December 27, 2020
Weeknights can be crazy, and this chicken, pea and pesto pasta is a great one-pot dish that can be whipped together in less than a half an hour, and costs less than three dollars per serving.
I am a sucker for efficiency. What can I streamline in my life to make things run, smoother, quicker, and more seamless? Anything that fits those categories is so appealing to me, and this dish is one of the most efficient meals in my wheelhouse, and can be made with items often found in the pantry.
*This page contains affiliate links to products I recommend. If you purchase something from this page, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. For more info, click here.
One night, I got home late from work, my boyfriend was still busy with football practice, and we needed to have dinner on the table quickly so we could eat and unwind before starting all over the next day.
We love meal prepping (see above: efficiency), and buy almost the exact same groceries every week. Not only because we know how these groceries fit in our budget, but also because we know the nutritional value. My boyfriend and I are particular about what we allow in our bodies and how we fuel ourselves. However, as I was scrambling that specific night, I realized I didn’t have much prepped for dinner.
I had cooked chicken thighs in the fridge, as well as bacon, spinach, mushrooms, and parmesan cheese. Plenty to work with. I found a bag of frozen peas in my freezer, and always have gluten-free noodles in my pantry. As I was scrounging in my pantry, I found a jar of pesto.
I only needed two pots to cook this dish–a pot to boil water, and my absolute favorite tool in my kitchen, my Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven. This post just lives on my stove now because I use it so many times each week.
I whipped all these things together, and created a dish that literally costs us less than three dollars a serving, and takes less than a half hour to put together. It’s also packed with super foods like chicken, spinach, garlic, mushrooms, basil and peas.
Here’s the cost breakdown:
Four-pack of chicken thighs: $3.50
Half a pint of mushrooms: $1.00
¼ Cup of Parmesan cheese: 1.25
Frozen Peas: $.99
Three slices bacon: $1.00
Cup of Spinach: $.75
Half a package of gluten free noodles: $ .80
½ jar of pesto: $1.50
Total: $10.78 (makes four servings)
If you’re looking for a weeknight staple that you can make quickly, you’ve come to the right place.
Check out my other budget-stretching dishes:
Chicken, Pea and Pesto Pasta
- 2 1/3 C Penne Noodles
- 4 Chicken Thighs or two cups cooked chicken, diced or shredded
- 1 C Fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 3/4 C Frozen Peas
- 2 C Fresh spinach
- 3 Slices bacon
- 1/2 Jar Pesto
- 1/4 C Parmesan Cheese
Cook Chicken whichever way you prefer, and start boiling salted water for noodles in a separate pot
Slice and cook bacon over medium-high heat. Add cooked chicken to skillet. Add frozen peas.
Add in mushrooms. Stir, allow to cook.
Turn heat down to medium on bacon, chicken and peas. Allow penne to boil for five minutes then drain, reserving one cup of salted pasta water.
Add penne to chicken, bacon, and pea skillet, add half a cup of water, spinach and pesto. Allow water to cook down, adding more if needed. Stir occasionally.
Immediately before serving, add parmesan cheese.