Meat is one of the more expensive items on the shopping list, so meat stretcher recipes save money while appeasing the meat lovers of the family.
On the other hand, stretching meat and eating less means that you can buy better quality – free range birds that are treated better and aren’t bred to be ginormous, which isn’t good for the bird or us in the long run.
If you have a big family or teenage boys (or three year old boys – mine eats and eats), you may need more than a single chicken breast, but the idea is the same – take a small amount of meat and stretch it to feed many.
1. Chicken pie
Chicken pie or individual pastries are simply cooked chicken and any available vegetables bound in a basic white sauce and wrapped in pastry. For a dairy-free alternative, use pureed cauliflower instead of milk in the white sauce, it tastes delicious (no one will even know if you don’t tell them) and it boosts the vegetable quota. Or use a brown sauce / gravy made with stock instead.
2. Chicken pizzas
3. Chicken pasta
And not quite pasta, but deserves and honourable mention because it is frugal (and a gluten-free alternative to pasta), is the risotto, like this chicken and asparagus risotto.
4. Chicken stir fry
5. Chicken mornay
Chicken mornay is essentially chicken in white sauce (again, sub in cauliflower puree for a dairy-free alternative). To serve a mornay as a complete, one-pot meal, add in some vegetables and rice or pasta, like this tuna mornay.
Alternatively, fry up some mushrooms to add to your chicken mornay and wrap it in some crepes for chicken and mushroom crepes.
6. Chicken curry
I’m a lover of curries. The trick to serving it to young children is to tone down or eliminate the chilli. This chicken and pineapple curry is a sweet curry, not spicy, so suitable for children – add chilli for heat.
7. Chicken quiche
What’s your favourite way to stretch chicken?
Melissa Goodwin is a writer and the creator of Frugal and Thriving who has a passion for living frugally and encouraging people to thrive on any budget. The blog is nine years old and is almost like her eldest baby. Prior to being a blogger and mum (but not a mummy blogger), she worked as an accountant doing other people’s budgets, books and tax.