There are a lot of people who are looking for healthy meals on a budget for a large family. You know that there are so many meal ideas out there that you don’t necessarily have time to test them all. That’s why I like to provide an easy way by putting together some of the best recipes I’ve seen around the web.
Are you tired of eating Kraft dinner? Do you need healthy meals on a budget for a large family? I can help you with that.
Budget meals for large families
Planning budget meals for a large family can be tricky – try these low-cost recipes to freshen up your dinners and learn how to feed your family for less.
Discover the best budget recipes whether you have six, eight or more to feed. From classic cottage pie to a family-friendly curry, read our tips on how to buy cheaper ingredients and bulk out your cooking without compromising on flavour. We’ve picked our most popular recipes that are healthy, balanced and, best of all, purse-friendly!
Cheese & spinach penne with walnut crumble
A cheesy pasta bake is always a big hit at the dinner table – this one is packed with spinach and leeks, and is finished with a crunchy walnut topping. With enough to serve eight, all you need is a few cheap vegetables on the side such as peas or sweetcorn, or serve with salad. For more ideas, take a look at our best ever pasta bake recipes.
Minced beef Wellington
This budget-friendly version of a classic beef Wellington is a great option for Sunday lunch and serves eight. It uses simple ingredients such as beef mince, mushrooms and shop-bought puff pastry to create a spectacular centrepiece packed full of flavour.
One-pot cooking is a great way to feed a crowd. This popular chilli serves 10, so you might even have leftovers to freeze for later. Using storecupboard staples and chickpeas to bulk out the recipe, you could also swap the lamb for beef or turkey mince to make it more affordable.
Chicken, squash & pesto lasagne
Traditional lasagne will serve plenty of hungry tummies but can be a little time consuming – try this chicken, squash & pesto lasagne for a version that’s quicker, cheaper and healthier to boot. For an easy vegetarian option, try our recipe for roasted vegetable lasagne.
Sausage & bean casserole
Bulk up with beans – they’re full of fibre and can make a dish go further round the table. This comforting casserole serves six and uses cheaper ingredients such as onions, canned tomatoes and beans to make the flavour from the chorizo and sausages last longer.
There’s no need to buy special or expensive beans. We love Jack Monroe’s tip of using canned baked beans that have been rinsed under a cold tap – once the tomato sauce has been washed away, they become plain haricot beans.
Courgette & tomato soup
Knowing which vegetables are in season can also help to lower the cost of your weekly shop. Make a batch of soup depending on what you can find – this courgette & tomato soup is a great basic recipe to start with. Here’s our collection of soup recipes to help inspire you.
Creamy tarragon chicken & potato bake
Combine chicken in a creamy sauce with crowd-pleasing mashed potato and you might have a new family favourite! This delicious recipe uses smoked pancetta and tarragon for a real depth of flavour and comfortably serves six.
Best Cheap Meals for Large Families
Feed a Crowd Without Breaking the Bank
With today’s smaller family size, it can be difficult to find large quantity recipes, and it’s even harder to find economical choices. You can often convert a recipe for 4 or 6 by doubling some ingredients, but that doesn’t work in every case.
Most of the recipes below are designed for eight or more people. Most use inexpensive cuts of meat or poultry and everyday pantry ingredients. These recipes are great for big families, special events, potlucks, or dinners with guests. Whether for a party or family meal, you’re sure to find the perfect recipe on this list.
- 01of 24Simple Meatloaf With Optional ToppingThe SpruceMeatloaf is an excellent choice for big families; the basic combination of ground beef, breadcrumbs, and seasonings is budget-friendly and will serve up to 8 people. Add a tasty topping to this simple meatloaf to make it extra special and serve it with rice, mashed potatoes, or noodles. Or use the meat mixture to make sliders or meatloaf muffins.
- 02of 24Pizza Pasta CasseroleThe Spruce Eats/Diana MocanuClassic pizza flavors and ingredients abound in this hearty all-in-one pizza pasta casserole. Use whatever pasta you have in the pantry and your family’s favorite pizza toppings to make this delicious casserole.
- 03of 24Authentic Irish Lamb StewThe SpruceLamb shoulder makes this Irish stew a flavorful, budget-friendly choice for large families. Add some root vegetables and basic pantry seasonings and you have a meal to remember.
- 04of 24Traditional Brunswick StewThe Spruce / Diana RattrayBrunswick stew offers loads of flavor, and it is a perfect way to use up leftovers. The stew includes shredded cooked chicken thighs and pork shoulder, beans, and vegetables. Whether for a big family or potluck dinner, you can’t go wrong with this delicious dish.
- 05of 24Chicken BogDiana RattrayThis old-timey South Carolina chicken and rice bog will surely delight your friends and family. The smoked sausage adds to the complex flavors in this dish. Add a tossed salad or slaw for a memorable dinner.
- 06of 24Instant Pot Potato SoupLeah MaroneyA hearty potato soup makes an inexpensive yet satisfying meal for a family, and the Instant Pot pressure cooker makes this a quick and easy preparation.
- 07of 24Instant Pot Pork ShoulderDiana RattrayThis Instant Pot pork shoulder is a fast and easy preparation, and it’s always a hit. Budget-friendly pork shoulder goes a long way, whether it is used in sandwiches, tacos, or as a mac and cheese topper.
- 08of 24Crock Pot Sloppy JoesThe Spruce / Diana RattraySloppy Joe sandwiches make a family-pleasing meal. Serve them with fries or tater tots, or make it even easier with potato chips. Ground beef, ketchup, and seasonings make it a cheap and easy dish to prepare. If the recipe makes too much, you can scale it down or freeze leftovers for another day.Continue to 9 of 24 below.
- 09of 24Instant Pot Macaroni and CheeseDiana RattrayThe Instant Pot pressure cooker makes this macaroni and cheese a breeze to cook. The pasta cooks quickly and then the remaining ingredients are added to make a surprisingly creamy and delicious batch of mac and cheese. Add some diced ham, tuna, or bacon to the dish for a heartier meal.
- 10of 24Beefy Enchilada CasseroleThe Spruce / Diana RattrayGround beef, cheese, tortillas, and seasonings come together to make this amazing enchilada casserole. Serve the casserole with sour cream or guacamole and fresh salsa; it’s a meal your family will ask for again and again.
Cheap Healthy Meals For Large Families
1. Turkey Taco Skillet Recipe
FiveSpot Green Living always has delicious recipes to share, and we love this Turkey Taco Skillet Recipe.
Basic ingredients that satisfy our tastes buds at a fraction of the cost and lower fat. Rice added into this recipe makes it go farther on a budget, and the seasonings make it chock full of flavor you expect.
It is definitely a favorite for any large family!
2. Teriyaki Chicken and Spiralized Veggie Stir-Fry Recipe
This Teriyaki Chicken and Spiralized Veggie Stir-Fry Recipe is a great way to use up those boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs you got on sale. The sauce is organic, inexpensive and will leave you feeling better since you will know exactly what your kids are eating.
Add in some steamed rice and frozen stir fry veggies and you have a cheap healthy meal for large families that will end up on your menu plan regularly.
3. Spinach lasagna
This Spinach lasagna is a great delicious meal everyone will love. You can add ground meat or inexpensive ground turkey for the meat lovers. It is an easy to adapt recipe that is also easy to cook.
4. Spinach Herb Cauliflower Pilaf
This from Spinach Herb Cauliflower Pilaf from My Life Cookbook is a beautiful meal that is hearty and super healthy. Shred your cauliflower and cook with seasonings and vegetables to create a rice like texture with tons of nutrients.
This is an amazing way to get your kids to eat another vegetable, plus it is so cost effective! You can add in some chicken or shrimp if you wish, but it is perfect as a stand alone meal.
5. Spinach Meat Balls
These meat balls are so easy and have an added crunch with the spinach. You can replace the beef with turkey or even chicken. These are so easy to throw together, budget friendly and perfect to add to pasta, serve with barbecue sauce and veggies or use on sandwiches.
Make them in large batches when your favorite meat is on sale, then keep them on hand in the freezer! Just thaw and reheat when you need a little something extra to go with your pasta!