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Need to feed 50 people on the cheap but good - ideas?

I am having a bbq/backyard party that has turned into quite a large one at this point . People are bringing items to share but I will provide a good portion. Any suggestions for something that people would enjoyy but wouldn't break my back or my bank>

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  1. I'm not sure if you're looking for prepared food or something to cook. I used to have to feed about 70 folks at a time on a limited budget, and I would often get food catered from El Pollo Loco. Good chicken, some good sides, and lots of tortillas. Pretty cheap, too.

    1. prepare a big veggie couscous and have BBQ on the side with some merguez.

      1. Make a few big pots of chili. Maybe a veggie or turkey one and then a traditional meat based chili. You could then supplement with grilled corn, some nice big bowls of green salad, tortilla chips or flour tortillas. Put out some fixin's and peeps can make their own burritos. Grab a party bucket fill with beer and you are good to go!
        Have fun.

        1. Mediterranean cooking lends itself to plentiful but cheap options. You could make lots of hummous, tabbouli, baba ganoug, toasted pita, olives, stuffed grape leaves, and a greek salad. All can be made ahead except for mixing the herbs and veggies into the tabbouli. Marinate and grill chicken legs and wings in a garlic, lemon and olive oil marinade and serve hot or cold.

          1. How about pulled pork? Pork shoulder slow cooked in the oven the day before - feeds a crowd and the cooking is done (just reheat.)

            3 Replies
            1. re: flourgirl

              Pork shoulder is pretty cheap and will feed a crowd. If you go with chicken for the grill, leg quarters are usually the cheapest @ around $0.39-0.79/lb.

              1. re: scubadoo97

                Pork shoulder for pulled pork is a very good idea, at about $1.20 - 1.40 per pound, you can get a whole shoulder or two butts on a weber kettle, or put one into your oven... it will take a good 8 or 10 hours (or more), depending on the cut, but the results will be awesome, pulled and piled on hamburger buns, with some cole slaw on top. Need further info on cooking shoulders?

              2. re: flourgirl

                Yup, pork shoulder is the way to go. Serve it with warm tortillas and lots of toppings.