Budget-Friendly Summer Side Dishes and A Whole Foods Giveaway!

It’s that time of the year – pool parties, cookouts, outside birthday parties, family picnics, grilling out with friends, and more. We are invited to different gatherings on almost a regular basis and with each new invite comes a new creative side dish we must shop for, cook, and bring to the party. It’s nice to see family and friends, but we also have to plan accordingly.

I recently met with Maria at Whole Foods again, and as always, the store was alive with activity. When we started chatting, she began thumbing through their local flyer which contained an array of easy summer recipes to make on a budget. What I really love about my visits to Whole Foods is that Maria always thinks about what recipes our readers will really love.

All of her suggestions blew me away. Here are some of our top favorite summer entertaining ideas on a budget, including a few unique pasta sides and a fun chocolate dessert!


Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes & “Hidden” Zucchini – (estimated $3.05/serving) Serves 4

*This recipe is unique because you roast the tomatoes and then actually grate the zucchini and squash into the pasta. The tomatoes soak up the sea salt, EVOO and basil flavors, and the zucchini and squash blend right into the pasta. Guests will appreciate the extra serving of veggies you secretly added to make this a delicious side dish!

  • 6 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil, divided
  • 1/2 pound whole wheat fusilli
  • 2 zucchini or yellow squash, grated
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange tomatoes on a large parchment-lined sheet tray, cut-sides up. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Scatter 2 tablespoons Parmesan and 2 tablespoons basil evenly over top. Roast until juicy and bubbling, about 20 minutes; set aside.Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add fusilli and cook until al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add zucchini, lemon juice, remaining 6 tablespoons Parmesan and 2 tablespoons basil. Toss to combine. Divide pasta among four plates, top with tomatoes and serve.

Pasta with White Beans and Summer Squash ($2.31/serving) (pictured at top of post) Serves 4
*Made this for a family birthday party and it was a huge hit. Also added fresh tomatoes from the garden and a little Salad sprinkle (from McCormick) for a little extra color and flavor.

  • 1/2 pound whole wheat farfalle or fusilli
  • 4 small zucchini and/or yellow squash (about 1 lb), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup 365 Everyday Value® Feta Cheese Crumbles
  • 1/4 cup Greek or Italian dressing
  • 1 (15 ounce) can 365 Everyday Value® Organic Cannellini Beans, rinsed and drained

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add farfalle and cook until just al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, arrange zucchini in the bottom of a large colander. To drain, pour pasta and its water over vegetables and let sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer contents of colander to a large bowl, add cheese, dressing and beans and toss well. Serve warm or cold.

And for dessert?


Chocolate Chip Cherry Floats ($2.30/serving) Serves 2

*I love this dish because you shave chocolate over the top for a little extra sweet kick and unique touch!

  • 1 cup 365 Everyday Value® Organic Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen pitted cherries
  • 1 (12 ounce) can 365 Everyday Value® Cherry Vanilla Creme Soda, chilled
  • 1/4 cup shaved chocolate (use a vegetable peeler!)

Divide ice cream between two tall glasses and top with cherries, reserving two. Pour soda over the top, garnish with chocolate and reserved cherries and serve immediately.

We’re also giving away another Whole Foods $25 Gift Card, where you can shop for all of these ingredients!

Here’s how to enter:

Wanna win it for yourself?  To enter the drawing (you can have up to 4 separate entries):

1.  Leave a comment telling me what you like about “A Frugal Chick”.

2- “Like” A Frugal Chick on Facebook.  Leave a second comment letting me know you do!

3- Follow A Frugal Chick on Twitter.  Leave a third comment letting me know you do!

4- Subscribe to A Frugal Chick’s e-mail newsletter.  Leave a fourth comment letting me know you do!

The winner will be picked on August 15th!  I will e-mail him or her and they will have 24 hours to respond.  If I don’t hear back we will pick another winner!

It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


  1. ellen casper says

    I subscribed to A Frugal Chick’s e-mail newsletter – flagler1965 at gmail dot com

  2. Rosie says

    I luv your recipes! this recipe, too with the hidden zuc – the bbq chicken, the salmon! I’m a freak for yummy recipes and yours are great! never too hard, but they are amazing!

  3. Wendy says

    I already like your facebook page, get your emails and left a comment about what I like on your facebook page. Hope I am entered as I love Whole foods

  4. Rose Huynh says

    I subscribe to your e-mail newsletter to review what I’ve seen on Facebook posts and see what I’ve missed 😀

  5. Rose Huynh says

    I follow you on Tweeter! ;D
    I honestly don’t check my Twitter account that often though. 😛

  6. Rose Huynh says

    I love how afrugalchick relates to my everyday life, and I love it even more how we live in the same city so the deals can directly correlate with what my family and friends can use! 😀

  7. Cheryl Baranski says

    I love afrugalchick because it fits our everyday life style.
    Receipes, bargins and deals that I love.

  8. Liz Carey says

    In addition to posts about new coupons and deals, I like how you post low- to no-cost local activities and events! I love getting out of the house, and you always find the fun, cheap things to do around Hampton Roads!

  9. Jessalyn Marshall says

    I always like you on Facebook. The coupons and ideas are so time saving and cost effective. Thank you for all your work. I love Whole Foods!!

  10. Amy Martin says

    I love seeing deals on the site early enough for this busy Mommy of three to catch thwm in the stores or online. Afrugalchick.com is a gem!!

  11. Janis Westrick says

    I enjoy seeing you on WVEC Sunday mornings and hearing about all the different ways to save money!

  12. Lucy says

    I love your site because it makes it easier for me to find the frugal deals! I have already liked you on facebook!

  13. Elizabeth Webb says

    I love all of your tips and alerts on sales. I also really love your coupon match ups. Thank you!!!