Friday! Woohooo. A few weeks ago we did a freebie Friday and I mentioned we would start rotating Fridays with freebies and frugal. Except, last Friday I failed because I shared Guinness Meat Pie instead. The meal was somewhat frugal. $2 for pastry shells $4 for the extra lean beef. The peas were $1 and the other ingredients I had on hand. So, a whole pie for about $7 and it (in our house) served 4.
Well this frugal Friday meal contains pantry items most of us already have on hand and $4 spent at Dollar Tree. While the obvious reason for my infatuation with the dollar stores, they also make a quick in-and-out trip when you want to cook a meal but don’t want to hit the drive-thru.
This Sausage Gnocchi is basically just a dollar store version of my Skinny Rustic Italian Gnocchi Soup. While this version isn’t skinny, it’s still tasty and will work for a quick meal.
First things first.
1 package of John Morrell smoked sausage – $1
1 package Caputo potato gnocchi – $1
1 package Kendale Farm chicken broth – $1
I also purchased one container of dried basil for $1, but it will be used for more than just this recipe.
Total meal cost – $3-$4.
This meal will fill up a rather large dutch oven.
Things you will need for this recipe that you probably already have on hand:
flour, milk, garlic (either raw, pre minced or powder)
onions (regular, green, or even powder)
a handful of baby carrots (or a few large raw, or even a can of canned sliced carrots)
Parmesan cheese (optional)
This recipe was rather simple because we’ve made a few pots of the Skinny Rustic Italian Gnocchi Soup so I had the general idea just about memorized.
Kiddo and hubs both gave two thumbs up and had no complaints that we swapped out our normal brands. When watching calories like me, just leave out some of the sausage and gnocchi. If you like spinach (like the original recipe) feel free to add a little extra to your own bowl to give it something extra.
We’ve tested a few dollar store meals and I’ll be sharing those in the coming weeks. I’ve also got some really fun freebies too.
Truth is, I started Weight Watchers yesterday, so we’ll be having a lot more ‘from-scratch’ healthier options around here. I made Lifetime on WW many years ago. The last few years with all my health problems and stress, I’ve put the weight back on. I have tried WW online a few times without much success. Meetings were never at times I could attend – at least the one closest to me and all the rest of them were to far away for me to really schedule that block of time in. Now, their program has new options for the online program and I feel like that change was just what I needed.
I hope these changes will be welcomed with open arms – not just here on YUMeating – but in my home as well.
- 32 oz chicken broth
- 1 cup water + 1/2 cup
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1 package of potato gnocchi 17.6 oz
- 1 package of smoked sausage 7 oz, sliced
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 10 baby carrots diced
- green onions chopped
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Parmesan cheese
- To make this a one pot meal, slice the sausage and place it at the bottom of a dutch oven or large stock pot with lid.
- Cook on medium heat to warm the sausage and slightly brown on both sides. About 4 minutes.
- Remove and place on a paper towel; set aside.
- Using the same dutch oven you are going to create a slurry using the flour and 1/2 cup water.
- Pour them into your dutch oven and whisk the two together on low heat.
- Continue whisking until your flour becomes just a tad darker in color. We are not trying to make a rue.
- Add 1 cup water, chicken stock, and milk to the dutch oven.
- Slowly bring to a boil.
- Once your dutch oven mixture starts to boil, reduce heat, add onion, carrots, garlic, and 1/2 tsp black pepper and salt.
- Continue to stir.
- Turn the heat back up and return to a boil.
- Partially cover the pot once the soup boils and reduce heat to low.
- Allow soup to simmer until vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes.
- Continue to stir.
- Once your vegetables are tender add the sausage, gnocchi and basil.
- Continue cooking until the gnocchi floats to the top. They'll become fluffy and your soup with start to thicken.
- Season with more black pepper to taste.
- Once gnocchi has floated to the top, you're ready to serve.
- Using a large spoon or ladle, place soup into bowl and garnish with Parmesan cheese.
- For a lower calorie bowl, add a few pieces of gnocchi and sausage in your soup and fill it up with spinach for a great tasting rustic version.
Are you trying to make any health changes in 2015?
winifred jac says
i need frugal every single day meals. the amount i spend at the grocery store for a family of 3, is insane. how can someone be so bad at grocery shopping? lol.
We are a 3-person family, too. Hubs eats enough for 2 and kiddo is a ever growing 10 year-old. I am the one with the weight problem (hes has a slight one) and yet they eat way more than I do. When I go grocery shopping it’s more like I am shopping for a family of 6!
Julie @ Girl on the Move says
I love Dollar Tree but have never thought about shopping there for frugal meal ideas…I’m going to need to start doing that! And this looks yummy!
There are some things at Dollar Tree that are $1 – and they should be marked 2/$1. Some stores I have noticed don’t mark them. Dollar General does have some items cheaper than $1. But some of their other things are $1.50. Both have their pros and cons. DG is closer to me. But I can get out of DT cheaper.
Robin (Masshole Mommy) says
I am from a huge Italian family, so I grew up on Gnocchi! It’s one of those staples that we just always ate growing up 🙂 NOM.
We seem to be eating it a lot more lately. One package is fairly inexpensive and is very filling so it goes a long way.
Terri Ramsey Beavers says
I’ve been trying to be more frugal with my meal planning because I want a dream vacation, lol. This looks really good, I’m impressed with how much it made too.
We’re going frugal for a few reasons. Starting a new business and buying a new home is the major one. We still haven’t taken our honeymoon! lol
This looks delicious, I will definitely have to try it! I am a big fan of gnocchi and it’s something my picky three year old will actually eat too! Plus, anyway I can hide vegetables is always a bonus too.
My husband doesn’t like certain vegetables, so I have to hide them. Sticking spinach in gnocchi is one of those ways.
lisa @bitesforbabies says
This looks so hearty and filling!! I’ve never actually purchased food ingredients from the dollar store (I’m sort of skeptical) but I love how you created this recipe for those in mind who are frugal and buy these ingredients there.
Kathy Ngo says
I wish we had those cheap healthy meals over here. I can’t believe that it was that cheap to make that soup. My son loves soup and I’d definitely make this for him soon.
Bonnie @ wemake7 says
Yes, we are trying to eat healthier this year. This meal looks really good and I can’t believe it was only $3.
Tammilee Tips says
I love finding new easy recipes like this!! Good luck on your Weight Watchers journey I bet your family will like the changes!
This dish looks so hearty and heartwarming. It would be great with some crunchy bread on the side, too!
debra p says
This looks like a delicious hearty meal. What a great bargain as well! Yum!
I don’t eat meat, but I must admit that your recipe looks delectable! I must share the link to your recipe with friends and family.
It’s just as good without the meat! You could swap the sausage for a ‘meat’ crumble. Or just leave it out altogether and add vegetables like carrots, celery, peas and spinach.
Angela Christoper says
Wow looks delicious and tasty sausage gnocchi, I’ll try it at home this perfect for cold weather,.
That’s a great looking meal recipe. Good luck with your new journey!
Thank you so much!
Elizabeth O. says
Gnocchi is too good! Happy to know I don’t have to make one from scratch!
Omg yummy!!! Who knew a delicious meal like this could be made from the dollar store!!!
John Lopez says
I have tried something like this at the Olive Garden previously. It looks so yummy, I want to try this.
What a hearty meal for those brisk nights. I never considered shopping meal ingredients from Dollar Stores. This is good to know
I am such a fan of gnocchi. This looks really tasty!
Very creative (and yummy!) way to save money on meal planning without sacrificing taste. I have always wondered how their meats were!
Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen says
This looks like such a comforting bowl of deliciousness! I love sausages.
Kimberly A Conner says
I have 2 more recipies using the gnocci potato dumplings. 2 packages of gnocci 1 can spegetti sauce 1 package pepporoni and muzzerella cheese. Cook gonocci as directed, drain, pour into a baking dish and mix cut in half pepperoni slices, half the package of cheese, and sauce. Mix all together sprinkle thevrest of cheese on top. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Serve with dollar tree garlic bread if you would like.
Chicken and gnocchi use potato dumplings by cooking in chicken stock add 1 or 2 cans of canned chicken and 1 can of cream of chicken soup.
I did like the sausage recipe as well and will try it