13 inexpensive group meals to save for your next dinner party

Confession: I sometimes have trouble sleeping the night before a dinner party. I blame it on a combination of excitement and tension, but Oh, storage can be stressful. Of course, it’s a matter of deciding what to cook for large groups, but then you also have to pay for it. Cooking for more than four people can be expensive, really fast. As part of my own mission to solve my own suffering, I compiled a list of delicious, easy, and inexpensive meals for large groups that I always return to – and it really is. that every guest will like. Key lesson? Impressive does not mean expensive. These meals use grocery staples, store-bought ingredients and affordable meats – without sacrificing flavor. or quality. Read on for my upcoming inexpensive meals for large groups — plus Camille’s crowd-cooking tips.

Featured image of Hannah Haston

Camille’s top tips for cooking for a crowd:

  • Choose crowd-pleasing dishes that everyone can enjoy.
  • Take advantage of batch cooking and “homemade” ingredients.
  • Prepare as much as possible in advance so that you too can enjoy the evening.

13 Inexpensive Meals Perfect for Large Groups

Italian stuffed shell

Why we love it: Alison Hersel of Plumcot Farms shared this easy, delicious stuffed shellfish recipe that’s perfect for feeding a crowd. The whole thing can be prepped and baked in the oven when the time is right (note: it’s always the right time to stuff the shells). This recipe can also be made gluten-free using a gluten-free pasta shell.

Hero composition: Ricotta is a whole yumminess.

Get the recipe for Italian Stuffed Shells.

Cauliflower Nachos

Why we love it: This low-carb alternative to traditional nachos is a great inexpensive meal idea for large groups. Swap the tortilla chips for the cauliflower and top them up with a topping of your choice. If you’re serving a large group with a lot of dietary restrictions, this is also a great “make your own” recipe where you base and let each guest customize their toppings. .

Hero composition: Cauliflower has some serious vegetarian powers.

Get the recipe for Cauliflower Nachos.

Hatch Chile Enchilada Casserole from The Defined Dish

Why we love it: What was my friend’s response when I asked her what she thought of big dinner parties? One word: casserole. Not quite as helpful when I’m trying to get my creative juices flowing, but when it comes to serving casseroles, you really can’t go wrong. And if it’s this Hatch Chile Enchilada recipe, your guests will have a decadent dinner. It’s healthy, cozy, filling, and easily doubles or triples depending on the size of the party.

Hero composition: Hatch chiles is the name of the game.

Get the recipe for Hatch Chile Enchilada Casserole.

Pork Carnitas Tacos from Gaby Cooking

Why we love it: Gaby from What’s Gaby Cooking says this recipe is one of her favorite meals for fun, and it’s one of my go-to meals for large groups. It uses the whole butt meat, giving you plenty of meat for a crowd. This is another great buffet style option for dinner parties and is too good. My favorite toppings are pickled onions and guacamole.

Hero composition: The shredded meat in this recipe… a total dish.

Get the recipe for Pork Carnitas Tacos.

Rigatoni with Brussels Sprouts & Kale Pesto

Why we love it: We all love a delicious pasta dinner, and this recipe is infinitely customizable and easy to duplicate. In fact, Camille covered all the possible swaps and her best tips for cooking this for the crowd in the recipe post. In addition to the simplicity of this dish, it has everything I love: hot dogs, pesto bread, and crispy toast. If you’re looking for a no-frills, no-fuss pasta dish for a large group, this is it.

Hero composition: Crispy, caramelized Brussels sprouts taste even more appealing than noodles.

Get the recipe for Rigatoni with Brussels Sprouts & Kale Pesto.

Lemongrass Chicken Tacos with Jicama, Butter and Mint

Why we love it: These tacos are one of my favorite Camille Styles recipes because the preparation is simple and the taste is anything but. You can make the chicken first and chop all the vegetables first. All you have to do is bake and serve. You don’t even have to make your own banh tet – let your guests assemble it themselves.

Hero composition: Lemon chicken is affordable and addictive.

Get the recipe for Lime-y Chicken Tacos with Jicama, Butter, and Mint.

Pita and Kebab Board

Why we love it: I love a meal without plating and without stress – especially when it’s still bursting with flavors like this smorgasburg Pita and Kebab. This is one of those recipes perfect for large groups. You can assemble as many boards as you want and let the guests build their own. Or, you can scratch the plates completely and serve them as a casual take-out meal.

Hero composition: Hummus is a must.

Get the recipe for Pita & Kebab Board.

Pesto Pasta Alla Vodka by Half-Naked Harvest

Why we love it: I was lucky enough to eat this Pesto Pasta Alla Vodka at Camille and Tieghan’s holiday dinner party, and it wasn’t too dramatic, but I’ve been dreaming about it ever since. In addition to the taste of the dish, I also got to see the preparation process and honestly anyone can do it. It’s ready in 30 minutes and can easily be doubled, making it perfect for both weeknight dinners and special occasions, large groups.

Hero composition: The basil pesto is a unique twist on my favorite pasta sauce.

Get the recipe for Half-Baked Harvest Pesto Pasta Alla Vodka.

All 30 pots from specific dishes

Why we love it: Pot roast is another dinner party staple and this is my favorite recipe. It’s Whole-30 compliant, full of nostalgic flavor, and mostly utilitarian. Plus, you won’t even need to light a candle — this dish will fill your home with a delicious aroma.

Hero composition: Potatoes are my favorite part of the pot roast. What is your?

Get recipes for 30 whole baked goods from The Defined Dish.

Chicken tortilla soup

Why we love it: Soup is one of the best things to cater to large groups because it’s cheap and most of the time cooking is hands-free. Plus, as long as you have a large enough pot, you can easily duplicate it. To this day, this is one of Camille’s most popular Instagram recipes, so if you haven’t already, here’s your sign. It’s also the perfect recipe for self catering for large gatherings.

Hero composition: Homemade tortilla strips are next level.

Get the recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup.

Slow Cooked Chicken Tikka Masala

Why we love it: If you’re looking for a recipe that’s minimal effort with maximum flavor, this is it. This healthier chicken tikka masala has all the flavor of your favorite takeaway meals, but all the magic happens in a slow cooker while you run errands. Again, it’s great to start a “self-serve” fashion, and it’s also easy to double up.

Hero composition: The creamy coconut milk deserves a medal for creating this rich creamy treat.

Get the recipe for Slow Cook Chicken Tikka Masala.

Sheet Pan Alla Vodka Pizza from Half-Naked Harvest

Why we love it: If I was invited to a pizza party, 10/10 times I would accept. Everyone loves a good pizza, and this recipe will be ready faster than Domino’s can deliver. It has all the delicious, creamy goodness of vodka sauce, but on a pepperoni-covered pizza. If you’re looking to make this meal the main event of an evening, you can also let couples customize their own pizza.

Hero composition: Sauce? Great.

Get the recipe for Pan Alla Vodka Pizza from Half-Naked Harvest.

Grilled Italian Meatballs from Prosperity House

Why we love it: IMO — grilled meatballs have always been one of the best inexpensive meals for large groups. Here’s a 30 minute version that can be duplicated and frozen… if you don’t eat them all first. If you have a busy week leading up to a dinner party, I recommend making these when you have some time to rest and tossing them in the freezer until the day comes. Layer them on top of some spaghetti, serve on a side or simply dip them in marinara.

Hero composition: Bread crumbs make meatballs.

Get the recipe for Grilled Italian Meatballs from Thriving Home.

Do you have a few favorite inexpensive meals for large groups? Drop them in the comments — we’ll take in all the ideas we can get!

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