Surprise mom with this affordable, easy to cook Mother’s Day menu

Grocery shopping concept. Different food in paper bag on colorful background
Photo credit: Envato

When you have a big family, going out to dinner for any occasion can be an exorbitant expense. But it’s Mother’s Day, you say, and Mom deserves an extra-special meal. We agree, she does. So why not make her an extravagant — yet inexpensive — Mother’s Day dinner at home?

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If you’ve got a hungry family of six to feed, we’ve got a delicious menu of Mother’s Day recipes that won’t destroy your budget. From appetizers and side dishes, to entrées and desserts, our Mother’s Day dinner ideas will give Mom and your family a restaurant-caliber meal for under $70.

Start with a yummy Mother’s Day appetizer

Photo credit: Jo Cooks

A tasty little nibble before the main course will whet Mom’s appetite for what’s to come. This easy bruschetta recipe from Jo Cooks features a flavorful mix of fresh tomato, garlic, basil and Parmesan cheese that you pile on top of toasty baguette slices and then drizzle with a luscious balsamic reduction.

This Mother’s Day appetizer generously feeds six people and will cost around $8.

When Mom is craving a heartier first course, thrill her with this cheddar pub cheese with everything pita chips from The Beach House Kitchen. An easy Mother’s Day appetizer, you make this sassy cheese spread with cheddar, mustard, hot sauce and brown ale. It goes scrumptiously well with the homemade baked pita chips that are generously scattered with dried onion, sesame seeds and poppy seeds.

The ingredients for this Mother’s Day finger food will cost around $12.

Dine on a mouthwatering Mother’s Day main course

If chicken is a best buy at your local grocery store, make this easy sheet pan pesto chicken from Budget Bytes. An elegant Mother’s Day entrée, this one-pan meal includes baby potatoes, grape tomatoes and pesto-topped chicken breasts that are roasted and then draped with melty mozzarella cheese. Serve it with a small Caesar salad (recipe included) or omit the salad and partner the chicken with other side dishes.

You’ll need three chicken breasts for this recipe. Expect to pay around $5 for the poultry and around $13 for the rest of the ingredients.

Mother’s Day is a special occasion deserving of a special meal. This is where salmon steps in and makes Mom feel especially honored. Good quality salmon can run $7 to $15 per pound. This wholesome fish is rich and filling, and you’ll only need a 1-1/2 pound fillet to feed your family. Check your local fish market or the fish counter at your grocery store to get the best price. Then make this quick and flavorful ginger salmon from Budget Bytes.

You’ll need 3 to 4 ounces of salmon per person. Expect to pay $18 to $25 for your main course.

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Dish up delicious Mother’s Day side dishes

Partner up your main course with two Mother’s Day side dishes that offer complementary tastes and textures. Serve a vegetable side and a comforting carb dish.

Shop the produce aisle to find the best buys on vegetables, then compose your salad with a variety of colorful ingredients. Choose a leafy green, then toss in your inexpensive cornucopia of salad items. You’ll need around 6 cups of salad for your meal. Expect to pay approximately $5.


Not a green salad fan? Forgo the leafy greens and make this broccoli salad inspired by Jessica Gavin. Bursting with Southwest flavors, it is loaded with crisp-tender broccoli, crispy bacon bits, golden raisins, pine nuts, onion, goat cheese and a homemade creamy ancho dressing.

You’ll need 4 ounces of broccoli per person. Expect to pay around $4 for 1-1/2 pounds of florets. The pricier ingredients — the pine nuts and the goat cheese — will cost around $7. Find pine nuts in the bulk section of your grocery store and buy just what you need. The total cost of this side dish is approximately $15.

Substitution tip: To reduce the cost, swap in sliced almonds for the pine nuts, and feta for the goat cheese.

cheesy orzo pasta
Photo credit: Divas Can Cook

One of our favorite Mother’s Day side dishes is this three-cheese orzo pasta from Divas Can Cook. Beyond delicious, it is a fancy upgrade from mac and cheese. Orzo is a short-cut pasta that resembles long-grain rice. You can find it with the dry pasta or in the Italian section of your grocery store. This is a versatile dish that you can make with any three cheeses you have on hand.

Expect to pay $5 to $10 for all of the ingredients.

Delight Mom with a scrumptious Mother’s Day dessert

Photo credit: Divas Can Cook

If Mom jokes about her desire for death by chocolate, give her a decadent chocolate dessert that will make her think she’s died and gone to heaven. This homemade chocolate poke cake from Divas Can Cook boasts three luscious levels of chocolate — chocolate cake, chocolate sauce and chocolate whipped cream frosting. This dessert can double as a Mother’s Day gift. Best yet, you make this cake with many ingredients you already have on hand, saving you money at the register.

This cake will cost $10 to $15 for six servings and there should be leftovers for later in the week.

Need a lighter dessert to support Mom’s commitment to healthy eating? Bake these small batch angel food cupcakes from Baking Mischief. This Mother’s Day dessert recipe delivers six light and lovely cupcakes that are topped with a bit of whipped cream and fresh fruit. This is another dessert made with ingredients you likely already have in your pantry, but if you do have to go to the store, you’ll be happy with the price.

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These cupcakes will cost around $5, including the whipped cream and fresh berries.

An impressive budget-friendly Mother’s Day dinner for 6 = $60

Mother’s Day appetizers: $5 for easy bruschetta
Mother’s Day entree: $25 for ginger salmon
Mother’s Day side dishes: $5 for a green salad; $10 for three-cheese orzo pasta
Mother’s Day dessert: $15 for chocolate poke cake