20+ Big-Batch Meals for Families

By Polly Conner
July 28, 2021

Cooking large batch meals can be a huge time saver and money saver. It truly maximizes your time in the kitchen and frees you up to be more present with your people. Big batch recipes also equip you to get the most use out of your ingredients and helping you not to waste any unused food!

20+ Big Batch Family Friendly Meal Ideas

Save Time with Big Batch Meals

Big batch recipes are great whether you’re feeding a large group just looking for a recipe that is great to re-heat the leftovers from.

After writing two cookbooks and running a food blog for 8+ years, we are able to quickly identify which recipes work best for cooking in large batches. Below you can find our top big-batch recipe ideas!

20+ Easy Big-Batch Meal Ideas

Disclaimer: We are an affiliate of ButcherBox and have included links in this post.

Slow Cooker Shredded BBQ Beef Sandwiches

The key to this big-batch recipe is in the homemade BBQ sauce. Once it’s in the slow cooker, it’s pretty much hands off which is something I love. And guys, this recipe is GOOD. So good that it made it into our newest cookbook.

Hearty Baked Penne Pasta

This recipe feeds an army. Almost everybody loves the hearty, beefy, cheesy pasta. Serve it with some garlic bread and a salad and you’ve got a great meal. One idea on how to stretch this meal is to divide it half, bake one, and freeze the other. It makes a GREAT freezer meal. Just be sure to undercook the noodles a tad if you’re going to freeze it. Here are 70+ other great freezer meals!

Easy big-batch meal: Baked Penne Pasta

Super Sloppy Joes

This homemade veggie-rich Sloppy Joes recipe with a tangy-sweet tomato sauce is a family favorite. Double the recipe to have lots of leftovers for the week. You can also easily freeze the meat mix for an easy dinner later in the month.

Sloppy joe sandwich with a salad

Crockpot Breakfast Casserole with Bacon and Gruyere

Everyone loves breakfast for dinner! Make this Crockpot Breakfast Casserole at your next brunch or holiday gathering and enjoy its leftovers for the next few days. Its depth of flavor and beautiful color comes from the bacon, onions, garlic, kale, roasted red peppers, and Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses. Bonus: It’s naturally gluten-free. Serve along with our Blueberry French Toast Casserole. Yum!

Breakfast Casserole in a Crockpot on a wooden cutting board

Killer Carnitas

These slow cooker carnitas are one of my all-time favorite, big-batch meals. They are easy, affordable, delicious, and can be customized for each person’s preference. You can also make these in the Instant Pot using this recipe or make them in the oven using this recipe.

Chicken Spaghetti

When I made this Chicken Spaghetti recipe for the first time, my husband ate it for about 5 meals in a row and proceeded to ask me to make it again the next week. It’s creamy, flavorful, and filling. This recipe easily makes TWO 8×8 dishes or one very full 9×13 dish. It’s a great dinner idea that will feed a group of people or make great leftovers for lunches.

Tip: Here is where you can find grass-fed beef and organic chicken you can trust!

Chicken Spaghetti

Easy Ham and Cheese Sliders

These truly are one of my go-to big-batch meals. They are cheap and easy to make in mass quantities. Adults love them. Kids love them. Everyone loves them. I can’t tell you how many times I have been asked for this recipe after making it for people in my home.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Cheese Taquitos

To make this a big-batch meal, simply double the portion in the slow cooker. It’ll cook for the same amount of time, and you’ll have twice as much to feed people! You can also make them in the Instant Pot using this method. Doubling the recipes takes hardly any extra time!

Slow cooker chicken and cheese taquitos

Baked Italian Meatballs

Meatballs are so easy to make lots and lots of. You can use them to put over spaghetti or stretch them even further by putting them in sub sandwiches. These are pretty cost-efficient, as well.

Tip: Here the containers we use and recommend when freezing meals.

Meatballs for groups of people

French Dip Sandwiches

This recipe goes a looong way. While you can make the meat ahead of time, the sandwiches will need to be eaten soon after they are assembled. Keep that in mind as you plan! If you want to use it as a lunch, just make the meat the day before and rewarm it before assembling it.

Crowd Pleaser Mexican Soup

If I had to guess, this is in the top 5 recipes I have made most frequently for groups of people in my home. I LOVE the leftovers too. My husband wants it ALL. THE. TIME. It also makes a big ol’ batch. AND it’s really filling. Serve it with some tortilla chips and with shredded cheddar cheese and your people will be happy campers. We loved this recipe so much that we even adapted it to be made in the slow cooker.

mexican soup recipe great for large groups

Slow Cooker Cheddar & Bacon Potato Soup

This decadent, comforting Cheddar and Bacon Potato Soup makes your home smell amazing after it slow cooks all day. It’s filling and makes a great lunch over and over again.

Slow cooker cheddar and bacon potato soup

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

Looking for a super easy big- batch meal idea? This recipe has been one of our most popular blog recipes for a long time. Probably because it’s so easy to make and everyone likes it. After baking the casserole, serve it over some pasta. To make it a big batch, I’d recommend doubling it to make enough for a 9×13 dish.

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

This recipe is in our free e-cookbook, Top 10 Easy Freezer Meals. You can download this, print it off, and have it for future reference when looking for great freezer meals. Many of the meals in this ebook will work GREAT for groups of people too!

Top 10 freezer meals

Southwest Chicken and Bacon Wraps

Bacon, marinated grilled chicken, two kinds of cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes wrapped in a tortilla with ranch salsa sauce.  What’s not to love about the Southwest Bacon and Chicken Wrap? I love creating meals like this one that I can turn into different meals down the road. These are great in wraps and over a salad, or just plain. Double this one to make it a big-batch meal.

Beefy Baked Ravioli (Fake Out Lasagna)

This fake-out lasagna is inexpensive, can be made in advance, and makes a huge batch! It’s a dinnertime favorite in my home. It’s very easy to make, super filling, and is freezer friendly. Kids love this meal. Who we kidding, all ages love this meal!

Inexpensive meal for groups of people: Fake out lasagna

Slow Cooker Parmesan Sliders

Here is another SUPER easy big-batch meal idea: Chicken Parmesan Sliders. Just put a few ingredients into the crockpot and you’ll have one of your favorite meals for a busy night. Making them into sandwiches is a great way to stretch the chicken mix and feed more people and make more meals.

Chicken Parmesan Sliders: Great meal for groups of people

Cheesy Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas

Here’s my husband’s and my favorite enchilada recipe.  If you want to go lighter on the cheese, these enchiladas are really quite good for you.  With the chicken, beans, vegetables, and whole wheat tortillas, you’re getting some great lean protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. If you’re making this for kids, you may want to pull back on the spice a bit. Double it to make a big batch!

Cheesy Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

I realize there are many paths to an excellent homemade roast, but this one I researched and have tested MANY times over the years. This real food Pot Roast, along with some Homemade Wheat Sandwich Bread to sop up the sauce, might well be my favorite comfort meal of all time.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast for a crowd

Crock Pot Pumpkin Spice Latte

If you’re hosting in the fall or winter, this delicious drink is a total crowd-pleaser. Not to mention it makes the house smell AMAZING.

Crock Pot Pumpkin Spiced Latte

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

Breakfast for dinner is always fun for a group! Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal is a great place to start. Not only are the ingredients cheap and the assembly instructions simple, but people just really love this recipe! We have lots of variations of baked oatmeals on the blog. Just poke around our breakfast category in our recipe index. Pancakes are always a win too

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

10 Minute Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

This one-pot wonder is packed with flavor, but is also vegetarian! This winning combination of ingredients and flavors is a treat to have for lunches all week. Just might win the award for the easiest (yet still super tasty) recipe on our blog. It also made it into our newest cookbook, From Freezer to Cooker.

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup recipe
Photo credit: Taken by Hélène Dujardin for our cookbook, From Freezer to Cooker.

Slow Cooker Shredded Balsamic Beef

Everyone, from ages 4 to 42, devoured this tender, flavorful meat dish. I have served it with mashed potatoes (and of course veggies and fruit), which is perfect for all that extra sauce in the crock. Then, the next night we had this same Slow Cooker Shredded Balsamic Beef on mini wheat rolls as “french dip” sandwiches. A great idea on making this meal stretch.

Easy meal for large groups: Balsamic Shredded Beef

Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls

A personal family favorite! Homemade cinnamon rolls are a fun treat. The leftovers are just as tasty!

Cinnamon Rolls


We can help! Our 1 Hour Freezer Prep Sessions help you make 6 delicious freezer meals in just 1 hour.

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