Spicy Chicken Pasta Bake – Stretch A Chicken (4)
Got a little bit of chicken to use up? Try it in this spicy pasta bake- make it as hot and spicy as you like!
How to make Spicy Chicken Pasta
Chop the onion and sauté in a little oil until soft. Add garlic, freshly grated ginger and a chopped chilli. Include the membrane and seeds if you like it hot, remove them if not. Don’t forget to wash your hands after handling raw chilli!
Put the flour and milk in a cold saucepan and heat gently, whisking, until it thickens. Season with salt and pepper and a generous dollop of any mustard, The mustard, strangely, makes it taste creamier, and cheesey, even tho there is none in it.
Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente, we don’t want the pasta too cooked or the bake will be soggy.
If you are not using chicken that’s already cooked, cut it into small pieces and cook it in a separate pan until cooked through.
Mix the spicy onion mixture and the drained pasta into the sauce, add the chicken. Stir it all up and put in an ovenproof dish.
Make up the stuffing as per the instructions on the pack. Form into balls with roughed up edges for more crispy bits and drizzle with a little oil.
When you are ready to eat, bake in a moderate oven for 20 minutes, along with the stuffing balls, until the top browns, or microwave for a few minutes until piping hot all the way through. This will freeze well, so can be stashed away as a lovely home made ready meal
What was the chicken and pasta bake like
I used some pasta I got from Approved Foods as that is what I had, value pasta would be fine.
The stuffing provided a delicious crunch and I ended up crushing them up and scattering them over the bake on my plate which worked beautifully.
Pasta bake variations
- Any meat could be used in place of the chicken, so pork, beef or lamb. If you have any lovely home made gravy using the meat juices left from when you had the chicken roast, that would add delicious flavour stirred into the bake.
- Any veg could be used to go with it, plain or roasted.
- The mustard could be varied to give a different flavour
- Serve with a few fine chopped rings of onion, soak it in milk first to take off that very raw flavour
- If you have any herbs available, they would work well, finely chopped, scattered over, or mixed in
- Flavour the sauce with some curry spices or a bit of paste
- Fry off some mushrooms and stir those through the uncooked bake
- Flavour the sauce with some tomato purée
- Scatter over a few flaked almonds or chopped nuts, or top with some fried peanuts after it has come out of the oven
- If you don’t have any stuffing mix, or don’t want to use it, scatter some breadcrumbs over the top of the bake (before baking) to get the same kind of crunch.
The recipes in the series on what to do with a whole chicken
- Roast chicken
- Spicy Pasta Bake – this recipe
- Sweetcorn and chicken Tart
- Chicken and onion Pie
- Spicy Red Lentil Soup
this makes 28 portions!
This means that 1 medium chicken can be used to make 7 different frugal chicken recipes and feed your family for a week!
Other pasta recipes
Tuna and Pasta Salad with black olives, Meal Plan 9, 30p a serving
- 120 g cooked chicken around 150g if using raw chicken, 39p
- 150 g onion 49p/kg, 7p
- 2 tsp oil £1.55/litre, 2p
- 1 chilli finely chopped. 51p/65g, 6p
- 1 clove garlic crushed, 4 bulbs/79p, 2p
- 2 tsp fresh ginger grated very finely, 69p/125g, 3p
- 320 g pasta 32p/500g, 20p
- 400 ml milk 2.27litres/£1.65, 29p
- 4 tblsps flour value 1.5kg/55p, 2p
- 2 tsp mustard 43p/200g, 2p
- 50 g stuffing mix 35p/170g, 10p
- Chop the onion and saute in a little oil until soft.150 g onion, 2 tsp oil
- Add garlic, freshly grated ginger and a chopped chilli. Include the membrane and seeds if you like it hot, remove them if not. Don't forget to wash your hands after handling raw chilli!1 chilli, 1 clove garlic, 2 tsp fresh ginger
- Put the flour and milk in a cold saucepan and heat gently, whisking, until it thickens. Season with salt and pepper and a generous dollop of any mustard, The mustard, strangely, makes it taste creamier, and cheesey, even tho there is none in it.400 ml milk, 4 tblsps flour, 2 tsp mustard
- Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente, we don’t want the pasta too cooked or the bake will be soggy.320 g pasta
- If you are not using chicken that's already cooked, cut it into small pieces and cook it in a separate pan until cooked through.120 g cooked chicken
- Mix the onion and the drained pasta into the sauce, add the chicken. Stir it all up and put in an ovenproof dish.
- Make up the stuffing as per the instructions on the pack. Form into balls with roughed up edges for more crispy bits and drizzle with a little oil.50 g stuffing mix
- When you are ready to eat, bake in a moderate oven for 20 minutes, along with the stuffing balls, until the top browns, or microwave for a few minutes until piping hot all the way through. Gas 6 / 400 °F/ 200 °C / 180 °C
This is so versatile – I’ve added shreds of chicken, pork or lamb; various different vegetables, just whatever I have available
The chicken tart variation sounds lovely, I shall have to try that.
As for the puddings, what a trip down memory lane they were for me. We had many a pudding like that when I was growing up. One of mums favourites was a dessert type suet pud, served with butter and brown sugar. She worked the calories out once!
I’ve never done Chinese dumplings at all and don’t know how these would go down with my conservative eater. The dumpling idea has reminded me of another favourite dish ( war-time and post war-time.)This was a kind of light suet roll,filled with chopped bacon,onions and lots of herbs (particularly sage,I think.)I think it was boiled in a cloth like a suet pudding .A bit stodgy but very tasty and liked in our family with gravy and green vegetables.I wonder if a mix of chicken and bacon would do the trick. We also used to eat boiled suet pudding as a dessert with dried fruit or jam or golden syrup. We definitely did not go hungry even during periods of rationing.Once rationing ended and we could buy beef skirt for stewing my mother made the most delicious steak and kidney puddings. They took hours of stewing and boiling but the end result was a very fine dish,which is up there with the very best of British dishes.We are all so weight conscious now that most of us are afraid to eat such puddings but there are plenty of lucky slim types who could have such dishes occasionally without too much harm.
I am still on my frugal mission,inspired by your blog and a couple of others, and feeling very pleased with myself for keeping to my aim of buying little each week ( mainly fresh vegetables and fruit)and using up what is in the freezer and cupboards. Today we had another roast from the remaining breast from my “rubber chicken”,with a couple of frozen sausages and leftover vegetables which I had frozen last week.The veg. were spruced up with a little cheese sauce.It was a nice meal. I adapted your chicken tart,by the way.With some chopped peppers,a couple of sliced potatoes and an onion,it made four very substantial meals with some salad.I’ve still got two little bags of chicken,probably to use with pasta.
Those rissole examples sound interesting. Maybe I should do a feature on rissoles!
No pasta or pastry makes it harder to stretch things. Does he do pastry in the form of Chinese type dumplings? They can stretch tiny amounts of meat too. When I was planning the chicken feature, I twiddled with recipes, stealing a bit here and there to make another meal or two. Wouldn’t have got so many if I’d just stripped it and thought, right, what will I make with this
I went through my freezer yesterday as I had lost track of what was in there, makes it so much easier to use things.
I don’t tend to use pilchards. When I want cheap tinned fish I always go for the sardines. No reason, I do like pilchards. lovely in fish cakes. I am working my way through my capacious Armageddon cupboard in a bid to reduce stores. There is so much in there!
After meals of roast chicken lunch and then Risotto,I have just prepared a kind of chicken rissole with chopped chicken,adding a little mash ,fried finely chopped veg,seasoning and mayonnaise,to be coated in crumbs with chives from the garden.I know already that I’ve overdone the quantity of chicken in these rissoles,though I think they will taste very nice. However,if I had done what you suggest and reduced a bit from the risotto and these rissoles,for example, I could probably have saved enough meat for an extra pasta dish. Making these rissoles stirred memories of home-made rissoles which were a post-war way of stretching any kind of meat leftovers,mostly just with potato.They could be tasty but often were not and they seemed to go out of favour when prosperous times arrived. The memory inspired me to google “rissoles”. Some lovely recipes came up,using parmesan,garlic and herbs and tasty extras such as Worcester or barbecue sauce.I think I’ll go there again when I next attempt to stretch my chicken.Tomorrow I’m tackling the tart.However,I think I am only going to get about 14 meals from this chicken – not bad but way below your target.Slapped wrist! Must do better!Unfortunately my partner doesn’t eat pasta or pastry,so I’ll have to reserve more meals for me and freeze them.
I have recently turned out all my garage stores and categorised them really well in a bid to use them up relentlessly,cutting new shopping to the bone. I came across a cache of pilchards,originally bought for my diabetic cat,who now cannot have them much because she also has a kidney condition,needing less protein. I was thinking what to do with them. I’ve always loved them in fish-cakes and in my frugal days also made pilchard pasties and even curry (inspired by a pilchard cook-book from the manufacturer).I don’t think I’ve ever seen you using them. I know you use sardines and mackerel. Are you not keen on pilchards? I’ve always thought them very tasty and they are both very nutritious and cheap.
I set it all out in detail so you can copy if you want
When I was working it out at the beginning, I used the total weight of the meat and then twiddled with quantities in recipes. So I reduced the chicken content of the pie for instance by a little bit, knowing that it tasted very meaty, so could stand a small reduction. The process being, if I pinch a bit from here and bit from there, I’ll have enough to make ‘x’
The weighing part really helped to stretch it as far as I could
Crumbs! I think I am doing well if I get 6 meals and soup for 3 or 4 out of a chicken. You have certainly raised the bar.I was intending to get a big chicken for my first February shop(I’ve been on my £55 budget challenge to myself for January – though I have gone over by about £5.)and will look at using it much more frugally. I don’t usually weigh out the meat to use,so I think that will be a useful strategy.Secondly,I also think it will help if I up the “padding” (to use Jocasta Innes’ term for the potatoes/rice/pasta/batter/pastry etc) to eke out the meat.Thirdly, deliberately using more vegetables should help.I can’t imagine doing as well as you but I clearly should be able to push the boundaries further.