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Grilled Chicken & Simple Pasta with Sauteed Tomatoes – $5 Dinner Challenge

Last week the boys were attacked by the 4 hour stomach bug.  It was probably really a 24 hour stomach bug…but the kids only acted like it was a 4 hour bug. Ryan called my mom, as he is quite handy with my iPhone…and he informed her in a bold, confident and cheerful voice that he was sick. She didn’t believe him.  It was almost a fluke of a stomach bug.

In an effort to ease back into regular eating, I made this partly bland-partly not-so-bland dinner for us. The boys had just the noodles, chicken and a few bites of green beans, while Steve and I had the tomato-y pasta plus the rest. Given the situation, it worked nicely.

(Sorry about the stomach bug thing…just needed to share the back story. Let’s forget about that now. And focus on the tomatoes.)

The sauteed tomatoes are the star of this meal! And they were perfect with the pasta!

Grilled Chicken & Simple Pasta with Sauteed Tomatoes

Yield – 4 servings

Preparation Time – 15 minutes

Cooking Time – 25 minutes


  • 1 lb. pasta noodles, variety doesn’t matter ($.50)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($.20)
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed ($.20)
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped ($.15)
  • 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (from the garden)
  • (Fresh basil, chopped, would have been a lovely addition…I’m all out!)
  • 3 chicken breasts ($2.32)
  • Garlic salt and Italian seasonings ($.05)
  • Green beans (from the garden)


  • Cook pasta according to box instructions. Before draining, reserve 1/3 cup cooking liquid.

  • In a skillet, add the olive oil, crushed garlic, chopped onion and halved tomatoes. Let saute for 8-10 minutes, stirring every few minutes.

  • Or until they are old and wrinkly looking. Once done, toss with the pasta, and the reserved pasta cooking water.
  • Grill the chicken with your favorite marinade or rub. (I just sprinkled with garlic salt and Italian seasonings just before grilling. Complemented the pasta perfectly!)
  • Steam or saute the green beans.
  • Serve Pasta with Sauteed Tomatoes and Grilled Chicken and Green Beans.

Cost $3.12