Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Under $10 Recipe: Pesto Alfredo Spaghetti with Chicken and Broccoli

I made the following 8 serving recipe for $7.35 (before taxes).  The recipe itself is not necessarily groundbreaking but it shows what a keen eye can find you and how a few additions can bulk up the base meal.  This turned out to be a meal that would be great to serve to friends or for filling and energy providing lunches.  All of these items were bought at Target (the ones in the north have grocery sections as well as dry food).

You will need:

1 6-pack Perdue Chicken Thighs ($1.26)
1 box Market Pantry Whole Wheat Thin Spaghetti ($1.09)
2 16oz bags Market Pantry Broccoli Cuts ($0.99 each)
1 jar Archer Farms Basil Pesto Alfredo Sauce ($2.99)
2 cups spaghetti cooking water reserved

Fill a large pot 3/4 full of water and put over high heat on the stove.  Cut the chicken thighs into bite-sized cubes and then season liberally with salt and pepper.  Cook thighs in a skillet with a a small bit of oil then set to the side.  When the large pot begins to boil salt heavily and add the two bags of broccoli (bring back to a boil) and cook for 6-7 minutes.  If the pot is large enough you can also add the spaghetti at this step.  If not, cook the broccoli, use a handheld strainer to remove it then add the spaghetti to the boiling water.  Cook 6-7 for listed spaghetti or follow the box if using a different brand.  Before you drain the spaghetti reserve 2 cups of the cooking water.  Drain spaghetti and add it, the broccoli, and the chicken back into the large pot.  Pour Pesto Alfredo over the top and mix in.  If you need to thin the sauce add the reserved pasta water as needed.
Serves ~8

A few notes about the recipe.  I found the thighs on clearance with a $3 off coupon, look to see what is on sale at your store.  The broccoli cuts add a good bit of bulk and nice texture but have more stems and less florets so if you prefer more florets you might substitute for the Green Giant Brand or buy a head of broccoli and chop it up.  Finally, you can really choose what sauce you wish for this, especially if you don't like pesto.  I would imagine you could cut off another dollar or so with a different stores pesto Alfredo sauce.  

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