Chicken is one of those ingredients that is widely used because it is easy to get a hold of, pretty cost-effective, and you can do a lot of different things with it. For these reasons, we decided to use chicken as our main ingredient in the dish this month.
Since spring is in the air (finally!), we wanted to give the chicken dish a citrus twist and a hint of spice to get us all prepared for what spring has to offer. One of our favorite spices to use, that is less well known, is Aleppo. This spice has a smoky heat that doesn't burn, but really gives food a punch of flavor. If you haven't tried this spice yet, you should really go grab some and play around. We think you'll love it as much as we do!
And now, let's get started with what you will need to make our citrus chili chicken with vegetable pagoda pasta.
- 1 lb. Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs (excess fat trimmed)
- 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
- Juice and Zest of 1 Lime
- ½ tsp Aleppo
- ½ tsp Ground Coriander
- ½ tsp Dried Oregano
- ½ tsp Sea Salt
- ½ tsp Cumin
- 8 oz Quinoa Pagoda Pasta (or Whole Wheat Spaghetti as another alternative)
For spiralized vegetable option:
- 4 Zucchini
- ¼ tsp Oregano
- ¼ tsp Thyme
- ¼ tsp Marjoram
We chose to make this dish with both the vegetable pagoda pasta (which just happens to be gluten-free!) and the spiralized zucchini so that our family had choices. We like to use the vegetable pagoda as a pasta option, every now and then because it helps get more vegetables into our kids without them realizing it. As parents, sometimes we have to be a bit sneaky.
Luckily, a few of our children prefer the spiralized zucchini to the pasta, as do we. And the vegetable option costs a little bit less than the vegetable pagoda, so we like that. Plus, when we make this dish, the spiralized vegetables are pretty filling, so we usually have some leftovers for the next day. Which makes this dish even more cost effective!
But, if you are wanting the lowest cost option, and you plan to pair this main dish with a salad or other vegetables, then go with the whole wheat pasta option.
Once you decide which pasta option you plan to go with, then it's time to get cooking!
- Combine all spices, 1 ½ Tbsp olive oil, juice, and zest and marinate chicken for 20 minutes
- Bake at 425° for 20-30 minutes (turning halfway through)
- Drain fat and cube or slice into smaller pieces
- While chicken is baking, start boiling water for pasta
- Once water is boiling, add Quinoa Pagoda Pasta and cook for 6 – 9 minutes
- Drain and toss with remaining 2 ½ Tbsp of olive oil
- Serve chicken atop of pasta
If you decided to try the spiralized vegetable option:
- Rinse zucchini and pat dry
- Slice off one end of zucchini and place in spiralizer
- Spiralize into a large bowl
- Toss with 1 Tbsp olive oil, oregano, thyme and marjoram
- Sauté for 5 – 6 minutes on high, to desired tenderness
- Serve citrus chili chicken atop spiralized vegetables
Yield: 4 servings
We love playing with our spiralizer whenever we get the opportunity. It is so easy to use and it makes adding more vegetables to our dishes quick and easy. There are many different types of spiralizers you can choose from, and some are easier than others to maneuver. We have both a handheld manual spiralizer, which we use for just one squash and the larger countertop version shown, for larger quantities.
Now that you've got your delicious, and very nutrient dense, dinner to enjoy, let's take a look at how much it costs per serving.
- 1 lb. Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs – $7.20 per pound (Organic)
- 4 Tbsp Olive Oil – $6.99 (per 1 L bottle = 66 Tbsp)/66 = $.11 x 4 = $.44
- Juice and Zest of 1 Lime – $1.49 (per 1 lb. bag, approximately 6 limes)/6 = $.25
- ½ tsp Aleppo – $3.95 (per ¼ cup jar = 12 tsp)/12 = $.33 / 2 = $.17
- ½ tsp Ground Coriander – $3.39 (per ¼ cup jar = 12 tsp)/12 = $.28 / 2 = $.14
- ½ tsp Dried Oregano (Mexican) – $2.29 (per ¼ cup jar = 12 tsp)/12 = $.19 / 2 = $.10
- ½ tsp Sea Salt – $1.49 (per 4.5 oz jar w/grinder)/ 135 (servings per jar, 1/8 tsp each) = $.01 x 4 = $.04
- ½ tsp Cumin – $3.59 (per ¼ cup jar = 12 tsp)/12 = $.30 / 2 = $.15
- 8 oz Quinoa Pagoda Pasta (or Whole Wheat Spaghetti) – $3.99 per box
For the whole wheat pasta option:
- Whole Wheat Pasta – $1.49 per box
For spiralized vegetable option:
- 4 Zucchini – $3.69 per 4 pack (approximately 1 lb.)
- ¼ tsp Oregano (Mexican) – $2.29 (per ¼ cup jar = 12 tsp)/12 = $.19 / 2 = $.10
- ¼ tsp Thyme – $2.95 (per ¼ cup jar = 12 tsp)/12 = $.25 / 4 = $.06
- ¼ tsp Marjoram – $2.29 (per ¼ cup jar = 12 tsp)/12 = $.19 / 4 = $.05
Vegetable Pagoda Pasta Total Price: $12.48 / 4 servings = $3.12 per serving
Whole Wheat Pasta Total Price: $9.98 / 4 servings = $2.50 per serving
Spiralized Vegetables Total Price: $12.39 / 4 servings = $3.10 per serving
Citrus Chili Chicken for the Win!
Not only is this dish really easy to make, but it:
- tastes delicious
- is very nutrient dense, when using the vegetable pagoda pasta or spiralized zucchini
- is cost effective
*If you are vegetarian, this dish can be made even more cost effective because the chicken is the most expensive part of the whole dish. You can easily substitute tofu (pan-fried or oven roasted) or a vegetarian meat option instead of the chicken.
For everybody else, we hope you enjoy this dish and the opportunity to play with spiralizing vegetables.
Have you tried spiralized vegetables yet? If so, how did you like them? How easy was the spiralizer to work with?
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