This is a really short story but every time I try to tell it, it gets really long.  So I'm going to do my best to give you the cliff notes version.  The basic gist is that every Wednesday night I feed about 30 to 40 people because Aaron is the college minister at our church (his side gig) and it's what was done years before and it's what I do now.  Ladies from church volunteer to do desserts but I do the dinner part (except for 100 pounds of bbq that a sweet lady smoked for me to freeze and use through the semester).  This is my second year to cook, my budget is about $100-$125 per week, and so far this semester I have done delivery pizza (when Super-G had chicken pox), king ranch chicken, bacon cheeseburger meatloaf, a breakfast spread, poppyseed chicken, bbq nachos, and cheeseburger pie - all with sides and whatnot.    

    And I am running out of ideas people.

    So that's why I am telling you all of this.  Not because I think it will in any way positively or negatively effect your life, and not because it is in any way entertaining what-so-ever.  But because I need you.  Desperately.  I need y'all to shower me with recipes that are great for a crowd.  It is turning cooler, and it won't be long until I am doing lots of soups and chilies.  But these kids will get tired of taco soup and white chicken chili if I do them every week.  So help.  Anything I can mix or bake, plus I have a roaster oven and probably six crock pots that I love, love, love to use bc they are so easy.  Hit me!  Hit me now!  You got anything that you make when you need to feed a bunch?  You got a big family that you feed every time you're together?  Then I want your ideas.  Just remember it has to stay near budget and it has to be prepared mostly beforehand because I can't be frying stuff in a pan with Bible class going on in the same room.  Also, I know about the standards.  Frozen lasagna, hot dogs, spaghetti - those are all decent choices, but that's more of the kind of stuff these kids get sick of.  Plus part of me just really likes cooking a for-real homemade meal because several of these kids are away from home and get nothing but Hot Pockets and cereal mostly.  I guess I kind of pride myself on making sure they get something good to eat.

    But I'm starting to wander the aisles aimlessly, lost, with no idea what I'm going to do next.  (because let's not lie to ourselves and pretend like I am ever prepared.  I never know what I'm cooking until I've walked around Walmart a good 30 minutes first)  

    So please, pretty pretty please, if you love me at all - or feel sorry for me because I never take baths - or wish you were me because you secretely long to wear your husbands 2x sweatshirt all day everday and never put on makeup - or appreciate me for making you feel like a rockstar who has a great handle on your life when compared to me - then send me good recipes for a crowd.  It will make my life so much easier.

    And let's be honest - the children thank you. 
9/28/2011 03:40:28 pm

How about Company Chicken over rice? Use your 6 crockpots! Chicken, cream cheese, cream of mushroom, dry zesty Italian dressing and butter. Heat in crockpot over rice or noodles...but rice is cheaper and it helps out the fam. ;) if you want the actual recipe and such let me know and I'll get the specifics for you.

If you could get a few roasts from the managers specials you could do a crockpot roast with veggies.

Lasagna casserole. But I'm not sure if this would be budget friendly.

Google chicken pillows. They're delish and pretty easy!

That's about all I've got. Ill keep thinking.

Denise Ray
9/28/2011 09:04:23 pm

I make 'quick and easy vegetable soup" It is cheap, easy and makes a large crock pot fill for a big group. Even my kids eat it. It's hamburger, Rotel tomatoes, an onion, tomato sauce and canned veggies. Also, I do crock pot chicken & gravy over potatoes. It goes really well and is easy. You can make it all ahead of time, which I love. The guys really like it. It's chicken, cut up and sauteeed until white or light brown, then stuck in crock pot. Add onion soup mix, cream of chicken soup and water on top of it. Let sit for hours. Make your mashed potatoes and then when the meat is done, you dish out the potatoes, make a little bowl in the middle of them and add your gravy-coated meat on top. I add crock pot-cooked green beans to it (to give it more fat with the bacon in that and another veggie) and pre-fab rolls. There you go.

Jennifer Ensor
9/28/2011 10:12:10 pm

Chicken spaghetti. My mom used to make that every time would would bring home large groups of kids from school. Email me and I will send you the recipe if you want it.

Laura C.
9/28/2011 11:22:07 pm

Cassie! Back in the day (when I was actually still at Northeast), one of our favorite nights was Taco/Mexican night! We had beef or chicken to choose from, all the toppings and shells, and some homemade white cheese dip. Really the only thing that needed cooking was the beef, chicken, and cheese dip and it was all made in crockpots. You might could question Tommy for his recipes.

Laura C.
9/28/2011 11:22:19 pm

9/29/2011 11:35:29 am

Cassie, take chicken breasts (boneless & skinless0)(can also be frozen) and put in crockpots popour barbecue sauce over and cook all day on low. They should be fall apart tender. You could also make a large pan of dressing. This could be made ahead of time and frozen until ready to use.

9/29/2011 04:48:35 pm

boneless chicken breast(large bag and leave frozen) if you do the whole bag in one crock pot place frozen chicken breast in crock pot and add:
1 large can cream of mushroom
1 large can cream of chicken
2 cans rotel and cook all day in crock
cook rice, add a salad and or cook
canned green beans with beef
buillon cubes
bread/rolls! easy, easy!
You could cook instant potatoes but
we love it poured over RICE!
Potatoes make your butt big! :)
Good Luck and hope you get plenty of

Lindsey Harris
9/30/2011 04:34:33 am

BBQ nachos are always a hit!

Sweet Roll Sandwiches-
You make these ahead of time. They are best if they have been in the fridge for 8+ hours before baked.
1 package of Hawaiian Sweet rolls (regular full pkg., like 9x 13 inch-ish)
3/4 to 1 lbs of ham lunch meat
8 oz. shredded mozzarella
Slice rolls in half and put ham and cheee in the middle. Top with...
1 stick of butter
1 T mustard
1 t worchestire sauce
2 t onion flakes
Pour this evenly over sandwiches. Sprinkle with poppyseeds and cover with foil. Refrigerate. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or so or until center is warm.

Pizza Casserole-
2 cans of crescent rolls
1 1/2 lbs of hamburger meat
1 jar of pizza sauce
8 oz of mozzarella cheese
Lightly grease 9 x 13 dish. Press one can of crescents into pan. Mix meat pizza sauce. Pour onto rolls and then add cheese. Put last can of crescents on top. You can add pepperoni and onions and peppers etc, but it is pretty awesome just like this!

Hope this helps some!

traci smith
10/1/2011 02:00:02 am

My go-to for a large crowd, a crock pot recipe-so all the clean up is done is Chicken & Dressing. I got the recipe on-line after Good Morning America had a crock-pot recipe contest. This was one of the top five. It does take some prior prep in making the cornbread & dicing the chicken, but it is always a hit and SO yummy! (I have also cheated and used canned chicken). So here it is...
1c. chopped onion
1c. chopped celery
1/4c. oil
1T. salt
1T sage
1t. poultry seasoning
2c. white day old bread (I just toast
my fresh bread and it works well)
8c. cornbread (one lg skillet)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cans chicken broth (or make with
bouillon cubes)
3 eggs
1T. vinegar
3 chicken breast

Stew the chicken breasts until done. Cook the onion and celery in the oil until tender. Add sage, salt and poultry seasonings. Combine the breads in a lg mixing bowl.

Add to the breads, the cooked onion, celery, salt, sage, and poultry seasoning.

In a small bowl, combine the soup, broth, eggs and vinegar. Combine with other ingredients in a larger bowl and mix well. Pour into a crock pot and cook on high for 30 mins. Turn heat down to low and cook 3-4 hours. About 1 hour before it is done, add the broken chicken pieces.

Serve with green beans and a baked potato-(both easy) and you have a complete meal. Delish!

10/4/2011 02:33:28 am

The pizza casserole is best baked! Ha! 350 for 30-35 minutes. Top crust will be deeper golden brown. :)

4/19/2012 06:41:46 am

The Duggars have some recipes for large groups on their website. I am not really a fan of them, but I did remember seeing these on there.

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