It’s that time of year. Summer has arrived (almost) and everyone is outside enjoying the warm sunshine and grilling with family and friends. Budget Friendly BBQ Dishes & Sides For A Large Crowd gives you some great ideas to keep the costs down while entertaining and enjoying some delicious recipes too!
I’m taking part in a blog series to help you plan and throw the best BBQ this summer.
We’ve got Budget Friendly BBQ Dishes & Sides For A Large Crowd, great recipe inspiration and ideas.
We know it’s hard to budget our summer entertaining, especially with the rising cost of food. But we make it easier!
It’s always fun to get together with family and friends in the summer months and throw together a BBQ to enjoy friendship, laughter and fun.
However if you’re working on a budget, it can be stressful trying to come up with ideas to keep the cost down but to ensure everyone eats well.
We can help with our Budget Friendly BBQ Dishes & Sides For A Large Crowd.
First of all, when planning your menu, you should always start with the # of mouths you need to feed.
In our family alone, we have 7 mouths, add in our extended family that usually attend our BBQs and you’ve easily hit 14.
Then add in friends and neighbors and the cost of food increases dramatically as we add more mouths to feed.
That won’t keep us from throwing a great BBQ and making sure nobody goes home hungry.
So let’s talk Budget Friendly BBQ Dishes & Sides For A Large Crowd
Budget Friendly BBQ Dishes & Sides For A Large Crowd: Main Dish
Usually menu planning for a BBQ begins with the main dish.
What are you planning on serving your guests? How much room do you need to cook or even to serve?
These questions will help you consider what items might be the easiest to prepare or throw on the grill.
They will also allow you to use Budget Friendly BBQ Dishes.
For the most frugal parties, hamburgers, hot dogs and brats seem to be the answer.
Those are perfect, sales are in abundance in the summer months and they definitely feed a crowd.
But there is so much more you can do, to feed your guests well.
Our favorite BBQ main dish is actually pork ribs.
They are delicious, almost everyone loves them and of course if you can find a sale (also often in the summer) you’ll be whipping up a Budget Friendly BBQ Dish in no time flat.
You can usually watch the meat case for great deals starting in early Spring, buy up what you think you’ll need and freeze it until you’re ready to use it. Especially if you know you’d like to entertain.
Pork is a pretty inexpensive meat on it’s own, but then when you watch for sales or deals you can wind up with quite a lot for not a lot of money. 10lbs of Ribs for $19 is enough to feed a party of 15.
These two packages of Pork Ribs are 10lbs and cost $19 total. That’s less than $20 to feed a large party of 15.
Even buying enough hot dogs and hamburgers, plus buns and condiments to feed everyone, can go way over that.
Scroll to the bottom of post for a very easy Pork Rib recipe
Budget Friendly BBQ Dishes & Sides For A Large Crowd – Side Dishes
We can’t forget the side dishes and there are so many budget friendly recipes and options for frugal side dishes.
You can feed any crowd for less with these great recipes. It’s imperative to have several choices for side dishes when feeding a large crowd.
You want to ensure that nobody goes hungry and not everyone will like every side dish.
Having great sides will help fill everyone up, and they won’t need seconds and thirds of the main course, which is good.
My favorite go-to frugal side dishes are always my Grilled Corn with Herbed Butter and my Bacon Potato Salad. (links to recipes below)
I get rave reviews anytime I serve these and they are such a traditional BBQ item plus they fit our Budget Friendly BBQ Dishes & Sides For A Large Crowd theme so well.
Corn is a great inexpensive side dish to serve with any BBQ. The reason being is that corn usually runs about .28 an ear and if you’re lucky you can go to the local farmer’s market and get it for 4/$1, sometimes better – for a party of 15 that’s less than $5 for a side dish and corn is a popular item at BBQ’s! Who doesn’t enjoy corn?
While it is totally okay to freeze corn on the cob, I don’t suggest it. Once thawed and cooked it can become mushy and the flavor changes.
Instead, just store ears whole and unwashed in a sealed plastic bag in your vegetable drawer of your refrigerator. It will help keep for longer if you take those steps.
If you DO want to freeze corn, may I suggest that you cook or blanch it before you freeze and store in freezer safe containers.
It will stay good for 6-8 months in the freezer that way. This awesome recipe is our favorite way to grill fresh corn on the cob.
I love potatoes as an easy and inexpensive side dish. You can usually get HUGE bags of baking potatoes for around $3-$5 – anywhere from 5lbs to 10lbs and it’s definitely enough to serve a small army.
Stay away from the specialty potatoes when you’re working on Budget Friendly BBQ Dishes & Sides For A Large Crowd.
They are more expensive and you get a LOT less.
Just purchase regular baking potatoes in large bags and it will stretch further, you get more for your money and everything STILL tastes great.
Potatoes can be prepared in so many different ways.
Our favorite thing to do for a BBQ though, is to make up a large batch of this Bacon Potato Salad (pictured below) that is always a huge hit.
Everyone asks for the recipe and it’s so super simple and delicious, and goes with practically anything.
Obviously there are dozens of ideas you can use to create a perfect side dish.
Veggies and fruit are always a popular item and if you plan around sales and seasonal availability, you can really get some great deals.
Salads in general tend to be popular and inexpensive.
Even just a regular salad, but think outside the box and create a great pasta salad (pasta is cheap!) or egg salad or fruit salad.
Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette – (click photo to see recipe)
Creamy Bacon Avocado Pasta Salad – Click Photo for Recipe
Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad – Click Photo for Recipe
Beans are a popular BBQ item and go great with just about any meat you throw on the grill.
Cornbread is also a very inexpensive way to throw in a side dish.
This award-winning Moist Sweet Cornbread is one of the most popular recipes on my blog and is a favorite!
It is totally possible to find Budget Friendly BBQ Dishes & Sides For A Large Crowd that don’t have to cost a ton of money to be successful, taste fantastic and have everyone stuffed.
Your BBQ will be a huge hit and you won’t break the bank!
I’d love to know what your favorite budget friendly main dish or side dish happens to be for a large BBQ. Tell me in the comments below.
Here’s a very easy Marinated Pork Ribs recipe:
Easy Marinated Pork Ribs
- 1 ½ cups of chicken broth
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons minced onions
- ¼ cup steak sauce
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 10 lbs of pork ribs or other cuts of pork
- In a large bowl, combine the first 9 ingredients and mix well. Pour 1-½ cups of the marinade into a large covered plastic container and add the ribs. Turn the ribs to coat completely.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours but 10+ is better. In another container, cover and refrigerate the remaining marinade.
- When you’re ready to prepare, drain and discard the marinade from the ribs.
- Grill the pork ribs on the bbq grill, covered, over indirect medium heat for 20 minutes on each side. Baste the ribs with some the extra marinade sauce.
- Grill 15-20 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 160°, turning and basting occasionally.
- You can serve the ribs with any remaining sauce or mix up a new batch.