$10 buck dinners!

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Stuffed Chicken Thigh, Wrapped in Bacon

WARNING! WARNING! This recipe is not light on calories. But come on! Sometimes you just gotta live a little. I mean really; bacon, cream cheese, rice and chicken…you just can’t go wrong!

And by the way, this is a great recipe to use up leftover rice. You see, we eat a lot of rice at our house. My kids love it! But sometimes, I make way too much. Easy to do with rice, right? A simple stuffing is a great way to use the leftovers. Add some cheese and seasonings and you can stuff chicken, pork chops, even bell peppers. Or, add some spinach or broccoli and make a side dish. Another one of those recipes the kids just love!!

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Thigh:

8 Chicken thighs, boneless (trim fat well)- $5.73
1 package bacon – $2.99
4 ozs Cream Cheese – $.75
1/2 shredded cheddar cheese – $.50
1/2 cup sour cream – $.50
2 cups cooked rice (leftovers are perfect for this) – $.45
1 to 2 tsps salt – pantry
1 tsp paprika – pantry
1 tsp garlic powder – pantry
1 tsp parsley (fresh, if you have it. Dried is fine too) – pantry
1 tsp pepper – pantry
8 toothpicks, if you need them

COST: $10.92

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place cream cheese in a large glass bowl and microwave for 15 seconds, just till softened. Add sour cream, shredded cheese, paprika, parsley, garlic, a dash of salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Mix well, then add rice and mix again. Set aside.

Lay the boneless chicken thighs (well trimmed of fat) out on a cutting board and season with tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Next, spoon cheesy rice mixture onto each thigh. Roll up chicken and wrap with two slices of bacon per thigh. I didn’t need toothpicks, but if you think your thighs won’t stay closed, use the toothpicks to keep thigh shut, bacon secure and stuffing in.

Once chicken is stuffed and wrapped, place in a shallow baking dish and bake uncovered for 35 minutes. Turn oven up to 500 degrees and cook for 10 more minutes or until bacon is browned and crisp. Remove from oven when done and plate immediately. If you leave in baking dish, make sure to drain bacon grease.

All you have to do now is add some steamed broccoli (3 spears) $1.97 and you’ve got yourself a seriously delicious meal. Oh, and feel free to experiment with the stuffing. You could add spinach, spices, herbs, olive. Gosh. Your choices are endless! And, for a healthier version, use chicken breast and wrap in tin foil. I know, I know. Kind of defeats the purpose, but, definitely better for those that are watching their waistline as well as their wallets.

GRAND TOTAL: $12.89 (And yes, I blew the budget, but if you’re having a dinner party, this is perfect. Plates up beautifully and serves 6-8 easily. Of course you can always cut the recipe in half and do the meal for a family of four, not a problem.)

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Pork Loin with Twice Baked Potato

I regularly find pork loin on sale at my local discount grocery store. Usually I have to buy two loin, but for 2.99 a lb, I’ll gladly oblige. Know what I mean? It’s completely worth it, right? Loin is that special, tender meat that most everyone loves. However, it can get boring or expensive if you try to gussy it up. So, how do you spice up the meal? Well, the side dish, of course!

This side is perfect for parents of picky eaters. I mean, most kids refuse any food that’s green in color and, in particular, healthy for you. Depending on how small you cut up your cooked broccoli, will depend on whether or not the kids even notice the green. Even beyond broccoli, there’s so much you could add…from ground beef to bacon or even avocado. The possibilities truly are endless. And tasty too!

Roast Pork Tenderloin:

1 pork tenderloin – $4.51


1/2 cup soy sauce – $.45
2 oranges – $.50
1 lime – $.20
1 tablespoon Dijon – $.15
1 clove garlic, crushed – $.10
2 green onion, diced – $.15
1 tsp Soul Seasoning – pantry
*1 1/2 tsps Pepper – pantry

COST: $6.06

Place the pork tenderloin in a plastic, sealable bag or deep glass bowl. Squeeze juice of oranges and lime into measuring bowl. Add remaining marinade ingredients, except pepper, and whisk to mix. Pour over tenderloin and seal bag or bowl and set aside at room temp for 1 hour. If you have time, marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Note: You can grill as well. It just depends on time and which you prefer.

Drizzle 1 tsp canola oil on small roasting pan. Remove pork tenderloin from marinade and place on oil of roaster. Drizzle 1 more tsp oil on tenderloin and sprinkle with pepper. Roast for 45 minutes. Allow meat to sit about 10 minutes before cutting into 1 1/2 inch serving pieces.

Broccoli & Cheese Twice Baked Potato:

4 russet or baking potatoes (medium to large in size) – $1.51
1/2 cup sour cream – $.45
3/4 cup shredded cheese – $.50
2 cups broccoli (steamed, seasoned & chopped) – $.50
2 green onions, diced (garnish) – $.15
2 Tbsps butter – $.25
1 tsp salt (less, if you add bacon to potatoes) – pantry
1/2 tsp black pepper – pantry
1 Tbsp Olive Oil – pantry
1/4 cup cooked, crumbled bacon – optional

COST: $3.36

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Rub potatoes with olive oil and place directly on rack or on backing dish. Do NOT wrap in tin foil or cover in any way. Bake potatoes for 1 hour (or until done).

Let cool for a few minutes, then cut potatoes in half. Scoop softened potato out and place in glass bowl. Leave skin intact. Make sure to leave about 1/8 to 1/4 inch of potato flesh intact as this will help the potato shell hold it’s shape for stuffing.

Add butter, sour cream, salt, pepper, 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese and mix well. You will also need to add a dash of half and half or milk as well. Start with just a few tablespoons and adjust to your desired texture.

Fold in steamed and chopped broccoli. Fill potato shells with potato mixture and top with remaining cheese and sprinkle bacon on top (in desired).

Bake for 20-25 minutes in a 425 degree oven. Add green onion before serving.


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