Simple Suppers are my jam, I simply love them. Especially when they are budget-friendly! I crave those simple things in my crazy busy life.
From our homeschool curriculum to the food I put on the table every night, I love finding ways to make my life easier. If you are nodding your head in agreement, then we agree!
With all the business in our lives that we can’t control like school activities and work, who wants to stress over dinner? Not this girl! I know I’m not alone on this as I see moms and friends in my circle always looking for simple and affordable meal ideas.
Since I choose to stay home and homeschool and my husband is self-employed we are like many families that have times when our budget is tight.
So meal planning and budget-friendly meals like this Chicken and Squash Dressing help us stretch that budget while enjoying healthy and tasty dinners. This meal is low carb, gluten, and grain-free and a THM “S”.
Meal Protein: Chicken
Chicken, dark meats like these leg quarters or drumsticks, are the most budget-friendly cut for this meat. Most stores like Walmart or Kroger have ten-pound bags of these quarters for $6 or less.
The drumsticks are more affordable in some cases, so check your supermarket’s weekly and monthly deals. You stock up on those deals when they come around. I do this often and plan my meals around those proteins that were on sale.
Now, I will admit that I am more of a white meat girl, so from time to time when I find a good deal on the breast I do grab those. But to keep this dinner within our financial budget and my time budget, I used the leg quarters roasted in the oven.
Roasting meat is so simple and delicious if done correctly. The key factors in flavorful roasted meats are your seasoning and a hot, hot oven temperature.
The higher temps like 400 or 425, helps cook the chicken evenly, ensuring a moist cooked center with a crispy skin. There is nothing better than a yummy, moist roasted piece of chicken with crispy skin. Trust me, nobody likes dry chicken or chewy skin.
The key factors in flavorful roasted meats are your seasoning and a hot, hot oven temperature. The higher temps like 400 or 425, helps cook the chicken evenly, ensuring a moist cooked center with a crispy skin.
There is nothing better than a yummy, moist roasted piece of chicken with crispy skin. Trust me, nobody likes dry chicken or chewy skin.
Side Dish: Spaghetti Squash Dressing
The second part of this meal is my version of a squash dressing. I know this is not your typical idea of squash dressing but it’s how I make it for my family.
Keep in mind that this meal is lower carb and budget-friendly. So keeping that in mind, that I don’t use “carby” fillers like cornbread or a cracker topping in this dressing. Don’t panic on me, you still enjoy the buttery topping on top of the casserole.
I also use spaghetti squash in my “dressing” instead of yellow summer squash. I can find it at our Kroger and Walmart for around .99 cents a pound this time of year.
That is compared to the yellow summer squash that is around 1.58 per pound. So my medium 2.5 lb spaghetti squash made about 4 cups of squash (8 servings) for $2.50 versus the yellow that would have been almost $5 after taxes.
Prices may vary in your area, so do what is most effective for your budget. As I said, I know my “dressing” may vary from the typical recipes for this dish, but I can promise you this, it is a simple and delicious meal.
One that is nicer to your budget and easy to prepare.
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A tasty family-pleasing dinner for Roasted Chicken and a delicious spaghetti squash casserole.
Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters
- 6-8 leg quarters,or enough needed to feel your family
- 1/2 stick of melted butter
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon of garlic and onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of rosemary
- 1 medium spaghetti squash, cooked shredded
- 1/2 stick of butter melted
- 1/3 cup real mayo
- 1/3 cup of sour cream
- 2 ounces of cream cheese, very soft
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon of Nutritional Yeast
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1 1/2 teapsoons of Braggs Organic Seasoning Sprinkle
- Place your chicken on a baking sheet or dish and season with salt and pepper. Use your judgment here.
- Combine your other dry seasoning together and set aside while you brush each piece of chicken with your melted butter. If you are doing a larger batch of chicken you may need a couple more tablespoons of butter.
- Sprinkle your season blend all over the chicken, making sure each piece gets a nice amount of flavor. Set the chicken aside and assemble your squash dressing.
- I like to roast my squash the night before and shred it up so that the dressing can be assembled quickly when I am cooking dinner. To do that, cut it in half and clean out the seeds, and roast it cut side down at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until tender, You don't want it to get too mushy because you will bake it again in the assembled dressing.
- To assemble the dressing add all your ingredients, except the almond meal, Braggs, and melted butter, into a large mixing bowl and combine well. It is important that your cream cheese be really soft so it will mix in well at this stage.
- Next, spray a baking dish with cooking spray and pour in your dressing mixture.
- Melt the 1/2 stick of butter and combine it with the Braggs seasonings and almond meal. If you don't have the Braggs, you sub a little sprinkle of sage.
- Sprinkle the almond meal crumble over the top of your dressing, making sure to spread it as evenly across the dressing as you can.
- Next, place your chicken and your dressing in a 400-degree oven and bake for 40 minutes. Your dressing should be nice and golden brown.
- If after 40 minutes, your chicken skin still needs to brown and crisp up a little more you can turn the oven up to 425 for a few more minutes of cook time.
The nutritional information on this recipe is just for the Squash Dressing. You'll need to determine the nutrition for the cuts of chicken you choose.
I am a southern girl through and through that loves to laugh, cook, read and spend time with family. My passions outside of home schooling my son are ministering to those in need and creating art in the kitchen! Every day is an adventure in our little house and I wouldn’t trade it or the chance to share here with you for anything!