Recipes for Great Living (on a Budget)

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Thursday Night Dinner January 14, 2010

Filed under: Recipes — Detra @ 9:01 pm

For dinner tonight, I made stuffed chicken breasts, baked ziti, and steamed broccoli.  It was quick and easy to put together and was very tasty.  I cut the recipe in half because the boys and I aren’t big meat eaters so the three of us just shared one chicken breast.  Even after cutting the recipe in half, I had quite a bit of filling left over which inspired the last minute baked ziti.  I used the leftover filling, plus the rest of the ricotta cheese, about 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, and about another 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese to mix with 1/2 pound of baked penne noodles.  Then I mixed most of the leftover pasta sauce (it was a 26.5 oz can so I had lots leftover from the chicken) in with the pasta and cheese mixture (and placed it in a 2 qt. casserole dish) and then poured about 1/4 of a cup over the top of the pasta.  I put a little more mozzarella on top to finish it off.  It cooked in the oven about 10 minutes less than the chicken.  For the broccoli, I just used fresh broccoli, cut the tops off and steamed them.  While they were steaming, I sprinkled them with seasoning salt.  Yum!   Oh, while the chicken and the pasta were cooking in the oven, I made Chex Muddy Buddies for dessert 🙂

Chicken breasts are on sale often – when you find a good deal on them, stock up and freeze them!  Target had a coupon on their website for broccoli which is a rare coupon to find.  I bought several bunches of them using the coupons.  Noodle coupons are common and cheese is on sale fairly often (again stock up if you have the fridge space).  Canned pasta sauce is usually only $1!!  Again, this is an inexpensive meal but it looked and tasted quite gourmet.  Best part, it was quick and easy – a must in my house! 

Maria’s Stuffed Chicken Breasts (from


  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper to taste. Slit open on the side for stuffing; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, spinach, garlic, eggs and 3/4 of the cheese. Mix well and stuff each breast with 1/4 of the mixture; secure with toothpicks and place stuffed breasts in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Pour sauce over all and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 to 60 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.


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