Do you know what my most FAVORITE category on this blog is? Not dessert, not bread (though I love both those things)… but Budget! The thrill I get a from a good deal is unmatched. So today, I’m sharing with you a meal idea that is not only extremely budget-friendly, but a big-time crowd-pleaser. (And sometimes, my recipes are kinda… different… so I’m excited about this one because I know it’ll be a hit no matter who you make it for.)
So let me share a little secret with you about my grocery budget.
Shhh… here it is. I only buy one meat item per week!
(Ok, two if you count breakfast meat, since I try to have sausage or turkey bacon on hand for my girl’s breakfasts, and for “Brinner”). But other than that… my general practice is to pick what’s on sale that week (maybe it’s bone-in chicken, maybe it’s ground beef, maybe it’s chuck roast, maybe it’s pork chops) and make it stretch into at least 3-4 meals for my family of 3. The other 3-4 meals of the week are either meatless or low-meat (incorporating eggs, beans, pepperoni, bacon, etc.) I would say I aim to spend $5 per week on my main meat item, and under $2 for a secondary meat item like sausage or bacon. Believe it! We do it, and we eat well around here!
Now, I don’t share any of this to imply that you should be doing the same. Just sharing what works very well for us! By limiting my meat purchases this way, I save SO much money and I can use it for other weekly necessities.
Some of you like to stock up on meat when the prices are low, and that is wonderful! But if you are not someone who can afford a large meat purchase all at once, this is another great method to try.
And despite what you might think, I don’t find it boring at all to use the same “type” of meat throughout a given week. In fact, I find it sparks my creativity, coming up with different flavor combos and meal ideas for one type of meat. Click here for an example of how I recently used one roast beef for three different meals!
This week, I had a coupon for a Rotisserie Chicken, which dropped the price down to exactly $5. Yay! This was a major score because I love not having to cook the meat before using it!
I’ve learned over time that my baby does not care for chicken breasts because the meat is drier and harder for her to eat. So when I buy a rotisserie chicken, I reserve a few thighs or legs for Elsa’s lunches throughout the week, and use the breast meat for family dinners. I also make sure to keep the bones and the flavorful, herb-encrusted skin, for making broth.
And this breast meat is what I used to make our dinner tonight, which happened to be these amaaaazingly addictive Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas. I spotted them originally on Chocolatemoosey.com, and adapted them a bit to fit our family’s tastes.
Start by carving off one of the chicken breasts from a grocery store pre-cooked rotisserie chicken. (Or whatever chicken you have on hand. Even canned will work!)
Chop it up into nice little shreds, and gather up the rest of the ingredients.
Onion, Garlic, Bell Pepper, Hot Sauce, Ranch Dressing, Cream Cheese, Cheddar Cheese, & Tortillas. (Note that I was a little low on Ranch Dressing… all I had was a leftover packet from Zaxby’s, so I supplemented with some mayo. Ain’t no thang!)
Finely chop the onion, garlic, and bell pepper, and saute them in any fat you desire (oil, butter, leftover bacon grease) until soft.
Add in the chicken, the ranch, and the hot sauce.
Stir over medium heat until the mixture is well combined. Then add in the cream cheese and cheddar and stir gently until they are melted and completely incorporated.
Next, just spray a clean skillet with cooking spray, place a tortilla inside, and spoon a generous amount of Buffalo Chicken Dip onto it. Spread it out almost to the edges.
Cover the dip with another tortilla and spray it with cooking spray as well. Allow the tortilla to gently crisp up over medium heat for a few minutes, then use a large turner to flip the quesadilla in the pan!
It doesn’t get much easier than quesadillas, folks! And it definitely doesn’t get much more delicious!
Cut each quesadilla into 6-8 triangles, and serve.
I will say that these babies are NOT low-calorie, so to go along with them I like to serve a delicious (and also budget-friendly) Green Smoothie!
Hang on, hang on… don’t knock it til you’ve heard me out! My green smoothie recipe is such a nice pairing to this spicy Southwest-flavored dinner! It combines lots of tropical flavors like lime, coconut, and banana… and is just the perfect creamy compliment to a spicy meal. Plus, it gives you a much-needed serving of veggies alongside this calorie-laden quesadilla. I can’t sell it strongly enough. Hop on the bandwagon and become a green smoothie drinker! (And they’re not just for breakfast, as today’s recipe clearly demonstrates.)
Avengers Cup Optional… It’s just how we roll in my household.
I know you will gobble these quesadillas up! Be sure to tell me all about it in the comments and share the Buffalo Chicken love with the world. 😉
Here’s the recipe:
Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas
-1 T. oil, butter, or reserved fat from cooking
-1/2 onion, finely chopped
-1 garlic clove, minced
-1/4 C. bell pepper, finely chopped
-1 pre-cooked chicken breast, diced
-1/4 C. Sriracha (or other favorite hot sauce)
-1/4 C. Ranch Dressing
-4 oz. cream cheese
-1/2 C. sharp cheddar, grated
-4 flour tortillas
Saute onion, garlic, and bell pepper in oil until soft (about 5 minutes.) Add in chicken, hot sauce, and ranch dressing. Cook and stir 1 minute. Add in cream cheese and cheddar cheese and stir to melt. Remove from heat. In a clean skillet, spray with cooking spray and place one tortilla inside. Spoon half the buffalo chicken dip onto the tortilla and top with another tortilla. Spray the top tortilla with cooking spray as well. Allow tortilla to crisp over medium heat for a few minutes, then flip to other side. Cut into 6-8 triangles and serve alongside Tropical Green Smoothies!
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