$30 Dinner Party

This Budget-Friendly Brunch Dinner Party Takes Breakfast for Dinner to the Next Level

Are you low on cash but still want to party like a baller? Well, we’re here to help. Welcome to $30 Dinner Party, Thrillist’s brand-new series created to help people just like you throw killer dinner parties for very little money. Join host Lee Kalpakis as she creates special recipes for you to wow your friends and family on the cheap with new episodes every Monday at 2pm ET on Thrillist’s YouTube channel.

Whether it's a fallback plan when you're short on ingredients or a deliberate feast of your favorite morning foods at night, breakfast for dinner is a classic, reliably good meal. Bacon, French toast, pancakes, and various egg dishes are just too good to be restricted to the am hours. Brunch for dinner, however, takes this important concept to the next level by adding booze to the equation. And it could very well make for an easy and damn-good dinner party.

In the final episode of Thrillist's new series $30 Dinner Party, host Lee Kalpakis heads to Crown Heights, Brooklyn to meet up with guest, Ann Lupo, a filmmaker who needs some help throwing a dinner party for her friends and longtime creative collaborators. Ann admits she usually doesn't have much time to cook and her cooking skills are more or less limited to breakfast foods, hence her idea to serve brunch for dinner. Lee has just the plan in mind and brings in brunch expert and Dining In cookbook author Alison Roman to help create the meal, featuring baked eggs with crushed chickpeas, chorizo, with spicy, herby breadcrumbs, yogurt-raspberry pound cake, and orange ginger fizz cocktails.

Watch as Lee, Ann, and Alison plan the dinner party menu, grab all the necessary ingredients at the grocery store, cook each dish step-by-step, and finally, serve a killer brunch spread to rave reviews from her friends. Not only did Ann expand her cooking horizons, she also proved that you can pull off a crowd-pleasing dinner party for under $30. In fact, the entire meal -- two dishes and drinks -- cost just $29.90. By all means steal this idea for the next time you entertain.

Grocery list with prices

  • 1 pint whole milk Greek yogurt -- $2.00
  • 6 eggs -- $1.69
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries -- $3.00
  • 1 bottle prosecco -- $9.00
  • 2 navel orange -- $1.00
  • 1 knob ginger -- $0.65
  • 6 ounces dried chorizo -- $5.28
  • 1 small yellow onion -- $0.60
  • 2 medium tomatoes -- $1.00
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed -- $0.99
  • 1 baguette -- $1.69
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley -- $1.00
  • 1 jar cumin -- $2.00

Total price: $29.90

Pantry staples you'll need

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oils
  • Vinegars
  • Garlic
  • Cayenne
  • Garlic powder
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Ketchup
  • Hot sauce
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Butter
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Vanilla
  • Cinnamon
  • Red pepper flakes
thrillist video

Baked eggs with crushed chickpeas, chorizo, and breadcrumbs

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 6 ounces dried chorizo, thinly sliced
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ cup toasted breadcrumbs (or use spicy, herby breadcrumb recipe below)
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
  • ¾ cup labne, full-fat Greek yogurt, or sour cream, for serving (optional)
  • Place an oven rack in the top third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chorizo, onion, and cumin and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring every so often, until the chorizo has rendered some of that fiery orange fat and the onions are softened and beginning to brown 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the tomatoes have totally softened and released their juices, 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Add the chickpeas and season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat the chickpeas in everything, using the back of a wooden spoon or spatula to crush them lightly (you don’t want to mash them, just break them up a bit). Add ¼ cup water and let everything simmer together, further crushing those chickpeas if they need it, until the liquid has reduced by half and all the flavors are mingling. 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Using the back of a spoon or spatula, make four little evenly spaced nests in the skillet of chickpeas. Crack the eggs into the chickpeas and season with salt and pepper. Place the skillet on the top rack in the oven and bake until the whites of the eggs are just set and the egg yolks are still runny, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and parsley. Serve with labne, if you like.

Recipe courtesy Alison Roman

    Yogurt-raspberry pound cake

    • Nonstick cooking spray, or softened butter for pan
    • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
    • ½ cup sugar
    • ¼ cup brown sugar
    • ¾ cup whole milk Greek yogurt
    • ⅓ cup grapeseed or vegetable oil
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 cups fresh raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries
    • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9x4-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray or grease with softened butter.
    • In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together; set aside.
    • In a large bowl, whisk the sugars, yogurt, oil, and eggs together. Using a spatula, gently fold in the dry ingredients until all the floury bits have disappeared (do not overmix -- that’s how you get an enthusiastically domed pound cake, which we do not want), followed by the raspberries (try to evenly distribute without squishing them).
    • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake, rotating halfway through, until the cake is golden brown, pulling away from the sides of the pan, and springs back when pressed in the center, 60 to 70 minutes. Let the cake cool completely before removing it from the pan.
    Do ahead: This cake can be baked 3 days ahead, wrapped in plastic wrap, and kept at room temperature.

    Recipe courtesy Alison Roman
    thrillist video

    Orange ginger fizz

    • ½ cup sugar
    • ½ cup water
    • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
    • 2 navel oranges, peeled and juiced
    • 1 bottle prosecco
    • In a jar with a lid, shake sugar, water, ginger, and 3 pieces of orange peel together until sugar is dissolved.
    • Add the juice of both oranges into simple syrup and shake. Fill 4 glasses halfway with orange mixture, then top each glass with prosecco.
    • Repeat with remaining syrup and prosecco.

    Spicy, herby breadcrumbs

    • ¼ cup olive oil
    • 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
    • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • ¼ cup finely chopped tender parsley leaves and stems
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped herbs, such as thyme, oregano, majoram, and/or sage
    • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
    • Add the breadcrumbs and Aleppo pepper and season with salt and black pepper.
    • Cook, stirring pretty frequently, until the breadcrumbs are a deep golden brown (think graham crackers) and crisped, 5 to 7 minutes.
    • Remove from the heat and add the parsley and other herbs.
    • Transfer to a small bowl and let cool before using.
    Do Ahead: These breadcrumbs can be made 5 days ahead without the herbs and refrigerated. Rewarm them in a skillet, then stir in the parsley and other herbs before using.

    Recipe courtesy Alison Roman

    Do you live in the NYC area and want to throw a killer dinner party but don’t think you can afford it? Well, let us help you out! We’re looking for our next guest to be featured in $30 Dinner Party. Our host will create special recipes for you to wow your friends and family at an ultimate dinner party. If you’re interested in being a featured guest on the show, email casting@thrillist.com with your story!

    Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email and subscribe here for our YouTube channel to get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.

    Tony Merevick is Senior News Editor at Thrillist and loves a good brunch. Send news tips to news@thrillist.com and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.