Mmmmmm…pasta! Not the most waistline friendly thing I could make for dinner, but it was here and it’s cheap!
Pasta is a great way to stretch a meal. It’s inexpensive, filling and super tasty! This box of shells cost me $1.50. I could have got them for way less if I actually kept up with clipping my coupons or remembered to take them with me to the store.
At 3:30 this afternoon, I had yet to decide what to do for dinner. I was at Target with the kids (we needed diapers for the youngest) so I decided to run through the meat department. Score! Boneless, skinless, organic chicken breast tenders (1 lb pack) for $4.99. I love buying organic meats when I can. They aren’t on sale all that often (at least not at my usually shopping spots). I still didn’t really know what I was going to do with them, but chicken is what’s for dinner.
Amidst the screaming and crying of my angels, I drug in our load from Target and started to scour the pantry. I knew I had a huge bowl of plain shells in the refrigerator I cooked last night. My daughter had requested noodles for dinner, and since we’ve been fighting eating battles, I was willing to submit. Why I cooked the whole box is beyond me. I think my brain had officially shut down for the day. So, chicken and pasta. I also had a jar of oil packed, sun-dried tomatoes I picked up at Harris Teeter last week for $3.99. I love sun-dried tomatoes.
I prefer a creamy sauce (again, not waistline friendly) over any other kind, and I don’t keep cream in the house, so I starting looking for something to base a cream sauce off of. The only thing I could find that I thought *might* work was a can of Cream of Chicken soup ($1.29). I thought, ‘what’s the worst that could happen’?
I started mixing, grabbing things from the spice cabinet, tasting and stirring. The results…Fantastic! Even my hubby liked it! We both had large portions, both of the children ate it and there was more than enough for my husband to take it for lunch tomorrow too! Not only did it taste great, but it was budget friendly as well!
Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Shells
I lb cooked pasta (I used shells)
1 lb chicken (I used boneless skinless tenders)
3 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
12 Sun-Dried Tomato Halved, diced
1 Tablespoon Spinach and Herb Dip Mix
In a large skillet, heat your olive oil over medium. Season your chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Once the oil is up to temp, add your chicken to the pan. Be sure to place your chicken in the pan the way you want it from the start. Don’t plan to move the chicken once it hits the pan. Let the chicken cook, checking often to see if the chicken has released from the pan (that is a super easy way to tell that your chicken is ready to be turned). Once cooked halfway, turn your chicken over and continue to cook through.
In the meantime, in a medium sauce pan, mix the soup, 1 can of milk (use the empty soup can to measure), cheese, tomatoes and spinach and herb dip mix (you could substitute this with a little parsley and herb seasoning blend). Whisk the mixture well to remove lumps. Heat the mixture over medium until it bubbles and thickens.
Once the chicken is cooked through, shred it in the pan and added the garlic. Continue cooking the chicken and garlic until the garlic becomes fragrant and has a light brown color. This shouldn’t take more that a minute or two.
Add the chicken and garlic mixture to the sauce mixture. Toss with warm pasta. For a finishing touch, sprinkle with a little extra Parmesan.