Creamy Cajun Pastalaya - Budget Recipe for Family of 4

$10 Cajun Dinners for a Family of 4

Being from the South, one of the hardest things for anyone to do is budget for food. There’s something great about cooking delicious meals that everyone enjoys eating. Food really brings everyone together, especially down here!

Having to budget for creating all of your favorite meals is something that doesn’t sit well with anyone, especially when it ends up being a bland, simple meat and veggie meal that you make at the last minute “just because.”

We got together to create, tweak and make some Cajun dinners that can feed a family of four! So now y’all can eat a delicious meal and only spend $10 a night (which is cheaper and way tastier than any take-out you can get)! Use these recipes to bring some cheap and tasty Southern cooking to your table:

Cajun Chicken “Bird Bag”

Cajun Chicken "Bird Bag" $10 Cajun Dinner

The Cajun Chicken “Bird Bag” is super easy to make, and it makes dinner time so much easier for anyone on the go! You can prepare the ingredients and dump it in a crockpot or put everything but the potatoes in a bag and freeze it for later.

It tastes great on its own or as a sandwich on French bread (potatoes on the side).

  • 2 Bell Peppers, Julienned – $1.58
  • 1 Onion, Sliced – $0.79
  • 2 ½ Pounds Chicken Breasts – $5.00
  • 3 Pounds Potatoes, Cubed – $1.50
  • 1 Teaspoon Chicken Bouillon Powder – $0.10
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Cajun Seasoning – $0.15
  • 1 Teaspoon Thyme – $0.04
  • 1 Teaspoon Oregano – $0.04

Total Cost = $9.60

Steps:

  1. Take your chicken breasts and pat them dry. Add them to your crockpot.
  2. Take your bell peppers, onion and potatoes and dice them up. Add these on top of the chicken.
  3. Take your bouillon seasoning and add it to your cup of water. Mix well.
  4. Add your liquid and the rest of the seasonings to the crockpot.
  5. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

Creamy Cajun Pastalaya

Here’s a dish that’s sure to wow at your house or next get-together! Creamy Cajun Pastalaya is all of your favorite foods in one pot.

When we were testing this dish at our Corporate HQ, our team members ate every last bite and couldn’t wait to get their hands on the recipe!

  • 1 Box of Spaghetti or Linguini Noodles – $1.00
  • 1 ½ Pound Chicken Breasts, Cubed – $2.96
  • 1 Bell Pepper, Julienned – $0.79
  • 1 Onion, Sliced – $0.79
  • 1 Celery Stalk, Diced – $0.20
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic – $0.03
  • ¼ Pound Andouille Sausage, Sliced and Halved – $1.47
  • 1 ½ Teaspoon Bouillon Chicken Powder – $0.15
  • 1 ½ Cup Water
  • ½ Cup Heavy Cream – $1.05
  • ½ Cup (4 Ounces) Mild Shredded Cheese of Choice – $0.75
  • 1 Teaspoon Oregano – $0.04
  • ½ Teaspoon Thyme – $0.02
  • 1 ½ Tablespoon Cajun Seasoning – $0.24
  • ½ Tablespoon Olive Oil – $0.12

Total Cost = $9.61

Steps:

  1. Heat your pot over medium heat.
  2. Boil your noodles according to the directions on the box. Strain.
  3. Clean out your pot (or use a separate pot), and add in your olive oil.
  4. Toss in your cubed chicken breasts.
  5. Add in your oregano, thyme and 1 tablespoon of Cajun seasoning. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add in your andouille and cook for about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add in your onion, celery and minced garlic to the pot. Cook this for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onion is translucent.
  8. Add in your pepper and ¼ tablespoon of Cajun seasoning. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. While this is cooking, whisk together the bouillon chicken powder and water in a cup.
  10. Add the bouillon mix, heavy cream and ¼ tablespoon of Cajun seasoning to the pot.
  11. Bring this to a boil and add your pasta and ½ cup of shredded cheese.
  12. Stir all of this together and serve immediately.
    Optional: Garnish with parsley and green onions.

Creamy Cajun Potato Soup

This creamy Cajun potato soup is perfect for any cold day! To top it off, it’s extremely easy to make; just set it and forget it!

  • ½ Pound Andouille Sausage, Sliced and Halved – $2.93
  • 1 30-Ounce Bag Shredded Hash Browns – $2.75
  • 3 Teaspoons Bouillon Chicken Powder – $0.30
  • 3 Cups Water
  • 1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup – $1.50
  • 8 Ounces Cream Cheese – $1.96
  • ½ White Onion, Diced – $0.40
  • 1 Tablespoon Cajun Seasoning – $0.15
  • ½ Teaspoon Thyme – $0.02

Total Cost = $9.91

Not on a super tight budget and want to take this up a notch? Add more fresh veggies like carrots and celery to make it pop with color!

Steps:

  1. Take your bag of hash browns and diced onion, and dump them in your crockpot.
  2. Take your sausage and add it to the crockpot. You can use any brand, but I prefer Manda or Savoie’s.
  3. Whisk together the bouillon chicken powder and water, and add it to the pot with your cream cheese and cream of chicken soup.
  4. Sprinkle your Cajun seasoning and thyme on top. Stir well.
  5. Leave in your crockpot on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally.

What’s your favorite budget meal that you cook for your family? Let us know in the comments below!

Lover of writing, learning and teaching others about new things. Proud foodie. Sometimes I mix all of these subjects together.