Can you believe this bacon wrapped lemon pepper chicken pasta is completed in 40 minutes and costs less than $15 to make?! Today I am working with Barilla pasta to bring you an easy, but tasty meal that is made with one box of their pasta!
My dad raised all three of his kids to be frugal shoppers and hunt around for sales. My sister, brother, and I to this day get excited when the weekly food flyers come out. My sister goes as far as to screenshot the pages to send to me, knowing full well what I want! My husband thought we were crazy once, but he is even on board now (though I will admit, he is more about ME doing the work and him enjoying the food that is created from these sales!) Sales mean you get to enjoy food that you would not normally indulge in because of budget or other restraints.
This bacon wrapped lemon pepper chicken pasta fits perfectly into my idea of “preparing a gourmet meal on a budget.” When Barilla asked me to come up with a family friendly recipe that was easy to make and under $15 I thought it would be easy! Sure, using seasonal produce is best, but I wanted to go a different route and show you that with proper planning and hunting, you can create a gourmet meal any time of the year!
Budget: $15 Spent: $14.89
It was TOUGH going with my method and not spending over $15! I had this wonderful idea and I still cut it close. All that aside, my husband loved this bacon wrapped lemon pepper chicken pasta and actually ate it for breakfast (yeah, I was up early cooking!) You could still cut corners even more on the cost if you grow your own oregano or have the luxury of a lemon tree (I wish!)
What did help was finding my chicken and bacon on sale. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are a favourite among many families, but sadly with prices ever rising, many cannot afford to eat with this cut of meat too often. Personally, my husband prefers bone-in chicken, and this recipe would work perfectly with other cuts as well, so don’t be daunted by my chicken pieces here. Heck, chicken drumsticks and thighs are ALWAYS on sale at my local Canadian grocery stores, so take advantage! I was super lucky to find my chicken breasts with additional sales prices on them, but cheaper cuts of chicken are ideal.
That aside, I utilized the low prices of broccoli crowns along with lemons. I did not include salt, pepper, and fresh garlic in my budget as I feel every kitchen should have those staples (garlic powder works, too!) And let me tell you, the bacon was $2.88 for the pack so I made sure to grab the limit of 6 and throw the rest into my freezer! A giant freezer is a life safer and it really helps with this idea of shopping for sale items.
This meal is super easy to make and if you time everything accordingly, it should only take about 30-40 minutes to complete!
15 minPrep Time
40 minCook Time
55 minTotal Time
- 1 (454 g) box of Barilla pasta (I used spaghetti!)
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 (375g) package of bacon, divided
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
- 1 tbsp. lemon zest
- 1 tbsp. fresh oregano
- Salt and pepper
- Leftover bacon from the above list
- 1 broccoli crown, cut into florets
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- Black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400F. Place chicken (I had 4 pieces) into a large baking dish and season with salt, and a generous amount of black pepper. Wrap each chicken in two slices of bacon. Combine the lemon juice, zest, and oregano. Pour over top of each chicken piece evenly.
- Place into oven and bake for 30-35 minutes (depending on the size of your breasts you may need longer.) Start checking around the 20 minute mark so that the internal temperature reaches 160F. Broil if desired for extra crispy bacon!
- Place a medium-sized frying pan over medium heat. Slice the remaining bacon (I had 3) and place into pan. Cook until desired crispiness is achieved. Throw in minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Remove from pan and leave drippings.
- Raise heat to medium-high and add the broccoli. Cook for a couple of minutes. Stir in lemon juice, zest, and black pepper, and cook until tender-crisp. Add the bacon mixture back in and cook for 1 minute.
- Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain completely. Stir in veggie mixture. Add in 2 tbsp. of juices from the bottom of your chicken pan. You can add more if needed. Serve pasta in individual bowls and top each plate with one chicken breasts. Sprinkle with fresh oregano if desired!
The $15 budget really limited me as I know I would have added caramelized onions and maybe cooked the pasta in broth. But sometimes simpler is better and this bacon wrapped lemon pepper chicken pasta was perfect as is. Having a budget allowed me to control my ingredients and made me appreciate a simple, but delicious, meal!
You can find more tips and recipes at Share The Table!
This is a sponsored post. I was fortunate enough to receive products and monetary compensation from Barilla. Though products were received, all opinions are my own and I would not recommend a product that I did not enjoy.