21 Budget-Friendly Holiday Recipes That Feed a Crowd

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Is the idea of feeding a large group of people adding stress to your holiday season? We’re here to ease your worries and to let you know that you can make easy, delicious food for your loved ones without breaking the bank (and losing your sanity!). 

This list of budget-friendly holiday recipes that feed a crowd is jam-packed with the best flavors of the season, and they’re also easy on the wallet. And you can also make many of them in a Crock-Pot or Instant Pot. There’s nothing more simple than that! 

In this article, we’ll give you some tips on shopping for ingredients as well as meal ideas for large families or groups that will have everyone scrambling for seconds. 

Budget-Friendly Shopping Tips for Feeding Large Groups

  • Stock up on popular holiday baking items like butter, flour, and canned pumpkin–they always go on sale!
  • Shop at discount grocery stores like Aldi and Costco–Aldi’s always has amazing deals, and you can often find bulk holiday recipe items at Costco 
  • Plan ahead so you’re not making last-minute runs to the store
  • Don’t shoulder the entire burden of the meal yourself. Ask relatives and friends to bring appetizers, side dishes, and desserts. 
  • Use your Crock-Pot and Instant Pot! They’re a cook’s best friend during the holiday season.

Crowd-Pleasing Holiday Recipes on a Budget

Sweet and Savory Breakfasts

Cranberry Orange Crescent Rolls Recipe

Flaky crescent rolls get dressed up with sweet and creamy cream cheese frosting and fresh oranges and cranberries. They’re super simple to make, and you can always use store-brand rolls in place of brand-name ones. 

Sausage Potato Breakfast Casserole

You can prep this cheesy, savory breakfast casserole ahead of time and even double the recipe for larger groups. It’s filling, delicious, and easy on your budget. 

Quick Cinnamon Roll Cake Casserole

Store-bought cinnamon rolls take the leg work out of feeding a crowd on Christmas morning, and the addition of cake mix and buttery streusel topping makes this inexpensive breakfast idea impossible to resist. 

Christmas Breakfast Casserole

Would you believe you can put this budget-friendly Christmas breakfast casserole together in just 10 minutes? The french bread crust and cheesy sausage goodness will make this an instant hit.

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

These sweet, peanut-buttery breakfast muffins are a snap to make ahead of time and freeze, so all you have to do is thaw them out, and they’re ready to go! 

Simple Side Dishes 

Dreamy Easy Mashed Sweet Potatoes

These smooth and creamy mashed sweet potatoes will quickly become a go-to holiday recipe. You only need 5 ingredients, and you can cut prep time by steaming them in your Instant Pot. 

Fresh Green Bean Casserole With Bacon

The homemade cream sauce in this crunchy, bacon-topped green bean casserole is a total game-changer. The recipe calls for fresh green beans, but you could certainly sub inexpensive canned ones instead, along with bacon bits for a budget-friendly twist.

Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes and Ham Recipe

This budget-friendly slow cooker recipe is the ultimate comfort food. It’s also a great idea for using leftover ham from your holiday feast. 

Easy Creamy Potatoes Au Gratin With Bacon

This crowd-pleasing potato side dish is a must-have for your next holiday dinner. It’s full of creamy potatoes, crisp bacon, and mouth-watering cheddar and parmesan cheeses. 

Easy and Savory Slow Cooker Creamed Corn With Bacon

Who knew canned creamed corn could be so irresistibly delicious? Savory spices and a Southern cooking secret combine for a sinfully good holiday side dish. 

Crowd-Pleasing Main Dishes

Winter Squash Soup

Soup is one of my go-to meal ideas for feeding a crowd, and this holiday recipe has all the best parts of fall–butternut and buttercup squash, Granny Smith apples, and savory seasonings.

Ham With Spiced Brown Sugar Pineapple Glaze

Skip the overly sweet glaze this year and make a simple yet delicious alternative for your holiday ham. It’s easy to make and has a spicy bite, thanks to a hint of cayenne. 

Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Thighs

Chicken thighs are the ultimate budget-friendly cut of meat, and the homemade garlic butter for this crispy oven-baked chicken will make these over-the-top flavorful. 

Vegan Stew and Dumplings

This vegan stew is the ultimate comfort food, and it’s a snap to make for those holiday lunches where everyone needs to eat, but you don’t really want to cook. This is one meal where everyone will WANT to eat their veggies. 

Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin with Honey

This easy pork tenderloin is stuffed with apples and honey, and thanks to your Instant Pot, it has all the flavor without the time commitment. 

Scrumptious Desserts Everyone Will Enjoy

Grandma’s Apple Cake with Cinnamon Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

This crowd-pleasing dessert recipe is filled with sweet chunks of apple throughout the spiced cake, and it’s topped with a mouth-watering, buttery cream cheese frosting. 

The World’s Best Chocolate Rum Cake

Give your holiday dessert a kick with this moist, decadent chocolate rum cake. Most if not all ingredients are guaranteed to be on sale, and you get several servings out of one batch. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bon Bons

These no-bake, budget-friendly bonbons taste just like a Reese’s peanut butter cup but with a holiday flair! You may have to make a double batch because nobody can have just one. 

White Candy Cane Layered Cake Recipe

Layers of peppermint cake and fluffy whipped topping make this candy cane layered cake a guaranteed hit at your next holiday meal. Serve up slices with a mug of hot cocoa for the ultimate seasonal experience. 

The World’s Creamiest, Most Delicious Hot Chocolate (In a Slow Cooker!)

Forget those packets of powdered hot chocolate mix. If you’re cooking for a crowd, you NEED to have this creamy, decadent recipe in your back pocket. It’s simple, quick, and makes enough for everyone to have seconds (or thirds!). 

Vanilla Pudding Puppy Chow Recipe (Without Peanut Butter)

This irresistible snack food works as both a dessert and all-day finger food, and it’s perfect for guests with nut allergies. Best of all, you only need 3 ingredients to whip up this chocolatey, sugary treat. 

As you can see, preparing to feed a crowd during the holidays doesn’t have to mean spending more money. There are plenty of budget-friendly recipes out there that are simple, tasty, and timeless. 



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