10 Best Cheap Dinners for Friends

Posted by on Monday Feb 21st, 2011 | Print

It can sometimes seem daunting to host a whole meal for friends. Not only do you have to invite, shop, cook, and entertain, but you have to lay out a decent amount of money. They key to making it all unintimidating is to simplify.

Here we’ve collected our simplest, cheapest dinners to cook for your friends. All have short ingredient lists, making them really economical. Each needs only to be accompanied with a Bistro Salad or any simple variation thereof, though in a few cases we’ve noted a cheap accoutrement or two; these are totally optional. You can also always finish things off with a batch of brownies. Most importantly, all are crowd-pleasing–though you may need to double or triple some of  recipes below to suit the size of your party.

**Recipes**

1. Avocado Quesadillas
Add: steamed white rice, black beans warmed with chili powder

2. Chard & Chickpea Toasts with Scallion Butter

3. Zucchini-Shallot Frittata
Add: fresh baguette

3. Mustardy Midwestern Turkey Meatloaf
Add: baked potatoes

4. Udon Noodles with BGSK Peanut Sauce
Add: sliced cucumbers, tossed with rice vinegar, sugar, and salt

5. French Onion Soup
Add: good French bread for dipipng

6. Tuna Noodle Casserole with Cremini Mushrooms & Scallions

7. Mediterranean Catfish Spaghetti
Add: good Italian bread with olive oil for dipipng

8. Squash & Sweet Potato Pancakes
Add: pita, Greek yogurt

9. Spinach Strata with Sage & Gruyere

10. Grilled Mushroom Cheddar Melts
Add: Roasted Tomato Soup or good purchased tomato soup

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