Diabetes Diet on a Budget: 3 Recipes

Diabetes Diet on a Budget

Get your diabetes diet on a budget started with these three recipe ideas.

Are you wondering how to eat a healthy diabetic diet without breaking the bank? If so, you will be thrilled to learn how easy it can actually be. Preparing and enjoying delicious and nutritious food doesn’t have to put a major dent in  your bank account. The key is building a solid list of foundational foods that are healthy and affordable, and basing some of your meals around these foods. And, if you feel like you are inexperienced in the kitchen, learning some basic cooking skills such as sautéing, steaming and roasting can also build your food repertoire. Consider foods such as chicken breast, eggs, low-fat cottage cheese, beans, nut butters, produce, steel cut oats, and low-sodium frozen vegetables. In addition, you can search online for easy and affordable diabetic recipes. Here are three recipes to help get your diabetes diet on a budget started:

Chicken and Bean Casserole

Did you know that soaking and cooking your own beans not only will save you money but it also greatly decreases sodium content vs. buying canned beans? Here is a great recipe to try from Diabetic Living Online, and it only costs $1.73 per serving!


8 ounces dried Great Northern beans (1-1/4 cups)
1 tablespoon canola oil or olive oil
6 chicken thighs (about 2-1/4 pounds total), skinned
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
1 stalk celery, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14 1/2 – ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
6 ounces light, cooked smoked sausage, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)


Rinse the  beans. In a large saucepan combine beans and 4 cups cold water. Bring to boil and reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover; let stand for 1 hour. (Or, soak beans in water overnight in a covered pan.) Drain beans and rinse. In the same saucepan combine beans and 4 cups cold water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until tender. Drain beans.

Next, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken; reduce heat to medium-low. Brown chicken about 10 minutes, turning once to brown both sides. Remove chicken from skillet. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of drippings from the skillet.

Add carrots, onion, celery, and garlic to drippings in skillet. Cover and cook about 10 minutes or vegetables are just tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in drained beans, undrained tomatoes, sausage, thyme, salt, and, if desired, cayenne pepper. Bring to boiling. Transfer mixture to a 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Arrange chicken thighs on top. Bake, uncovered, about 25 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (180 degrees F). Makes 6 servings (1 chicken thigh with about 3/4 cup bean mixture per serving).

Oven BBQ Chicken

At fifty cents per serving, this dish from Diabetes.org is cheap and delicious. Put over rice or add a baked sweet potato to finish this off.


1/4 cup white vinegar
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon corn oil
1/2 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons finely diced onion
2 tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark)
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
4, 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350⁰ F. Combine all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.

Place chicken in a 9×13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover chicken evenly with 1 cup barbecue sauce.

Back for 20-25 minutes, baste with remaining sauce, and cook another 5-10 minutes (or until chicken is tender and no longer pink).

Parmesan Baked Fish

Another great recipe from Diabetic Living online to add to your diabetes diet on a budget, this one only involves five easy ingredients. Plus, it costs less than $2.00 a serving!


4 ounces fresh or frozen skinless salmon or other firm fish fillets, about 1 inch thick
1/4 cup light mayonnaise or salad dressing
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives or sliced green onion
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce for chicken


Thaw fish, if frozen. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Rinse fish; pat dry with paper towels. Set aside.

In small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, chives, and Worcestershire sauce. Spread mayonnaise mixture over fish. Place in greased 2-quart square or rectangular baking dish. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Makes 4 servings.


Looking for more great recipes for your diabetes diet on a budget? Read more on www.BetterHealthKare.com for recipe ideas, travel tips, lifestyle advice and more.

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