Meals for a Crowd

It’s wedding week, on the heels of a funeral weekend. We currently have a dozen houseguests, in addition to the seven of us who live in our home. That’s two families of five and one young married couple….who are visiting for more than a week. Twelve + seven = nineteen, and other family members have been in and out, too. With this many people we have to plan ahead to make meals for a crowd, and you might like a peek into how to feed the multitudes!

The kitchen is stocked with eggs, cereal, bagels, fruit, etc. for breakfast. Lunches are leftovers or sandwiches. We picked up pizza at least once, the night the guys threw a tool shower for the soon-to-be groom while the ladies and kids watched a movie. Supper is the main hot meal of the day, and home cooking saves time and lots of money. We’ve eaten several of these meals this week, and the rest are on our list of favorites for meals for a crowd:

  • Sloppy Joes (recipe appears about halfway through the post)
  • Shredded chicken tacos
  • Chili (frozen browned ground beef, cans of pinto beans and tomato sauce, cumin and chili powder, quick and easy!)
  • Chicken Dumplings
  • Spaghetti with homemade sauce
  • Beef stew cooked in the InstantPot
  • Sandwiches (deli meat, variety of bread types and buns and cheeses)
  • Large pans of frozen lasagne, baked during church (Stouffers is our favorite brand: one Cheese, one Meat Lovers)
  • Enchilada Casserole
  • Chicken Taco Soup
  • A big pot of pinto beans served with rice on the side, and homemade cornbread

Let’s be honest, many of these meals have been served on paper plates to have mercy on the person with the kitchen chore. Easy and doable is the name of the game, which is why these meals are simple, with few sides. Rather than a huge spread of variety, we’re going for quantity of the main dish to get everyone fed.

I’ll refer back to this post myself in the future when my mind is whirling with guest preparations! That’s one advantage of having a blog: it becomes a journal and record of things you want to remember. If my kids want to cook a recipe, first they ask if it’s on the blog instead of looking in the recipe book cabinet.  😉

Next time you’re faced with feeding a big group–whether it’s family, a church group, sports team, potluck, you name it–these ideas are tried and true, large-family-tested. Meals for a multitude really isn’t much harder than meals for a few, you just keep it simple and increase the quantities. With a bit of planning (and a lot of grocery shopping), you’ll gracefully serve meals for a crowd and others will wonder how you made it look so easy!


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