If you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, it’s time to branch out from green beer.
True, it doesn’t get much more inexpensive than that bar staple—just mix a few drops of green food coloring into your favorite cheap brew—but there are plenty of other homemade treats that fit the holiday theme.
We asked chefs, food bloggers and other foodies for their best takes on inexpensive Irish (and OK, shamrock inspired) fare.
9 recipes to try:
Green is the theme for this easy nonalcoholic punch from eMeals.com, which includes lime sherbet and soda.
Glazed Corn Beef
“This is so tasty, you may never go back to old-school corned beef,” says caterer Pamela Layton McMurtry.
Her version calls for basting with ginger ale, and glazing with a mix of brown sugar and mustard.
For an inexpensive side, she makes Dijon-buttered cabbage.
30-Minute Irish Skillet
“St. Patrick’s Day festivities often start early, but eight-ingredient skillet works for both breakfast and dinner,” says a spokeswoman for EasyHomeMeals.com, of this fast meal, which includes cabbage and potatoes.
Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes
An easy chocolate cupcake recipe from TheSistersSoiree.com gets fancy with the addition of Guinness.
Feeling really festive?
Top with a simple buttercream mixed with Baileys Irish Cream, and a chocolate ganache with a splash of Jameson.
Booze aside, the ingredients won’t set you back more than a few bucks.
Irish Soda Bread
This quick bread is a St. Patrick’s Day staple, and it’s easily made with items you might already have in your pantry and fridge.
One how-to, from SimplyRecipes.com, here.
This take on shepherd’s pie was a winner in our $10 Meal Challenge.
For a more traditional Irish take, sub in mashed potatoes for the polenta.
Homemade Irish Cream
“Just like Baileys, but better,” promises foodie Alivia Jane of her homemade Irish cream recipe.
You’ll need Irish whiskey, but most of the other ingredients—including chocolate syrup and vanilla extract—you probably already have on hand, she says.
Braised Lamb Shanks
Sub lamb for beef to make an easy Irish stew, or use this slow cooker recipe that simmers the shanks.
Green Beer Bread
You knew that was coming, right?
Beer bread is already pretty inexpensive to make—it’s just flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, butter and your choice of beer—and a festive version just adds a little food coloring.
Try one from ThriftyJinxy.com here.
Frugal Foodie is a journalist based in New York City who spends her days writing about personal finance and obsessing about what she’ll have for dinner. Chat with her on Twitter through @MintFoodie.