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Frugal Meals: Chicken Rotini

The past two frugal food Sunday’s have featured common and popular dishes. It quite probable that you already knew how to make roast chicken and even golumpki’s. This week though I have a recipe that I’m guessing you don’t make on a regular basis. In fact, you may have never even tried it. I’ve been making this since my college days 25 years ago, so I guess you could say the recipe has stood the test of time.

This Sunday’s frugal meal is…Chicken Rotini!

If you aren’t familiar with this dish, it is a simple one to prepare and make. And best of all it is cheap! Chicken, pasta, onions, spices and a bit of Parmesan cheese and you have one heck of a meal. And it reheats pretty well too, so you’ve also got leftovers for the rest of the week. No more excuses about why you had to go out for lunch.

Chicken Rotini

(makes 2-3 servings)

Here’s your list of ingredients:

  • 8oz Rotini or rotelle noodles
  • 3/4 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

In a medium sized pot bring 6-8 cups of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions.

In a saute pan melt the butter on medium high heat and then saute the chicken pieces until they begin to brown. Add the onion and continue cooking until the onion begins to caramelize. Add the garlic, turn the heat down to low and continue cooking 1-2 minutes. Add the salt, basil and pepper, mix well and turn the heat to warm.

Drain the pasta when done and put back into the pot. Add the chicken mixture and combine. Add 1/2 of the cheese and mix well. Add the other half of the cheese, mix well and cover with a lid for 2 minutes to allow the cheese to melt completely. Serve.

This recipe can easily be doubled, tripled or quadrupled if you like. I have also modified it for my own taste by adding more onion and garlic, but that’s up to you. I use 3/4 cup onion and 3-4 cloves of garlic (depending on their size). When reheating in the microwave add 1 tsp of water to keep the pasta from drying out.

That’s it! Quick, easy and frugal.

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