4 Budget-Friendly Dinner Ideas That Are Perfect for Large Families

Al's Epic Family Life
by Al's Epic Family Life

Today, I am sharing some budget-friendly dinner ideas that I use at home to feed my family. I like to share these because it might give you all some large family dinner ideas and motivate you to cook more for your family. It also helps me document all of my recipes, so that if I lose one, I can go back and find it.

Cooking cabbage roll soup

Cabbage roll soup

Start by browning some ground beef in a pan, then add some carrots and onion and let those sauté for a little while. In the meantime, chop up your cabbage. Then add it in and let it sauté some more.

Add in some sliced garlic, and then a can of petite diced tomatoes with green chilies, as well as a can of just diced tomatoes. Fill both cans with water two times and add the water in, then give it a good mix. 

How to make cabbage roll soup

Next, add in some chicken bouillon powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper, and one cup of rice. Pressure cook that on the rice setting.

Once it is done, let it rest for ten minutes before doing a quick release. You get something in between a soup and a stew, and it is delicious.

Budget-friendly cabbage roll soup

You can top it with cheese and serve it with bread on a chilly day.

Budget-friendly meals for large families

One pot chicken fried rice

Disclaimer: Make sure to have leftover rice, as it is not the best to cook fresh rice into fried rice because it can get quite mushy. 

Cut up your chicken and brown it on both sides. I think boneless, skinless chicken thighs would be ideal for this recipe, as they hold moisture very well and can cook longer without drying out, but chicken breasts work just as well.

Once the chicken has browned (it does not have to be fully cooked), set it off to the side.

How to make budget-friendly meals

Cook a bag of sugar snap pea stir-fry – let it soften. Once it has completely thawed, set it aside with the chicken. Now toast up two cups of rice in your pan with a little oil – you want it golden brown, it takes about seven minutes.

This step can be skipped, but it is great for flavor, so it is worth your time. 

Budget-friendly one pot chicken fried rice

Once the rice is golden brown, add the chicken and veggies back in, and add some soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sriracha, and then four cups of chicken broth or water.

Season it with some pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, Cajun Two Step, and lime juice.

Bring it to a boil, then turn the heat down to a medium or medium-low, depending on how big the burner is, put the lid on and set a timer for ten minutes. 

Once those ten minutes are up, turn the heat off and let it sit with the lid on for another ten minutes. Then fluff up the rice and let it sit without the lid for a couple of minutes. That way, some extra steam can escape, and it will be ready to be served.

Budget-friendly stir fry

This is what it looks like when it is ready. I suggest giving it another stir in the end, to make sure everything is even.

How to make Mexican cornbread casserole

Mexican cornbread casserole

Chop up some onions and garlic and cook them in a pan with ground beef until it is all done or even partially overcooked. Drain the grease off of it. Add green chilies or jalapenos, and Taco seasonings. Top it with a layer of cheese.

For cornbread topping, get a box of cornbread mix, one cup of self-rising cornmeal to that, milk and egg, and one can of cream-style corn.

Mix it all up and add it to the top of the casserole. Then add another layer of cheese and top it with some jalapeno slices.

Bake it at 475 for 10 minutes, then drop the heat to 350 and bake until done - it may take around 25-30 minutes.

Jalapenos in cheese

Here is what it looks like once out of the oven. I really like the look that the cheese and the jalapenos give it.

How to make white bean and veggie Thai red curry with rice

White bean and veggie Thai red curry with rice

Start out by sautéing your veggies: I suggest using a stir-fry blend and a bag of frozen broccoli. Next, add a can of white beans. You could also cook your own beans instead of using a can.

Add in some lemon juice, lime juice, and then some seasonings: salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, chicken bouillon powder to make chicken broth, and then some red curry paste.

Also add some soy sauce, sriracha, parsley, and brown sugar. Then add some water to make the chicken broth and a can of coconut milk. 

Budget-friendly Thai curry

Let that simmer until all the flavors are combined. If you don't like your veggies too mushy, you can take it off the heat a bit earlier, but letting it simmer for longer lets the veggies take on that really delicious curry flavor. 

Budget-friendly dinner ideas

After the curry is done, serve it with white rice. This is a very comforting and filling meal. 

Budget-friendly dinner ideas

Here are my four great dinner ideas for large families on a budget. My family enjoys these, and I have fun making them, so I hope you will try them out, too.

If you have any budget-friendly dinner recipes that you would like to share, feel free to leave them in the comments. 

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2 of 3 comments
  • Pianogirl Pianogirl on Dec 31, 2022

    I AM inspired! Thank you for sharing. These are money savers while being delicious, all for a bit of effort. Blessings and Happiness in 2023.

  • Bucary Bucary on Jan 02, 2023

    These sound delicious! I will be giving them a try!!