The Best Cheap Weeknight-Meal Ideas

Brangelina. Kimye. And now, the latest addition to the family of hashtag-able duos: brinner. This breakfast-and-dinner hybrid descends from brunch, the breakfast-lunch combo that’s given hungover late-risers everywhere the chance to have waffles well past breakfast time. We’ve all indulged in a bowl of sugary cereal too late in the day. Or craved pancakes at 9 p.m.

Not only is breakfast delicious any time of the day, it’s cost-efficient. For example, one carton of eggs alone yields a handful of dinner-time mains, not to mention tastes good with everything. Here are three brinner recipes that cost less than $5 per serving and will have you craving the early-bird special, all the time.
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Photographed by Justin Walker; Food Styling by Victoria Granof at Cornelia Adams; Prop Styling by Kaitlyn du Ross Walker at Honey Artists.
Baked Eggs With Tomato & Pesto
Eggs are an inexpensive protein to include with any meal. In this dish, they get a colorful dinner upgrade by getting paired with delicious homemade or purchased pesto.
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Photographed by Justin Walker; Food Styling by Victoria Granof at Cornelia Adams; Prop Styling by Kaitlyn du Ross Walker at Honey Artists.
Baked Eggs With Tomato & Pesto
Makes 1 serving

Ingredients
2 eggs
2-3 slices of Roma tomato
2-3 tbsp homemade or purchased pesto
Grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Crusty bread, for serving

Homemade Basil Walnut Pesto
1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. In a ceramic ramekin or small single-serving baking dish, crack 2 eggs. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

2. Layer tomato slices. Top with 2 to 3 tablespoons of pesto and some grated Parmesan cheese. Drizzle with olive oil.

3. Bake in oven about 20-25 minutes, or until eggs are set but still runny. Eat with bread.
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Photographed by Justin Walker; Food Styling by Victoria Granof at Cornelia Adams; Prop Styling by Kaitlyn du Ross Walker at Honey Artists.
Egg-&-Avocado Tostada
Avocado and eggs become a satisfying combo for dinner, especially sitting on top of a crunchy tortilla. This meal is also customizable — garnish it with whatever additional ingredients you have in your fridge, and it’s guaranteed to be a winner. (If you don't want to go the tortilla route, you can serve the whole thing over quinoa.)
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Photographed by Justin Walker; Food Styling by Victoria Granof at Cornelia Adams; Prop Styling by Kaitlyn du Ross Walker at Honey Artists.
Egg-&-Avocado Tostada
Makes 1 serving

Ingredients
Olive oil
1-2 tortillas
2 eggs
1/2 avocado, sliced
1 1/2 tbsp chopped red onions
1 tbsp chopped tomatoes
1 tsp cilantro
Salt and pepper, to taste
Sliced lemon, for serving (optional)
Cotija cheese, for serving (optional)
Hot sauce, for serving (optional)

Instructions
1. In a small pan over medium heat, add oil. When heated, fry tortilla until lightly crisp and edges are brown. Transfer to plate.

2. Add oil to pan. Then, add eggs and cook until set but still runny. Set on top of fried tortilla.

3. Top with avocado slices, onions, tomatoes, and cilantro. Squeeze lemon juice on top. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and optional toppings.
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Photographed by Justin Walker; Food Styling by Victoria Granof at Cornelia Adams; Prop Styling by Kaitlyn du Ross Walker at Honey Artists.
Savory Oatmeal
Oatmeal isn’t everyone’s go-to dish in the morning, but it can certainly become a soothing way to end the day. This savory take may sound strange, but it's sure to become a weeknight staple.
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Photographed by Justin Walker; Food Styling by Victoria Granof at Cornelia Adams; Prop Styling by Kaitlyn du Ross Walker at Honey Artists.
Savory Oatmeal
Makes 1-2 servings

Ingredients
2 cups water
1 cup oats
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1-2 scallions, chopped
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
Salt and pepper, to taste
Red pepper flakes, for serving (optional)
Sriracha, for serving (optional)
Sautéed shiitake mushrooms, for serving (optional)

Instructions
1. Cook oatmeal according to package instructions, but use water instead of milk. (In a time crunch? Use plain instant oatmeal.) Remove from heat, and transfer to bowl.

2. Drizzle with soy sauce and sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

3. Top with scallions, cilantro, and sesame seeds.
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