So due to medical necessities, I’m in the process of packing up my boys and moving across the country. It’s a pain and I don’t advise doing it. And worse, I find myself too tired by dinner time (also we already packed most of the kitchen) that I have started ordering food or going out to eat more than we should. So I sat down and tried to come up with some really good one pot meals to make instead. I found a few and thought I would share one that the kids really enjoyed!


1 Tbsp vegetable oil $2.69 or Pantry                                                                                              1/2 lb smoked sausage $2.50                                                                                       2 cloves garlic $1.00 (or just get a can of minced $1.98)                                                             15 oz can diced tomatoes $0.59                                                                                                   1/2 Tbsp Creole seasoning** $2.49 (this one is based on your tastes, might be more or less or Pantry if you already have it                                                                                1/2 tsp oregano $1.18 or Pantry                                                                                                           1/2 tsp smoked paprika $1.18 or Pantry                                                                            1/4 tsp thyme $1.18 or Pantry                                                                                                               2 cups chicken broth $0.88 Pantry                                                                                                   1 cup water                                                                                                                                     1 lb penne pasta $1.00 Pantry                                                                                                             2 Tbsp half and half $1.49

Based on what I tend to buy, most of these items are in my pantry so I’ll do a price comparison for what I would spend vs. what someone who does not have these items would spend.

With items in the Pantry Total $6.56 with 6 servings – $1.09 per serving!

Without Pantry items – Total $17.16 – 6 servings – $2.86 per serving!


  1. Slice the smoked sausage. Add the sausage and vegetable oil to a large pot and cook over medium heat until the sausage is brown.
  2. Mince two cloves of garlic and add them to the pot. Sauté for one minute. Add the can of diced tomatoes, Creole seasoning, oregano, smoked paprika, thyme and pasta to the pot. Finally, add the chicken broth and 1 cup of water, and stir until well mixed.
  3. Place a lid on the pot and turn the heat up to medium-high. Let the pot come to a boil. Stir, then turn the heat down to low, and let the pot simmer for 10-12 minutes. Stir the pot once every few minutes as it simmers to prevent the pasta from sticking.
  4. Turn off the heat and stir in the half & half or cream. Serve hot.

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