Frugal and healthy meals often don’t go hand-in-hand. Sometimes it’s cheaper to cook some hot dogs and mac and cheese. But those boring foods aren’t packed with flavor or nutrition.
But here’s a healthy version of chicken nuggets that are better for you, more affordable, more filling, and taste 1,000x better! An average bag of 2 lb. chicken nuggets cost about $4-5. For the same amount of food, these cost you some leftover chicken or about $2 to make!
I shop at Aldi, which if you don’t know about, is pretty much where as kids we all believed was a poor people grocery store and now as adults, it’s a gold mine! For the base of this recipe, you’ll need chicken breast or shredded chicken, which you can find at your local Aldi for about $8-10 (one pack will last your family a while). Another good find was from this amazing brand, Silver Hills Bakery, which makes “SproutedPower” whole grain bread. It’s loaded with 16 seeds and grain for optimal energy!
This is my third go at these, and they’re still AHMAZING! This past summer, I made this version with our garden veggies! When you have more zucchini than you know what to do with, you find ways to add it to every dish. They were probably 60% chicken and 40% veggies. The first couple of times I deep fried these, but just for the sake of being healthy, we baked them this time!
If you have cooked chicken breast, chop it, and put in a food processor until ground. Or you can buy ground chicken. Either work well. Add to a large mixing bowl with sauteed onions, carrots, celery, zucchini, or whatever your heart desires! Add in salt, spices, and fresh herbs (like cilantro and hot peppers in this case). Lastly, add 2 eggs, and whole grain bread crumbs.
Roll the dough into 1.5″ chicken meatballs and place on a metal sheet pan (I used foil or silicone on my sheets).
Bake them on 400° for 20 minutes. Let cool before eating.
Serve them with ketchup, BBQ, or other sauce of choice! & Enjoy!
For ready-made chicken meatballs, double or triple your batch, roll into balls, and freeze! Next time all you need to do is bake! Since they’ll be frozen you’ll want to bump your oven up to 425 degrees and bake for 25 minutes! Just check them as they cook as some ovens can vary!
Frugal and healthy can go together, it just takes a little prep!