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Need help feeding a crowd!

I have 4 relatives (meat-eaters, nonetheless) coming to stay with me for a month.  Anyone have ideas on inexpensive meals that will feed 6 people (or more for leftovers)?  I'm used to just feeding my hubby and myself and don't want to get too far out of budget eating lots of gourmet meals for 6. 

- A BBQ with veggie burgers, veggie kabobs, and a couple of salads

- Burrito night with stuff like refried beans, salsa, guacamole, mashed sweet potato, shredded lettuce, etc.

- Fajitas with marinated tofu, and sauted onions & bell peppers

- You could boil a bag of potato & onion perogies and serve them with sauteed onions, tofu sour cream, and sauerkraut. Maybe even a package of fake bacon if you can find/afford it.

- The chickpea and potato curry recipe on this website is pretty cheap and will feed a small country ;) Serve it with brown rice or some couscous.

- Lasagna is great and can be made deliciously/inexpensively. I like to use the recipe from here: and the white sauce recipe (with a pinch of nutmeg) from here:
The basic lasagna recipe is fun to play with; I usually saute a bunch of diced/shredded vegetables, such as zucchini, eggplant, bell pepper, and mushrooms, and i add those in with the tofu filling or as a separate layer.

and here are some inexpensive recipes you can try:

Teriyaki Sesame Vegetables

From Rose Reisman's "Bring Home Light Cooking"

1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp crushed garlic
Half a large sweet red or yellow pepper, sliced thinly
Half a large sweet green pepper, sliced thinly
1 1/2 cup snow peas
1 large carrot, sliced thinly
1/2 tsp sesame seeds


1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp minced gingerroot
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil

1. Sauce: In a small saucepan, combine ingredients and cook for 3 - 6 minutes or until thickened and syrupy.

2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil' saute garlic, red and green peppers, snow peas, and carrot, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.

3. Add sauce; saute for 2 minutes or just until vegetables are tender-crisp. Place in serving dish and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Chili Macaroni Bake

from here:

2 cups plain soymilk
2 tbsp. olive/canola oil
2 tbsp. flour
3 tbsp. margarine (my own addition)
a dash of cayenne, if you like it spicy
1 tsp. salt
12 oz. cooked pasta (the recipe says macaroni, but penne worked great)
3 cups (I think I used more) vegan chili, homemade or storebought (I used Vegan Planet's East Coast Chili)

Boil the pasta and spread pasta evenly in the bottom of a large baking dish (book says 9x13 inches, but whatever lasagna-type dish you have should be okay). Rinse and dry out your pasta-cooking pot (it will save you from washing another dish later!) Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat oil in the saucepan, then add flour. Cook these two ingredients together for a minute or two, so that the flour will not taste raw. Slowly whisk in the soymilk. Add margarine, salt, and cayenne (if using). Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring, until the sauce thickens. Pour sauce over cooked noodles in the baking dish. Spoon chili on top of noodles and soymilk sauce, but don't mix everything together! The chili on top will keep the noodles from getting dry and crunchy in the oven. Put the dish in the oven and cook until everything until hot and bubbly (book says 30 minutes, but if you have hot chili, it won't take that long). Eat!


Pasta, of course, with a good tomato sauce packed with chopped peppers, mushrooms, onions etc...Taco salad, using TVP mixed with prepackaged taco seasoning (or your own spice blend) and topped with tofu sourcream, along with the regulation lettuce-tomato-avocado-whatever; thick, rich chili made with TVP, beans and plenty of spices...Soups and casseroles always a good bet. Try "shepherd's pie" with TVP instead of mince.Just remember that TVP needs lots of seasoning to make it go.
Lentils and beans of course, in soup or as a pulse dish. Whenever you need to feed a crowd, think "spoon food," hearty one-dish type meals that you eat with a spoon. A little wholegrain bread, some salad on the side, and you're set. And at this time of year, for dessert, you can't better fresh fruit. Who can say no to cold watermelon or other goodies!


dahl is really good and cheap, also so is lots of middle eastern-esque food (roast veg, couscous, hummous, falafel) and just general mezzze/tapas type foods....loads of different salads kinda thing, baked potatoes, also stews (barley&mushroom one from great vegetarian cooking under pressure is brilliant).  i would imagine that they are not expecting you to create highclass gourmet wonders for a month and will be happy with fairly simple meals too.  ive got quite a lot of nice recipes for little patties, like tofu&seed burgers which are good for making for one meal and then having cold the next day with salad too
having guests for a month though, thats a feat, i hope it goes well :)  let me know if you want any actual recipes for the things ive suggested, ive got some good ones.


Try my "Dressed-Up Eggplant" recipe on this site (I forget where it is, but search Eggplant)'s easy to double or triple etc. Just make sure your pan is big enough. It's good cold, even out of the fridge, or in sandwiches.


I have a big family, so I have been very resourceful at cooking for groups

Do veggie soup or salad before meals, they are inexpensive and easy to make and are a filler so you won't need to buy as much for the meal. Brown rice, whole grain pasta, and whole grain cous cous are really filling and so adaptable. Also, hearty grain bread with every meal will help fill them up without hurting your budget.

For the soup, just get vegetable broth and a bag of mixed frozen vegetables. Add some salt and pepper and just let it heat up. It takes less than a minute to prepare and you can have more time to spend on the main dish, or visiting with your guests. Or to make a dessert  ;)


Thank you all for so many great ideas.  I'm going to try to come up with a menu plan and do all of my major shopping at once.  GingerGirlBB, I would love some of your recipes - especially for the dahl and the middle eastern food.  You can email me at crys1215(at)


Tortilla Soup!

2T Olive Oil
1/2c Onion, Diced or Minced
1/2c Cellery, Diced (heart w/ leaves prefered)
1/2c Bell Pepper, Diced
3 Hot Peppers, seeded and diced
1 Lime, zest and juice
Garlic (5 cloves)
8c Water
4 Bullion Cubes (Knor Veg)
4c Black Beans, soaked dried beans or rinsed canned
16oz Salsa
2c Corn, frozen kernels

Optional toppings:
Corn Tortilla, julliened and fried

Saute the onion, cellery, bell pepper and hot peper in the oil till the onion is translucent. Add in garlic, lime zest and juice, saute making sure not allow the garlic to burn. Add in water, bullion, beans, corn and salsa. Simmer for 30 min for canned beans or 2 hours for soaked dried beans.

Serve topped with a lime slice, fried corn tortilla strips and avacado.
You can add in cillantro, but I am not a fan of the flavor so I skipped that.


Here's a meal idea for you:

In a soup pot, saute some onion, garlic, and ginger if you have it. Then add water and an appropriate amount of vegetable boullion cubes/powder. Add a splash of soy sauce, a small amount of toasted sesame oil (start with like 1/2 a teaspoon and give it a taste test) and then you can start throwing in stuff like noodles, chopped mushrooms, spinach, etc. Let cook, and sprinkle on some chopped green onion before serving.

Serve this with steamed rice and a simple vegetable/tofu stir-fry (like the general tao's tofu recipe on this website).


A great thing for feeding the masses is also chili (sin carne of course)...I friend of mine is making a fab chili con tofu with coffee and beer (really  :o!).


this recipe feeds a TON of people and is generally liked by all.  Cheap too!


I recently tried a very tasty and filling recipe from this site.  It's BBQ "Beef" & Bean Casserole.  It was even better as a leftover!  :) 

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