4.8 from 50 reviews
  • 4-6 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
  • 6-8 Slices Swiss Cheese (Mozzarella works too)
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan Cheese (divided)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • Cooked Rice to serve over (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Pat chicken dry and place in a greased 9×13 pan.
  3. Add sliced cheese on top of chicken breasts.
  4. In a bowl mix mayonnaise, sour cream, ½ cup Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Spread this over chicken and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake for 1 hour. Serve over rice if desired or serve alone.

Panera® Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Serves 3-4



Preparation (5 mins)

Cut onions, celery, broccoli, and carrots.

Cooking (~ 40mins)

  1. Bring chicken stock to boil
  2. (While waiting for Step 1) Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion in hot butter until translucent, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  3. After chicken stock has been brought to a boil, add the onions, celery, broccoli, and carrots. Cover, and let simmer over med-low heat for 20 minutes.
  4. (After 15 minutes of waiting from step 3) Melt 1/4 cup of butter in large sauce pan, then add flour over medium-low heat; cook until flour loses it’s granular texture, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk if necessary to keep the flour from burning, ~ 3 minutes.
  5. Gradually pour milk into flour mix while whisking constantly; 
  6. Pour milk\flour mix into stock. Cook 5 minutes over low heat (to prevent curdling)
  7. Slowly add cheese into vegetable mixture in batches; stir to melt the cheese. 
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste; add no more cheese if desired. (up to 1/2cup)


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup bread crumbs $0.24
  • ¼ tsp salt $0.02
  • ½ tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • Freshly cracked Pepper $0.05
  • 8oz. pasta $0.50
  • 4 Tbsp salted butter $0.31
  • 3 cloves garlic $0.24
  • 28oz. can whole peeled tomatoes* $2.43
  • ½ tsp salt (or to taste) $0.02
  • Freshly cracked pepper $0.05



  1. To make the toasted bread crumbs, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the bread crumbs, salt, oregano, and some freshly cracked pepper. Cook and stir the bread crumbs continuously until they achieve a deep golden color. Remove them from the skillet and let cool until ready to use.
  2. To make the sauce, mince the garlic and add it to a large deep skillet with the butter. Sauté the garlic in the butter over medium heat for about a minute, or just until it becomes fragrant. Add the can of tomatoes, along with all the juices, and some freshly cracked pepper. Break the tomatoes up into a few chunks with your spoon (they should be soft and easily crushed).
  3. Stir the ingredients in the skillet, then let it come up to a simmer. Once it reaches a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and let it continue to simmer, without a lid, for about 30 minutes. Stir the sauce occasionally as it simmers, breaking the tomatoes into smaller pieces as you stir.
  4. While the sauce simmers, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Save about ½ cup of the starchy cooking water before draining the pasta in a colander.
  5. After simmering for 30 minutes, the sauce should have thickened and become slightly less acidic and slightly more sweet. Season the sauce with a final ½ tsp of salt (or to your liking). Add the cooked and drained pasta to the sauce and toss to coat. Use some of the reserved starchy cooking water to loosen the pasta if it becomes too dry. Top the pasta and sauce with a generous sprinkle of toasted bread crumbs, then serve.


Penne ala Vodka


  1. 1 1/2 Tbsp butter
  2. 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  3. 100 – 150g cooked Ham (optional), diced
  4. 1 small onion, chopped fine
  5. 1 Tbsp garlic chopped
  6. 3/4 cup heavy cream
  7. 1/4 cup vodka
  8. 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
  9. 2 tbsp Parsley , chopped
  10. 1 can of tomatoes deseeded and chopped (I used Italian plum tomatoes)
  11. 2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Melt the butter and olive oil in a saucepan and then add in and cook the onion and garlic till translucent.
  2. Add in the ham, lower the flame and let it cook for about 10 minutes, stir it occasionally.
  3. Add tomatoes and parsley and cook till almost no liquid remains in pan (med-low heat) stirring frequently…
  4. Add cream, vodka and chilli flakes and boil until thickened to sauce consistency.
  5. Season with salt and pepper. Sauce can be made a day ahead and refrigerated.
  6. Cook penne pasta in a large pot of boiling water with salt till al dente. (They will cook a little more with the sauce)
  7. Bring sauce to simmer and add in the pasta. Whisk in for a minute and serve. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve.
  8. Enjoy…

creamy potato, bacon and leek soup


  • 900 mL + 284mL of low sodium chicken broth – $2.52
  • 5 lbs of white potatoes – $0.94
  • 1 leek – $0.73
  • 1 yellow onion – $0.11
  • 1 green onion bunch – $0.33
  • 1/2 lb of bacon – $1.97
  • 1/2 lb of carrots – $0.24
  • 1 1/2 cups of milk – $0.31
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour – $0.75
  • garlic salt and pepper to taste – About $0.04

This dish feeds up to 9 people. That’s $0.88 per serving!


Let’s get to it now. Peel your potatoes and rinse them in a colander with cool water (in fact make sure all your veggies are clean). Dice potatoes, carrots, onions and leek.


Set veggies aside for two minutes while you add chicken broth, milk and flour to the crock pot and whisk until no chunks are seen. Add veggies and seasonings, stir them in and turn crock pot on Low (8 hours) or High (4 hours).


I chose high, so I put LO down for a nap and had a nap myself. When the last 30 minutes came around, I got the bacon out, diced it and fried it up in a pan on medium heat. I was having a moment where I decided not to do dishes the night before so I had to use a smaller pan which took longer.


When you are frying up the bacon bits, put them in a bowl with a paper towel underneath and let the excess bacon grease absorb into the paper towel.


Add the bacon bits to the soup for the last 5 – 10 minutes, stir them in. The soup should be thick and creamy. Do a taste test to make sure that you have the right amount of seasoning to your liking. You can also add in a cup of grated old cheddar and stir that in as well. I did not do this, although I did add some to the top of my bowl of soup with some parsley flakes.


So there you go. An easy and cost friendly soup that can be frozen into portions for a later date, eaten at small family dinner with some rolls or whatever you decide.

I enjoyed a bowl, OH enjoyed two bowls and LO enjoyed a bit too, actually she loved it!


Monterrey Chicken Skillet

  • 2 cups shredded pre-cooked chicken (1/2 rotisserie chicken) $3.50
  • 1 (10 oz.) can Rotel (diced tomatoes with green chiles) $0.99
  • ½ lb. fusili pasta $0.63
  • 2 cups chicken broth $0.30
  • ⅓ cup BBQ sauce $0.36
  • 1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese $1.24
  • 3 slices bacon $0.92
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.17
  1. Place the chicken, pasta, and Rotel tomatoes (undrained) in a large skillet. Add two cups of chicken broth and stir to combine. Cover the skillet with a tight fitting lid, turn the heat on to high, and let it come to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes, giving it a quick stir every 5 minutes or so.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet until brown and crispy. Drain the cooked bacon on a paper towel, then crumble into pieces.
  3. After simmering for 15 minutes, the pasta should be tender and most of the liquid absorbed. If the pasta is still firm, let the skillet simmer for 5 more minutes. If the pasta is tender, but there is still a lot of liquid in the skillet, let it simmer without a lid for 5 more minutes.
  4. Once the pasta is cooked and most of the liquid is absorbed, drizzle the BBQ sauce over top. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the BBQ sauce and cover the skillet with the lid. Leave the heat set on low and let the skillet sit for five minutes to melt the cheese. Once the cheese is melted, top with the crumbled bacon and sliced green onions, then serve.

Bacon and Spinach Pasta with Parmesan

Bacon and Spinach Pasta with Parmesan



Prep time
10 mins
Cook time
30 mins
Total time
40 mins
Total Cost: $4.65
Cost Per Serving: $1.16
Serves: 4
  • 6 oz. bacon (1/2 12oz. pkg) $1.84
  • 1 small onion $0.36
  • 2 cups chicken broth $0.30
  • ½ lb. pasta $0.64
  • ¼ lb. (3-4 cups) fresh spinach $0.96
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan $0.55
  1. Cut the bacon across the strips into one-inch sections. Sauté the bacon in a large skillet until it is brown and crispy (no extra fat needed). Carefully pour the fat off into a bowl, leaving about one tablespoon in the skillet.
  2. While the bacon cooks, dice the onion. Once the bacon fat is drained from the skillet, add the diced onions and sauté until they are soft and transparent. Allow the moisture from the onions to dissolve some of the browned bits off of the bottom of the skillet.
  3. Add two cups of chicken broth to the skillet and dissolve off any remaining browned bits of bacon drippings from the bottom of the skillet.
  4. Finally, add the pasta to the skillet, place a lid on top, and let the skillet come to a boil over high heat. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let simmer for 15 minutes. Give the skillet a quick stir to loosen the pasta from the bottom every five minutes or so, replacing the lid quickly each time. After 15 minutes the pasta should be tender and most of the broth absorbed. There should be a little bit of thick, saucy broth remaining in the bottom of the skillet.
  5. Add the fresh spinach to the skillet and stir until it has wilted into the pasta. Turn off the heat, sprinkle the Parmesan over top, stir to combine, and then serve.