7 Cheap Meals for Large Families That Are Easy to Make

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

I have a lot of experience making cheap meals for large families. Feeding a large family on a budget can be challenging for some people, but it is absolutely doable. I’m going to take you through seven dinners I recently made for my family all keeping within our budget.

Chicken and potatoes

1. Chicken and potatoes

For the first night, we made chicken and potatoes. I didn't have any bread crumbs, but I always throw my old bread in the freezer, so I just quickly made my own. I took the bread from the freezer and toasted it. Then I put it in my food processor and I had homemade breadcrumbs.

Budget meals for large families

I also made instant pot potatoes. I pressure-cooked them for 30 minutes. Potatoes come out great in the instant pot. I prepared three bowls to dip the chicken in. One bowl had flour, one bowl had egg and water. This is a good hack so I don’t need more than one egg. The third bowl had the breadcrumbs and I added Parmesan to that.

I seasoned all three bowls with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, basil, and parsley. Then I just dipped each piece of chicken in the flour, egg, and bread crumbs. I sprayed the pan with oil.

I put the chicken on my sheet tray and then sprayed the top of them. I baked them at 450 for about 15 minutes. Then I flipped them and baked them for another 10 to 15 minutes until they were done. 

My husband made a sauce to go on top of the chicken. He just blended a can of tomatoes with some basil, garlic, and oregano. He basically used the same seasonings that I used in the chicken. We put a balsamic glaze on the potatoes.

Unstuffed pepper soup

2. Unstuffed pepper soup

For night two we had unstuffed pepper soup. I didn't follow a recipe. I just used what I had on hand and made it up as I went. I started off with some ground beef, three bell peppers, and two onions. I also added several cloves of garlic. First I chopped up the onion and pepper and added them to the instant pot with some mint.

Easy meals for large families

I like to cut the top off the pepper and then just scoop out the insides. That way you can poke the stem out and use all of your bell pepper. Once everything was cut up I put it in the pot with the meat. While everything was sauteing, I chopped up my garlic and added it in. 

I added in a 15-ounce can of petite diced tomatoes with green chilies, and a 24-ounce can of mushroom pasta sauce. Then I added a can of water for each can. I also added one cup of uncooked rice. At this point, I seasoned everything with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and beef bouillon powder. 

Once I got all the seasonings in there, I pressure-cooked it for 7 minutes, then I let it do a natural release for about 10 to 15 minutes. Then I did a quick release of all the rest of the pressure. When everything was done I put some cheese on top for presentation.

I don’t know if it needed cheese, but my kids loved the fact that we put cheese on it. It was delicious.

Grilled cheese and soup

3. Grilled cheese and soup

For night three I made pumpkin and tomato soup with grilled cheese. I took some homemade pumpkin puree and two cans of tomato sauce. I added some tomato and chicken bouillon, some salt, and some pepper.

As soon as I got all my seasonings stirred in, I brought it up to temperature slowly. I don't like to have it on full blast, because when the tomato soup starts boiling it gets everywhere. If you find that this is too acidic you can add a bit of sugar. 

Once it was nice and warm, I added a can of coconut milk. It's very thick and delicious. We had this meal with grilled cheese and a little extra cheese on top to make it look super fancy. It tasted amazing and was a big hit.

Chicken and waffles

4. Chicken and waffles

On night four we had chicken and waffles. My husband made the fried chicken and I made the waffles. You really cannot go wrong with chicken and waffles. They are just super delicious and always a crowd-pleaser. 

Pulled pork sandwiches

5. Pulled pork sandwiches

On night five, I made some crock pot barbecue pulled pork and we had barbecue pulled pork sandwiches. I put jalapenos on mine, along with some caramelized onions. We had some beans on the side of this as well.

Ramen bowls

6. Ramen bowls

On night six, we had ramen bowls that we made with the leftover pulled pork from the night before. I just reheated the barbecue pork in a pan. Then I removed it from the pan once it was nice and heated through with some crispy bits.

I added a can of corn to the skillet. I also made a fried egg for each ramen bowl. We added some seaweed and some corn. This really hit the spot.

Cheap meals for large families

7. Chickpea curry

On night seven, we had chickpea curry. I took two tomatoes, a sweet potato, a pound of chickpeas, and a package of seaweed. I pressure-cooked the chickpeas and mashed them a bit. I added mayonnaise, a little soy sauce, and some sweet chili.

Then I cut up a sheet of seaweed and mixed it in. For the rice, I added some vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and two sheets of seaweed.

Cheap meals for large families

That was seven nights of budget-friendly dinners that were all delicious. It helps to follow recipes loosely so you can use ingredients you already have at home. I hope this inspired you to try some of these easy meals at home.

Tell me in the comments section which dinner you think your family would love.

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