Easy Thousand Island Chicken Bake For Two

My husband REALLY likes Thousand Island Dressing. Really really. When I told him I went looking for a Thousand Island Recipe because he likes it so much, he started listing all of the things you should dip in it… Doritos. Taquitos. French fries. The list goes on. Anyways, I know we hate when the recipe is a mile away from the title, so here it is: 

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Adapted from this Fed & Fit  recipe  (though as you can see, not Paleo, and not six servings)

Thousand Island Chicken Bake (For Two)

This easy thousand island chicken bake is a delicious, quick meal for two.

Ingredients: 

  • 12 oz cubed chicken breast (I cube all of our chicken before I freeze it because of bulk buying for monthly meal prepping. You can use full breasts, tenderloins, thighs, whatevs)
  • ⅓  cup of Thousand Island Dressing (I used Ken’s lite because that’s all our grocery store had #pandemicshopping)
  • Salt (a few shakes, because I don’t measure salt unless I’m baking, lol)
  • Pepper (a few shakes, because pepper lives next to salt, so)

Directions: 

  1. Put the chicken in a mixing bowl. 
  2. Add the Thousand Island Dressing, salt, and pepper. 
  3. Use a spatula to mix it all together until all of the chicken is coated.
  4. Pour it into a 9×9 baking dish (our Fiestaware baker is my go-to)
  5. Bake at 350 for 20-ish minutes, or until chicken reaches internal temperature of 160° (I could just tell when it was done… it smelled SO fragrant and the top was starting to brown a little

Please note: you do NOT need to preheat your oven. It’s chicken, it’ll cook. Preheating ovens for recipes that don’t require scientific reactions is a waste of electricity, so save yourself a wee bit ‘o money by skipping it. 

That’s it! You’re done! I served this over instant brown rice. I meant to make some steamed broccoli to go with it but I forgot, and I was hungry, so we skipped it, lol. You can easily serve this over egg-noodles, a salad, mashed potatoes… it’s super-versatile! 

The Budget-Friendly Details

This meal is waaaay budget friendly:

  • 12 oz of chicken (from a bulk pack at Aldi) – $1.59
  • Ken’s Thousand Island Dressing (⅓ cup = 5.33 tbsp) – $0.42
  • Instant brown rice (2 cups, from Aldi 28 oz box) – $0.72 

Total: $2.73

IF we would have the aforementioned steamed broccoli ($0.89 steam bag from Aldi), our total would have been: $3.62 for dinner for two people.

I haven’t set a threshold yet for what I feel like a “good” amount of money is for a meal for two, but less than $4 is certainly great (just think, if all of our meals were $5 we’d only spend $120/month on dinner… I always want it to be cheaper, but I think that’s not bad?). One of my May budget goals (following Dave Ramsey’s baby steps, using this budget planner) was to cut our grocery budget by 20%, which we nailed (and still had money leftover). I’m tempted to cut it again, but we’ll see how June goes first!

Do you already inventory your food and meal plan? Have you ever done a full month? I’d love to know your process!

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