How do you feed 20 guests on a budget

Posted by Damian Roberti on

How do you feed 20 guests on a budget



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How do you feed 20 guests on a budget

How to Feed a Lot of People
I grew up in a social family that often had people over, and now I have a home that often has people over. Over the years, I've learned a few tricks of the trade! Here are some things to think about when you have people over to your house.

Make a pleasant smell. It's very important to have a warm, inviting smell. It's easy to forget about how a house smells, but it makes a big difference. Before your guests arrive, light a candle, spray some air freshener, bake some cookies, or put a pot of apple cider on the stove.
Have munchies available. Having an easy-to-grab appetizer on hand gives people something to do and a place to gather. It lets people know where to hang out and gives them something in common.




How do you feed 20 guests on a budget

How do you feed 20 guests on a budget
Play songs. Music makes people feel more at ease and calms the atmosphere. It gives people something to talk about and, if necessary, fills the silence. You can also make this special for the people who are coming to your house.
Do as many dishes as you can ahead of time. There's nothing worse than finishing a meal and realizing that the dishwasher is full of dirty dishes. By running and emptying a load before people arrive, you can make sure the clean-up goes quickly and that others can jump in and help.
Don't think too much! When you show real hospitality, your guests will feel welcome, loved, and fed in your home. People can see flaws in your home, food, or family (hello, fights between siblings!).
Choose the right ones. I like recipes that don't need much cooking right before the guests arrive. So, I'll have time to talk or do last-minute things. This is why all of the meals below were chosen.

If you often need to come up with ideas for meals for a large group, we have the perfect resource for you.

How do you feed 20 guests on a budget
BBQ pulled pork sandwiches made in a slow cooker
Baked Penne Pasta That Is Hearty
This dish could feed a whole army. Almost everyone loves the beefy, cheese-covered pasta. Serve it with some Texas Toast and a salad, and you'll have a great meal for your next group. When I don't have people over, I put this pasta together, divide it in half, bake one and freeze the other. It makes a GREAT meal for the freezer. Just make sure the noodles are just a little bit undercooked if you want to freeze it. Here are over 70 more delicious freezer meals!



How do you feed 20 guests on a budget

Baked Penne Pasta Tasty Taco Bar Easy meal for a group: everything you need to make your own Taco Bar at home. This easy dinner has tasty ingredients and tips on how to serve it to a large group. This is a great recipe to make ahead of time.

Ingredients for a Taco Bar
Breakfast casserole made in a crock pot with bacon and Gruyere
Everyone loves breakfast for dinner! When you serve this gourmet Crockpot Breakfast Casserole at your next brunch or holiday party, people will oooh and aaaahh over it. The bacon, onions, garlic, kale, roasted red peppers, Gruyere, and Parmesan cheeses give it a rich flavor and beautiful color. Plus, it doesn't have gluten in it. Blueberry French Toast Casserole goes well with this.




How do you feed 20 guests on a budget

Breakfast casserole in a slow cooker on a wooden cutting board
Killer Carnitas
These carnitas made in a slow cooker are one of my all-time favorite cheap dinners for a big group. They are easy, cheap, tasty, and can be changed to suit each person's tastes. Use these like this at a Taco Bar.

Crispy carnitas tacos served in a metal dish with white bowls of toppings on the side.
Chicken Spaghetti
The first time I made this Chicken Spaghetti recipe, my husband ate it for about 5 meals in a row. The next week, he asked me to make it again. It is smooth, tasty, and filling. This recipe makes TWO 88 dishes or ONE 913 dish that is very full. It's a great idea for dinner for a lot of people.

Ham and Cheese Chicken Spaghetti Sliders are easy to make.
This is one of the group recipes I use most often. They are easy to make and don't cost much. AND grown-ups like them. Children like them. They are loved by everyone. I can't tell you how many times people have come to my house and asked for this recipe.




How do you feed 20 guests on a budget
Sliders with ham and cheese in a white baking dish
Chicken and cheese tacos made in a slow cooker
Double the amount in the slow cooker to make this a meal for a big group. It will take the same amount of time to cook, but you will have twice as much food. With this method, you can also make them in an Instant Pot. When I make these, I always, always, always make two and freeze one for later.

Tip: Here are the containers we use and recommend for freezing meals.

Chicken and cheese taquitos made in a slow cooker
Italian baked meatballs
It's so easy to make a lot of meatballs. You can put them on spaghetti or use them in sub sandwiches to make them last even longer. These are also pretty good value for money.

How do you feed 20 guests on a budget

Meatballs for large groups
Shredded Beef Tacos
With just four simple ingredients, you can have a batch of Shredded Beef Tacos slow cooking in your crockpot (or Instant Pot) in minutes. This shredded Mexican beef has a lot of flavor and will fall apart after cooking for a full day. Make Shredded Beef Nachos with what's left.

Shredded beef tacos
French Dip Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Made in a Slow Cooker
This recipe makes a lot and tastes great. Even though the meat can be made ahead of time, the sandwiches should be eaten soon after they are put together. Remember that as you make plans! If you want to use it as a group lunch, just make the meat the day before and rewarm it before putting the sandwiches together the next day.

French dip sandwiches made in a slow cooker, on a white plate
Mexican Soup That Everyone Likes
If I had to guess, I'd say this is one of the top 5 recipes I've made for groups of people in my home the most. He wants EVERYTHING. THE. TIME. It also makes a large amount. AND it's a lot of food. People will be happy campers if you serve it with tortilla chips and shredded cheddar cheese. This recipe was so good that we changed it so it could be made in a slow cooker.

This recipe for Mexican soup is great for big groups.
Cheese and bacon potato soup made in a slow cooker
After slow cooking all day, this rich and comforting Cheddar and Bacon Potato Soup makes your house smell great and makes guests feel right at home. It's filling and everyone loves it.





How do you feed 20 guests on a budget
Cheese and bacon potato soup made in a slow cooker
Casserole with chicken Parmesan
Since we started our blog, this recipe has been one of the most-read ones. Probably because it's easy to make and tastes good to everyone. When the casserole is done baking, serve it over some pasta. I would double it to make enough for a 913 dish for a group.

Southwest Chicken and Bacon Wraps with Chicken Parmesan Casserole
Bacon, grilled chicken that has been marinated, two kinds of cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes are wrapped in a tortilla and covered with ranch salsa sauce. The Southwest Bacon and Chicken Wrap is hard to dislike. I like making meals that people can change to suit their tastes. It's simple to make twice as much chicken and other ingredients; just set up an assembly line.



How do you feed 20 guests on a budget

Southwest wraps with chicken and bacon
Baked ravioli with beef (Fake Out Lasagna)
This fake-out lasagna is cheap, can be made ahead of time, and can feed a lot of people. My family loves to eat it for dinner. It's easy to make, fills you up a lot, and can be frozen. Kids really like this meal. Who are we kidding? This meal is good for all ages.

Fake out lasagna is a cheap meal for large groups.
Slow Cooker Parmesan Sliders
Chicken Parmesan Sliders are a really easy way to feed a group of people. Just put a few of your favorite ingredients into the crockpot, and you'll have one of your favorite meals for a busy night. Making them into sandwiches is a great way to feed more people with less chicken mix. If you like these, you should definitely try our BBQ Chicken Sliders as well.




Chicken Parmesan sliders are a great meal for a group.
Grilled Chicken Sandwiches
Recipes for grilling are great for groups. Especially these chicken sandwiches that have been grilled. Set out a lot of toppings and serve it in a line. If you're interested, check out our other grilling recipes.

Grilled chicken sandwiches
BBQ Chicken Sliders
With just 3 easy steps, you can make BBQ Chicken Sliders that will make your mouth water. Shredded chicken breasts with just the right amount of seasoning are put on small buns and topped with BBQ sauce. Serve with our Coleslaw with Only 5 Ingredients.





How do you feed 20 guests on a budget

Hash Brown Casserole with BBQ Chicken Sliders (Gluten Free)
This is a hearty side dish that works well for large groups. You can also get it ready ahead of time and put it in the fridge until you are ready to cook it. Works well with a baked ham.

Smash Burgers on the table with a hash brown casserole
These Smash Burgers are just as good as any fast food. When grilled right, the edges are perfectly crisp and the middle is still juicy and flavorful. When we add our secret sauce to them, they really go to the next level. They cook quickly, so you can make a lot of them for a group.

Serve on a potato bun or brioche bun, which will soak up the juices. This is the recipe to use if you really want to go ALL IN on a burger.

Smash Burger with a Secret Sauce Pumpkin Spice Latte Made in a Crock Pot
If you're having people over in the fall or winter, this tasty drink is sure to please everyone. Plus, it makes the house smell so good.

Pumpkin Spiced Latte Bread Machine for Crock Pot Breakfast for dinner is always fun when you're with a group. This recipe for cinnamon rolls has been a family favorite for a long time.

How do you feed 20 guests on a budget

10 Minute Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
This amazing one-pot meal is full of flavor and is also vegetarian. This winning mix of ingredients and flavors is sure to impress your family and friends. This recipe might be the easiest one on our blog, but it's still very tasty.

Tortilla Soup with Shredded Balsamic Beef in a Slow Cooker
This tender, tasty meat dish was eaten by people of all ages, from 4 to 42. I've served it with mashed potatoes, which goes well with the extra sauce in the crock pot. I've also served it with vegetables and fruit. The next night, we had the same Slow Cooker Shredded Balsamic Beef on mini wheat rolls as "French dip" sandwiches. A great way to make this last longer for a big group.

Balsamic beef shreds seen from above
Mini Fruit Pizzas
I had to come up with one idea for a dessert. One of my favorite things to serve to a big group is mini fruit pizzas. They are easy to put together and fun for people of all ages. Each person makes their own, so they can choose what goes on their fruit pizza. It's a fun way to end a get-together with a group! Cookies like Raspberry Crumble Cookies, Monster Cookies, Snickerdoodles, and Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies are also good for big groups.

How do you feed 20 guests on a budget
Smoked Pork Shoulder
One of my husband's favorite things to make for a big group is this dish. The pork shoulder, which is also called a pork butt, is smoked all day and makes a TON of tasty pulled pork. We make pulled pork BBQ sandwiches out of them. The leftovers can also be frozen.