Need ideas for cheap meals to feed 15-20 people

All adults, no kids, on a very tight budget

  • Posted by: Kaylee
  • June 27, 2014
  • 96231 views
  • 12 Comments

12 Comments

boulangere July 2, 2014
In the search field above to the right enter: feeds a crowd, then click on the magnifying glass. You'll get a bounty of good ideas
 
Liza's K. July 1, 2014
Chili with cornbread and various salads is nice for summer. Or you could do baked ziti with sausage or meatballs with some vegetables or salad. Barbequed pulled chicken is very easy (throw chicken breasts, bbq sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar into a slow cooker for a couple hours, then shred the meat) and you could serve it on fresh rolls with corn on the cob, broccoli slaw, cole slaw, and other condiments. For something a little more fancy, you could do risotto - which can be done every inexpensively.
 
trampledbygeese July 1, 2014
Curry!
With a salad and bread/popadoms it usually comes out to $1.50 a plate. If you use dry chickpeas instead of canned, then it is a lot less. That's my local price, but keep in mind a dozen farm fresh eggs here starts at $6, onions a dollar something each, so it would probably be a lot less if you live anywhere else in North America.

I love curry for affordable group meals as you can toss in whatever you have available. If potatoes are on sale, use mostly them, if tomatoes, put those in. Onions and some sort of starch are mandatory, I usually start with chickpeas, onions and a quality curry paste like Pataks (or make my own). The paste is somewhere you don't want to skimp.

If you can make it ahead of time, use the slow cooker. Chop everything, pre cook the beans if working from dry or drain if working from canned, put it in the slow cooker, with a few Tbs of curry paste of your choice mixed into half a cup of water, and turn it on high. For a meat curry, either toss in leftover roast beast or find the cheapest cut of meat out there and chop it fine, toss it in. Don't worry if the meat is usually tough, the spices and slow cooker soften it up.

If cooking for vegetarians, vegans, or people with allergies check that the curry paste doesn't contain any wrong-foods. Better still, make your own. Jamie Oliver's book Food Revolution has some fantastic curry paste recipes that are easily adjustable for different dietary needs.
 
Faith B. June 30, 2014
Tomato-less creamy pesto lasagna with a colorful salad.
 
kimhw June 29, 2014
Quiche and green salad.
 
natalie June 29, 2014
I always gravitate towards baked pastas or tacos usually - you can cook the taco meat and serve with toppings and mini tortillas, serve chips and salsas as an appetizer, grilled peppers and onion and/or rice on the side
 
ATG117 June 29, 2014
Pasta! Serve it with a few vegetable sides and a dessert, and you're good to go. On this site, I love Craig Claiborne's pasta con asparagi, the pasta with yogurt and caramelized onions, macaroni peas, and I've been meaning to try the pasta with lemon and walnuts. You should search "pasta" within recipes and filter for community picks and contest winners.
 
QueenSashy June 28, 2014
Here are some wonderful and inexpensive dishes

// Pork Shoulder / Butt

https://food52.com/recipes/3909-matilda-maple-garlic-pork-shoulder-with-crispy-skin
https://food52.com/recipes/28617-sweet-and-savory-overnight-roast-pork

// Instead of pork shoulder you can do pork belly (inexpensive yet filling)

https://food52.com/recipes/23136-pork-belly-carnitas
https://food52.com/recipes/22618-creme-brulee-pork-belly-confit
https://food52.com/recipes/1828-slow-cooker-pork-belly-with-braised-apples-and-cabbage

// Corn Salad

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/raw-corn-and-radish-salad-with-spicy-lime-dressing

// Slaw

https://food52.com/recipes/12810-summer-slaw
https://food52.com/recipes/12828-melon-mango-slaw-with-lime-and-ginger
https://food52.com/recipes/20537-crunchy-cabbage-salad-with-miso-ginger-dressing
https://food52.com/recipes/8746-jalapeno-apple-slaw-with-honey-lime-vinaigrette
https://food52.com/recipes/7650-shaved-brussels-sprout-salad-with-red-onion-lemon-and-pecorino
https://food52.com/recipes/19587-fennel-slaw-with-vanilla-vinaigrette

// Dessert

https://food52.com/recipes/20617-citrus-semolina-olive-oil-cake
https://food52.com/recipes/20135-melomakarona-greek-honey-spice-cookies
https://food52.com/recipes/22665-rosemary-honey-lemon-frozen-yogurt
https://food52.com/recipes/21570-oatmeal-ice-cream-with-toasted-walnuts

Hope it helps...
 
aussiefoodie June 27, 2014
Pulled pork shoulder, buns and coleslaw
 
sexyLAMBCHOPx June 27, 2014
Do a search for Cheap Feast Contest on the site for inspiration. This was the winning recipe: https://food52.com/recipes/21102-greek-lamb-with-orzo
 
rt21 June 27, 2014
Pasta primavera, lots of fresh veg in season,
Green salad, grilled corn on the cob. Watermelon wedged, potato leek soup , served hot or cold.
 
MARY L. June 27, 2014
CHILI SALLAD AND COSRN BREAD DESSERT MAKE YOUR OWN ICE CREAM
 
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