5 Budget Friendly Filipino Recipes

Dec 22, 2017 | Budget, Recipes | 0 comments

Filipino Recipes

I was born in the Philippines, but grew up most of my life in the U.S. However, my parents always cooked filipino food for me and my brother.

We moved here for the opportunity of a better life, but the early years were lean and my parents didn’t have the means to serve us steak and lobster every day.

So my Mom had to make due with the little money they had, and serve us the most delicious dishes she can make at a budget they can afford.

Fortunately, there are many filipino meals that can be created on a tiny budget. That’s the beauty of filipino food. Only a few key ingredients are needed to make a variety of delicious meals that won’t break the budget.

Here are a few of my favorites that you can try today:

Beef Nilaga Recipe

When it’s cold and I want something warm and soothing to eat, I go for Nilaga. Of course, you can eat Nilaga anytime of the year, but my best memories are those days of eating Nilaga on cold, winter nights.

Boiled beef soup, or Nilaga, originate with the peasant class filipinos. Inexpensive cuts of beef were the only option for working class filipinos who could not afford the more expensive cuts of meat. Today of course, you can choose any meat cut you desire. But, I still prefer using beef chuck when making nilaga.

In addition to the meat, you can add any type of vegetable you like. I typically put potatoes, cabbage, carrots and string beans.

Get the Yummy PH recipe here: Beef Nilaga Recipe

Chicken Adobo

Philippine adobo, which is Spanish for marinade, is both a dish and cooking process that involves cooking meat primarily in vinegar, soy sauce and garlic. Filipinos from the 16th century were discovered using this cooking process of marinating their meat before cooking.

There are countless variations of this simple dish. Two people in the same household can cook the same dish, but produce two totally different tastes. I prefer my adobo more sour, while Leny prefers it more salty.

Panglasang Pinoy’s version of chicken adobo will give you a traditional sense of how it should be made. For under $20, with only a few necessary ingredients, this meal can feed a family dinner.

Get the Panlasang Pinoy recipe here: Chicken Adobo

Tortang Talong

Eggplant is a staple vegetable in our filipino household. One of my Mom’s favorite vegetable is eggplant and she would often make tortang talong or eggplant omelette when she had a craving.

This dish can be cooked with just the eggplant or you can add ground pork for additional protein. I prefer to eat this with pork because it more filling and adds additional flavor.

With three main ingredients being eggs, eggplant and pork, this is the perfect budget friendly filipino recipe you can cook any day of the week.

Get the Yummly PH recipe here: Tortang talong.

Chicken Arroz Caldo

Growing up in a filipino household in America was like living two different cultures. When I’m away from home, I can eat the many different types of cultural foods that Los Angeles has to offer. But at home, I enjoyed eating the comfort foods my parents grew up with.

One of those comfort food dishes was Chicken Arroz Caldo. Translated in Spanish, arroz caldo means rice soup. It’s super easy to make and enjoy topping mine with green onions, fried garlic and little bit of calamansi.

With this dish, you can’t get any more budget friendly. Jasmine rice, chicken thighs, onions, ginger, garlic, calamansi and soy sauce are the main ingredients. To feed 4-6 people for less than $20 in ingredients, this is the perfect budget dish to make any day of the week.

Get the WishfulChef recipe here: Chicken Arroz Caldo


What’s good about keeping a budget if you can’t enjoy yourself? One Filipino dessert that I love to treat myself is Bibingka. Bibingka is a Philippine rice cake, usually eaten for breakfast, special occasions or during the Christmas season.

I eat it whenever I have a craving, so that can be all year round. My Dad knew that I loved to eat bibingka and he would make it for us as often as he could. He was the chef in the family, so he always tweaked his recipe to see if he can make it better than the last.

Fortunately, it’s super easy to make and affordable. The main ingredients are rice flour, coconut milk, butter and some eggs. This makes it really cheap to make and can fill the tummy’s of a whole family for under $10.

Get the Kawaling Pinoy recipe here: Bibingka

Give It A Try

If you’ve never tried Filipino food, I recommend you start with this list here. Our dishes are simple, delicious and most importantly, affordable to make.

Give them a try and let me know what you think by leaving a comment or sending me a message. If you like this article, spread the love and share it on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

Thanks and enjoy.


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