Team Dinner at My! No More Spaghetti!

Updated on September 17, 2018
J.J. asks from Lancaster, NY
18 answers

We rotate team dinners for our HS gymnastics team the day before a meet. My turn is coming up and spaghetti has been overdone in the past. Any suggestions on how to easily feed 18 people? I was thinking of sub sandwiches and a pan of mac n cheese - but my kid isn't crazy about the sandwich idea. Any suggestions for about 18-19 teen girls?

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answers from New York on

Pulled pork sandwiches (with BBQ on the side), ceasar salad (prebagged mix), relish tray (vegies/olives/pickles), and a pan of brownies for dessert. Every single thing can be premade or takes seconds to throw together. Very cost effective, too.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

A friend of mine had a similar dilemma. I believe once she baked a ham or bought HoneyBaked ham. Another time she served Byron's pulled pork from Sam's Club.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Boston on

Taco bar or big salad bar with a lot of toppings. A lot of the ingredients would be the same: Most of the taco bar is do-ahead, little is served warm.

ground beef or ground turkey
chicken (pull apart a rotisserie chicken if you find one on sale
beans (black, red - the small ones ork better for tacos)
shredded cheese - several flavors (cheddar, Mont. Jack)
shredded lettuce
diced peppers (green, maybe some spicy ones if you like)

Tacos: bottled taco sauce or hot sauce

Salads: feta cheese, cucumbers, celery, baby spinach or other greens, croutons, sunflower seeds, nuts, craisins, a couple of bottled dressings. Look at your supermarket salad bar for ideas. Keep the nuts separate if there are allergy issues.

In either case, make 2 buffet lines because there will be bottlenecks. Have the group work their way down both sides of a long table if you have to. Put the biggest bowls (lettuce, spinach for salad bar, fry pan or foil pan of warm meat for tacos) in the center of the table, then put 2 sets of smaller bowls of toppings down both sides. You can get plastic servers or tongs at the dollar store or party store.

Put drinks on another table.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Toledo on

Taco bar. That's our goto for most of our family birthday parties. We make taco meat with hamburger, have lots of toppings available, soft tacos, hard tacos, torilla chips, etc. I also make a cheesy, salsa chicken dish in the crockpot, which is very popular. Taco bar is very easy to do, and it really allows everyone to make their own meal.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

How about a baked potato bar? Have lots of baked potatoes, already hot and split open. Offer roasted broccoli, shredded cheeses, brown gravy or sausage gravy, cooked bacon, pico de gallo, sour cream, chopped cooked chicken, butter, etc.

Or make a lot of small-size meatballs (or buy a Costco sized bag of prepared meatballs that you just have to heat up). Then offer different ways to eat the meatballs - on a hearty roll with marinara sauce and shredded cheese, or in BBQ sauce over noodles, or with roasted vegetables.

Or hearty salads? Set out the basics (lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc) and a lot of choices for toppings, like hard boiled sliced eggs, chicken (just cut up a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket), sliced ham, cheeses, diced onions, edamame, etc. And to accompany the salads, nice baguettes or good rolls.

You could make a good soup - homemade chicken noodle or a beef vegetable soup and serve it with nice breads.

Or a spiral sliced ham from a store, with a big pan of homemade macaroni and cheese and some nice rolls?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

For our HS track and volleyball dinners the pasta and taco bar were the favorites. Pasta bar we had traditional spaghetti with red sauce and a pasta with cream or pesto plus Caesar salad and garlic bread. Taco bar was of course taco meat with all the fixings. I don't know why girls don't like sub sandwiches (my girls didn't either) but the boys LOVED them. Mac and cheese is ALWAYS a good idea. A big fruit salad and a few gallons of chocolate milk will satisfy everyone's sweet tooth :-)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I second the taco bar idea. I've done this for a big group with 2 crock pots of meat (one chicken, one ground beef), plus refried beans (can be both a side or the protein in the taco for any vegetarians) for the hot foods. Then toppings of shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, lettuce, tomato. Side dishes of spanish rice and corn cake.

The great thing about this is that it can all be made in advance, kept hot in crock pots, and served when you are ready. You can serve everyone hot food with very little last-minute prep time.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Italian beef, burgers n hot dogs, pizza, chicken alfredo, beef stew.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Big pan of lasagna, salad and garlic butter bread loaves.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

buckets of chicken with the mac and cheese!



crock pot full of pulled pork or bbq beef.

baked potatoes with do it yourself toppings.

tuna (or chicken or broccoli or green bean) casserole.


2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Breakfast for dinner? Open faced tuna melts. Chicken salad panini sandwiches? Chili?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Delivery pizza works wonders.
Half cheese pizzas and the other half pepperoni pizzas.
Figure 2 to 3 pieces per person - then order just a little extra - it won't go to waste.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

If your kids is not crazy about the sandwich idea ask her what SHE plans to make then!

Kidding aside you could still do mac and cheese or even just chips and through some hotdogs and/or hamburgers on the grill. They sell big bags of frozen hamburger patties at costco that are pretty decent.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Fort Myers on

Can you get 2 or 3 items from a favorite restaurant? Some places will do a big tray. Pick 3 items from a Chinese restaurant. See what you can find at BJs or Sams club.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

We had boys and my wife would make a taco pie when kids came over.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

Red beans and rice or chicken and sausage jambalaya are my cheap go-to's for large gatherings.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I like the idea of the taco bar from Ziggy. That sounds yummy.

My sister would do a barbecue and have burgers and sausages. That's her goto with salads. They have been doing that for years. She makes really good burgers (themselves) and gets these really nice sausages, and everyone loves them. It's simple, and easy.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

My go to was usually meatball subs with a variety of topping available and salad on the side. I just pop the frozen meatballs (bought at Costco) in a crock pot, cover in sauce, and let it cook for the day, Or you can cook them in the oven.

1 mom found this helpful
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