My new favorite: Chicken in tomato and basil cream sauce

We have been in kind of a food slump lately; nothing seems to sound very good and we needed a bit more variety. I needed to eat something new and different! I also didn’t want to be prepping and cooking food all evening when I want and need to spend more time with my baby and husband. I looked around on Pinterest (which makes me mostly just want to bake) and was inspired by a photo on The Big Oven. I wasn’t a fan of all the ingredients so I came up with my own version and used tomatoes instead of pimentos and left out a few ingredients. The result? DELICIOUSNESS. I’m making this chicken again, soon!

Ingredients:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (we used 5)
  • Fat of your choice for cooking chicken
  • 2 tsp Italian Seasoning, or to taste
  • 2 tsp garlic powder, or to taste
  • 2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I used the kind with oregano and other herbs) or 1-2 cups diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1/3-1/2 cup fresh basil, diced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or asiago cheese

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Chicken and Broccoli in Creamy Pesto Sauce

We had my mother and father-in-law over for dinner Saturday night and served them one of my favorite dishes: Chicken and broccoli in creamy pesto sauce. For convenience, this recipe utilizes cream sauce and pesto that is already made, feel free to make your own sauce for this recipe.

This meal is usually a treat for us because of the cream sauce. This meal also isn’t the cheapest, but there are ways to save. I wish I was able to take pictures of this lovely dish, but we were busy entertaining and busy eating and there was none left afterwards!

Chicken and Broccoli in Creamy Pesto Sauce
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • About 2 lbs chicken breast (I bought in bulk and on sale, and paid about 81 cents per serving, $3.25 total)
  • 2 heads of broccoli, cut into florets – $3 total
  • 1 container fresh pesto $4.99 (or, save money and buy the pesto flavor packet in the marinade aisle – $1.99)
  • 1 container fresh Alfredo sauce $3.99 (or, buy in a jar, $2.50)

Total – $15.23, or $3.80 pp – using budget shortcuts, $10.74, $2.68 pp

Optional recipe enhancement:

  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into small discs, with heads set aside – 80 cents
  • 3 tbsp butter – 89 cents (and we use butter that is about $7 a pound)
  • 5 cloves garlic, diced – 40 cents

Enhancement cost: $2.09, 52 cents a person (less if you don’t use pastured butter)

Directions:

  • Season chicken breasts with pepper, garlic powder, and anything else you may like
  • Cut asparagus into thin discs, leaving the heads intact
  • Grill chicken breasts in large pan, set aside
  • Add butter, garlic, and asparagus to separate pan and cook on low until garlic starts to brown, set aside (optional step)
  • Meanwhile, cook broccoli until crisp tender
  • To make sauce – combine Alfredo sauce and 2/3-1 whole container (to taste) of pesto (or whole envelope), simmer in small pot until warmed through, may add milk if too thick. Add garlic asparagus mixture if using.
  • Mix broccoli with sauce and serve over chicken (if you are a pasta eater, this tastes great with pasta)
  • Enjoy!

Total meal cost for 4 people: about $10.74-$17.32, depending on ingredients used (prices will also vary with where you buy your ingredients and if they are on sale or not)