Recipes for cheap dishes to bring to a potluck

Feeding a crowd on a budget requires creativity. One way that works well is to organize a potluck. Everyone has a collection of recipes that will work well when you want to find inexpensive potluck ideas. Here are a few family favorites that are guaranteed to please just about anyone.

American chop suey or goulash

No matter what you call it, this is a very basic dish which combines macaroni with hamburger and a tomato based sauce. Pasta is one of the least expensive ingredients that you can use. To make this dish, you can combine two pounds of elbow macaroni with one pound of hamburger and four cans of stewed tomatoes with peppers and onions. If you want to make it extra special, you can sprinkle a little cheese on top and throw it the oven to melt. This is a dish that pleases everyone from seniors to little children. The entire dish will cost much less than $10 to prepare.

Homemade baked beans

If you have a crock pot you can cook up a delicious large batch of baked beans and all you need are two bags of navy pea beans, two medium onions, molasses and a piece of salt pork. Soak the beans overnight, slice up the salt pork, chop the onions and slice the salt pork, throw in the crock pot and cook all day and this is one really delicious and economical dish to bring to the potluck.

Tuna noodle casserole

This is an old family favorite that, if doubled or tripled, makes a perfect potluck choice. All it takes are two cans of tuna, two cans of mushroom soup, two pounds of noodles and some buttered bread crumbs. What could be easier and less expensive than that?

Shepherd’s Pie

This old English dish, shepherd’s pie, is universally loved. You will need two pounds of cheap hamburger, five pounds of potatoes, a jar of brown gravy, one large onion and a large bag of frozen corn or peas. Boil and then mash the potatoes. Cook the hamburger with the onion, drain and add the gravy. Top with the corn and mashed potatoes. Bake in the oven until the top is crispy brown and bring to the potluck.

Mac and cheese

Every potluck has to have some mac and cheese. One way to really save on this dish is to ask at your deli department if they sell the cheese ends. Usually these are sold at less than half price and make for a different tasting dish every time. All you need are two pounds of pasta, one pound of cheese, some milk and flour, a little Worcester sauce and potato chips for a topping and you have a great and very cheap dish.

If you are asked to make dessert,  a sheet cake will feed a crowd with one cake mix and if you add your own homemade frosting, no one will care that you used a cake mix. The same goes for a brownie mix, just add a simple homemade frosting and everyone will be impressed, especially if you add some colored jimmies.

There are many ways to make inexpensive dishes for a potluck, use these ideas and add your own personal touches.

Posted in Cooking