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Dinner for 12

wandajune6wandajune6 Chicago-ish member
2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
I just found out that I have 10 people coming over for dinner Saturday night. I'd like the menu to be special but not cost over $60 (though I'm ok going up to $75 or so), excluding alcohol.

I was originally thinking about making my gramma's shepherd's pie but she uses pot roast and I priced it at around $60 on beef alone. I thought about Julia Child's beef bourgignon but don't know that I have enough pots to make enough- with the noodles or potatoes, pearl onions and mushrooms, etc.

I'm drawing blanks. Any suggestions?
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Re: Dinner for 12

  • JennyColadaJennyColada Awesometown, CA member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    Anything chicken is pretty affordable.

    I used to do these mushroom and spinach chicken roll ups (you can also do it with fish too) that was always a huge hit (and you can even make it a bit ahead and just store in the fridge until you want to pop it in the oven). You don't really need to check it much too. I use this recipe and just use pounded chicken breasts instead of fish (although it is tasty with fish too!).
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Lasagna?  That's my go to when I have people over, it's easy and not expensive. But maybe that's not special enough. 
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    ilovecake84JaxInBlue
  • Lasagna? Beef braciole? Roast turkey and the trimmings?
    Chicken cacciatore or marsala may be made for a crowd at low cost.
  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
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    banana468 said:
    Lasagna? Beef braciole? Roast turkey and the trimmings? Chicken cacciatore or marsala may be made for a crowd at low cost.
    THIS. Thanksgiving is coming up and I'd fucking love to have the turkey meal more than once. 

    Or pasta. Maybe chicken, broccoli alfredo, or sausage & vodka sauce, or both. 

                                                                     

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  • Cookie PusherCookie Pusher Looking over your shoulder member
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    I host large dinner parties a few times a year. I usually do some kind of roast (chicken is usually the cheapest unless I've been hoarding other meats that go on sale with extra coupons), ham, or lasagna (traditional or made as roll-ups). With the roast or ham, I do a bunch of sides that are relatively inexpensive - corn, mashed potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, biscuits, etc. And I always have a small portion of salad for each guest with homemade dressing.
    ~*~*~*~*~

  • Another lasagna vote.  I've definitely used that to feed a large group relatively inexpensively.  Add a tossed salad and maybe some bread and you're good to go.

    I've also done a pulled BBQ pork in the crock pot that has priced out pretty reasonably.
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  • Instead of turkey since Thanksgiving is so close (though I certainly wouldn't complain), what about a roast chicken with stuffing, gravy and veggies. 
  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
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    A few people have mentioned a roast chicken so I'd just like to mention that my husband and I eat 1/2 of a chicken for dinner. He has a whole breast and I have the leg/ thigh/ wing. So you would need like 3 chickens. 

                                                                     

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  • penguin44penguin44 Kansas City member
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    Agree with PPs. Chicken would be easy and cheaper. I like to do a roasted whole chicken, but I'm attaching links to a few chicken recipes I like.




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  • Cookie PusherCookie Pusher Looking over your shoulder member
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    jenna8984 said:
    A few people have mentioned a roast chicken so I'd just like to mention that my husband and I eat 1/2 of a chicken for dinner. He has a whole breast and I have the leg/ thigh/ wing. So you would need like 3 chickens. 
    DH and I eat half a chicken ourselves, too, but we typically don't have a ton of sides for a regular dinner. With a dinner party, you can stretch the food out more by having appetizers and lots of sides.
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    penguin44
  • I'd do a big pan of chicken parm with angel hair/marinara, salad and garlic pull apart bread.

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    huskypuppy14sarawifenow
  • wandajune6wandajune6 Chicago-ish member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    So many ideas! I'm a bit overwhelmed!

    I'm used to entertaining DH's family on a regular basis but there are so many little kids that the menus are always pretty basic and kid-friendly (spaghetti and meatballs, meatloaf, fried rice, etc.). Somehow, the idea of entertaining adults only throws me off. I'm probably trying to keep the food budget too low but know that we're going to blow the overall budget on wine.

    I'm loving all of these ideas. I'm going to run ideas past DH and go from there.

    Thank you!
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  • Cookie PusherCookie Pusher Looking over your shoulder member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    So many ideas! I'm a bit overwhelmed!

    I'm used to entertaining DH's family on a regular basis but there are so many little kids that the menus are always pretty basic and kid-friendly (spaghetti and meatballs, meatloaf, fried rice, etc.). Somehow, the idea of entertaining adults only throws me off. I'm probably trying to keep the food budget too low but know that we're going to blow the overall budget on wine.

    I'm loving all of these ideas. I'm going to run ideas past DH and go from there.

    Thank you!
    I think you can do it for pretty close to your budget if you shop carefully. I host between around 15 for New Year's (and send everyone home with leftovers, bring leftovers to feed my office, and have leftovers for ourselves for a week), and I do it for under $100. If you keep things simple (and get some coupons if applicable), you can totally do it.
    ~*~*~*~*~

  • wandajune6wandajune6 Chicago-ish member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    I can easily feed people on a budget but I'm trying to go beyond my boring standards. Basically, I always go with things like risotto or clam chowder, etc. Then again, I'm usually a pretty great bargain shopper.

    The roast chicken and lasagna ideas are resonating. Possibly a traditional lasagna and a non-traditional variety of some sort.

    So many ideas!

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  • @Wandajune6, can you share a good risotto recipe? I love ordering risotto at restaurants but have never tried to make it myself.
  • wandajune6wandajune6 Chicago-ish member
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    @lulu0405‌ - I don't use a recipe. I usually sautée the arborio rice and some finely diced onion in olive oil. Once it's translucent, I start adding hot chicken stock a cup at a time, stirring as I wait for it to absorb. I also add a healthy dose of white wine. If I'm using dried porcinis, I strain the water they were hydrated in and add that as well. In a separate pan,
    I sautée a ton of chopped mushrooms in olive oil with a bit of garlic. Once the risotto looks close to ready, I add the mushrooms. Cook it until it's perfect then add a handful or two of good Parmesan. Sprinkle with chopped parsley (which I think is very important) and enjoy.

    It's really easy!
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    lulu0405
  • Thank you, that sounds delicious! Sorry to threadjack!
  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Chicken thighs (which are cheaper) with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Then I place several whole pieces of sage or basil onto the chicken and wrap bacon around chicken to hold herbs on. DELICIOUS. Easy. And looks fancy.
    lulu0405
  • I think the lasagna idea, its tasty, easy and serves many, usually with room to spare. In fact, any type of pasta could be nice too (and cheap) and you can make it as "adult" as you want it. 

    For instance, spaghetti alle vongole is a great and relatively cheap option that you could easily serve to many people another delicious option is a puttanesca sauce (capers, anchovies, kalamata olives, tomato).
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  • Cookie PusherCookie Pusher Looking over your shoulder member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    lc07 said:
    Chicken thighs (which are cheaper) with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Then I place several whole pieces of sage or basil onto the chicken and wrap bacon around chicken to hold herbs on. DELICIOUS. Easy. And looks fancy.
    That reminds me of a tasty Jamie Oliver recipe I used a lot. It calls for chicken thighs but I've made it with all different cuts (I just don't brown the white meat pieces like I would the dark meat). I serve with some rice or pasta, salad, and something like greenbeans or carrots.
    ~*~*~*~*~

    lc07
  • lovegood90lovegood90 Ontario member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    I agree with the PPs suggesting lasagna, always a crowd-pleaser! Maybe a meat and vegetarian?

    Formerly martha1818

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  • RebeccaB88RebeccaB88 Figment of Your Imagination member
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    edited November 2014
    Casseroles!  If you don't want to/don't have time to do all the layering and stuff for lasagna, how about a baked ziti with meat sauce and lotsa cheese?  Salad and garlic bread on the side. Or a creamy chicken and veggie baked ziti.  (Or even both? Let people choose.)

    Crockpot BBQ pulled pork, can have plain or on sandwich buns, or on top of baked potatoes. Make potato salad, coleslaw for sides, set out chips and dip. 

    My mom's go-to crowd meal is a slow cooked brisket, either with BBQ sauce or onions and beef broth. Cook at low heat (it's really kind of a braise, takes several hours) until it almost shreds when you slice it.  Do a potato casserole of some sort, or a baked potato bar, and veggies or salad. 

    Taco or nacho bar. Ground beef, beans, all the toppings, soft and crunchy taco shells.


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