Frugal Foodie: Pesto chicken

Cooking on a college budget

More stories from Mackenzie Webb


This is the second installment of “Frugal Foodie,” a series where Mackenzie Webb explores recipes that are both appetizing and affordable for college students.

My favorite sandwich is a mozzarella, pesto and roasted red pepper sandwich. So I would love to say this dinner was inspired by that sandwich, but truly it was more inspired by the jar of pesto and jar of roasted red peppers sitting in my pantry that needed to be used up. That’s an important part of cooking: being able to make a recipe to use up what you already have available.

Here’s what you need:

3 chicken breasts

1 jar of pesto

1 jar of roasted red peppers

1 sprinkle of Italian herb seasoning

1 ball of mozzarella (or shredded)

1 package of brown rice

1 package of green beans


Total price: $19.12

Number of portions: 6

Price per portion: $3.19


Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and put on a pot of water to boil. Once that’s boiling, add the rice and cook it by following the directions on the package.

Step 2: Take the chicken breasts and put salt, pepper and Italian herb seasoning on both sides. Heat up a skillet with some oil and put in the chicken breast. Cook on both sides for about 5 minutes until brown.

It doesn’t matter if they are cooked all the way through just yet.Once they are in the oven they’ll finish cooking!

Step 3: Put the chicken breast on a foil-lined pan. Top each one with a spoonful of pesto, a couple sections of roasted red pepper and a couple slices of mozzarella (or sprinkle if you have shredded mozzarella).

Step 4: Pop the pan in the oven for about 20 minutes. This will finish cooking the chicken and melt/brown the cheese.

While the chicken is in the oven, finish up the rice and cook the green beans. (I just microwave them.)

That’s it! A delicious Italian dinner in only a few minutes and for a few dollars.

Email Mackenzie at [email protected].

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