The Easiest (Budget Friendly!) Recipes for Your First Year as Newlyweds

Simple, delish, and editor-approved.

Updated 10/09/17

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When the honeymoon’s over (quite literally) and it’s time to settle back into normal life as newlyweds, the letdown from all of the excitement and months and months of planning and anticipation can be hard to adjust to. The last thing either of you wants to think about is meal planning and grocery shopping—especially when you have to deal with the reality of having to actually go back to (eye roll emoji) work after coming back from paradise.

No more decadent food poolside, no more 2pm margaritas, no more sleeping until 11am everyday—ugh. But don’t you fret! We've rounded up some of our favorite delicious, easy, and—dare we say—budget-friendly meals to take the hassle of meal planning off your plate (pun intended. Very intended).

For the Veggie Lovers

If you and/or your partner are vegetarian, we know how hard it can be to find quick recipes that are as delicious as they are hearty. We've got you covered!

Pan-Fried Butter Beans and Greens

We pulled this yummy recipe from A Cup of Jo (she has tons of great recipes) and have made it more than once. Go ahead and make more than you think you'll eat—it tastes even better the next day. And if you don't feel like putting this on toast again, add the leftovers to some scrambled eggs or over some pasta! Also, if you're serving this as a main course, it's recommended (and we agree) to top this off with a fried egg. Makes it a little heartier!

This recipe comes from Andrea Bemis, author of Dishing Up The Dirt:

Serves two main courses or four side-dish portions.

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (15-oz) can butter beans, rinsed, drained, and patted dry
  • 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups kale, tough stems discarded, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the crushed red pepper flakes and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring often. Add the beans in a single layer, being careful not to overcrowd the pan, and cook until they are lightly browned on the undersides, about 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the beans and cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, kale, salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook until the kale begins to wilt, about 2 minutes. Mix in the lemon juice and cook for 1 minute longer, stirring until everything is evenly coated.

Divide the beans among the plates. Top with plenty of Parmesan and enjoy.

Baked and Stuffed Sweet Potato

Now this is just ONE suggestion on an easy way to get a bunch of delicious nutrients via a sweet potato—any variation on what you put in it is up to you! We also like stuffing a sweet potato with crispy kale, greek yogurt, black beans, toasted pumpkin seeds and some queso fresco. Delish!

Recipe courtesy of Epicurious.

2 medium sweet potatoes (about 9 ounces each)

2 tablespoons melted virgin coconut or vegetable oil, divided

1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, divided

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, divided

1 red onion, coarsely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped, divided

1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, rinsed, drained

3/4 cup vegetable broth

1 ripe avocado

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, divided

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided

2 cups baby spinach (about 2 ounces)

1 ounce crumbled queso fresco (about 1/4 cup)

Tortilla chips (optional; for serving)

Preheat oven to 450°F. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Toss with 1 Tbsp. oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. cayenne, and 1/4 tsp. cumin on a rimmed baking sheet. Arrange cut side up and roast until fork-tender, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium skillet over medium. Add onion and half of garlic and cook, stirring, until onion starts to release moisture and turns translucent, 2–3 minutes. Add beans, broth, 1/4 tsp. salt, and remaining 1/4 tsp. cayenne and 1/4 tsp. cumin and cook until liquid is reduced and beans soften, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mash avocado and remaining garlic in a medium bowl with a fork until smooth. Stir in 2 Tbsp. cilantro, 1 Tbsp. lime juice, and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt. Add spinach and remaining 1 Tbsp. lime juice to bean mixture. Continue to cook until spinach wilts, about 30 seconds.

Using the back of a spoon, gently push down in center of potato halves to create a divot. Spoon bean mixture into potato halves, then top evenly with 2 Tbsp. avocado mixture, queso fresco, and remaining 1 Tbsp. cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips, if using, and remaining avocado dip alongside.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Chickpea Salad

Don't tell your kid self (they wouldn't believe you) but brussels sprouts CAN in fact be delicious, and this salad proves it.

Recipe courtesy of Self.com.

1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained

12 Brussels sprouts, halved

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped

1/4 teaspoon curry powder

Salt

Pepper

1 ounce fata, crumbled

10 almonds, chopped

Heat oven to 400°. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. On sheet pan, toss chickpeas, brussels sprouts, oil, sage, and curry powder. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until brussels sprouts are soft and brown at the edges, and chickpeas are browned in places, 25 to 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. Toss with feta and almonds.

For the Meat Lovers

10-Minute Chicken Flatbread

The title says it all—you'll spend no time making this yummy flatbread! Have a flatbread party and invite your friends over to show off the how effortless an entertainer you are.

Recipe courtesy of Epicurious.

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, thinly sliced crosswise

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for serving

3 mini seedless cucumbers, sliced into 1/4" coins (about 8 ounces)

1 large tomato, cut into 1/2" cubes (about 12 ounces)

1 (10-ounce) container hummus

1 cup plain unsweetened yogurt (either Greek or regular)

1/4 cup parsley leaves (optional)

4 pitas

Lemon wedges and flaky sea salt (for serving)

Toss chicken with cumin, kosher salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over high. Add chicken mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl. Meanwhile, heat broiler. Divide cucumbers and tomato among small serving bowls. Spoon hummus and yogurt into separate serving bowls. Broil pitas just until warmed, about 2 minutes. Serve chicken, cucumbers, tomato, hummus, yogurt, and parsley, if using, with lemon wedges, sea salt, and more oil alongside so everyone can assemble their own flatbreads as desired.

Chorizo–Sweet Potato Breakfast Tacos

Chorizo and sweet potatoes: two of our favorite ingredients. Make for breakfast or have breakfast for dinner!

Recipe courtesy of Bon Appétit.

4 SERVINGS

Lime Crema

1/3 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Tacos

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 Mexican chorizo sausages (about 8 oz.) , casings removed

1 large sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1⁄4" pieces

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

8 large eggs

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

8 6" flour tortillas, warmed

Tomatillo Salsa

Cilantro leaves with tender stems (for serving)

For the lime crema: Mix sour cream and lime juice in a small bowl; cover and chill.

For the tacos: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook chorizo, breaking up meat and stirring occasionally, until browned and fat is rendered, 6–8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chorizo to paper towels to drain (do not pour off fat from skillet). Add sweet potato to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and tender, 8–10 minutes. Mix in chili powder and cayenne, season with black pepper, and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towels to drain; season with salt.

Meanwhile, whisk eggs in a large bowl to blend; season with salt and pepper. Heat butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook eggs, stirring occasionally and scraping bottom of skillet with a heatproof spatula to form large curds, until just set, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in chorizo. Fill tortillas with egg mixture and sweet potatoes and top with lime crema, Tomatillo Salsa, and cilantro.

BBQ Chicken French Bread Pizzas With Smoked Mozzarella

This recipe uses one of our go-to tricks for making life (aka cooking) infinitely easier: rotisserie chicken!

Recipe courtesy of Epicurious)

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 (12–14") soft loaf French or Italian bread, split in half lengthwise

1 garlic clove, smashed

2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce, divided

3/4 cup coarsely grated smoked mozzarella (about 3 ounces)

3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Position rack in top third of oven and preheat to 425°F. Heat oil over low in a medium skillet. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Set aside. Place bread, cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet and bake 5 minutes. Remove from oven and rub cut sides with garlic. Toss chicken with 1/4 cup barbecue sauce in a medium bowl. Spread remaining 6 Tbsp. sauce on cut sides of bread. Layer reserved onions on sauce, then top with chicken mixture and mozzarella. Bake until cheese is melted and golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Top with cilantro.

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