Meal Ideas for a Large Group

Updated on July 21, 2007
M.D. asks from Crowley, TX
9 answers

We are having a family gathering in August and Im looking for meal ideas. I would like something that is quick to make or that I can prepare ahead of time. And it needs to feed about 20 people. I dont want to spend the day in the kitchen. I was thinking lasagne and bread? Thanks in advance for the suggestions!

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N.H.

answers from Dallas on

M.,
I totally agree w/the others about the lasagna or any Italian casserole like baked ziti or manicotti for that matter. Easy to prepare in advance and a real crowd pleaser. If you are wanting to elaborate on the Italian theme Sausage and Pepper goes really well with it as well and can be prepared on the grill(a bonus, you can delegate this to DH if he happens to be the griller). I am from NYC where entertaining Italian style is just the norm and this combo is really popular. Throw together a nice salad, some bread maybe a couple of apps(maybe some guests will offer to bring a few) and it is quite a stress free feast.

Good luck!
N.

PS-Lucky you to be hosting so much family. That is so much fun!

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T.L.

answers from Dallas on

As a corporate event planner and one who has personally entertained large groups, you seem to be on the right track. Anything you can cook prior to the actual day and heat the day of - that is a great thing. Adding a french loaf of bread and salad is easy and guests can help themselves. Other options, smoked brisket, green salad and potato salad. A taco bar is wonderful. You can also add pico de gallo. One recipe that most people like (not too spicey) is cilantro, onions, tomatoes and whole kernel corn. You also won't have to turn on the oven. Depending on how casual you want to go, a picnic buffet is wonderful. Set out the meats, cheeses, vegetables, dressings, and side dishes with a variety of breads and let everyone prepare their own plates. It can be fun, festive, (summer plastic ware or paper plates can be attractive). Good luck and have a wonderful time.

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A.

answers from Dallas on

Another fun thing in our family is Taco Bar, and everything can be done ahead of time at your pace. We especially love the made from scratch tortillas that we buy from the local Krogers (in Highland Village...check yours before hand to make sure) We put out all kinds of toppings, as well as chips and salsa, and you can even do spanish rice if you want. Everyone can make their own to taste, and it is great leftovers too. Have fun!! ~A.~

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S.P.

answers from Dallas on

We have alot of meals catered into our church for family events. Lasagna, bread, salad, and pizza (for the kids) is always a big hit. So are enchiladas as someone else mentioned.
I know you may feel the need to prepare and cook everything, but remember alot of the big casseroles can be bought frozen at Sam's or Costco. No one will even realize it's from a box. I promise!

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M.D.

answers from Dallas on

You could so Taco Soup, although it might be more appropriate during cooler months.

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R.

answers from Dallas on

spaghetti is easy for large groups as well and you can buy meatballs in large quantities. Also, Sam's club sells enchiladas in big bulk as well. There is also a great breakfast recipe that you can mix ahead of time and then you just put it in the oven when you are ready it is called "Breakfast Before" or "Breakfast Bake" sorry, now that I've mentioned it I cant remember the name. Hope this helps.

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K.M.

answers from Dallas on

I think your lasagna idea is right on!!! Looks for a specatular recipe online. Or you know that show Big EATS - I think that is what it is called....he made lasagna and a salad the other day that looked fabulous - he made the lasagna with sausage and used this great pepperoni in it as well - -give it an extra kick and wow people. You can make it ahead of time too - and just have to re-heat for an added ease....and everyone loves some Texas Toast too.
good luck, have fun.
K.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.H.

answers from Dallas on

M.,
I totally agree w/the others about the lasagna or any Italian casserole like baked ziti or manicotti for that matter. Easy to prepare in advance and a real crowd pleaser. If you are wanting to elaborate on the Italian theme Sausage and Pepper goes really well with it as well and can be prepared on the grill(a bonus, you can delegate this to DH if he happens to be the griller). I am from NYC where entertaining Italian style is just the norm and this combo is really popular. Throw together a nice salad, some bread maybe a couple of apps(maybe some guests will offer to bring a few) and it is quite a stress free feast.

Good luck!
N.

PS-Lucky you to be hosting so much family. That is so much fun!

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C.P.

answers from San Diego on

Hi M.,

Also look for some recipes for King Ranch Chicken. That's sooooo easy to make and is sooooo yummy!

-Char

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J.W.

answers from Dallas on

The first thing I thought was Lasagne (then spaghetti came to mind). It seems that Italian food can always feed and please a crowd.

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