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I’ve mentioned before that we stick to a pretty strict budget (those terrible, awful student loans—I will end you, mark my words), and grocery shopping is certainly no exception. Not to toot my own horn here, but (toot toot!) I’ve gotten pretty good over the years at coming up with low budget meals for our family. Simple dinners that are budget friendly? Sort of my love language.
And this meal in particular? Such a winner. It was absolutely delicious (translation: no leftovers whatsoever). It was so quick and easy to pull together (less than 30 minutes from fridge to table). It didn’t require many ingredients (a whopping 5 items are needed, plus an optional 2 more if you’re in the mood for a little fresh veg topping). And it cost me well under $20 to pull together this dinner for 4 adults. Holla!
I served this when we had my sister and her husband over for dinner recently. Pro tip: to wheedle unenthused babysitters into watching your children for free while you escape to watch Guardians of the Galaxy (which was fantastic, by the way, and I highly recommend you warm up those wheedling muscles to get yourself a babysitter and go see it, pronto), casually invite them for dinner and then, after they’ve accepted, spring the joyous news that they will be watching your little angels after dinner ends. Works like a charm.
The kids and I headed to Walmart to pick up the ingredients—loads of KRAFT products are currently on rollback (and we’re coming up on the 15th, and we all know the 1st and the 15th are the tightest times of the month, so this is the perfect time to take advantage of a markdown!), so we grabbed a few KRAFT items to use for our dinner. And I know what you’re thinking—you want to borrow my shopping companion. I’m sorry, but it’s a no. (You are more than welcome, however, to borrow the not-pictured, not-grinning-with-pure-joy 3-year old shopping companion who spends the entirety of each outing begging for donuts and sprinting through aisles and hiding in clothing racks. Any takers? No? Shocking.)
Cheesy Bacon Ranch BBQ Chicken Skillet
adapted from Deep South Dish
3 large-ish chicken breasts
5 slices bacon, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup barbecue sauce (I used KRAFT Barbecue Sauce)
1/2 cup ranch dressing (I used KRAFT Ranch Dressing)
1 cup shredded Cheddar (I used VELVEETA Shredded Cheese)
Optional: chopped tomato and green onion
Cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray lightly with nonstick spray. Preheat your oven’s broiler.
Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat. While the bacon cooks, slice your chicken breasts lengthwise and cut each piece in half, and season with salt and pepper to taste. When bacon is cooked through, remove it with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the grease in the skillet.
Add the chicken to the skillet, cooking over medium-high heat 2-3 minutes on each side or until cooked through (you’ll probably have to cook the chicken in batches). Place the chicken on the prepared baking sheet.
Combine the barbecue sauce and ranch dressing in a small bowl. Spread a generous spoonful of the sauce over each piece of chicken, spreading to cover. Top each chicken piece with a hefty sprinkle of the cooked bacon, then cover with a handful of shredded cheese. Place the baking sheet under the preheated broiler for 1-2 minutes, just long enough to melt the cheese.
If desired, top chicken with tomato and green onion, and serve! If you have extra sauce, serve it along with the chicken for dipping.