Three cheap and easy chicken dinners

Winner, winner cheap and easy chicken dinner. Make it tonight - these simple chicken dinner recipes will stretch your budget but not your patience.

Cooking dinner for yourself is a great way to cut food costs and experiment with the foods you like. I’m always on the look-out for meals that are easy to prepare and cheap to make and these three cheap and easy chicken dinners.

While the recipes suggest using a slow cooker, that is not necessary (alternative instructions are provided). Slow cookers are tremendously useful and extremely convenient but can be expensive.

Easy chicken and rice casserole

chicken casserole easy cheap dinner recipe

Ingredients

1 cup of uncooked rice
3 cups of water
1 packet of dry onion soup mix
1 can of cream of chicken soup
2 uncooked chicken breasts

You can stretch this meal even further by adding some of your favourite veggies to the mix. Chop the veg chunky and add it in. Add some zing with fresh ginger and garlic or spice it up with some chillies. You can also add a can of chopped tomatoes instead of the onion soup mix for a different flavour.

If you’re using the slow cooker, all you have to do is mix all the ingredients together and cook on high for three to four hours.

If you’re not using the slow cooker, it can be done on the stove top, oven or even in the microwave. In this case, chop the chicken breasts and cook them first by either browning them in a pot or pan on the stove top, grilling in the oven or poaching int he microwave. Then combine the rest of the ingredients and cook for another 30 minutes on medium heat.

Cheap chicken Alfredo with penne

Chicken Alfredo Penne Pasta Cheap Easy Dinner Ideas
Super simple and delicious Alfredo pasta.

Ingredients

1 box of penne pasta
1 small bag of frozen broccoli
1 jar of ready-made alfredo sauce
2 cups of chopped, cooked chicken
250g of mushrooms
Salt and pepper to taste

Begin by cooking the pasta and steaming the broccoli separately. Brown the chicken and mushrooms in a pan. Cook pasta for eight to ten minutes to desired texture and drain.

Return the pasta to the pot and add the vegetables, sauce, chicken and mushrooms to the pasta in the pot. Stir and cook over low heat until everything is warmed through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Alfredo sauce is simply butter, cream and Parmesan cheese – and super simple to make from scratch. So, if you want to live a little, you can make that yourself, too.

And if you have little humans who are a bit iffy about broccoli – simply serve it on the side.

Cheesy chicken and rice casserole

Chicken Spinach Cauliflower Casserole

Ingredients

1 cup of uncooked long-grain rice
3 cups of water
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 bag of frozen broccoli
2 cups of chopped cooked chicken
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of onion salt
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Mix all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on high for three to four hours. Look for preparation tasks you can do ahead of time. Cooking and chopping up the chicken for two of these recipes immediately after returning from the grocery store will save you time when you’re throwing dinner together after a long day of work.

If you’re not using a slow cooker, the same applies in terms of getting stuff done ahead of time. Prepare what you can before you plan to knock this together for a cheap and easy chicken dinner. The only difference in preparation is that you top the ingredients with cheddar (or whatever cheese you’re using) and bake in the oven on 180 degrees for about 30 minutes.

These are adaptable, cheap and easy chicken recipes

Experiment with these recipes to suit them to your individual tastes.

If you don’t like Alfredo sauce, use marinara or pesto instead. Use different vegetables if you don’t like broccoli or try different styles of pasta. Spice up the recipes with chili powder or crushed red pepper if you like a little zing in your meals.

If you have leftovers, stick them in individual serving Tupperware containers to take for lunch the next day. Get creative – play around with these recipes and enjoy creating dishes that taste great and save you money!

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Staff Reporter