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If you want easy, cheap meals for large families that you can go to any time of year, here’s the perfect solution.

Let’s face it; cooking for a big family can be a chore.

But if you have the right tricks up your sleeve, you don’t have to dread the 5:00 hour anymore.

These recipes for cheap meals for large families are exactly what you’ve been looking for!

Tried, true, affordable, simple…they are just perfect for busy moms like us.

So be sure to pin this list. You’ll want to come back to it over and over again!

The Best Cheap Meals For A Crowd


Generally my breakfasts are things I make ahead of time. I’m not a morning person, so you won’t often catch me getting up with the sun to make bacon and eggs.

So I either make these recipes ahead of time, or I at least have them made and in the fridge.  All I need to do the next morning is pop them in the oven.  No reading before coffee required!

Breakfast Casseroles & Recipes They’ll Beg For

Overnight French Toast Casserole

Cranberry Apple Casserole

Cranberry Apple Casserole  Yummy tart and sweet combination. This makes a great breakfast casserole! (I like to grab cranberries on the cheap at Thanksgiving and throw them in the freezer for later.)

Breakfast Sausage Casserole

Apple Cinnamon French Toast Casserole

Cranberry Orange Bread with cranberries and an orange

Cranberry Orange Bread

Easy Moist Pear Bread


Scrappy Baked Oatmeal  This is a favorite way to use up leftover fruit that’s past the eating stage but not yet bad.

easy oatmeal breakfast bars

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars  Just the recipe for that child who can barely grab breakfast on his way out the door.

Baked Banana Oatmeal Cups

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Scones with Cinnamon Icing  I adore this recipe!  Both for taste and for another grab and go option.

Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Banana Bread

Lunch Recipes For Large Families

I love putting together a giant batch of muffins.  You can grab them and go for an easy lunch (or breakfast!).  Here are some recipes we love.

I like to whip up a batch of Money Saving Mom’s cornbread.  Then I put it in muffin tins and drop a piece of cut up hot dog into each tin.  We call them corn dog muffins.  I hate hot dogs, but I love these little treats!

Apple Muffins  (So good, makes a nice big batch!)

Glazed Lemon Muffins

Hard boiled eggs

Quesadillas  For days at home, I bought a quesadilla maker.  Even my first grader can use this to make her own cheese quesadilla with some training and guidance!

Great Dinner Ideas for Big Families

We love having a freezer filled with meat.  It’s cheaper to buy in bulk, and it usually tastes better, too.


Casseroles and soups will give you the most bang for your buck.  The best recipes let you dump the ingredients and get on with your life.  If a recipe requires extra steps for cooking on the stove top, it’s got to be easy and taste good enough for the extra effort.

Hamburger Noodle Bake  Think lasagna without all the fuss.

Black Bean Enchilada Casserole

Bean Burrito Casserole This recipe from The Gracious Wife is one even my adult children still request!

Sour Cream Chicken Enchilada Casserole  All the flavor of enchilads, minus the messy wrapping work.

Chili (My Hubby makes it.  You probably have your own favorite recipe.)

Lazy Lasagna (Just 3 ingredients!) (I get ravioli from Aldi, which makes this dish super affordable, too!)

Dump and Bake Chicken Parmesan From Kara Creates, this recipe is just pure delish!

Be sure to grab your free monthly meal planner (plus tons more recipe suggestions)!

Simple Stove Top/One Pot Meals

Spaghetti  (You always make enough to feed 20 people anyway, right?)

Chili Mac Always a hit! (I double this recipe.)

Tacos.  We eat tacos every single week, and we aren’t picky about the filling.  Use burger and beans, fish, chicken, or pork.  If you like the traditional ground beef with a packet of taco seasoning (or use your own seasonings), you can dump beans right in with the browned beef to get all the flavor at a much smaller price.

One Pot Garlic Pamesan Pasta

Crock Pot Cheap Meals For Large Families

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken Slop:  You might want to use a different title, but that’s what I call it!  Put chicken breasts in the crock pot.  Top with a couple packs of stuffing.  Then pour on two cans of cream of chicken soup with a small carton of sour cream (however much you like).  Easy and filling on a busy day.  (No, we don’t eat like this every day.)

Cowboy Beans

Pork Roast:  Add potatoes and carrots with plenty of your favorite spices and herbs.  Pour in an inch of water before you cook on low all day.

Ham & Beans

7 Can Taco Soup One of my absolute favorite “go to” meals!

Meatball Sub Casserole

Chicken Tortilla Soup
Chicken Tortilla Soup by Simply Stacie

Chicken Tortilla Soup


My hubby likes to grill meat whenever possible.  And I love to let him!  Less dishes and mess in the kitchen is always great.  Otherwise, here are some cheap meals for large groups.

Baked Tilapia with Lots of Spice I find tilapia one of the more affordable fish options.

Roast Beef  This recipe would make even cheaper cuts of beef taste tender and delicious.

Pork Tenderloin  Mine is never done in the 45 minutes they suggest, so plan to at least double that cooking time. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t dry out.  Or just throw this recipe into the crock pot!

Pleasant Pork Chops  Another tasty way to turn cheap meat into a tender, delicious meal.

Ranch Chicken Yum!

Favorite Ways to Use Up Leftovers

One of my top tips for saving money on groceries is to start with what you already have.  What’s hanging out in the fridge?  Catch it before it turns into a science experiment!  Aside from the above mentioned soups and casseroles, our favorite ways to use up leftovers include:

Salad bar  Use leftover meats and cheeses as toppings.

Pulled pork  Delicious way to use up leftover pork roast.

Baked potato bar  Top with chili, salsa, or (if you’re boring like my kids) just butter and sour cream.

Leftover Mashed Potato Puffs  The perfect way to use up leftover mashed potatoes!

large family meals, the best easy homemade pizza dough

Easy Homemade Pizza Dough  This pizza dough recipe is delicious, and ready to go in 10 minutes.  We even love homemade pizza on weeknights!  Top with sauce (I make my own from cheap cans of tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and a little oil).  Sprinkle on your cheese and top with whatever meats or veggies you have in the fridge or freezer.


Easy Bread Pudding  This recipe is basically the main reason to skip the carnivore diet.

Lemon Bars  Perfect on a hot day, though I usually just sprinkle powdered sugar over the top.

Monkey Bread Looks so elegant! Then you see how simple it is, and wonder why you don’t make it more often??

pumpkin dump cake
Pumpkin Dump Cake by Cincy Shopper

Pumpkin Dump Cake (Super easy dessert!)

Our Large Family’s Absolute Favorite Cheap Meal Ideas In One Spot

I’m positive they will become your family’s favorites, too!

Do you already have enough cheap meals for large family ideas? Of COURSE not!! Here’s some more…

Budget Friendly Family Meal Ideas

Cheap Large Family Favorite Dinners