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It’s our best friend, but also our worst enemy. The semester is just getting to that point where it’s not just introductions anymore and we’re forced to deal with the fact that classes are hard, we have a lot of homework, and it’s nearly impossible for us to eat “normally” (whatever that means).

Or is it?

Let’s face it, the freshman fifteen isn’t the most flattering look. If you eat a burrito for lunch and the dining hall special for dinner every day, you’ll have a lot more than fifteen pounds to worry about. But fret not! Her Campus UConn is here to help.

We’ll be posting fun, easy, and (most importantly) cheap meals for you to add to your recipe books. To our girls who live without the luxury of a full kitchen, we’re here for you too! Some of our recipes can be made using only the microwave.

This week, I’m going to walk you through the steps of my personal favorite: chicken parmesan. It’s not the healthiest food to eat, but it’s delicious, filling, and inexpensive!

Chicken Parmesan Pasta

2 oz of your choice of pasta (I’m using spaghetti)1 cup breadcrumbs2 eggs1 tbls milk1 cup pasta sauce1 package of pre-cut boneless chicken breast nuggets¼ cup mozzarella cheese

Start by preheating the oven to 450 degrees.


The chicken will take the longest to cook, so we want to do that first. I use pre-cut pieces of chicken that you can get from the Big Y down the road for $6.59. I’m only using half of the package for this recipe, so the cost of the chicken is really only $3.28 (and you have some chicken left over for a different recipe). If you prefer a whole breast, go for it. Just keep in mind that the cooking time will be longer.

Crack your two eggs into a bowl, add the milk, and whisk them (you can do this with a fork) until they’re scrambled. Pour the cup of breadcrumbs into another bowl.

Dip the chicken pieces in the eggs and then the breadcrumbs. Once they’re covered completely, place them about an inch apart on your greased baking sheet.

Back at 450* for 8 minutes, then turn them over and bake for an additional 8 minutes.

Remember to make sure the chicken is cooked thoroughly before eating! Since most of us don’t have thermometers in our kitchens, just cut open the thickest piece and make sure it’s completely white inside. If it’s still pink, cook a little longer!

After you flip the chicken, you should start the pasta. I love spaghetti, but you can use any shape or size that you want. A single serving of spaghetti is 2 oz. You can measure it by using your hand, like I did. The bunch of spaghetti should be about the size of a quarter.

For other pasta shapes, a very general rule of thumb is ½ cup of dry uncooked pasta.

Once your water is boiling, dump in your pasta.

Stir occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Cook until it’s to your liking. Strain thoroughly.

Put the pasta on the plate (or in the bowl) you want to eat from. Top with your chicken. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, then pour your sauce over the top. Add more cheese if you want!

Bon appetite! See, that was easy, right? And delicious. Plus, the chicken is the most expensive thing in this dish. Pasta you can get for $1 a box (sometimes less), tomato sauce is cheap (and can be frozen for a later use), and all the rest of the ingredients are $5 or less. You’ll spend $8 for one serving chicken parm at the union. 

Until next time, chow!

xoxo Tia

I'm Tia, an English Major at the University of Connecticut. My skills include writing, making sarcastic comments, and watching four seasons of Pretty Little Liars in two weeks.
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