Saturday, March 7, 2009

Another budget friendly meal coming your way

OK, I have to admit, I love the Sandra Lee cookbook. It really has some very good ideas and the stuff is so good too!
Creamy Penne Pesto Bake
8 ounces penne pasta
1 1/2 cup Alfredo sauce
1 jar (5 oz) pesto sauce, Classico
1 can (13.75 oz) artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend
2 packets (6 oz each) grilled chicken strips
1/2 cup roasted red peppers
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 375, Lightly spray 2 1/2 qt casserole dish with spray. Set aside
In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook pasta for 1 minute less than directed on package. Drain and set aside
For creamy pesto, in a meduim bowl, stir together Alfredo sauce and pesto, set aside
In a large bowl toss to combine artichoke hearts, Italian cheese blend, chicken and roasted red peppers. Add cooked pasta and creamy pesto; using a rubber spatula, fold together until well mixed. Transfer to prepared casserole dish.
In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and oil; sprinkle over paste. Bake in preheated oven for 30 - 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Ok, now here is what I did to it. I bought the Alfredo and looked around for roasted red peppers. I never did find them, but it worked out nicely for me. I didn't look at the sauce when I bought it, turns out, I bought Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo sauce. PERFECT.
I don't buy the grilled Tyson chicken in the bag, that stuff is outrageously expensive. So, improvise. Grill the chicken yourself!
Instead of buying shredded cheese, I purchased Polly-O mozzarella. It cost more for you to buy the already shredded stuff.
And I purchase a small jar of artichokes, drained and rinsed them, chopped them myself.

Total cost of everything.

Classico Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo, bogo free.... 1.29
Classico Pesto sauce, 10 oz jar 1.29
Ronzoni Penne (only used 1/2 box) bogo free .60
Polly-O Mozzarella(16 oz, only used 8 oz) 2.50
Chicken Breast (3 breasts) 2.69
Artichokes 1.30
Total 9.67

Now, since I didn't use everything, this is how my meal breaks down

Classico Sauce 1.29
Pesto, only used 5 oz out of 10 oz jar .65
Ronzoni penne, only used 8 oz out of 16 oz box .30
Polly-O Mozzarella only used 1/2 of the 16 oz 1.25
Chicken Breasts (got on sale at Sams for 2.69/lb) 2.69
Artichokes 1.30
My total cost 7.48
Which means that each of us ate dinner for $1.50 per serving. We each had the initial serving and went back for a bit more. Turns out that there was enough for someone's lunch the next day. So, for 5 servings, I paid $1.50 per serving for a dinner that was very good.
Big difference when you have to add everything up and see how much you really spend.
This way makes me more creative with dinners.
So, enjoy and save money.
Until next the next budget friendly dinner, Les bonnes tables (good dining)


Elaine said...

Looks like another delicious meal!