Chicken Pasta Primavera – $5 Dinner Challenge

Delicious pasta dish loaded with diced chicken, zucchini, squash, carrots, broccoli, garden fresh tomatoes…tossed in a Parmesan cheese sauce!


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Chicken Pasta Primavera

Yield – 6 servings

Preparation Time – 10 minutes

Cooking Time – 20 minutes


  • 1 box piccolini farfalle pasta ($.50) On sale for $1 matched with $.50 coupon!
  • 2 chicken breasts, diced ($1.76) Bought on sale with coupon!
  • 1 tsp olive oil ($.03)
  • 1 medium zucchini squash, cut into circles ($.53) Bought 50% off from farmer’s market!
  • 1 medium yellow squash, cut into circles ($.46) Bought 50% off from farmer’s market!
  • 1/4 small yellow onion, chopped ($.05)
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets ($.46)
  • 2 carrot sticks, peeled and chopped ($.20)
  • 5 small tomatoes, seeded and diced (from the garden)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed ($.10)
  • 3 Tbsp butter or margarine ($.30)
  • 3 Tbsp flour ($.10)
  • 2 cups milk ($.25)
  • 3-4 Tbsp Parmesan cheese ($.25)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • In medium saucepan, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and add to large serving bowl.
  • In large skillet, saute diced chicken in olive oil and salt and pepper for 6-8 minutes, stirring often. Once chicken has cooked through, transfer to plate.


  • Chop all veggies. Add chopped veggies to same skillet that cooked the chicken in.


  • Add all the veggies (except the tomatoes) to the same skillet that you sauteed the chicken and steam/saute for 3-4 minutes with 1/4 cup of water. Add the tomatoes during the last minute. Transfer to plate.


  • Make white sauce in the same skillet. See video for details! (Note: My videographer husband was still at work while I made this dinner, so sorry about the few spots that are jumpy!)

  • In large serving bowl, toss pasta, cooked chicken, sauteed veggies with Parmesan sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste…and extra Parmesan cheese if you like.
  • Serve Chicken Pasta Primavera.

Cost $4.99

Note: This made a LOT of pasta…will easily feed us all for lunch tomorrow…and possible beyond!

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  1. Karen says

    Are there options for making it lighter? Im thinking the cheese is very heavy? Im guessing you can probably substitute almost anything, but it gives a good basis!

  2. schroeder says

    this looks yummy … unless it is blocked, i dont show a link to the video can you or anyone briefly explain how to make the sauce?


  3. Debbi says

    I made this tonight without the chicken as we had some small steaks with it. It was delicious. I added a red pepper but otherwise kept it about the same. I’ll for sure make this again! Thanks!

  4. says

    Great simple recipe and what a bargain. I love the video, I can see your little one with a bowl on their head! How adorable!! Keep up the great work and all the best to your family. =)

  5. Bev says

    Where do you shop? It would cost me nearly $4.00 to have just the chicken and broccoli, ON SALE! let alone get noodles and any other veggie. Thanks for a nice recipe though.

  6. says


    Hey Bev,

    I live in Dayton, OH, and shop mostly at Kroger. I’m very fortunate to live in an area with great sale prices on food. Just last week chicken breasts were on sale $1.89/lb and a few weeks before that broccoli was $.77/4 heads! Those are just a few examples. I post my shopping trip each week with a copy of my grocery store’s ad. The goal is to buy what’s on sale and use as many coupons as I can for the items that are on sale, so I can get the best price for the products!


  7. Tat says

    The recipe sounds great, but I agree with Bev, there is absolutely no way on earth, this dinner would cost me anywhere near $5, if you go shopping where I live.

  8. says

    Hi Erin – I was just writing up my Italian mamma-in-law’s version of pasta primavera and my site for info about this dish led me to your version and your wonderful(ly frugal) site. I love it; such a great theme!

    It’s interesting that this and some other primavera recipes I’ve spied include milk and butter to create a creamy sauce, as the recipe I was taught is oil about oil and soft-fried veggie cubes. Maybe the cream approach is the Italian-American difference? (I’m not American so just guessing!).

    Anyhoo, wonderful stuff. Primavera simply rocks!


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