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Category: From My Kitchen

Easy Meals for 25+ People | Our Vacation Menu Plan

Need some easy meals for 25 people…or maybe just some easy recipes for large groups? Here’s how we fed 27 people on our recently family vacation including the meals we made + how we divvied up the responsibilities.

Be sure to also check out my post from earlier this year on Our Vacation Menu Plan for a Crowd + last year’s Big Family Vacation Menu Plan!

Easy Meals for 25+ People

Last week, we drove to Lampe, MO to spend a week at Table Rock Lake with almost all of my extended family. (This time around, it was my parents, 2 brothers, 3 sisters, and their spouses and kids. My youngest brother couldn’t come because he’s working at the Wild’s Christian Camp this summer).

My dad rented Caboose Junction Resort for us all (it has a main house and then 6 caboose that have been turned into small “cabins”).

In addition to spending lots of time skiing, boating, and swimming, we ate a lot of yummy meals. But in order to feed 27 people without it being too much work, we not only stuck with easy meals for 25+ people, but we also all pitched in and helped with the food.

Since you all loved my large group menu plan posts, I wanted to, once again, share what we ate and how we planned and divided up the responsibilities. This might give you some inspiration in case you need some suggestions for easy meals for 25+ people.

 

How We Planned and Divvied Things Up

Like last time, my sister planned the menu with easy meals that would feed a crowd and sent out a sign-up form using Perfect Potluck (it’s free and so easy to use!). Each family signed up for the main dishes and side dishes they wanted to be in charge of.

(A screenshot of the sign up form on Perfect Potluck.)

Whatever meals or parts of meals you signed up for, you were in charge of bringing the ingredients for and cooking/baking.

We also had a sign-up for kitchen clean-up, too, so that one person didn’t have to do a bunch of the clean up and everyone could enjoy plenty of time for fun!

Easy Breakfasts for 25+ People

Here’s what we served for breakfast:

Easy Lunches for 25+ People

For lunch, we had our usual huge Build-Your-Own Salad Bar (most all of my family loves salads!). We also had bread and meat/cheese for sandwiches for the kids and any adults who didn’t just want a salad. In addition, we set out any leftovers from breakfast or dinner.

Build-Your-Own Salad Bar Ingredients: A variety of Greens and Lettuce, Canned Salmon, Boiled Eggs, Raisins, Seeds/Nuts, Avocados, Bell Peppers, Cucumbers, Chickpeas, Cherry Tomatoes, Feta Cheese, Croutons, Dressings

Simple Dinners for 25+ People

If you’re looking for some really easy meals for 25+ people, here’s what we made for the dinners:

  • Spaghetti Pie, Lettuce Salad, Garlic Bread, Green Beans, Fruit
  • Southwest Rollups (Toppings: Shredded Lettuce, Sour Cream, Salsa), Mexican Rice, Fruit
  • Pizza & Soda Pop (We ordered from a local pizza place — we ordered it online and then my dad went and picked it up.)
  • Baked Potato Bar & Five Cup Salad (The toppings we had: Baked Potatoes, Taco Meat, Sour Cream, Cottage Cheese, Chopped Green Onions, Shredded Cheese, Bacon, Salsa, Chopped Tomatoes, Broccoli.)
  • Grilled Chicken, Lettuce Salad, Homemade Biscuits, Corn on the Cob, Fruit Salad, Steamed Veggies,  Twice Baked Potatoes. (I used the leftover baked potatoes to make these.)
  • Hamburgers/Hot Dogs, Homemade French Fries, Veggie Tray, Leftover Corn on the Cob, Leftover Fruit Salad

It’s amazing how it’s not too much work on any one person to feed 25+ people if we all pitch in and help!

What other ideas of easy meals for 25+ people or easy recipes for large groups do you have? I’d love to hear!

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17 Back to School Breakfast Recipes for Kids

Looking for some easy breakfast recipes for kids with back to school season almost in full swing? Try one of these healthy ideas!

Looking for more delicious breakfast ideas? Try our family’s favorite Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls, this delicious Ice-Cream Soaked French Toast, these breakfast recipes using leftover potatoes, these easy Homemade Freezer Biscuits, this Homemade English Muffin Bread, or these Make-Ahead Freezer-Friendly Pancake Recipes!

Back to School Breakfast Recipes for Kids

Beat the School Morning Chaos with Easy Breakfast Ideas

Back to school season is upon us…and so are busy weekday mornings!

When trying to get your kids out the door on chaotic school mornings, it really helps to have simple breakfast ideas prepared.

And while cold cereal, pop-tarts, and granola bars are easy on-the-go breakfasts, you might be looking for something a little more filling to give your kids that extra boost of energy they need to get through those first long school days.

If you’re looking for healthy breakfast recipes for kids that are quick, easy, and budget-friendly, this list has you covered!

Psst! Looking for healthy afternoon snack ideas? Check out this list of 25+ Frugal and Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids!

This is our list of top breakfast recipes for kids that meet the following criteria:

  • Generally healthy — These recipes are packed with nutrition for lots of energy, use wholesome ingredients, or sneak in an extra dose of veggies/fruit! (But yes, many of the muffins, pancakes, and waffles DO contain sugar.)
  • Budget-friendly — These recipes won’t break your grocery budget. In fact, many of these recipes can be made from scratch with inexpensive ingredients ahead of time and stretched over multiple days of breakfasts!
  • Quick and easy — These recipes are easy for weekday school mornings because they’re really simple to make, have very little prep time (so you can pop them in the oven to bake while you’re getting the kids ready for school), can be made ahead of time, or are freezer-friendly recipes that can be frozen for later.

Quick & Easy Healthy Breakfast Recipes for Kids

Baked Egg Bites

1. Baked Egg Breakfast Bites

These are SO tasty and easy to make, and they’re packed with protein!

They also freeze really well, so feel free to make these ahead of time to have ready in the freezer for busy weekday school mornings.

Also, I find that using silicone muffin cups (affiliate link) makes clean-up so much easier! I love mine!

Homemade Breakfast Cookies

2. Healthy Homemade Breakfast Cookies

Cookies for breakfast? Yes, please! Kids will LOVE this one.

This recipe is delicious, healthy, and filling. And they’re great to make ahead of time and have ready to grab-and-go!

easy breakfast recipes for kids: Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets

3. Easy Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets

This is one of the easiest breakfast recipes for kids, and it’s really versatile!

Homemade instant oatmeal packets are so easy to put together ahead of time and customize. You can mix it up and use a variety of different add-ins, depending on what each family member loves.

And you can’t go wrong with whole grains!

Carrot Cake Waffles

4. Whole Wheat Carrot Cake Waffles

Need to use up carrots or want to sneak some extra veggies into your child’s diet? Try these Carrot Cake Waffles!

They’re a little dose of healthy and a whole lot of delicious!

Psst! If you have any allergies in your family, give these Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Waffles a whirl!

Morning Glory Muffins

5. Morning Glory Muffins

Filled with apples, whole wheat flour, carrots, coconut, and raisins, these muffins are packed with nutrition.

And they’re super delicious, too!

Pumpkin Carrot Cake Muffins

6. Pumpkin Carrot Cake Muffins

These muffins are another great way to sneak in a dose of carrots! They are super easy, healthy, and a great way to start the morning.

You don’t have to frost them with the sweetened cream cheese. That’s just a little something to make them feel more special, but they are certainly just as good without it!

Super Easy Breakfast recipes for kids: Homemade Granola

7. Homemade Granola

This is another yummy breakfast recipe for kids that’s super quick and easy to make!

Eat a bowlful with milk or sprinkle it over yogurt and fresh fruit.

Blueberry Ginger Smoothie -- great for back to school breakfasts

8. Breakfast Smoothies

Smoothies are a great way to quickly get a big dose of fruits and veggies before the day even gets started!

Try one of these smoothies as an easy on-the-go breakfast recipe for kids:

Simple Breakfast Casserole

9. World’s Easiest Breakfast Casserole

This simple Breakfast Casserole is one we’ve loved for years. It’s a pared-down version of my mom’s Breakfast Casserole and one we ate often in our lean law school days.

While not super duper healthy, it is packed with protein and sure to give your kids energy and focus during long school mornings!

Just throw all the ingredients in a pan and pop it in the oven to bake while you’re getting the kids ready for school. Super easy!

Baked Oatmeal

10. Freezer-Friendly Baked Oatmeal 

This is so easy to make and freeze ahead of time! Then you can just pull it out to thaw overnight and bake the morning you need it.

This one willl be such a big hit with your family, you’ll almost feel guilty over how simple it is to pull off.

Not mention, whole grains are always a winner!

Breakfast Burritos

11. Freezer-Friendly Breakfast Burritos

These breakfast burritos are perfect for breakfast-on-the-go! They’re also frugal and delicious.

While these aren’t the absolutely healthiest of options, they can be made ahead of time and they’re super filling! Also, there’s some green pepper and onion snuck in there!

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes

12. Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes

These pancakes are one of our favorite breakfast recipes for kids! It’s been a family favorite for years, and it’s healthy and tastes amazing!

The best part is you can totally freeze these ahead of time and just pull them out on a busy weekday morning! (We even love these straight from the freezer. They’re SO good!)

Note: Not a fan of reheated pancakes (or eating them straight from the freezer the way we crazies do!)? Try this Make Ahead Pancake Batter method or this Homemade Baking Mix. These will at least takes a few steps out of the process, so that the mix is ready to go on those mornings you want pancakes.

Looking for something a little different? These Oatmeal Pecan Pancakes my sister makes are really tasty, too!

Delicious Breakfast Recipe for kids: Apple Butter Muffins

13. Apple Butter Muffins

Sometimes an ingredient substitution leads to a great discovery!

Apple butter gives these muffins a great, rich flavor. And they’re made with oats, giving you a dose of whole grains!

Freezer Banana Bread

14. Freezer-Friendly Banana Bread

This is our tried and true banana bread recipe, and it freezes beautifully.

Sometimes we decide to mix things up and add chocolate chips. Feel free to experiment with various mix-ins!

Breakfast Ideas for Kids: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

15. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

Can you tell we love chocolate chips? 😉

These muffins are hearty and filling. Not too sweet, but just the perfect blend of crunch and chocolate mixed together.

And again, the oats give your kids a good dose of whole grains!

Blueberry Muffins

16. Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

This recipe is super-simple, (practically) fool-proof, and makes you the “muffin hero” in less than a half-an-hour!

Even more, I love that this recipe is fairly healthy, using intentional ingredients to make a more nutritious muffin. It’s a great recipe to make when blueberries are on sale.

Whip up a batch of these at the beginning of a school week to have a week’s worth of delicious breakfasts at your fingertips!

Breakfast Recipes for Kids: Best Bran Muffins

17. The Best Bran Muffins

These muffins are absolutely packed with nutrition!

If you’ve been looking for a good bran muffin recipe that is also really good for you, try these out!

Looking for more breakfast recipes for kids?

These are some other great breakfast recipes that we didn’t include on this list due to their not-quite-as-nutritious content or the time it takes to make them on a busy weekday morning. 😉

{I highly recommend the Cinnamon Rolls and the Ice Cream French Toast. SO yummy — especially on a slower weekend morning with the family!}

What are some of your family’s favorite easy breakfast recipes for kids? Let us know in the comments!

Want to save money and eat healthier?

This Week’s $70 Grocery Budget

Want to see what we bought for this week’s $70 grocery budget? I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.).

For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories. See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here.

Kroger Shopping Trip #1

  • Rotisserie Chicken — marked down to $4.19
  • Broccoli Pearls — marked down to $1
  • Bag of Nectarines — marked down to $0.99
  • 2 bottles of Kroger salad dressing — marked down to $0.79 each
  • Butter — $2.89
  • Eggs — $2.99
  • Green Leaf Lettuce — $1.79
  • 4 cans of Campbell’s soup — on closeout for $0.50 each
  • Loaf of Quinoa Bread — marked down for $1.79 each
  • Brown Rice — $0.69
  • 2 boxes Kellogg’s cereal — on sale for $1.79 when you buy 5 participating items, used $1/2 coupon = $1.29 each
  • 3 boxes Mom’s Best cereal — $1.49 each when you buy 5 participating items
  • Total with tax: $28.86

I’ve been finding so many closeout deals at Kroger recently! If you have time when you’re at Kroger, I recommend going through each aisle and looking for the white closeout tags to see what you find!

I was excited about the Friday-Saturday deals at Kroger. And, as you can imagine, my kids were pretty excited about the $0.99 ice cream!

Kroger Shopping Trip #2

Sprouts Shopping Trip

Dollar Tree Shopping Trip

(We stopped by to buy a few things for a project Kathrynne was working on so I grabbed these two things while we were there.)

  • 1 package of lentils — $1
  • 1 package of swabs — $1
  • Total with tax: $2.18

What We Ate On Our $70 Grocery Budget This Past Week

Note: When you see the meals below, please remember this: I buy ahead often. Which means that when I find a great deal on something I know we’ll use, I buy as much as I can afford in our budget to have on hand.

This means that you aren’t going to see all of the groceries my shopping trip that I used to make all of the meals we ate.

Please also remember that I’m putting this out there and it’s not a perfectly balanced menu. This is just really what we ate — and I hope that it encourages you to see the real-ness and lack of perfection here.

Our Menu Plan

Breakfasts:

  • Scrambled Eggs/Avocado/Salsa, Fried Eggs, Cereal, Blueberries, Bran Muffins

Lunches:

  •  Leftovers, Salad/Toast, Blueberries, Cereal, Soup, Banana Muffins, Watermelon

Snacks:

  • Popcorn, Cookies, Blueberries

Dinners:

  • Sunday — Leftovers/fend for yourself
  • Monday — Brats, Corn on the Cob
  • Tuesday — Chicken Casserole, Peas, Banana Muffins
  • Wednesday — Rotisserie Chicken, Rice, Fruit
  • Thursday — Broccoli and Rice Stirfry with Leftover Rotisserie Chicken, Watermelon
  • Friday — Olive Garden Take Out
  • Saturday — Meatballs, Peas, Leftover Olive Garden Breadsticks

$70 Grocery Budget Totals

Total spent on groceries: $59.54 

Cashback earned this week: 100 points for submitting my receipts to Fetch rewards + $0.10 for submitting my receipt to iBotta rewards.

Cut your grocery bill!

Want to cut your grocery budget? Go here and sign up (it’s free!) I’ll send you my 10 Easy Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill By $50.

Easy Meals for 20+ People | Our Vacation Menu Plan for 28 People

Need some easy meals for 20 people…or maybe just some easy recipes for large groups? Here’s how we fed 28 people on our recently family vacation including the meals we made + how we divvied up the responsibilities.

Be sure to also check out my post on last year’s Big Family Vacation Menu Plan!

Easy Meal Plan for a Crowd of People

Easy Meals for 20+ People

We recently went to Utah with my entire extended family (parents, 3 brothers, 3 sisters, and their spouses and kids). My dad rented a huge cabin for us to stay in and we all pitched in and helped with the food.

I thought it would be fun to share what we ate and how we planned and divided up the responsibilities. This might give you some inspiration in case you need some suggestions for easy meals for 20+ people!

large family group

easy meals for 20 people being served

How We Planned and Divvied Things Up

My sister planned the menu with easy meals that would feed a crowd and sent out a sign-up form using Perfect Potluck (it’s free and so easy to use!). Each family signed up for the main dishes and side dishes they wanted to be in charge of.

Perfect Potluck website

(A screenshot of the sign up form on Perfect Potluck.)

Whatever meals or parts of meals you signed up for, you were in charge of bringing the ingredients for and cooking/baking.

This time around, we also had a sign-up for kitchen clean-up, too, so that my dad wouldn’t spend the entire trip doing dishes. (He’s always working in the kitchen, it seems! He says he loves it, but 28 people make a LOT of dishes!)

easy meals for 20 people: baked oatmeal for a large family

pancakes for breakfast

easy recipes for large groups: pancakes and bacon for breakfast

What We Made for Breakfast

When you’re serving meals for 20+ people, breakfast is the simplest meal (in my opinion)!

Here’s what we served for breakfast:

  • Pancakes, Bacon, Scrambled Eggs, Orange Juice
  • Baked Oatmeal (my sister made the mix of the dry ingredients ahead of time for this), Sausage, Orange Juice
  • Cereal, Fruit, Leftover Pancakes & Eggs

easy meals for 20 people: salad bar

What We Made for Lunch

For lunch, we had a huge Build-Your-Own Salad Bar (most all of my family loves salads!). We also had bread and meat/cheese for sandwiches for the kids and any adults who didn’t just want a salad. In addition, we set out any leftovers from breakfast or dinner.

Having a Build-Your-Own Salad Bar is such an easy meal for 20+ people — and frugal, too! All the ingredients can be stretched a really long way, since you’re only using a little bit of each ingredient on your salad.

Build-Your-Own Salad Bar Ingredients: A variety of Greens and Lettuce, Canned Tuna/Salmon, Boiled Eggs, Raisins, Seeds/Nuts, Avocados, Bell Peppers, Cucumbers, Chickpeas, Cherry Tomatoes, Dressings

easy meals for large groups: hot dogs and hamburgers

easy recipes for large groups: preparing vegetables for a big dinner

easy meals for 20 people: hawaiian rolls, chicken, and fruit

easy meals for 20 people waiting to be served dinner

What We Made for Dinner

If you’re looking for some really easy recipes for large groups, here’s what we made for the dinners:

  • Build-Your-Own Haystacks, Homemade Guacamole, Rice
  • Grilled Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Salad, Fruit, Green Beans, Homemade Rolls
  • Hamburgers/Hot Dogs, Tater Tots, Corn on the Cob, Watermelon, Veggie Tray, Steamed Broccoli

budget grocery shopping for large groups

Here’s what our family contributed contributed (I went to Smith’s — a Kroger affiliate — and was able to get all of this for around $50!) + I brought some salad toppings, canned tuna and salmon, and some extra snacks in our luggage.

It’s amazing how it’s not too much work on any one person to feed 20+ people if we all pitch in and help!

What other ideas of easy meals for 20+ people or easy recipes for large groups do you have? I’d love to hear!

Cut your grocery bill!

Want to cut your grocery budget? Go here and sign up (it’s free!) I’ll send you my 10 Easy Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill By $50.

Easy 4th of July Recipe | Patriotic Strawberry and Blueberry Muffins

Looking for some really easy 4th of July recipes? These Patriotic Strawberry and Blueberry Muffins are delicious and super simple to whip up in a pinch!

{Looking for 4th of July desserts? Check out this Patriotic Mason Jar Ice Cream — so much fun for the whole family!}

Patriotic Muffins for 4th of July

Easy 4th of July Muffin Recipe

The 4th of July is right around the corner and will be here before we know it!!

If you’re looking for creative 4th of July recipes to take to an Independence Day potluck or family gathering, try these fun Patriotic Strawberry and Blueberry Muffins!

ingredients for strawberry and blueberry muffinsmaking blueberry and strawberry muffins

These Patriotic Muffins are ridiculously easy to whip up and they’re seriously some of the BEST muffins I’ve ever tasted!

They’re super moist and delicious — and it’s difficult to eat just one! You might want to make an extra batch just in case. 😉

4th of July muffins ready for the ovenbaked blueberry and strawberry muffins on cooling racks

If you’re looking for easy 4th of July recipes, these Strawberry and Blueberry Muffins are really versatile!

You could use them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even snack/dessert! I’d think they’d also be perfect for a brunch gathering!

4th of July muffins slathered in butter with confetti

You can eat them cooled or warmed, but I recommend them warm and slathered in butter. YUM!

I love the extra flavor twist that the strawberries add to the traditional blueberry muffins taste. But if you love the tart taste of raspberries, you could always substitute the strawberries for raspberries and still have a fun patriotic-themed 4th of July recipe!

patriotic muffins lined up

The best part of these Patriotic Muffins? They freeze really well!

Make them ahead of time a few days or even a week before you need them, and then all you have to do is pull them out of the freezer a few hours before serving them! Eat them as-is or pop them in the microwave to warm them up.

Oh — and if you’re looking for a dairy free version, just substitute the yogurt with your favorite brand of dairy-free vanilla yogurt. Voila!

close-up of patriotic muffins