Healthy Budget Meals under $10: Eggplant & Pesto Chicken Skillet

Food costs continue to rise, so we might as well learn to make meals that are inexpensive and easy! And then, spend more money on kombucha, coffee, or expensive seed crackers later ;-) Or, save money for other things like traveling, student loans, or a new outfit. Take your pick!

I created this dinner concoction after thinking about dinner plans quickly at the grocery store.

My thought process: Eggplant is on sale. I feel like eating chicken. Pesto sounds tasty. Combine them together!

Eggplant & Pesto Chicken Skillet

Ingredients:

  • 1 Eggplant: $1
  • 1/2 a jar of pesto (about 1/4-1/2 cup): $3.50 per jar
    • *Tip: Buy pesto made with olive oil only, or at least canola oil. Avoid the more inflammatory soybean oils.
  • 1.5 lb. chicken breast: $4
  • 1 lb. box whole wheat linguine: $1
    Total Cost: $9.50 + tax

Pantry Staples:

  • Parmesan cheese to add at the end
  • 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil for the skillet
  • A few sun dried tomatoes (optional)
  • 2 tsp. garlic
  • dried basil
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat up a large cast iron skillet on medium-high, and add the olive oil. Next, preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Add the chicken breasts to the skillet and season with salt, pepper, and dried basil. Turn down the heat to medium, and cook about 3-4 minutes on each side. Meanwhile, cut up the eggplant into cube-size pieces.
  3. Add the eggplant around the sides of the chicken. Add a pinch of salt, pepper, and the garlic (and sun dried tomatoes if you have them) on top of the eggplant.
  4. Spread a generous layer of pesto on top of each chicken breast. Remember not to use the same spoon in the pesto that you have touched the chicken with.
  5. Place the skillet into the oven, and cook for about 20 minutes. Halfway through, stir the eggplant mixture. Cook the pasta while the chicken is in the oven.

Delicious, and budget friendly! I ended up eating more of the eggplant to get in more veggies and the eggplant was so tasty.

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