This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
I have been sharing with you all for some time that the hubby is on a diet. His plan is somewhat restrictive and two nights a week his dinners have to come in at 350 calories. I, on the other hand, if anything really could stand to gain some weight so I do not eat what I cook for him. I make myself simple dinners on those nights. In fact I often take the opportunity to hearken back to my childhood with the meals that I make indulging in the types of dinners that my husband doesn’t really enjoy. We grew up a generation apart and I have a greater fondness for packaged food. What can I say – I love mac and cheese from a box. There, I’ve admitted it. It also makes these dinners I create for myself budget friendly meals which helps the finances. Retirement has its advantages but loads of money is not one of them. I’ve got two easy meals that I’m going to share with you today and they are even more low budget than usual because so many great Kraft products are on rollback at Walmart right now so you can #RollIntoSavings.
You can bet I stocked up on my favorite Mac and Cheese in that blue box but I also found Kraft singles, Kraft Barbecue Sauce and Kraft Italian Dressing. I was in Kraft heaven! Now just because I love Kraft Mac and Cheese doesn’t mean I also don’t like to dress it up a bit – you know how much I love to play in the kitchen! I had roasted a chicken over the weekend so I had some left to use. I never like to just serve a meal the same way – I like to turn it into a new meal. I love roasting chickens for just this reason – they provide a world of meal possibilities!
I know many of you also end up with leftover meats so this meal will also work with pork, hamburger, sausage or even shrimp. It’s simple to make and hardly takes any time to pull off AND it has a delicious surprise in the middle. If you don’t have leftover meat it’s simple enough to just cook a couple of chicken thighs. It’s still very economical as chicken thighs don’t cost that much. Just be sure to cook them first – do not put raw chicken into this recipe!
Stuffed Mac and Cheese
PRINT THIS RECIPE
Serves 4 to 6
1 box Kraft Mac and Cheese Deluxe 4 Cheese Dinner
2 cups cooked chicken or other leftover meat
1 apple, cut into small dice
6 slices Kraft Singles Cheddar
2/3 cup Kraft Barbecue Sauce – I used Honey but take your pick of the many Kraft varieties
1/4 cup crushed fried onions
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350°
Prepare the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner according to the directions on the box – EXCEPT only cook the macaroni for 6 minutes. Set the completed Mac and Cheese aside. You can even put it in a bowl and make your stuffed Mac and Cheese the next day.
Measure the Kraft Barbecue Sauce and set it aside. Mix the crushed fried onions and panko bread crumbs together and set aside.
Cut the cooked chicken into small pieces and add it and the apple to a small bowl. Add the Barbecue Sauce and mix together until everything is coated.
You can either make the stuffed Mac and Cheese in an 8 x 8″ pan or in four separate containers. Since I would be the one eating this I decided to make it in separate vessels so I could keep them in the refrigerator to heat up for lunch.. Spray whatever you are using with cooking spray.
Cover the bottom of the container with the cooked Kraft Mac and Cheese. Then add Kraft Cheddar Singles to cover, then a layer of the chicken/apple/Barbecue Sauce mix, another layer of cheese followed by more mac and cheese. Sprinkle the fried onion/panko mixture on top. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
I really enjoyed this Mac and Cheese with a surprise inside. The barbecue sauce added a nice tang that was offset by the sweet apple. The cheese was a perfect complement to both. I had a cucumber and zucchini salad on the side with some tangy Kraft Italian Dressing. It was a perfect foil to the rich Mac and Cheese. It is also a perfect meal for those tight times around the 1st and the 15th because you can feed a family of four for under $20!
I was further inspired by the Kraft Barbecue Sauce and Cheddar Singles to make another of my favorite meals – twice baked potatoes. The hubby does not like potatoes – I KNOW! Can you believe such a thing?! I love them but I don’t make them all that often because it’s a pain to cook something just for myself. He was going out of town for a couple of days so that is when I make things that I enjoy and these potatoes really filled that bill! They were so very simple to make. One night while I was baking something else I tossed a couple of potatoes in the oven so I would have them ready to use.
Cheesy Twice Baked Potatoes
PRINT THIS RECIPE
1 potato, baked and cooled
3 pieces Kraft Cheddar Singles
1 TBS butter
2 TBS Kraft Honey Barbecue Sauce
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°
Cut the potato in half and carefully remove the potato insides from the skin, keeping the skin intact. Add the butter to the potato in a bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute until the butter melts. Add the three slices of Kraft Cheddar Singles – rip them up – and stir it all around until the mixture is melty. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.
Place half of the mixture in each piece of skin. Place a tablespoon of Barbecue Sauce along the top of each skin and sprinkle with fried onions. Bake in the preheated oven for half and hour.
I had a cucumber salad with this and it was a perfectly satisfying meal. I can also see adding some leftover meat or broccoli to them. I love twice baked potatoes and these were delicious! I was able to eat something I love and since the hubby was away I didn’t have to cook two meals to do so! It was a win/win for sure. This is another great meal for tight times; you can cook up 6 potatoes, add some meat and vegetables and serve them with a side salad and feed six people for under $20! What a delicious dinner for the beginning and middle of the month when money needs to be stretched.
You can see how easy it is to make simple to prepare, low budget meals with these great Kraft products. I get to indulge my taste for Mac and Cheese and potatoes and the hubby gets his “special” meals. We’re both happy and isn’t that what the #CollectiveBias says makes a marriage work?
You can find more great budget friendly recipes