Family Reunion Food

Updated on April 19, 2011
E.T. asks from Euless, TX
8 answers

We are having a family reunion this summer in Minnesota and are responsible for dinner one night. We’re thinking of making some pasta dishes, bread and salad but other ideas are greatly welcomed! There will be approximately 55 people there and since we’re camping we’ll be limited as to cooking facilities. Someone might bring an oven/stove and hook it up somehow but that’s not guaranteed. So, does anyone have ideas on recipes that we could cook for that many people? We thought we’d make 3 different pasta dishes (like spaghetti, chicken alfredo etc) and if we had to, could maybe cook it on some grills. We’re driving from Texas and if anything can be made ahead of time, freeze and take with us, that would be helpful.

Also, do you have any dessert ideas for that many people that doesn’t really require the use of a fridge or stove?? My parents will be staying in a hotel nearby so they’ll have a mini-fridge in their room.

And since we're on the subject of food - and I know you all have great recipes - any snack type food ideas to bring too?


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answers from Dallas on

Take Texas to 'em!
If you drive all the way from Texas and don't take a little bbq or Tex Mex you are doing those folks a disservice!
How about a good old fashioned bbq? You can get a couple of big briskets. Season with dry rub and take in a cooler. Have the men smoke them overnight for you. Then chop it up to make chopt brisket sandwhiches. Brisket, sauce, and buns. You can throw some whole cut up chickens on the grill too.
Take a couple mondo vats of potato salad and macaroni salad. A huge pot of beans cooked over the campfire and for desert - definately smore's.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Eugene on

Burrito bar: the only thing that needs to be cooked is the meat. You can precook ground beef and shredded chicken or pork. Line up tortillas, meat, beans, cheese, lettuce, tomato, salsa, sour cream and guacamole. You could have chips and spanish rice on the side.

Most cakes and cookies don't require refrigeration.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

ooooohhhh we had our family reunion last year in Wyoming up in a park that doesn't have cell phone service!! (YIKES!!!!!!) smiles!!

any way - we had tents, campers and motor homes - and we had a WIDE variety of food!!

One family member made enchiladas - beef, chicken and veggie - precooked them in the foil trays - froze them and brought them with her - we warmed them up on the camp fires - that was the first night, we had chips and salsa with it as well as salad.

Desserts were cookies and pies....that were stored in the ice chests...we had about 60 people there - took up about 12 sites and others didn't stay the night but drove up and brought things with them!!


Oh yeah - we had hamburgers and hot dogs too!!! My mom fixed a cabbage salad that is just DIVINE!!! It can be stored in a ziploc bag too - if you want the recipe - inbox me!


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

A spin on the s'mores idea: Use your favorite cookie instead of cracker. The first time I had them was when my Dad & StepMom invited me camping with them. She took your basic Chips Ahoy cookies, cooked the marshmallow and sandwiched the gooey-yummyness in between the much easier than breaking graham crackers and chocolate bars!

With your pasta, what about making your alfredo and regular marinera and grilling up some spicy (or sweet) sausage for those who want meat or even grilled chicken.

Have a blast, can't wait for our campout in June

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

For dessert, how about fixings for S'mores? Easy, portable, and kids will have a blast?

I think the pasta ideas are great. You could also use chicken and shred it up and put in with an 1/2 and 1/2 sauce (mix alfredo and tomato) - it is my son's favorite!

Have a wonderful time! I'm from the MN/ND area and I miss it so much, especially the summers. This will be the 1st year since we moved 8 years ago that we aren't going home. Enjoy every moment!!



answers from Minneapolis on

You can make pasta and sauces ahead of time and freeze them separately in quart size freezer bags, then you boil water in large pots either over a fire or a camp stove, then put the closed bags in the pots of water and boil until heated. Easy and no clean up!

This can work for an omelet breakfast, too (no freezing involved). Just give everyone a bag with the eggs/milk and have ingredients to add as desired. Close the bag and gently squeeze to mix. Boil in the pot of water until firm and eat!

I think pans of brownies are the best camping dessert for that many people.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Can you plug is a crockpot? That would make the pasta pretty easy & you could make it ahead.
We always have those little mini-BBQ-meatballs at our family reunions. And some buns. Yum. also crock pot and make ahead friendly.

And as for dessert...I'd go with the smores that have stood the camping test of time! LOL



answers from Austin on

We generally have a family reunion of about that size, too, and at a park that has no electrical outlets, but DOES have a giant bbq grill. If that is an option, my cousin always supplies the meat, and everyone else is responsible for the sides. He and my dad get together the weekend before and smoke a LOT of meat, until it's almost done, and just finish it off right there at the pavilion. Works like a charm, every time. Yum!

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