10 Fancy & Frugal Recipes!

July 28, 2020 (Last Updated: October 31, 2020)

These fancy and frugal recipes cost $25 or less to make, and sometimes much less, and are perfect for elegant entertaining on a tight budget. In fact, some of these recipes can be DOUBLED and still won’t cost more than $25!

A Collage of different recipes and a title that says "10 Fancy & Frugal Recipes."

To be clear, though, that $25 doesn’t include kitchen staples like sugar, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper and basic spices. Otherwise, almost nothing would cost less than $25. My fancy olive oil cost me $15, after all. 

But lots of ingredients that are included are already in your kitchen, like mayo, mustard, soy sauce, garlic, etc. So each recipe will likely cost you even less than the listed price!

I’ve included appetizers, side-dishes, snacks, desserts and even cocktails, which can be particularly tricky to make on a budget!

The price tallies I used are based off of Fresh Direct’s prices.

1. Crostini with Balsamic Strawberries and Ricotta

Price: $14.86

8 crostini topped with ricotta, strawberries and a few small flowers.

Even though these recipes are $25 or less, excluding kitchen staples like sugar and balsamic vinegar, this recipe is still under $25 if you include both of those staples!

In fact, you can DOUBLE the recipe for less than $25 because it only calls for half a container of strawberries, and half a baguette! This recipe is so tasty, so pretty and makes such a lovely summer appetizer!

Get the Crostini with Balsamic Strawberries and Ricotta recipe!

2. Beet Napoleon Appetizers with Prosciutto Roses

Price: $14.96

6 beet napoleons, with prosciutto roses on top, garnished with cilantro leaves on a plate.

Another recipe that can easily be doubled (even tripled) for less than $25 if you buy twice (or 3 times) the beets, and that’s it! You’re only using a little bit of cream cheese, a few tiny pieces of prosciutto and a few leaves of cilantro, so you can make a whole bunch of these beautiful appetizers for under $25!

Get the Beet Napoleon Appetizers with Prosciutto Roses recipe!

3. Simply Elegant Dill Deviled Eggs

Price: $16.35

3 deviled eggs on a marble slate, garnished with a sprig of fresh dill, next to prosciutto-wrapped asparagus.

Another recipe that can be doubled for less than $25, since it only calls for half a dozen eggs! All of the other ingredients are used in small amounts. I love how pretty these deviled eggs look on an appetizer tray!

With an elegant sprig of dill, you’ll make a $16 dollar appetizer look like a million bucks! As a matter of fact, I have a number of beautiful deviled egg recipes that are equally fancy and frugal!

Get the Simply Elegant Dill Deviled Eggs recipe!

4. Beautiful Pesto Ricotta Crostini

Price: $23.99

11 crostini garnished with flowers, onions and tomatoes on a marble plate.

Yet another recipe that can easily be doubled for the same price! I love this recipe for baby showers or bridal showers… honestly, any party where you want to really make your guests say “wow!”

Get the Beautiful Pesto Ricotta Crostini recipe!

5. Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Spinach and Feta

Price: $16.49

2 spinach and feta-stuffed mushroom caps on a plate on a table, lined with lace with 2 stacked plates in the background.

These tasty stuffed mushrooms can be a side dish, first course or even an evening snack! They’re so simple to make and are full of earthy, rich flavor.

And if you want to double the recipe and make 4 stuffed mushrooms, you just have to buy 2 more mushroom caps and a little more spinach, which will get you right to $25!

Get the Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Spinach and Feta recipe!

6. Blistered Shishito Peppers with Soy Sauce, Sesame & Lime

Price: $12.99

Blistered shishito peppers on a slate with a lime slice.

The most inexpensive appetizer on this list is also one of my party guests’ favorite! Blistered Shishito peppers are such exciting appetizers, and with just a little bit of sesame, soy sauce and lime, they’re one of the simplest to make! They take just 10 minutes, and smell AMAZING!

Get the Blistered Shishito Peppers with Soy Sauce, Sesame & Lime recipe!

7. Creamy Curry Cauliflower Soup

Price: $21.14

2 bowls of cauliflower soup and a small bowl of croutons on a lace table cloth.

This recipe makes 6 servings of one of the tastiest, heart warming, creamiest soups I know how to make, so it’s a perfect, budget dinner party starter! It’s also totally vegan!

Get the Creamy Curry Cauliflower Soup recipe!

8. Cranberry Apple Crisp with Maple Granola

Price: $24.15

Cranberry apple crisp on a plate, topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with marigold flower petals.

This recipe is truly one of my favorite Autumn recipes and always a party favorite! You can serve 6 large servings of this sweet-tart, colorful dessert for under $25. That price also includes the price of nutmeg, which isn’t quite as common a kitchen staple spice as cinnamon, so I included it too.

Get the Cranberry Apple Crisp with Maple Granola recipe!

9. Sparkling Pink Grapefruit Cocktail with Cucumber

Price: $18.47

3 cocktails, garnished with a cucumber, leaf and small flowers with flowers at its base, as well as napkins.

Most of my cocktail recipes cost much less than $25 to make per cocktail, but as you know, a bottle of St. Germain or whisky can run over $25 per bottle, so I won’t include them in this list. 

But! This divine sparkling pink grapefruit cocktail can be made with inexpensive sake (which you can easily find for $15 or less) and all the other mixers are just fresh juice and soda.

Even when muddled with a little mint and cucumber, it still costs less than $25 to make at least 6 or 7 glasses of this lovely cocktail.

Get the Sparkling Pink Grapefruit Cocktail with Cucumber recipe!

10. The Elegant Sake Lychee Martini

Price: $15

A cocktail garnished with a lychee and cherry blossom flowers, with flowers and a few leaves at its base.

Now, this is my very favorite cocktail party signature, and it has only 2 ingredients! When I want to have a delicious, fancy, elegant cocktail that everyone will love, this sake lychee martini is it!

You can even get a big bottle of sake that will serve 12-15 people for $20 and the total cost of this cocktail still doesn’t reach $25! Truly the best cocktail for a big party on a budget!

Get the The Elegant Sake Lychee Martini recipe!

And for more inspiration, follow me on INSTAGRAM @shekeepsalovelyhome, on PINTEREST and FACEBOOK! And if you ever make any of my tasty drinks or treats, take a picture and tag me. I want to see!

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