Chicken Cheddar Ziti

Day 3 in our 8 Pounds, 5 Meals project and we have a fairly frugal recipe. I will even break down how I bought it all frugally. The Chicken Cheddar Ziti was another crowd family pleaser as all pasta dishes are in this house. An unusual combination to be sure but using what I had at home was key and it all tasted so yummy.

I will give you the basic recipe I used and also recommend a few alterations I would have made it I had more time.

  • Chicken – purchased organic chicken drumsticks at $1.99 lb., pre-cooked them as per the 8 Pound, 5 Meals project, and shredded the meat
  • Ricotta – purchased on sale – 32 oz., $1.99. CombineĀ  a coupon and a sale. Re-package and freeze for days like this.
  • Sauce – 1 cheapo jar at the store for $1 OR make your own sauce
  • Cheddar Cheese – Aldi, $1.79
  • Organic pasta – Whole Foods, $1.29

Fabulously frugal, change your ziti up with this chicken cheddar ziti -

Chicken Cheddar Ziti


  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1 – 15/16 ounce jar of tomato sauce
  • 1 – 15/16 ounce ricotta
  • 8 ounces cheddar, extra sharp is our choice – shredded


  1. Cook pasta per the back of the box.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 375.
  3. Mix pasta, ricotta, chicken and sauce.
  4. Put into 13 x 9 pan.
  5. Spread shredded cheese over top.
  6. Bake until cheese is lightly browned, 30-45 minutes.
  7. Serves 6.



  • Saute a medium onion, chopped and 2 cloves of garlic, diced. Mix in with chicken, pasta and ricotta.
  • Chop a crown of broccoli and mix in with chicken and pasta.
  • Use mozzarella or parmesan instead of cheddar.
  • Use 1 can black beans, 1 jar of salsa and 8 ounces monterey jack instead of sauce and cheddar for a Mexican flare

How would you change your ziti up and still keep it frugal?


Heather McCurdy writes at Real: The Kitchen and Beyond, where she provides easy, affordable recipes for busy families, allowing women to embrace the budget and spend more time with their families without the guilt of needing perfection.

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