Now is the time for all those holiday festivities, annual work parties, family and friend gatherings and let’s not forget Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner! It can be overwhelming just to think about all the time, effort and money it takes to host one of these events. Especially when we’re all trying to save up our money or put ourselves on a budget because there are gifts to buy for the holidays and so many outings and festivities to enjoy with your loved ones. To then throw hosting a holiday party into the mix!? Well, what if we told you that you don’t have to break your wallet in order to cook for a crowd?
The secret ingredient to this is having one of our products! GoWISE appliances are known for making your life easier because of each product’s features and benefits. They come in a variety of sizes, so that you can cook a meal for as little as a couple of people or as large as a party with several guests. They are all so versatile that you can make an assortment of dishes in each of them, such as meats, veggies, soups, dips, baked goods and more. You are definitely not limited – so they’re perfect for creating several courses for a party. They will save you time when cooking, so you can move on to cooking the next course or sit down and enjoy the party. You’ll also be able to save time with dishes, because you won’t have to worry about the pile of dishes it took to create a meal – use one of our appliances to create everything and have only a couple of dishes at the end! Generally, with all of our products, you just throw your ingredients in and set it to your preferred preset, function, and it does the rest! Their user friendly displays and programs make them easy to use, even if you are new to our appliances or to cooking something new. Whether you are air frying, pressure cooking, grilling or blending – our products also offer healthier cooking options. You won’t need to use unhealthy oils or fats and your food will still come out tasty and juicy without all those added calories. Follow along below as we share some tips for cooking for a crowd on a tiny budget and show you a delicious several course meal, we made just for this occasion utilizing our Pressure Cookers and Air Fryers!
Tips for Cooking for a Crowd on a Tiny Budget
Plan it out first – start by writing out a plan with your budget you would like to stick to, number of guests, theme of your party, menu planning, grocery lists and any other important information. This will ensure you stay organized and are able to throw an awesome party with tasty food AND stay in budget.
Menu planning - make your menu as simple as possible so that it’s easier on you to prepare. Choose recipes with as minimal prep and cooking time as possible. Try to choose dishes that can be made in advance and can be reheated, as well.
Estimating Food Quantities – while you can’t be sure how much of each food you’ll need because you can’t know how much someone will eat. You can pay attention to the preferred portion or serving size of each dish and go off of that.
Buy in Bulk – buying your ingredients in bulk is a great idea since you will be cooking for several people and it will be cheaper in the long run – whether its produce, big cuts of meat or other ingredients that you’ll be using for multiple recipes.
Use one marinade or seasoning – Find one simple marinade or seasoning to use on meats, veggies, whatever, so that you aren’t spending more time creating several different marinades. Plus using just one will definitely cut costs.
Make it a BYOB affair – have your guests bring their own alcohol, because everyone knows the liquor is the most expensive part of any get together. Most of the time guests will arrive bearing some sort of thank you gift anyways and this way you ensure the bar will remain fully stocked.
Salad is your friend – Serving a salad at your party is ideal, because it’s a great way to use up any extra ingredients you have in your refrigerator and will keep your guests happy until the main course arrives.
Use cheaper cuts of meat – as long as they’re cooked right, think about using burgers, hot dogs, chicken, steaks instead of the more expensive meats so you stay within budget.
Choose make ahead dressings and sauces – find sauces and dressings you can make ahead of time in bulk, so that the day of you just have to pull them out from the refrigerator and they are ready to serve.
Kebabs to the rescue – Kebabs are a great option, because you can use them as an appetizer, entrée or dessert. They are super simple to make and only require a few ingredients.
Make big batches – making big batches of things is going to be a huge lifesaver when cooking for a crowd. The large sizes of our products will do just that and make the prep and cooking process effortless.
Apple Cider is the best beverage for the Fall time that can be enjoyed any time of the day. We utilized the Blender and Pressure Cooker for this tasty drink. The Blender was used to blend the apples and water together. We transferred the mixture, added the rest of the ingredients and cooked the beverage in the Pressure Cooker in minutes! We used Gala apples for this cider, but there are so many types of other apples out there that you could use, such as Honey Crisp, Fuji or even Granny Smith! Adding in cinnamon sticks and syrup made this drink a little sweeter. The sauté function on the Pressure Cooker was ideal for this recipe, because you don’t need to lock the lid, so you can watch it until it starts boiling. Pair this beverage with a variety of foods, such as a slice of apple pie, hearty salad, roasted pork or a creamy pasta. You can even make an abundance of Apple Cider in our Pressure Cookers for all of your party guests or stock up on it for your future Fall recipes like – Apple Cider Glazed Roasted Chicken, Apple Cider Caramels, Roasted Butternut Squash with Cider Vinaigrette, Cider Pulled Pork and more!
6 red apples, cored and quartered
2 ½ cups filtered water
juice and zest of an orange, strained
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup real maple syrup
1-inch chunk fresh ginger, sliced
2 cinnamon sticks
7 whole cloves
Add the cored and quartered apples to your Blender. Add in the 2 ½ cups of water a little bit at a time, until blended well.
Strain out the large chunks until you have 4-6 cups of juice.
Pour the strained juice into your Pressure Cooker. Add in the juice and zest of an orange, lemon juice, maple syrup, sliced ginger, cinnamon sticks and whole cloves.
Set the Pressure Cooker to the Sauté setting for 20 minutes, or until the mixture begins to boil. Once the mixture begins boiling, seal the Pressure Cooker. Using the Manual function, set it to high pressure and cook for 10 minutes.
Once it is done cooking, let the pressure release naturally. Pour into serving cups and enjoy!
You can’t go through the Fall and Winter months without enjoying this seasonal soup. The combination of beef and Fall vegetables, such as potatoes, celery and carrots make this the perfect stew. Cooking it in a Pressure Cooker is perfect, because you just throw all of your ingredients in the appliance and wait for the delicious aromas to fill your kitchen. Not to mention, your meal will be ready in a matter of minutes. You could utilize the same meat and veggies that you were going to use for your main entrée or switch it up entirely! To make this recipe keto, swap out the potatoes with cauliflower and leave out the carrots. Pair this soup with some crunchy Italian bread or a juicy, seared piece of pot roast that can also be made in a Pressure Cooker!
1.5-2 lbs. beef stew meat, cut into 1-2 inch chunks
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp chili powder
2 ½ tsp Italian seasoning, divided
1 medium onion
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
6 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 inch chunks
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into slices
2 ribs of celery, chopped
1-2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
5-6 cups vegetable broth
½ cup of corn
1 can of chickpeas
Coat beef with salt, pepper, onion powder, chili powder, and ½ teaspoon of Italian seasoning.
Using your Pressure Cooker, add the beef into the inner pot along with all the remaining ingredients. Make sure the broth covers the vegetables.
Cover and seal the lid. Set to 20 minutes at high pressure. After the 20 minutes wait for it to naturally release for another 20 minutes. Add more seasonings if necessary.
Four-Cheese Mac and Cheese
This delicious four-cheese mac and cheese recipe is the perfect dish to make in bulk for your guests by utilizing your Pressure Cooker. We utilized four different kinds of cheeses to make it extra cheesy but go ahead and just use one type of cheese or more than four if you wish! Havarti cheese isn’t one you see often, but we loved it because it’s one of the easier ones that can be sliced, grilled or melted. We went for a spicier mac and cheese by adding in hot sauce, but feel free to omit that if you aren’t fond of spicy! You can use either milk or chicken broth as a substitute. We opted for both, because since we were using multiple cheeses, we didn’t want the consistency to be too thick. This is filling enough to enjoy as a full meal or perfect as a tasty side. And it’s easy and quick enough, that you just throw all of your ingredients in and you’ll be able to enjoy it within 5 minutes!
1 lb. elbow macaroni
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp hot sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
½ cup Havarti shredded cheese
½ - 1 cup milk
Add the macaroni, water, chicken broth, butter, hot sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper to your Pressure Cooker.
Set your Pressure Cooker to high pressure for 5 minutes and use the Quick Release before opening. Fold in the cheeses and milk and mix to combine.
Stir and enjoy!
Using a Pressure Cooker for any type of meat is great because it stays nice and juicy and will cook it mighty quick. Not to mention the large size of the Pressure Cookers will ensure you have enough for any crowd that you’re cooking for. Searing the meat before pressure cooking is ideal to achieve that caramelized texture and flavor. This is the perfect Fall recipe because roast is easy to work with and dress up to create a fancier dinner meal with the right potatoes, veggies, and herbs. If you aren’t fond of beef, then take advantage of another meat, such as chicken, turkey or lamb. We utilized an assortment of Fall produce as our veggies of choice, but feel free to use whatever veggies you would like. Other veggies that would complement a roast nicely are celery, mushrooms, and zucchini. Other herbs you could use are tarragon, thyme or fresh lemons for a citrus flavor! If you have leftover meat, then turn it into french dip sandwiches, carnitas, sliders or freeze it for another Fall day!
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1- 3 lb. boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed
1 medium onion, cut into 4 wedges
1-14.5 oz. can of beef broth
1 ½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce
desired potatoes and veggies
salt and pepper to taste
In your Pressure Cooker, heat up the oil using the Sauté function. Place your roast inside the inner pot and brown it on all sides in the oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Pour in the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce and quartered onion and seal the lid. Use the Manual setting and cook for 30 minutes on high pressure. Carefully release the steam and add in your desired veggies and potatoes.
Lock the lid and use the Manual setting again and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Once they are done cooking, release the steam and enjoy!
Root Vegetable Medley
These veggies are the perfect side to any meal – whether it’s a juicy piece of meat, pasta, sandwich or anything else you desire. Keeping with the Fall season, we utilized Fall produce, but feel free to switch up the veggies to your favorite ones. We opted for a simple seasoning of olive oil, salt and pepper, but go ahead and mix it up. Other seasoning that would go great are basil, garlic, oregano, rosemary or sage! We cooked them in our Air Fryers to achieve that crispy and roasted taste – perfect for Fall! You could also cook these in a traditional oven or Air Fryer Oven or a Pressure Cooker if you were looking to make some steamed veggies. Add in rice, chicken or tofu to turn this delicious side into a full meal!
1 sweet potato
1 lb. mini red potatoes
1 lb. brussels sprouts
12 oz. carrots
1 yellow onion
1 yellow squash
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
Slice your desired veggies and place them in a mixing bowl. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
Place your tossed veggies in the air fryer basket with perforated parchment paper (optional). Air fry at 400°F for 20 minutes. Enjoy!
This dessert is ideal to make in the Pressure Cooker, because you just mix everything together and wait for it to pressure cook! Your tasty dish will be ready in minutes. We used an assortment of seasonal berries, because why not?! If you aren’t fond of blueberries and strawberries, you could use other berries like raspberries or blackberries. You could create an entirely different cobbler and utilize apples or peaches! Make this an even healthier option by using almond milk and gluten free pancake mix! When you are making the topping, feel free to use a whisk or rubber spatula or go the extra mile and pull out your electric mixer. You may need to add extra water so that you can allow the pressure to build up and cook. We paired our cobbler with a scoop of ice cream to achieve a combination of crumbly and creamy goodness!
12 strawberries, quartered
1 cup blueberries
2 tsp lemon juice
¼ cup brown sugar
¾ cup water
¼ cup sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp corn starch
2 cups pancake mix
½ cup milk
3 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
4 ½ tbsp sugar, divided
½ tsp cinnamon
In a medium mixing bowl, mix the berries, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, cornstarch and water together. Once mixed together, pour the mixture into the Pressure Cooker pot. (Note: You may need to add additional water to allow pressure to get high enough to cook mixture.)
To create the topping, combine the pancake mix, milk, butter, vanilla, and 3 tablespoons of sugar in another bowl.
In a separate bowl combine the 1 ½ tablespoons of sugar and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon.
Then, assemble by placing large scoops of the topping on the surface of the berry mixture and sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar mix.
Lastly, secure the lid of the Pressure Cooker and close the pressure valve. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Enjoy!
Hosting a party any time of the year doesn’t have to break the bank. When you have a plan in place and utilize one of our versatile products, you can throw a great party and people will wonder how you did it. Any one of our products will save you time and effort with anything you are cooking in them, giving you more time to spend with your guests. You’ll be able to create mouthwatering dishes; people will be shocked they were made in an Air Fryer or Pressure Cooker! Any leftover ingredients or meals you have can be used to the very last drop. Use leftover apple cider for so many delicious recipes that call for apple cider. Also, use your pot roast to make some juicy Carnitas. We hope you enjoyed learning how to cook for a crowd and seeing all the yummy things we made – use these helpful tips not only to cook for a crowd this holiday season, but all year round.
If you need more recipe ideas, enjoy our included recipe book with easy to follow steps and check out another course meal staple of ours, Pressure Cooker 3 Course Meal. This Fall inspired meal is ideal for all those holiday parties you have coming up. It features a delectable Tomato Artichoke Soup, juicy Pork Roast and Veggies followed by a sweet Whipped Cheesecake – all made in our Heating Blender and Pressure Cooker!
If you still feel unsure, there are so many outlets out there to help you with tips, tricks and recipes! We also have a YouTube channel and other helpful blog posts to help you get more familiar with your GoWISE USA product and find useful tips and recipes.
We appreciate every one of our customers and hope you found this post helpful with getting more familiar with your GoWISE USA Pressure Cooker and Air Fryer. And don’t forget to share your experiences and creations with our products using the #GoWISEUSA on all of our social channels or join our GoWISE Creations community on Facebook.
A big thank you to the authors of these articles. Check out the links below to take a look at tips for cooking for a crowd on a tiny budget.