Spending money on ready-made food and ingredients can be one of the largest expenses in your budget.
My household has the mainstays that are generally budget-friendly, tasty meals that don’t make you feel deprived in the slightest.
I’m sharing my cost-effective go-to recipes that both couples and families will enjoy.
This is my variation on a dish that can be cooked using different types of proteins.
Think chicken, pork chops, beef. I have yet to try this on tofu, but I’m thinking it would go nicely.
Stuffed Bacon Cream Cheese Chicken – yes, it’s as tasty as it sounds!
There are two keys to making this dish really delicious.
#1 – Remember to season the chicken. You can use your favorite chicken seasoning. If you are like me, salt and pepper will do the trick!
#2 – Let the Maillard browning method take over! Give the food adequate heat, leave it alone to cook, and if the type of food doesn’t have natural oils that will disperse – add a small amount of butter or oil to the cooking process. For this recipe, I use olive oil, but use whatever you have handy!
• Stuffed Bacon Cream Cheese Chicken •
Stuffed Bacon Cream Cheese Chicken
A delicious meal sure to become a staple! Best time to enjoy: At nights during the week
- 1 Spinach bag $2.50
- 1 bunch Green onion $1.25
- 1 Red onion $1.25
- 8 Chicken breast* $13.46
- *Thick pieces are better, but thinner pieces can be pounded out and folded over.
- 2 strips Bacon $2.50 (whole package price)
- 8-12 oz. Cream cheese $2.50 (I used 8 oz. for my recipe)
- 1 bottle Garlic powder seasoning $2.50 (one-time cost, will last a long time)
- Total $25.96
- Cost per Serving $3.24
This method will prep all of the meat at one time – have a container to store the chicken.
Pull the cream cheese out of the fridge and let it soften for 10-15 minutes.
Cook the bacon.
Dice the red and green onions.
Chop the cooked bacon into small pieces.
Combine the cream cheese, green onion, red onion, bacon, 1 tbsp. garlic powder seasoning and 1 tsp. salt and mix thoroughly.
Prep the chicken by rinsing and patting it dry.
How to prepare the chicken two ways:
If using thick chicken breasts:
Butterfly the chicken by slowly (and carefully) cutting lengthwise, but do not cut all the way through.
If using smaller chicken breasts:
Put each piece of chicken between saran wrap and pound to ½ inch thickness so that it can be folded.
Stuff the chicken:
Spoon the cream cheese mixture into the chicken breasts and place a handful of spinach on top of the mixture.
Fold the chicken over and secure it with toothpicks.
Repeat until complete.
The chicken can be cooked all at once, or you can store the prepped chicken to be cooked daily as needed.
Place a small amount of butter or olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
Make sure to season the chicken by adding salt and pepper to the breasts before cooking. If there is a different seasoning that you prefer for chicken, use that.
Once the pan is hot, add the chicken breasts and let them cook until maillard+ on one side and then flip – about 6-7 minutes per side (or until cooked all the way through).
Serve the chicken with sides of your choice. I oven-roasted some Brussels sprouts as seen in the photo. Simply slice up the veg and toss it with a little bit of salt and olive oil. Put it in the oven at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.
+Maillard is a flavor-inducing reaction – much like caramelization. The food will get a brownish, caramel color if you let it sit on the heat and don’t keep flipping it. This adds a lot of flavor! Just be careful not to overdo it, as this is often referred to as “burnt”!
Enjoy, and share your thoughts if you try this recipe!
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