April 20, 2014

What Would You Feed a Large Group?

Jul12

recipes for large crowds

Twenty wonderful people are spread out all over our home right now. We are hosting my husband’s side of the family for a rather spontaneous family reunion. Within two weeks, decisions were made by families from Wisconsin, Minnesota and Colorado  to descended upon us for a week.

You all know how I love spontaneous hospitality, but this is taking it to a whole new level with “no planning” meal planning and sleeping arrangements. It’s a wonderful gift that they are all so flexible.

feeding large groups

So far, meal plans ideas include breakfast skillet, baked french toast, cereal and crock pot oatmeal for breakfast.

Sandwiches, mac and cheese, homemade pizza and BBQ chicken burritos for lunch.

Dinners include at least one grilling night of hamburgers, hot dogs and brats, BBQ chicken in crock pot (C.O.S.T cooking…will use the left over chicken for the lunch burritos), lasagna, taco salad, and ????.

what to feed a lot of people

As you can see, I have many holes in this week long meal plan. So help a friend out, will you please?

If you were cooking for twenty people for one week, what meals would you include?

Please share you best ideas for feeding a large group!

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Comments

  1. I would definitely make Mexican Lasagna (http://myblessedlife.net/2009/12/mexican-lasagna.html) with Salad.

    Slow Cooker Chicken Breasts/Strips with Oven Roasted Veggies. (http://myblessedlife.net/2009/09/our-favorite-go-to-dinner-menu.html)

    Also Homemade Granola (http://kellysrecipeblog.blogspot.com/2009/09/moms-granola.html) with Yogurt and Fruit.

    Jen, you’re fabulous hostess. I’m sure everything is just lovely! :)

    [Reply]

    Beth Reply:

    Ham and Cheese Sliders

    Ingredients:
    For the sandwiches:
    24 slider rolls (mini Hawaiian rolls are also recommended, but I can’t find them in my area)
    24 slices honey ham
    24 small slices Swiss cheese
    Mayonnaise
    For the sauce:
    1½ tbsp. yellow mustard
    8 tbsp. butter, melted
    1 tbsp. finely minced onion (or 2 tsp. dried minced onion)
    ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
    Poppy seeds, for sprinkling
    Directions:
    Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Split the slider rolls and spread the insides lightly with mayonnaise. Fold a slice of ham to fit on each slider bun, and top with a slice of Swiss cheese. Replace the top bun to assemble the sandwiches. Place the sandwiches on a baking sheet.
    To make the sauce, combine all ingredients except the poppy seeds in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Drizzle the sauce over the tops of the slider buns. Sprinkle with poppy seeds. Cover with foil and bake 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Remove the foil and bake 2 minutes longer. Serve warm.
    Source: slightly adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything

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  2. I cook for 10 every night! I’d include meals that are easy to customize and easy to stretch. A fave around here is a Burrito Bar – like Chipotle! You can make most everything ahead, lay it out in a line, and let everyone make their own to their own taste. Beans, rice, meat, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, salsa, guac, sour cream, etc.

    Another easy peasy meal- pasta salad. When I have big groups I like make aheads, because you don’t want to be cooking, you want to be visiting!

    And we have ham and turkey often in the winter, not just on the holidays. A great, festive, economical meal!

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  3. Hmmmm – Spaghetti is always my fall back for big gatherings!

    Do you have more than one crock pot? I like making pulled pork with the McCormick seasoning packet! It calls for Apple Vinegar, Brown Sugar, and Ketchup – which turns out scrumptious! If you only have one crock pot you could make a round in the morning and throw it in the fridge – then make another round in the afternoon and reheat the first batch… or you could just go ask your neighbor to borrow one! :)

    Have fun! And thanks for hosting!

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  4. Wow, I have never cooked for that many people! We love having dinner guests, but so far the most is only 8 people.

    I know when I was a child and we had a lot of guests my mom would put out a sandwich buffet for everyone at lunch, lots of different sandwiches and other nibbles for everyone to pick and choose.

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  5. Thanks for hosting this awesome recipe swap. I have your button in my sidebar all the time, because I always try to stop by on Tuesdays :) But, I did add a link on the post for ya! Love your blog

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  6. Sounds like you are having lots of fun at your house! You are a good sport to host at the last minute.
    Here are a few of my favorite crowd pleasing recipes:
    http://www.creationsbykara.com/2009/09/meatballs-in-cream-sauce.html
    http://www.creationsbykara.com/2008/10/awesome-bajio-style-chicken.html
    http://www.creationsbykara.com/2009/01/breakfast-hash.html
    Hope that helps. Have a fabulous reunion! Let me know if you need more ideas. :)

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  7. Keep some leftover meats and chop into smal bites and use in Jambalya. Serves many and inexpensive!

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  8. I often think meatless for at least one meal to save $. If you have a good food processor, the black bean burgers I linked up today are awe. some. For in season zucchini, I have to heartily recommend a triple batch of this Sausage Zucchini Bake: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/08/12/recipe-connection-sausage-zucchini-bake/
    Good luck feeding the hungry mouths!
    :) Katie

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  9. Jen,
    What about a baked potato bar? You could use leftovers from other meals and tweak them a bit to make them potato toppings (e.g. taco filling could become chili).

    Hope you have lots of fun and not too much stress.
    God bless, CW

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  10. What fun!!

    I’d do a ice cream sundae bar as a special dessert treat :)

    But, as for dinner goes, if you have zucchini coming out of your ears, make zucchini parmesan (http://joyinmykitchen.blogspot.com/2009/07/zucchini-parmesan.html)

    or, zucchini pizza (http://joyinmykitchen.blogspot.com/2010/07/zucchini-pizza.html).

    The baked potato bar sounds awesome too!

    Have fun!

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  11. We were just at our family log home for a few days with a group that size….we grilled burgers and hot dogs one night, lasagna another and roast another night.

    Good luck! Hope you have loads of fun!

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  12. Anything pasta related goes a long way inexpensively and you can make several different kind of meals and casseroles from it. Also, I added two recipe links to today’s links that would work well. #28 is for a bean salad that is inexpensive to make and goes a long ways. You can also use it to make Mexican Bean Roll Ups (#29) which are delicious and great for a cold lunch.

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  13. For that many people I’ve done double batches of chicken tetrazini or chicken potpie. It sounds like you already have Mexican food covered, but one of my favorite and easy dishes is Chicken Fiesta with Black Beans in the slow cooker. Or how about chicken legs on the grill or in the oven with a double batch of Hashbrown casserole and Hawaiian Cole Slaw?

    Can you tell I like chicken? Have a great time with your family. That’s a busy home to come back to after sbsummit!

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  14. I enjoy baking what I grow in our garden. Not only do I think it taste better, but it helps stretch the dollar. This week I fixed eggplant parmesan. when you add some spaghetti noodles to it, it can go further and feed more. Thanks for hosting again this week!!!

    [Reply]

    Jens Reply:

    @Ott, A, Aren’t gardens the best. I have TONS of tomatoes right now, but something got my cucumbers and squash…all my plants died. I am mourning the loss of all my potential meals. :)

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    Patti Reply:

    @Jens, Our garden center says now is the time to plant your second garden of the summer – with seeds! So we planted squash and zucchini again since our first ones burned up in the heat.

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  15. Krystal says:

    Soup, salad/veggie tray and bread

    meatball subs

    shredded pork sandwich

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  16. Michelle T says:

    I know it’s summertime, but you could fill a couple large pots of taco soup and that’ll feed a crowd for sure. Good luck!

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  17. This (http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,178,134176-250198,00.html) is similar to one of our family favorites – you can easily substitute brown or white rice, add any type of meat – it doubles well and makes a great freezer meal as well! :)

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  18. Something that can feed a lot easily like lasagna, roast, baked ziti – http://www.lamp-unto-my-feet.com/2010/05/menu-plan-monday-may-17th-23rd-pics.html, turkey – http://www.lamp-unto-my-feet.com/2009/11/maple-roast-turkey-and-gravy.html, etc. :D Hope you have a great time!!

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  19. Nadir@hodgepodge says:

    Rice is always a huge hit at our large family gathering but then again b/c I’m Puerto Rican, it’s a staple in our diet. :-) We usually have that with some sort of veggie or rool & pork chops, fish or chicken with it. Hope you have fun visiting with the family!

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  20. I have 5 brothers and sisters and 14 nieces and nephews. Family gatherings are always a huge event. I have served many pasta dinners. Usually works the best,I agree:) I have also tried tacos, sandwiches, and even a pulled pork/southwestern theme. Big families are the best!

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  21. After a week of twenty people and the feeding of massive folks mostly stress free, I will report. . .

    Crockpot BBQ beef sandwiches. Cheap cuts of meat (yellow stickers!) with BBQ sauce, apricot jam and salsa with buns. Cook forever and drain the fat and slap the meat on buns with added sauce!Yumm. Ready whenever and easy to clean up. Chips, cut up veggies, whatever is available to accompany.

    10 lbs of whole chicken legs baked with a drizzle of olive oil and chopped herbs from the garden on top. These were another hit and easy to make. At .59 @lb. this was an inexpensive, filling and attractive spread. A big platter of these after a busy day of swimming and fun was a delight.

    Bean burritos for lunch for the kiddos. Lunch meat would have been way to costly.

    Nachos with lots of toppings are a big hit as well: Canned refried beans, meat, cheese, salsa, sour cream, etc. This is especially great if you want the adults to have a separate nicer dinner which we sometimes do if there are only 4 adults and 15 children!

    Another HUGE favorite is Chimichungas: I can email you the recipe if you like. They cook in the crockpot forever, and the meat cheapest and they are devoured and savored by all. Any roast, sirloin steak, whatever is yellow stickered with beans, salsa green peppers, El Pato, mixed in.

    Big bag of Frozen meatballs (cheap Costco) with easy homemade sauce in the crockpot. Jarred sauce is fine just expensive when you need about 6 jars. I can email you a great recipe if you like.

    (sorry, I need to run to the bank so I have to figure out how to include the recipes later)

    Breakfast casseroles are great, as well as bagels if you can get them for a bargain. Hard boiled eggs are cheap and filling.

    A quick platter of veggies for snack or before dinner will be quickly devoured because they are hungry and will make the veggies go down easier.

    Also, we did spurge on paperplates because it made dinner clean up super easy and allow us the luxury of enjoying each other more. Plastic cups with a sharpie for marking names and using the same cup all day.

    Ice cream for dessert. . .Sundae bars are memorable, easy and fun.

    I hope that this helps! Don’t freak out, your kiddos will never be intimidated to have large groups of company when they are older! Enjoy!

    [Reply]

    Jens Reply:

    @Leslie, So true about the freak out part. Don’t worry. I’m taking this is stride. I actually thought more people were coming, so it’s a bit better. The freak out part called when they told me they were coming in two weeks (but that I was going to be at a conference four days leading up to them coming and they were actually going to get to my house BEFORE I even got back from my time away.) That’s when you realize a house full of people is a blessing and letting go of any control I want to have over the situation is the best solution. :)

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  22. If you have an expired bread store near you, they often have Boboli mini pizza shells for .25 each. Make your own pizza night is super fun!

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    Jens Reply:

    @Leslie, I love our thrift bakery store but they only have bread, no pizza shells. If they did, I would jump on that instead of homemade pizza.

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  23. Hmmm, a Big Batch of cinnamon rolls with some scrambled eggs and fruit might tide them over for oh, a couple hours… ;) http://amysfinerthings.com/big-batch-cinnamon-rolls

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    Jens Reply:

    @Amy @ Finer Things, yep, yours are SO yummy. I debated making my copy cat cinnabon rolls, but….we’ll see if that can be squeezed in late at night. :)

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  24. I always resort to tacos for a large group. Or chili, but it’s a bit warm for that right now!

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  25. Oh my goodness I’ve never had 20 people to stay at one time – you are very brave! When I do feed a large crowd at lunchtime I often do a cold cut buffet with various sliced meats, different breads and rolls and a great big tossed green salad and one of coleslaw. I also include bowls of chips, tortilla chips etc. That way everyone can help themselves and all you have to do is supply the food and put it on the counter /table for the buffet. Thanks for hosting!

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  26. I definitely agree with the spaghetti…that goes a long way. :) What about small subs, chips, and a veggie platter, fruit salad???

    Thanks so much for hosting, Jen! It’s been awhile since I’ve linked up. :)

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  27. Wow…how fun having all that family over- Sorry, my recipe this week was a pasta dish and it looks like you already have the pasta covered this week.

    I like the taco bar idea. Include items for a taco salad-burritoes-hard shell tacos-nachos. Yum–sounds good, maybe I will try that for our 4 tonight.

    Enjoy! ~Vonda

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  28. We feed sloppy joes a lot when we’re having a large group. It works better if you have two large pans, but one will work. You have to double or triple this recipe for 16 sloppy joes:
    http://pinkdaisygirl.blogspot.com/2009/08/yum-my.html
    Ham and beans with cornbread is a great frugal alternative and can be made in the crock pot.

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  29. I definitely use enchiladas for a crowd. Brisket, roast, lasagna, fish tacos, meatloaf would work & sweet n sour meatballs served over rice. Hope this sparks some ideas for you.

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  30. If it’s not too hot for a chili-type soup, here is a recipe we call Lentil Haystacks.

    Brown 1/2 the amount of ground beef you’d need if you were making sloppy joes. (Lentils will make up the other half.)
    Cook enough lentils to make up for the other half of the beef for 30 minutes in water with onion, garlic powder, and a bay leaf. Drain lentils a little if there’s a lot of water still in the pan.
    Put meat and lentils in crockpot with tomato sauce and water (about twice as much tomato sauce as water), chili powder to taste, and salt.
    Simmer as long as necessary until soup is the consistency you’d like it.

    We like this with Fritos or cornbread. Happy cooking! :)

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  31. How about pork roast with BBQ sauce cooked in the crockpot (or roaster)? Serve on rolls with chips and baked beans as sides. So easy, good and inexpensive :)

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  32. Love a crowd. It makes for good memories for your kids. I know I have good memories of lots of people at the house. I would go for anything grilled or cooked on the stovetop. Anything to keep from turning on the oven in this hot weather!

    Christi @ A Southern Life

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  33. Donna B. says:

    Slow roasted pork. Get a couple of pork shoulders (could also be called pork butts in your area), spice them up (I usually do one with lemon zest, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper and the other I’d do mexican (cumin, paprika, chili powder) or cover in your favorite BBQ sauce or marinade (I HIGHLY recommend World Harbors Fajita marinade – liquid crack!!)). Put them in disposable pans (I get them 2/$1 at the local dollar store) 1 per pan.

    250 degree oven, 8-12 hours (depends on how large they are, and how you want the meat), roast with the fat side up.

    Since the oven is so low and the meat is fairly fatty, it won’t dry out. Around the 8 hour mark, it still sliceable. Once you pass 10 hours, it falls apart (great for pulled pork BBQ, fajitas, etc.). It’ll make the best pork roasts you’ve ever tasted, and you’ll have tons of leftovers.

    If you want a crispy exterior, you can crack the oven up to 350 for 30 minutes or so right before you take it out.

    Make sure you don’t use a shallow pan – the roasts release a lot of fat.

    The best part is this is really affordable, they usually range in price from $1-$2/pound.

    [Reply]

  34. Kristina says:

    We entertain large crowds a lot, so I am enjoying all of these fun ideas! To save on preparation time and on washing serving plates, make a lot of the meals “bars” and let each person make their meal to suit themselves. Sandwiches, tacos/burritos, baked potatoes, oatmeal+toppings — even assembling pizzas works great this way.

    If your peeps will eat cold soup, make gazpacho out of all those tomatoes! Perfect on a summer day, served with some crusty bread for lunch. And no cooking required.

    [Reply]

  35. Becky Kingsbury says:

    We host many families for a week at Thanksgiving time every year. These are some of our favorite things to feed everyone. Turkey any time of year is a great way to feed many people (I buy extra at Thanksgiving) . You do not have to do traditional foods for sides and there is usually left overs to use in sandwiches or a turkey pot pie. Ham is also good for many mouths and left overs (I buy extra when they are on sale). You could make a roast in the crock pot. There is nothing wrong with sandwiches for lunches. You can usually buy inexpensive sandwich meats. Kroger (here it is Fry’s) has sandwich meats on sale 2/$6. The last thing I want to do when I have guests is to spend the whole time in the kitchen. Another big and easy meal is chicken Alfredo with broccoli and bow-ties. I cook up the chicken making sure it is seasoned or have it precooked and chop up into bite sized pieces add the jarred Alfredo or make your own. Salt your boiling water for pasta and cook your pasta until it is a couple of minutes away from being done and add your broccoli to the boiling water. Drain and add the warmed Alfredo chicken mix and serve with bread and a salad. I like bow-ties because all ages can eat it without being cut up smaller. Have fun.

    [Reply]

  36. Do you have (or could you borrow) more than one crock pot?

    Take several roasts (any ole roast will do). You can also use boneless, skinless chicken.

    Dump into a crockpot.

    Dump 1 jar of salsa (any ole salsa) over it. You can also add a pack of taco seasoning if you’re feeling fancy.

    Cook on low 8-10 hours.

    Serve on tortillas with taco fixin’s. You can set up an assembly line- people can put what they want on theirs. Delicous and easy, easy, easy. It’s my go-to dish for last minute big company, as long as I know they’re coming in time to set up the crock pot!

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  37. Whoa, good luck! Your breakfast menu sounds great. I’d do roasts for dinner so you could use the leftover meat for salad sandwiches for lunch :)

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  38. A tukey and/or ham dinner would be nice plus you can use the leftovers for sandwiches. A breakfast cassarole would also be good for large groups and you can make it up the night before so you dont have to get up early to prepare it. As your first picture indicates, a spaghetti dinner would also be a nice addition. Enjoy, family get togethers are blessings from God! Have a blessed week :D

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  39. I personally find it much easier to cook for more people than fewer. I would make 3 -4 whole roasters from Costco that I had bought by the case to save money. I would cook them in a couple of crock pots. I would also serve baked potatoes and either fresh veggies from the garden or frozen from Costco.

    I hope you have a great time with your family. I hope they brought you fresh squeaky cheese curds.

    Susan

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  40. Jennifer R. says:

    If you’re not only in the need to eat, but something to do, break the family into equal groups, cheap ingredients and have an “Iron Chef” cook-off! It may be a bit crazy in the kitchen:), but could be tons of fun, and each team could have a specific appliance they’re assigned to (grill, oven, etc.)

    Another “interactive idea” is for personal quesadillas. We start with black beans, shredded cheese and onions. Place on a tortilla shell, cover with a second one and bake for 15 min @ 350. You could add veggies on hand (peppers are yummy!) and any leftover shredded chicken, beef, etc. Serve with your favorite condiments.

    Hope that helps!

    [Reply]

    Jens Reply:

    @Jennifer R., HOLY COW – this is SUCH a fun idea. I read your comment to our group and now you have us brainstorming all kinds of fun ideas. The problem? Too many said they don’t want to do that without a recipe. I told them they need to be spontaneous….take a risk. lol

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  41. Baked Ziti is great for feeding a crowd. And being a stockpiler/couponer I’m sure you have the ingredients. Pasta (doesn’t have to be ziti…, sometimes I mix up the boxes with just a bit of pasta left in them). Some ground beef if you want, not necessary, pasta sauce and parm. and mozzarella cheese. Cook pasta until al dente, drain, mix pasta and sauce in 9×13 pans. Let sit in the fridge overnight (pasta soaks up the sauce that way) next day top with cheeses and bake until bubbly.

    Italian beef sandwiches (crockpot) – get a big roast for your biggest crockpot, add sliced onion and green peppers, and pepperoncinis (I only use 2 since we don’t like it real hot) and some water or beef broth. Cook until tender. Shred meat. Serve on hoagie rolls or hamburger rolls w/ provolone cheese. If you want you can toast the bread slightly and let the cheese melt a bit. Use broth like a “french dip” if you want.

    Have a great time with the family!

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  42. I would make Mexican buffet, including Chicken Tostadas
    http://froufroubritches.blogspot.com/search?q=chicken+tostada
    and guacamole
    http://froufroubritches.blogspot.com/2010/04/copykat-cozymels-guacamole.html
    and some taco meat and all the toppings. That’s what I always do for large groups.

    I’m sure everything you’ve done has been wonderful. What a blessing to have family all together for a week. FUN! Stressful, but fun!

    Thanks for hosting.

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  43. Fajita Bar! Throw a bunch of chicken, peppers, and onions in a slow cooker, then the fixins!

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  44. Tacos or burritos are great do it yourself options – you just lay out the fixins. I nice pot of pinto beans with cornbread and a salad would be good too – the beans pretty much cook themselves, you could even use a crock pot.

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  45. Hawaiian Haystacks are a favorite for my family reunions. Its done in layers and served buffet line style.

    Layers:
    1. Rice
    2. Cooked shredded Chicken
    3. Warmed and slightly diluted cream of chicken soup
    4. Cheese
    5. And then an assortment of any of the following: tomatoes, chow mein noodles, sliced almonds, cold peas, pineapple, celery, cucumbers, bell peppers, maraschino cherries, or whatever you want to include

    Another good idea is a baked potato bar.

    Good luck!

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  46. How about a big pot of sloppy joes. I find that a great way to feed a crowd.

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  47. Do up bags and bags of perogies in your crockpot (I can fit 3 in mine, and by adding a bit of sausage or ham, and some onions it really stretched at a church potluck!). Put a bowl of sour cream on the side, some paprika to sprinkle, and a salad. Everyone should be happy!

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  48. Wow Jen! This is my first time linking up and I just want to pat you on the back… hosting 20 people for a week and it sounds like you are doing an amazing job!

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  49. katklaw777 says:

    All the Mexican recipes and no one mentions chili?
    Chili in the crockpot us my go to crowd pleaser. You can use extra beans and less meat to make it more frugal. Put out all your toppings and tortilla chips and salad greens. People can have a bowl of chili or make a taco salad or even nachos…all at one meal.
    Another good suggestion is to cook a couple of hams or turkeys…you get a meal and leftovers!

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  50. Feed a large crowd with no cooking or baking! This got rave reviews when my sisters and I did it, so easy, so simple!
    http://amy-newnostalgia.blogspot.com/2010/06/how-to-feed-large-crowd-without-cooking.html

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  51. How fabulous!!! I love it all.

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  52. Melissa says:

    I would grill a whole bunch of chicken breast. One night I would have grilled chicken with vegetables. The next day, salad with grilled chicken on it. The next day, quesadillas with grilled chicken, cheese, and ranch dressing. I did this last week and having the grilled chicken ready made for 3 easy meals.

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  53. Muffins & Scrambled Eggs work well feeding a crowd for breakfast. There’s also this wonderful French Toast Casserole that can be done the night before: http://unfinishedmom.blogspot.com/2009/10/apple-riasin-french-toast-casserole.html

    Spaghetti and Chicken N Dumplings can easily be made to serve large crowds or for a different twist on dinner you could try this recipe for Kalua Pig (Asian Style Pulled Pork): http://unfinishedmom.blogspot.com/2009/09/kalua-pig.html The Kalua Pig can be cooked in the crockpot instead of the oven too!
    Or try Honey Garlic Chicken: http://unfinishedmom.blogspot.com/2009/01/honey-garlic-chicken.html I’ve never tried it on the grill, but I’m pretty sure it would work well. You’ll need to triple the recipe though.
    I always get good reviews on these recipes when I make them.

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  54. Our new favorite crowd pleaser meal is Haystacks. It’s big favorite among all the vegetarians in our community. It’s easy to make and EVERYONE loves it!
    Put tortilla chips on a plate and then load up on your favorite stuff. We usually have:
    olives
    shredded cheese
    salsa
    black beans
    (taco meat if not vegetarian)
    lettuce
    guacamole
    sour cream
    tomatoes
    We set out all the ingredients and everyone makes their “Haystack” the way they like it. It’s fun, cheap and feeds a TON of people. I suggest getting the big box of tortilla chips from Sam’s Club.

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  55. I like a lot of your ideas and I would probably do something similar. Cereal, sandwiches, spaghetti, DIY tacos are all the easiest for a large crowd. Or have everyone bring something so there’s less for the host to do!

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  56. Here’s a thought – just SKIP a meal!!! Who says you need to have three meals a day? Send the early risers out for a morning scavenger/nature hunt/walk and have a simple, but lovely breakfast brunch of fruit (watermelon feeds a crowd) muffins, pancakes or cinnamon rolls, and crock pot scrambled eggs waiting for their return – say 10:30 or 11 ish? Tidy up, plan and prepare supper and enjoy your afternoon. Then make it an early dinner – 4:30 or 5ish. This would be the perfect night for a board games ‘event’ – perhaps a round robin? If tummies are bit rumbly, giant bowls of fresh hot air popped popcorn fit the bill cheaply! We do this often on a Saturday since we want the kids bathed and in bed early for Sunday – they don’t feel like they’ve been put to bed on schedule when they have had the ‘whole evening after dinner’ for games and snacks! It’s fun all summer too – enjoy your spontaneous reunion – what a blessing!

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  57. 20 people?! That’s a lot. I think I’d let my husband cook. He loves to cook and always cooks way too much. Seriously, I’m not sure. But, I am checking out the recipes. Be sure to share some of the ones that worked the best for the large group.

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  58. Hey! Sorry I didn’t know another tasty tuesdays existed. Yours looks like it’s been around a while and doing well. I love grabbing new ideas. I can link people back to yours if ya want or mention you? There are some other tuesday food memes out there that several of my followers link to as well.

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  59. P.S. I linked up!

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  60. my mother would always go with potato soup or perhaps ham and beans While because I have teens I would create a baked potato bar with all the fixings or sub sandwiches and chips, I love the easy to go meals also perhaps polish sausage casserole that is always good for a crowd

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  61. Jessica says:

    Tacos are always my go to large group meal (i’m also gluten free so it makes everyone happy). Then with the leftovers it’s nacho night!

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  62. I don’t have anything to link up today but I have a couple ideas for the meals for 20. Sloppy Joes or BBQ Sandwiches (chicken, beef or pork), Quiche, Lasagna or Baked Pasta, Tacos/Burritos, Pancakes/Waffles…I know I’m repeating some you said and some that others suggested. I am just typing whatever I think of. Chicken and Noodles, Baked Ham and Scalloped Potatoes, Chili. That’s all I can think of right now but kudos to you for hosting! Have fun!

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  63. How sad is it that 20 doesn’t seem all that big to me? LOL! We’ve got 7 kids and I cook dinner for our church each Wednesday night, so I cook for lots of people most of the time.

    Baked Potato Bar, Taco Bar, Chili, Ham, Turkey, Pot Pie, chicken and stuff casserole, a big chef salad.

    I am probably a minority, but I don’t like cooking pasta for large groups. The pasta starts to stick when you re-use the same water, and it takes a long time to boil several different pots.

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  64. Chili dogs with all the trimming.

    Cincinnati style chili, (in other words, chili over pasta, very filling)

    A side salad such as pasta or potato each night, then a buffet of leftovers toward the end of the week. Make it fun, have the kids make labels for each dish and lay them out like a buffet at a restaurant.

    A real fun time would be to have a dessert night, (have a bigger lunch). Ice cream bar, with any toppings you can afford. Have each person make their special cookies or buy their fav cookies, cakes etc…. Its not like this is going to happen again any time soon, make real memories!!

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  65. HeatherS says:

    I’m not used to feeding a large group but this sounds like a group of people who could answer a question I have! Our church provides meals in a local park once a week and I have signed up to bring “Salad for 50″ on one night! I have no idea how to figure out how much salad is “Salad for 50″. Hoping someone here could help me figure this out.

    Also I am debating taking different dressings along (costly) or just pre-dressing it with an Italian dressing kind of like Olive Garden does. It’s being served alongside spaghetti. Thanks!

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  66. Have a great time with your guests…. and if you can get your hands on some blueberries and a good price, try a blueberry crisp (although you may need to double this recipe.)

    http://www.pinkcouponcafe.com/2010/07/blueberry-crisp-for-dessert-our.html

    …but most importantly — Have Fun!!

    Robin

    P.S. — It was so nice to meet you at Savvy Blogging!

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