Budget Friendly Dinner Challenge

I have a fun post for you all today! It is no secret I love to be in my kitchen, and being a full time working Mom I have a couple requirements for our suppers these days:

  • Healthy
  • Budget-friendly – now more than ever with a mat leave coming up!
  • Quick!

I am lucky that neither Chad or Avery are picky so most meals are easily family friendly for us, but one of Avery’s favourite meals is “noodles”  aka pasta. Barilla pasta contacted me to see if I wanted to create a budget-friendly dinner using their products and I was more than happy to take on the challenge.



The budget for this challenge was $15, so I set out to the grocery store to buy some ingredients…


What did I buy?

  • Frozen butternut squash $2.50
  • Chicken sausage with bacon and cheddar $3.50 (used half a $7 package)
  • Red pepper $2.80
  • White mushrooms $1.00

Had at home:

  • Parmesan cheese $2.00 (estimated for only using part of the package)

Total of above ingredients $11.80

I used the Fettuccine Barilla pasta, as well as some other kitchen basics you will see listed below.

Creamy Butternut Squash Fettuccine with Sausage, Red Pepper & Mushrooms


1 box of Barilla fettuccine pasta

1 package of sausage – any kind you desire would work!

2 cups of chopped frozen butternut squa

1 red pepper – chopped

6 white mushrooms – chopped

1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese

1/4 almond milk

1/2 tsp of paprika

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil


Chop up red pepper,mushrooms and sausage. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to a pan, add in sausage and pepper, heat to medium-high. Stir every couple of minutes, cook 7-8 minutes until sausage is brown. Add mushrooms into the pan, cook another 3-5 minutes until mushrooms are cooked.



In a pot add 2 cups of butternut squash and 2 cups of water, heat to medium and cook for 7-9 minutes or until the squash is tender (test by piercing with a fork). Drain excess water and add into a blender, I used my Magic Bullet. Add back into the pot with milk and stir to combine, bring to a boil then simmer for 5-10 minutes until desired consistency is reached. Make sure to stir often! Meanwhile cook the pasta according to the directions. Add Parmesan cheese into the squash sauce and stir to combine, remove from heat.



Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add into the pan with sausage etc and add the sauce, stir to combine. And voila you are done!


We really enjoyed this meal, it was on the table in under 30 minutes and even provided us with leftovers for lunch the next day! Without the price of the pasta included I estimate the cost per serving at $3.00/serving, not too bad at all!


What is your favourite budget friendly recipe? Favourite pasta recipe?




10 thoughts on “Budget Friendly Dinner Challenge

  1. P. Jeanne

    Ooooooo looks delicious! I love throwing together pastas like this…super quick, easy and budget friendly for sure 😉 I'll have to try your little trick with the bn squash! Thanks for the recipe 😀

  2. Karen

    Crock pot is my new favourite thing! I've always liked it but really started using it almost everyday in the past two weeks! I made vegetarian lasagna in the slow cooker. You should totally try this! Easiest thing! My "go-to" for week night dinners is Chicken Broccoli Cheddar Brown Rice Casserole or Mushroom & Gravy chicken with either brown pasta or rice. Again, so easy! Coconut curry chicken stew (made with Epicure Mango Curry) was a great slow cooker meal and lasted for many lunches! So many ideas! I'm totally trying this one!

    1. arunningtale

      I need to use mine more! I have problems finding recipes where you just throw things in and go though. Everything needs to much prep usually 🙁 I love the sound of the recipes above though! Can you email the recipes or what you do? Avery loves broccoli so I need to make that one for sure.

  3. Brie @ Slice of Brie

    This looks delicious!! I love the idea of blending butternut squash to make your sauce. I will definitely have to try this (without mushrooms! Haha!) 😉


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