Since my son is Gluten Intolerant we always try and make sure to serve as many Gluten Free meals as possible. He doesn’t have Celiac Disease where he could die if he has any Gluten. His body doesn’t like the Gluten and he has terrible stomach pains as well as a few other symptoms. We had a hefty stockpile of Tums in our cabinet until we narrowed down what the problem was and since removing most wheat from his diet, his symptoms have all but disappeared. Anyone who has to shop for a specific non-traditional food type knows how expensive it can be, so I have to be creative when shopping for our meals. Keeping our dinners under $5 can be tricky sometimes but I have figured out which foods are already Gluten Free (tacos for example) and modifying recipes to accommodate for my son.
I found this recipe on the Progresso Recipe Starter when I was shopping at The Dollar Tree a few weeks ago and knew it could work. I modified it a little bit anyway so I will list the ingredients I used and then how I altered it a little bit for my son.
You will need:
8 oz uncooked spaghetti
1/3 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs or Rice Flour for Gluten Free Version
1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese
4 Boneless Chicken Breasts, flattened slightly (I used already cut up Chicken Breast Tenders)
1 Can (18oz) Progresso Recipe Starters Fire-Roasted Tomato Cooking Sauce
1 Cup (4oz) Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees if you are cooking Garlic Bread
2. In large Resealable food storage plastic bag, mix bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese together (I also added in some Garlic Herb Mrs. Dash seasoning). Shake each chicken breast in crumb mixture; set aside. *I also took another bag and added in a 1/8 cup of Rice Flour and 1/8 cup of Parmesan cheese for my son’s chicken.
3. Start boiling water for Spaghetti. Then, in 12-in Skillet heat 2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil over Med-High heat. Add Chicken Breasts; cook 6-10 minutes, turning once, until browned. I do the same thing in a small skillet for my son’s chicken (so they don’t get mixed up).
4. Put Spaghetti noodles in to cook; follow cooking time on package. Since I used the Gluten Free Spaghetti, there is no wiggle room. If you have ever cooked them for too long or not long enough, you will know what I am talking about.
5. Pour Recipe Starters Cooking Sauce around chicken; sprinkle chicken with remaining bread crumb mixture (same directions for Gluten free version). Heat to boiling. Cover, reduce heat to low-medium for about 8 minutes (until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut-at least 165 degrees)
6. I then took the drained Spaghetti and and put it into a baking dish that had been sprayed with non-stick spray beforehand. I poured the chicken/sauce mixture on top of it and put the mozzarella cheese on top of it and put it in the oven for the 8 minutes it took for my garlic bread to cook! (For my sons’ version-I do the same thing but in a smaller baking dish and just cook it alongside it). *The original directions just have it cooked in the skillet. However, I have found that by baking the spaghetti for Gluten free that it tastes much better. The noodles absorb the taste of the sauce and really tastes pretty good.
*This recipe says 4 servings-but they are 4 large servings!! There is enough for lunch for 1-2 the next day!
So, how does it come out to $5 for the meal? Here is the breakdown:
*I used Gluten Free Rice Spaghetti that were on clearance for $0.99 per box at Kroger
*I found the Panko Crumbs on sale for $1 at Hays-local grocery store. I used less than 1/5 of the box so that is $0.20. For my son’s breading, I used Rice Flour that I actually got FREE at Kroger after the MIR
*Got the Parmesan Cheese for $.49 at Kroger; used less than 1/5 of it so that is $0.10
*The Chicken Breast Tenders are part of a regular promotion at Hays-local grocery store. They run the promotion Buy any 5 of the certain items for $19.99 (or $4 each). I then search the meat items for the largest weight size. In this case, I was able to get almost 2 lbs for $4-when it was marked almost $6! I used half of the chicken and saved the other half for dinner Thursday-meaning I spent $2 for this meal.
*The Progresso is selling for .50 each at the Dollar Tree
*Last week, they had the Kraft Cheeses on sale B1G1 free at $2.69 for both bags. So, I paid $1.35 for each bag and used half of one bag for this meal making it $0.68.
*I got the Garlic Bread on sale at Target for $.99 and used half of it for this meal (4 pieces) meaning $0.50.
My total comes out to: $4.87!!!
Links provided may be from affiliate programs which help support this blog. Thanks for clicking!