3 easy chicken recipes to save money and time on groceries this week

Finding smart ways to keep costs down on dinner doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on taste, flavor or feeling full.

Inflation has been on the rise since last spring, hitting a 40-year high in March, with analyst predictions of an 8.1% rise in April from the same time last year. The overall increase in the food index was one of the three largest contributors to inflation, according to the latest Labor Department report, at 9.4%.

By honing in on one main ingredient for the bulk of the budget, adding a couple pantry staples you already have and spending a few more bucks on fresh herbs and vegetables, you can come up with a recipe for a successful money-saving meal.

Roberta Pipito, Homemade Delish founder and food blogger, shared her approach to creating three delicious and different dishes using a staple ingredient like chicken. Plus, she offered an idea to keep in mind next time you’re deciding the quantity and cut of chicken to buy at the store.

“It seems as though we are all on a tight budget these days, which makes cooking for a family a little more stressful,” Pipito said. “It doesn’t have to be. Using one main ingredient to create multiple meals for the week can help.”

Her top tip: “When buying chicken, buy it in bulk and separate the pieces in freezer bags to place in the freezer for another weeknight meal.”

Check out her cost-effective recipes below.

Chicken basil vinaigrette

Total: $26.22


4 chicken breasts (1.25 lbs. $8.99)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Juice of 1 large orange ($1.25)

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary ($2.19)

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

basil dressing

1 cup fresh basil ($4.79)

1/2 cup parsley ($1.25)

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove

1 teaspoon pine nuts ($6.50)

1/4 cup red wine vinegar, more if desired


For the marinade: Place all of the above ingredients in a food processor. Set aside until ready to use.

In a large freezer bag, add chicken. In a medium bowl, whisk the above ingredients. Pour over chicken and marinate for at least 30 minutes. Place on grill and cook for about 5-6 minutes per side, depending on the size of the chicken breast.

Let rest for a couple of minutes before cutting.

Chicken marsala bowtie pasta

Total: $20.89

1 lb. chicken breast, cut into cubes (1 lb. $5.99)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion (chopped) ($0.99)
1 pound shiitake mushrooms, diced ($3.99)
1 garlic clove, diced
1 cup Marsala wine ($3.99)
8 oz mascarpone cheese ($2.99)
2 Dijon mustard teaspoons
1 cup parsley, chopped ($1.25)
Pasta of choice ($1.69)


On medium to high heat add 1 tablespoon of butter and EVOO. Add onions, sauté for about 2 minutes. Add garlic and season. Next, season the chicken with salt and pepper and cut into cubes. Add the chicken and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Now, add the mushrooms and another tablespoon of butter; sauté for another 3-4 minutes until the mushrooms wilt down.

In a small bowl, whisk together the mascarpone and Dijon mustard. Set aside. Now, add the Marsala wine and mascarpone mixture to the chicken. Mix together until everything is well incorporated and creamy. Add 1/2 cup of the parsley. Lower the heat to medium, cover for 12-15 minutes. Finally, add the cooked pasta to the sauce. Toss everything together and top with additional parsley.

Thai chicken lettuce wraps

Pipito said this is also a great dish to get dinner on the table in under 30 minutes.

Total: $26.73

1 1/2 lbs. chicken breast, cut into cubes (1.50 lbs. $8.99)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, diced ($3.99)
1 cup bell peppers, whatever colored desired ($1.49)
1 cup water chestnuts, diced ($0.99)
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped or minced
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ginger, minced or chopped Finley ($1.05)
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce ($2.49)
3 scallion stalks, chopped ($1.50)
1/2 cup cilantro ($1.25)
Zest and juice of 1 small lime ($0.99)
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
Boston lettuce cups, iceberg, or Romaine lettuce ($3.99)


Chop chicken into cubes. Preheat a large skillet on medium high heat.

Add oil to hot pan. Add chicken and sear meat for about 3 minutes.

Add mushrooms and cook another minute or two. Add salt and pepper to season, then add peppers, garlic and ginger. Cook for another minute. Add hoisin sauce and grate lime zest into pan. Next, add chopped water chestnuts, scallions and cilantro. Cook another minute and stir until everything is well incorporated.

To serve, pile spoonfuls into lettuce leaves, wrapping lettuce around filling. Enjoy!

Recipes reprinted courtesy of Homemade Delish.


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