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


  • 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)


  • 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)


Major Savings Challenge Commences!

Marc and I are in the process of buying a home. We just had an offer accepted on a short-sale house, so we have anywhere from 6 weeks to several months (and please God, not longer than several months!) before we make our down-payment, closing costs, and sign the papers for our new home (and then spend money on small upgrades/needs, like paint and such).

Currently, we are pretty much able to spend whatever on groceries, eat out when we want (a little too often), and put some money away in savings too. But in a few months, things are going to get tighter:

A new home also means higher monthly living costs for us (because where we live, housing is not cheap, and the housing market here is not cheaper than renting, plus all those extra utility costs).

We have a baby on the way (due mid-May!).

My mother is living with us (and has not been able to find a job yet, especially since the county we live in, and all the surrounding counties are on the top 10 list of places with the highest unemployment in the country).

I would like to continue to not work, and stay home with our child and future children and on top of all that, I still have the joy of paying student loans.

We already do not pay for cable, just $8 for Netflix. Our internet and phone bill are also non-negotiable. Marc and I don’t regularly go shopping or buy things we don’t need. I don’t buy paper towels or napkins, and I wash my hair 2x a week, so there are mainly two places where we can save:

Grocery Shopping

Eating Out

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