Feeding a large crowd of 20 or more can be intimidating if you are the one that is hosting. Never fear! I am asked to feed that and more all the time, so I have outlined some tips and some suggestions that will make life easier.
If you are the type that loves to be around people and host, this will give you some fresh ideas. If you are intimidated by feeding large crowds, this will give you some confidence. If you are the mom or dad that wants all your kids friends to come to your house to hang out, read these words carefully & get good at this. You want your home to be the place your kids friends want to go and hang out. Teens love to eat and they know good food, and they can tell when the environment is inviting. Work hard at creating an atmosphere that is fun and stress free!
Tips for feeding a large crowd:
- Make it appealing to the eye. People eat with their eyes before their mouth. Fresh cut fruit is always a hit.
- Do as much food prep ahead of time as possible (night before, morning of).
- Don’t be afraid to say yes to help! If someone asks, “What can I do to help?” give them a job! People love to help. LET THEM!!
- Create a menu with one simple main dish (ideas below) and as mentioned above, set out simple fruit and veggie side dishes to accompany the meal.
- Serve water. Other fun drinks are great if you have time. But when I have a houseful of teens or college students. Set out jars of water and a stack of solo cups or bottles of water.
- SMILE. Smile while you prepare the food and while you’re serving it. Be happy people can tell when you are enjoying yourself.
Here are some menu ideas to feed a large group of people (20 or more):
- Taco Bar: Shredded Chicken, Seasoned Hamburger Meat, Black Beans and or Pinto Beans, Salsa, Sautéed onions and peppers, Salad Greens or Spinach, Shredded Cheese, Tomatoes, Sour Cream, Chips or Tortillas, and Cheese Dip.
- Baked Potato Bar: Set out diced meat or chili, grated cheese, chopped veggies, sour cream, and olives for toppings.
- Sandwich Bar: Set out Couple different types of bread, a variety of lunch meat and sliced cheese, mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, olives, and any other favorite sandwich fixins.)
- Salad Bar: Possibilities unlimited
- Chili (wonderful healthy recipe here): Fritos, Cheese, sour cream, olives.
- Soup (this Mexican Comfort Soup is ALWAYS a hit with any age group)
- Burgers: Have baked beans, potato salad, chips and all the burger fixins.
- Breakfast for dinner: Scrambled eggs, bacon, toast or biscuits, sausage.
- Spaghetti: Angel hair noodles and 2-3 sauces and some bread.
- Breakfast Casserole
- Wings (Great Recipe here)
I hope this helps! The 3 things to always remember are:
- Make it simple
- Prep ahead
- Let people help
Love to hear your feedback on what your go to meals for a crowd are!