn this into a satisfying soup. Also, by using onion and garlic powder, the need for oil has been eliminated. Now the dish is fat free.

Original Recipe and My Revisions

Recipe: Lima Bean, Tomato and Corn Succotash

Combine limas, corn, and tomatoes according to amounts in recipe link. Heat on the stove or in the microwave until warmed through. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon each of onion and garlic powder and Italian seasoning.


Lima Beans (15 oz. can) $0.79
Corn, Frozen (16 oz.) $0.95
Canned CrushedTomatoes (28 oz.) $0.99
Onion Powder (Instead of fresh) $0.99
Garlic Powder (Instead of fresh) $0.99
Italian Seasoning (Basil replacement) $0.99
Salt $0.39

White Bean Alfredo over Mixed Vegetables

alfredo sauce on top of pasta with veggies

Colorful vegetables add even more nutrition to this creamy bean alfredo.

Blended beans mixed with broth hide the high fiber and protein source, but keep the calories down.

Feel free to choose your favorite vegetable mixture. Vegetables offer higher fiber that mushrooms. The California Medley includes broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower, which resemble pasta primavera.

Whole wheat pasta is higher in fiber than traditional pasta. I find spaghetti lasts longer in my house because it takes longer to chew the strands. So, I’ve chosen to use that pasta. Plus, there’s leftovers from the previous pasta recipe.

Original Recipe and My Revisions

Recipe: White Bean Alfredo

Cook half the box of pasta according to package directions. Prepare sauce according to recipe link. Steam vegetables in the bag according to package directions. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon each of the powdered spices. Serve the vegetables and sauce over the pasta.


Whole Wheat Spaghetti (13 oz.) $0.89
White Beans (15 oz. can) $0.59
Vegetable Broth (26 oz.) $1.89
Garlic Powder (Instead of fresh) $0.99
Onion Powder (Instead of a shallot) $0.99
California Medley Frozen Vegetables (12 oz.) $0.99

Asian Broccoli and Brown Rice

asian broccoli with brown rice

Fresh Steamed Broccoli over Brown Rice

This recipe is especially simple when you have pre-cooked rice on hand. I prepare the maximum my rice cooker makes and freeze the rice in single-meal-sized portions. Always use brown rice for better fiber and higher nutrition.

Original Recipe

Recipe: Asian Broccoli and Brown Rice


Brown Rice, size (32 oz.) $1.19
Broccoli size (12 oz.) $0.99
Low Sodium Soy Sauce (15 oz.) $1.19
Onion Powder $0.99
Garlic Powder $0.99

Brown Rice and Black Bean Bowl

brown rice with black beans, salsa and olives

Black beans, brown rice, and more colorful toppings make this a fiesta in a bowl!

So simple, this recipe can have as many or as little ingredients as you want. However, I like the ones listed because they are particularly colorful.

Original Recipe

Recipe: Brown Rice and Black Bean Bowl


Brown Rice (32 oz.) $1.19
Corn, frozen (16 oz.) $0.99
Beans (Black or Pinto, 15 oz. canned) $0.59
Olives $0.99
Salsa (24 oz.) $1.69

Chickpea and Rice Soup with Tomatoes

Chickpea rice soup

There’s high fiber and protein in this Chickpea and Rice soup, yet it tastes like comfort food.

The best thing about this soup is its versatility. How? Well, all you need to do is change one ingredient and you have a completely different soup. Replace the Italian seasoning with curry powder, and you go from an Italian dish to an Indian dish in seconds.

Original Recipe and My Revisions

Recipe: Chickpea, Rice, and Tomato Soup

Cook the rice according to package directions. Combine the garbanzo beans, tomatoes, 1 teaspoon garlic powder and ½ teaspoon Italian Seasoning in a pot. Simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in 1 ½ cups cooked rice. Simmer 5 more minutes before serving.


Brown Rice (32 oz.) $1.19
Chick Peas (15 oz. canned) $0.65 each
Diced Tomatoes (28 oz. can) $0.99
Vegetable Broth (32 oz.) $1.89
Garlic Powder (Instead of fresh) $0.99
Italian Seasoning (Instead of rosemary) $0.99

The Shopping Trip and Some Details About the Cost Analysis

checking out at Aldi

Check out time!

The prices for the ingredients in each individual recipe are listed. However, one container of garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasoning can supply the entire week’s recipes. Therefore, I bought only one of each of those.

Similarly, there are other examples of “shared” products and “shared” prices, like the pasta or rice.

all of the groceries

One Week of Dinner Ingredients

Price List and Total

Black or Pinto Beans x2 $1.18
Broccoli, frozen x2 $1.98
Broth x2 $3.78
Brown Rice $1.19
California Medley Frozen Veggies $0.99
Corn, Frozen $.89
Corn Tortillas $1.29
Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) x2 $1.30
Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Italian Seasoning, Salt $3.36
Guacamole, packaged $2.99
Lima beans, canned $0.79
Olives $0.99
Salsa x2 $3.38
Sharp Cheddar Cheese (block) $1.99
Soy Sauce, Reduced Sodium $1.19
Tomato Basil or Mushroom Pasta Sauce $0.99
Tomatoes, crushed, canned x2 $1.98
White Beans x2 $1.30
Whole Wheat Spaghetti $0.89
Total $32.45

receipt from Aldi for groceries

What About Dessert?

You can put the remaining $2.55 from the $35 price point in your piggie bank.

Or you can spend it on in-season fruit to serve as a satisfyingly sweet end to your meal.

It’s a tough choice because you can obviously tell from the above shopping list that the topic of saving money while eating well interests me. But my family generally cares about the food I buy more than the money I save.

So I vote for option #2. How about you?


Amanda Martin

When Amanda is not fixin' something delicious from the week's sale produce, she's most certainly doing something fun with her three kids. Read her Full Plate story.