Staying on Budget

For people who love money.

Spinach Chicken Penne Salad

I love pasta in salad because of the texture it adds. I found this recipe in my Taste of Home Cookbook but it is also available online. I add chicken to make this a wonderful summer meal but you can easily leave it off to have a nice vegetarian meal. 

If you have ZERO ingredients then this recipe will cost about $36.77 as of May 2022.

I am assuming you have salt and pepper and do not add it into the recipe total cost.

Recipe serves: 8

Serving size: 1 cup pasta, 1/2 cup spinach mixture and 4 ounces of chicken

Equipment needed: 1 fry pan and 1 large pot for pasta

Total time: 35 minutes

Let's grocery shop!

I am assuming you have salt and pepper. It is not included in pantry and spices.

Pantry & Spices

Total: $6.61 as of May 2022

  • olive oil $2.77
  • white wine vinegar $1.94
  • dijon mustard $0.92
  • dried oregano $0.98


Total: $30.16 as of May 2022

  • baby spinach 6 oz $2.73
  • 1 - bulb of garlic $0.50
  • 1 bunch green onions $0.88
  • 3 medium tomatoes $1.94
  • 1 - penne pasta 16 oz $0.92
  • 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts $13.86
  • 1 jar kalamata olives $2.99
  • feta cheese 6 oz $3.98
  • grated parmesan cheese 8 oz $2.36

Let's prep!

Let's cook!

  1. Place a large pot of water on the stove to boil and cook penne to package directions
  2. Place the fry pan with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat.
  3. Sauté 4 pieces of chicken for 4-5 minutes per side until the chicken reaches 165° F.
  4. If needed add more oil and sauté the remainder of the chicken.
  5. Let the chicken rest for 5 – 10 minutes
  6. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water. Shake the water off as best you can.
  7. I like to add the pasta to a different bowl with 1/8 cup of the vinaigrette dressing. Enjoy!

This recipe can also be found in Menu 8 – Family of 4

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Christin Lee


It is fun to think that there might be a short cut but the reality is planning plus diligence equals financial freedom.

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