🔕 🔔
Loading…

My Basket ()

All questions

Healthy recipes for meals for 30 people for under $50

I work at a free after school program that provides a free dinner for families. There are a lot of mouths to feed, and we only have $50 to do it. The meals are usually pretty good, but many times a bit less than nutritious. I was wondering if anyone had any healthy, inexpensive recipes they could share that can feed a crowd. Thanks!

asked by Becky over 3 years ago

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

19 answers 14980 views
E7b6597b db6e 4cae b9f3 699b508f4ed3  036
aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 3 years ago

You need to feed ALL of them for $50.00? Wow. I would have a look at the quinoa recipes / article that is on the main page today. I would think any sort of warm grainy salady dish, with some crunchy veggies and perhaps nuts and/or dried fruits would be healthful, hearty and budget friendly.

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

926ee962 060e 44e6 a1d9 878262f34bf8  image
added over 3 years ago

Sheppard's pie is a good one for a tight budget.. Use whatever lean meat is on sale and vegetables as desired. Potatos you don't usually need to worry to much about. Also chili works too beans are cheap and a good filler when ingredients are scarce.

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 3 years ago

Pasta carbonara comes to mind, but even then, $50.00 is pushing it!

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

8f5038ed 8aca 4d33 aef7 8a0ce63adc40  img00019 20100929 0432 1
sexyLAMBCHOPx

Chops is a trusted home cook.

added over 3 years ago

Here's a contest winner: http://food52.com/recipes...

Perhaps sub out the lamb with ground beef, turkey or chicken and modify the recipe that calls for anything too expensive with something else.

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Maedl

Margie is a trusted home cook immersed in German foodways.

added over 3 years ago

Look for interesting recipes using lentils and other beans. Check Middle Eastern, Italian, Persian, Central Asian, and Indian cookbooks for ideas. A simple tomato sauce over polenta (corn meal mush) is also a good choice.

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Maedl

Margie is a trusted home cook immersed in German foodways.

added over 3 years ago

A few more thoughts came to mind. Of course, you could also do macaroni and cheese. but that made me think of a whole category of German and Austrian dishes called Mehlspeisen. These are main dish courses based on flour. They do not contain meat, so they were more or less suitable for fast days. They can be either sweet or savory, but they are always filling. Here are a few links ti get you started:
http://www.wien.info/en...
http://allrecipes.com/recipe...
http://www.food.com/recipe...

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

70a10452 dfa6 4be6 8cf7 9e986cfbbb23  stringio
added over 3 years ago

go beans!
healthy, soak overnight, dried beans are not expensive, chili, soups, tacos….sounds like fun though, my daughter rowed and we had to feed them all day long….on a riverbank! have fun!

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

B0e51b35 a002 4fdd adc2 f06fa947184e  baci1
HalfPint

HalfPint is a trusted home cook.

added over 3 years ago

Rice Porridge, sometimes called congee, sometimes called jook. It's a good way to stretch rice and feed hungry families for very little money. Here's a vegetarian recipe (lists sesame seeds, but you could probably omit that):
http://www.ecokaren.com...

Or make the chicken version that my mother made for us:
-poach a whole chicken, ~3lbs or so, in 10-12 cups of water with couple of peeled onions and thumb-size knob of fresh ginger root, sliced into big thick pieces. Simmer until chicken is cooked, ~30 mins, skim off any scum that rises to the surface. You can discard the ginger and the onion or leave the onion in.
-Take out the chicken. Let it cool until you can handle it. Remove & discard skin and shred the meat. Set aside.
- Bring the broth to a boil and stir in ~2 cups of uncooked rice. Boil for about 5 minutes, stirring consistantly during this time. Then lower the heat (~medium low)to get the porride to a simmer. You don't have to be at the pot, constantly stirring, but you will want to stir enough to keep the bottom from burning.
-Simmer until the rice has broken down and the porridge is thick and creamy. This can take anywhere from 30-45 minutes, depending on the rice used. We (Vietnamese) usually eat long grain white rice.
-Mix shredded chicken back into porridge and heat through.
-Taste and season the porridge with salt & pepper. Underseasoned porridge is not as satisfying as a well seasoned porridge.
-Ladle into bowls and serve hot.
This batch recipe will probably feed about 8-10 adults, providing ample chicken meat per serving.

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
S
added over 3 years ago

Grilled cheese sandwiches and a simple tomato soup. Use whole wheat or a multi-grain bread. Shred the cheese for easier melting.

Definitely agree with the lentil and bean suggestions. Black beans and rice with onions and peppers if they don't break the bank.

Here's a link to Chopped Bread, also known as Chop Bread. Lots of recipes on line, but this link gives you pictures for the process. If you make your own dough, it's cost effective. Then add in whatever the budget will bear -- onions, cheese, shredded carrots, diced celery, spinach leaves, olives, sweet or hot peppers, diced and drained tomatoes. Serve with a mug of chicken broth.

http://www.blueskiesandlime...
I'm sure you've asked bakeries and grocery stores for out-of-date items which can still be usable.

You didn't ask about dessert. Even a few leftover M&M's from Easter or Christmas, stored in the freezer, makes a special treat down the line.

http://www.blueskiesandlime...

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

53573b8d 4bf0 4ffd 843d b2e617cfeb6b  dscn3274
inpatskitchen

Pat is a trusted home cook.

added over 3 years ago

A while back there was a contest for Your Best Cheap Feast which may give you a few ideas to play around with. Many of the recipes look like they could be expanded to serve 30.
ood52.com/contests/330-your-best-cheap-feast?logged_in=false&page=1&uid=21631

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added over 3 years ago

Black Bean Chili is super cheap. You can make homemade whole grain bread to go with it, also super cheap (cheaper than buying bread). I think you will need to use dry beans. You can make rice if you don't want to make bread or it prices out to be too expensive. I think you can serve 30 with about four pounds of dried beans. Six lbs if you want to be on the safe side. I would guess 12 cups of dry rice if you use a long grain rice. You will likely have a few leftovers.

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added over 3 years ago

Laurie Colwin has a nice essay about cooking for a crowd (she was cooking for a homeless shelter). It will give you some ideas if not too specific. It's in either "Home Cooking" or "More Home Cooking". I am thinking a supermarket might make some contributions to help you stretch your food dollar and sometimes coupon shopping is helpful when you are doing a project like this-- if you have a place to store food, you can buy things like canned tomatoes on sale, which can be made into tomato sauce, roasted tomatoes, tomato soup, etc.

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 3 years ago

I have boys that would live on meatloaf if given the chance. To make it healthier, I buy as much ground turkey as I can when it's on sale, I add mushrooms peas and onions to the food processor and add that to the meat. A big spinach salad and some mashed potatoes. Yum.

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 7 months ago

Marilyn Parker

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 7 months ago

I cook for the homeless once a month on the Univ. of texas campus What are some good main dishes for about 30 people Marilyn

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 7 months ago

I cook for the homeless once a month on the Univ. of texas campus What are some good main dishes for about 30 people Marilyn

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 7 months ago

for about 30 people Marilyn

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

8ae65df1 7c66 4111 bda1 8d9ecb942ec9  fullsizerender 2
added 7 months ago

This is a hearty and a very nutritious dish..

https://food52.com/recipes...

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

Loading…

Reset
Password

  Enter your email below and we'll send you instructions on how to reset your password

Account Created

Welcome!

Logged In

Enjoy!

Email Sent

Please check your email for instructions
on how to reset your password

Successfully logged out

Let's Keep in Touch!

Get the recipes and features that have us talking, plus first dibs on events and limited-batch products.

(Oh, and $10 off your order of $50 or more in the Food52 Shop, too.)

Please enter a valid email address.