I've got a great cheap and easy dinner for you. I made this one night on a whim with stuff I had on hand and fell in love with it. I've made it at least five times in the past couple of months. It's simple. It's cheap. And the flavors are there - so comforting and delicious. Best part: takes very little effort and you can cook it in one baking dish. It's 15 minutes of prep and it goes in the oven. It's a weeknight dinner dream!
Chicken Thighs Are the Perfect Start to a Cheap and Easy Dinner Night
Once more with feeling: I LOVE dark meat chicken. Anyone else can't live without chicken thighs? I know, you're getting tired of me saying this. But I love my chicken thighs. Love 'em! I think my favorite way of eating them is baked. Bone-in, skin-on and baked in the oven. I know many people do not want to eat chicken thighs because of all the fat. I understand this. But if you simply take one minute per chicken thigh, you can trim a great deal of the fat off before cooking. If you need a little help, I made a video detailing how to trim the fat from chicken thighs.
That being said, chicken thighs are usually pretty cheap! Store brands of chicken thighs where I live run around $1.29/lb. and less when there is a sale. Purdue chicken thighs (my preference) run around $1.79/lb. - also less when there is a sale. You can often get a pack of four chicken thighs for about $5-6 dollars. The rest of the ingredients for this dish are low cost. Potatoes, carrots, onion. I usually have all three on hand which is why I've been reaching for this recipe so much lately. It's cheap and easy. Also, in case you're new to my website and don't know this about me: potatoes are my favorite food in the world. Again, apologies to my regular readers for yet another declaration of love for potatoes. But potatoes!!! I love you!
Cheap and Easy Dinner Nights Make For Cheap and Easy Leftovers for Lunch
I cook with leftovers in mind and it took a long time to get into this. For years I was not a fan of re-heating leftovers. There are a lot of foods that simply don't taste good reheated in a microwave. However, I can tell you this: I try to make things that DO taste good for a couple of days. This is one of them.
I can share with you from experience, cooking with leftovers in mind will save you money in the long run. When we don't plan our food, it's too tempting to go rogue and that can have devastating consequences on our budgets - and our health. I used to work with people who ordered out lunch almost every day. Chicken wings, pizza, huge sandwiches and burgers, pasta, Chinese food, taco trucks and everything else in between. The food from the building cafeteria was no better. The cost of this was at least $15 per day. That is $75 per week and $300 per month. And that folks - is a car payment! And there is no need for this. Make a little extra for dinner and take it for lunch.
This chicken, carrots, potatoes and onion recipe is an excellent option for reheating. Simply cover your plate/bowl in plastic wrap and heat for 2-3 minutes in the microwave. It's delicious! This is a great Sunday night dinner option and you can start your week with ready-to-go leftovers for your Monday lunch.
Easy Steps to Assemble the Dish
Can't Get Enough Chicken Thighs? I Understand:
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- Cardamom Chicken Thighs w/Coconut Raisin Rice
- Ina Garten's Chicken Marbella
- Rosemary Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs
- Crispy Chicken Thighs w/Honey Butter Garlic Sauce
Cheap and Easy Dinner: Chicken Thighs, Carrots, Potatoes & Onions
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Yield: 4 portions 1x
Looking for a cheap and easy dinner? I’ve got one here that is packed with comforting flavors and requires very little effort.
For the chicken thighs:
- 4 chicken thighs
- Tiny bit of olive oil (to brush tops of chicken)
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or basil, sage, rosemary)
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley, optional garnish
For the Veggies:
- 2 heaping cups of chopped carrots (2 large carrots)
- 2 large Yukon (yellow) potatoes, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Trim the fat from the chicken thighs. I go for the big flaps of fat around the edges first, then go underneath to get as much fat as possible trimmed. I have a great tutorial about how to trim the fat from chicken thighs you should check out if you need help.
- Season the bottom of the chicken thighs first. Then turn over and brush a small amount of olive oil on top of the chicken thighs then season with salt, pepper and dried thyme. You could also use dried basil, rosemary, sage or herbs de provence. Set chicken aside while you chop the veggies.
- Peel the carrots. Cut in half, then cut each half in half again lengthwise. See video. Slice carrots at an angle. For sizing you want between ¼ inch and ½ inch. Carrots take the longest too cook so you don’t want these too thick. Add to a large bowl.
- Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, then cut in half again. Cut potatoes into uniform sized cubes. Add to the bowl.
- Cut the onion in half, then into chunks. I broke apart some of the larger chunks as I added the onion to the bowl.
- Season veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss with your hands to coat.
- Transfer veggies to a 9x13 baking dish and spread out evenly. Place chicken thighs on top of veggies.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for one hour. Ovens are different – mine runs hot. Yours may take a little more or less time. Internal temperature of chicken should be 165 degrees before consuming. Fork the carrots to make sure they are tender.
- While the chicken is cooking, chop the fresh parsley garnish if you are using.
- Let the chicken sit for 5 minutes before serving.
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