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A complete Memorial Day spread for only $5 per person

By Carolyn Malcoun, May 21, 2010 - 11:57am

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This Memorial Day, my husband, Dan, and I are having a BBQ. Since I’m a food editor at EatingWell, our friends are used to a delicious spread of food when they come over for dinner. But throwing a backyard BBQ doesn’t need to be complicated or costly—the menu we’re going to serve is full of inexpensive dishes that are super scrumptious too. Here’s a sneak peek at our menu, which for everything from drinks to desserts, costs just about $5 per person:

When I’m entertaining, I love to grill a big hunk of meat. It‘s just easier to have only one thing to pay attention to rather than keeping track of who wants cheese on their burger and who doesn’t. Smoked Turkey Breast is great for entertaining because it feeds a crowd, plus it costs about $1.50 per serving. Get this easy recipe for Smoked Turkey Breast plus more great recipes for grilling for a crowd.
Total Cost: 12 servings @ 1.52 each.

While I can pick up side salads at the supermarket, these two recipes both rely on inexpensive ingredients—broccoli and pasta—so they’re inexpensive (and more delicious!) to make myself.

I make Broccoli-Bacon Salad pretty much every time we’re asked to bring a dish to a summer potluck. A picnic favorite, this salad combines broccoli, water chestnuts, cranberries and just a little bacon for delicious results. Our version has plenty of creaminess without all the fat. Find more recipes for picnic coleslaws and salads here.
Total Cost: 6 servings @ $0.82 per serving

Garden Pasta Salad is my other go-to side-salad recipe. This recipe gets lots of flavor from Kalamata olives and basil. A colorful mix of diced bell pepper, shredded carrot and tomatoes adds vitamins and minerals. Leftovers make a great lunch. Get the recipe plus more pasta and potato salad recipes.
Total Cost: 6 servings @ $1.12 per serving

We like to serve up a special cocktail at summer parties. And when we make them with fresh fruits and vegetables, they’re full of healthy antioxidants too. I like to stir up Peach Wine Cooler because the base is white wine. Since I’m mixing it with other flavorful ingredients, I don’t have to spend a lot of money on a bottle.
Total Cost: 4 servings @ $1.06 per serving

A great fruit pie is the perfect way to end a dinner outdoors. I like to bake one of our healthier pie recipes, such as peach-raspberry, strawberry-rhubarb or French silk pie, instead of buying a pie at a bakery, which can cost $20 or more. Our Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie costs just $7 to make and you know exactly which ingredients are in it!
Total Cost: 10 servings @ $0.70 per serving

What’s your favorite budget recipe to bring to an outdoor party? Tell us what you think below.

TAGS: Carolyn Malcoun, Food Blog, Dinner, Entertaining, Holidays

Carolyn Malcoun
A graduate of New England Culinary Institute and University of Wisconsin with a degree in journalism, Carolyn pairs her long-standing love for food with writing as EatingWell's senior food editor. Carolyn’s culinary interest is rooted in her childhood; she grew up making thousands of Christmas cookies every year with her mom and picking leaves off bunches of parsley to make tabbouleh with her dad. Away from the kitchen, Carolyn enjoys seeking out rare craft beers and exploring the outdoors with her husband, young daughter and dog.

Carolyn asks: What’s your favorite budget recipe to bring to an outdoor party?

Tell us what you think:

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