Feeding a Crowd: Menu Ideas, Easy Meals, and Tips

Recipes to feed a crowd

Tips, Tricks, and Recipes for Feeding a Crowd

I’ve got 8 kids. Some would say I feed a crowd on a fairly regular basis! But seriously, I really enjoy entertaining and feeding a crowd!

So today I’m sharing some of my favorite menu ideas and recipes to feed a crowd with that will come in handy for holidays, reunions, family dinners, and parties!

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Tips for Feeding a Crowd

  • Serving buffet style in one central location will speed up the process of getting the food to the people! If you can, have the line go down both sides of the table to speed the process up even further. Sometimes you may want to have someone serving the food, in that case, get two tables!
  • Use disposable dishes, cups, and utensils (unless you love washing dishes!)
  • Do you have access to electricity? You may want to plug in a slow cooker or two to keep food warm. Use an extension cord and power strip if needed (just make sure no one trips on them!)
  • Your favorite freezer meal recipes can be awesome for feeding large groups because you can start making the food up to a month in advance if you want to!
  • Delegate side dishes and desserts to others if possible. It may make your life a lot easier!
  • Will you need more than one Crock-Pot, oven, baking dish/pot or pan, or grill to cook everything? Neighbors and family may be able to help out with the equipment too. Consider purchasing or borrowing a chaffing pan!
  • In some circumstances and for some items, it is easier for everyone if you just buy it pre-made from the store. Keep things simple for yourself in order to enjoy time with guests.
  • If you haven’t made the recipe before, you should make it for yourself first to make sure it is a good one!

Easy Meals for a Crowd

The recipes listed below are ones I would consider using for a large gathering. Choose according to the ingredients you have on hand or meats that are on sale (and of course, what you think sounds delicious!).

Keep it simple and prepare as many items as possible ahead of time while still maintaining the quality of the food.

Maybe you’re going for a certain theme for a specific event. Ham and potatoes for Easter? Grilling on Memorial Day? For a large Cinco de Mayo party, I once served three different slow cooked shredded meats, offered tortillas, toppings and garnishes, simple green salad, and Tres Leches. It was fun!

Many shredded meats can be used in burritos, tacos, sandwiches, and salads. Plus, slow cooker recipes are super easy to prepare!

Chicken Recipes

cilantro lime chicken slow cooker recipe

Cilantro Lime Chicken

You may want to serve it with:

  • tortillas and/or taco shells
  • shredded lettuce or simple green salad
  • sour cream
  • fruit or veggies

Freezes well. May need additional slow cookers.

easy honey sesame chicken recipe

Honey Sesame Chicken

You may want to serve it with:

  • rice or noodles
  • green salad or veggies
  • fruit

Freezes well. May need additional slow cookers.

Chicken crescent rolls

Chicken Crescent Rolls

You may want to serve it with:

  • green salad or veggies
  • fruit

Freezes well.

orange chicken freezer meal

Simple Orange Chicken

You may want to serve with:

  • Rice or noodles
  • Steamed veggies

This is a freezer meal so you can prepare it beforehand for convenience.

Easy sprite chicken recipe

Sprite Chicken

This recipe feeds around 10 people so you really won’t need to add anything extra to it!

Other Chicken Recipes for Feeding a Crowd:

Find more chicken recipes here!

Pork Recipes

sweet baked ham recipe

Sweet Baked Ham or Slow Cooker Maple Ham

You may want to serve it with:

  • bread or rolls
  • potatoes
  • green salad or veggies
  • fruit

Easy to make. May need multiple large pots.

Pork sirloin tip roast recipe slow cooker or instant pot

Balsamic Pork Sirloin Tip Roast

You may want to serve with:

  • Potatoes
  • Bread or rolls
  • Vegetables or salad

This recipe is simple to prepare and can be made in an instant pot or slow cooker.

Low carb sausage balls recipe

Low Carb Sausage Balls

This is a great healthy appetizer option for feeding a large crowd. Very easy to make and has a large yield.

Easy garlic pork stir-fry freezer meal recipe

Garlic Pork Stir-Fry

You may want to serve with:

  • Rice
  • Steamed veggies

This recipe is easy to double for larger servings and it’s quick to prepare!

bbq pulled pork

BBQ Pulled Pork

You may want to serve with:

  • Salad
  • Fries or potatoes

Easy instant pot recipe that is definitely a crowd pleaser.

Other Pork Recipes for Crowds:

Find all our pork recipes here!

Beef Recipes

Honey garlic meatballs

Honey Garlic Meatballs

You may want to serve it with:

  • rice or noodles
  • green salad or veggies
  • fruit

Freezes well and sauce is easy to make. I would use pre-made frozen meatballs.

The best Olive Garden copycat pasta fagioli recipe

Pasta e Fagioli Soup

You may want to serve it with:

  • bread or rolls
  • green salad

Freezes well. May need multiple large pots for warming.

instant pot roast

Pot Roast

You may want to serve it with:

  • green salad
  • bread or rolls

May need multiple instant pots or slow cookers.

homemade manwich sloppy joes

Homemade Manwich Sloppy Joes, Quinoa Sloppy Joes, Open-Faced Sloppy Joes or Sassy Sloppy Joes

You may want to serve it with:

    • hamburger buns
    • green salad
    • fruit or veggies
    • chips

Freezes well and easy to make.

Easy baked tacos recipe

Oven Baked Tacos

This recipe is so easy and it’s the perfect recipe for taco lovers! Plus, you can customize your tacos however you want.

More Beef Recipes for Crowds:

Find all our beef recipes here!

Pasta Recipes

best spaghetti sauce recipe

Spaghetti

(Try this easy marinara recipe or spaghetti sauce recipe if you don’t want to use store-bought.)

You may want to serve it with:

  • bread or rolls
  • green salad
  • veggies

Easy to make and pasta is cheap.

Poor mans lasagna

Poor Man’s Lasagna

You may want to serve it with:

  • bread or rolls
  • green salad
  • veggies

You may need multiple baking dishes and oven space. Freezes well.

Easy ham and pasta skillet recipe

Ham and Pasta Skillet Recipe

Quick and easy and jam-packed with flavor! This dish has everything you need all in one skillet and it’s one of my favorite recipes to feed a crowd with.

Instant pot pressure cooker shrimp alfredo pasta recipe

Shrimp Alfredo Pasta

You may want to serve with:

  • Bread or rolls
  • Salad

You may need multiple instant pots to make more servings of this recipe.

Chicken caesar pasta salad recipe

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

This chicken caesar pasta salad could be a great side dish to serve alongside one of the other recipes on this list!

More Pasta Recipes for Crowds:

Find all our pasta recipes here!

Breakfast Recipes

tater tot breakfast casserole

Tater Tot Breakfast Bake

You may want to serve it with:

  • ketchup or salsa
  • fresh fruit

You may need multiple baking dishes and oven space.

Easy oven baked pancakes recipe

Baked Pancake Squares

You may want to serve it with:

  • maple glaze or syrup
  • jam
  • yogurt
  • whipped cream
  • fresh fruit
  • eggs

You may need multiple baking dishes and oven space.

Gourmet french toast

Gourmet French Toast

You may want to serve it with:

  • syrup
  • jam
  • yogurt
  • whipped cream
  • fresh fruit
  • eggs

You may need multiple baking dishes and oven space.

Homemade cinnamon rolls

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

You may want to serve it with:

  • fresh fruit
  • eggs
  • bacon or sausage

You may need multiple baking dishes and oven space. Cinnamon roll dough can be made and shaped in advance, then frozen.

banana quinoa waffles

Banana Quinoa Waffles

You may want to serve it with:

  • syrup
  • jam
  • yogurt
  • whipped cream
  • fresh fruit
  • eggs
  • sausage or bacon

You may want to borrow several waffle irons to cook them all up quickly. Place cooked waffles on a cooling rack inside a rimmed baking sheet and keep them warm in a low temp oven. Or cook them all in advance and freeze them.

easy eggnog pancakes recipe

Eggnog Pancakes

You may want to serve it with:

  • syrup
  • jam
  • whipped cream
  • fresh fruit
  • eggs
  • sausage or bacon

You may want to get a few griddles going at one time, depending on the size of your group.

german pancakes recipe

German Pancakes

You may want to serve it with:

  • syrup
  • jam
  • whipped cream
  • fresh fruit
  • sausage or bacon

You may need multiple baking dishes and oven space.

Other Breakfast Recipe Ideas:

More Menu Ideas for a Crowd

Baked Potato Bar

  • potatoes
  • bacon bits
  • shredded cheese
  • sour cream
  • baked beans
  • salad or platters

Sandwich Platter

  • rolls, croissants or other sliced bread
  • variety of sandwich meats or chicken salad
  • variety of sliced cheese
  • lettuce
  • tomato
  • mustard
  • mayo
  • fruit platter
  • veggie tray

Tips and tricks for feeding a crowd - find this and more at fabulesslyfrugal.com

Aroma 20-Cup Digital Rice Cooker and Food Steamer – love the delay timer feature!

Dessert Recipes to Feed a Crowd

Oh, how I love desserts. I have a hard time keeping these simple. But for large groups, I try to keep it to 9×13 or larger size, rather than drop cookies or impressive layer cakes.

Of course, what you will end up making does depend on the size of your gathering. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • How will I serve it? Will I need more plates, utensils, or a knife?
  • Will the dessert need to be refrigerated?
  • Does it need to be portable?
  • Is it going to be messy?

Caramel apple salad recipe

Caramel Apple Snickers Salad

Cookies and cream oreo popcorn

Oreo Popcorn

fresh honey lime fruit salad recipe

Honey Lime Fruit Salad or Kebabs

the best easy chocolate cake recipe

Homemade Chocolate Cake

Pretzel jello dessert

Pretzel Jello Dessert

Easy smores cookie bars

S’mores Cookie Bars

Other Dessert Ideas for Feeding a Crowd:

Tips tricks and recipes for feeding a crowd

Meal Type: Recipe Roundup, Tips
Categories: Meat and Poultry, Pasta

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