Cooking for a Crowd 

Cooking for a crowd recipes are not as “scary” as they sound. Unlike home cooking, large gatherings require that you use a dinner planner if you are going to be cooking large amounts of food; whether it be a sit down dinner, a buffet or even a cocktail party. This must hold all details of the gathering from the very start of the preparation to the presentation of the food.

Cooking for a CrowdCooking for a Crowd

These diner ideas will help your preparations move along much more smoothly and help to prevent embarrassing moments at the end when guests arrive. When your guests arrive, you should be “ready and waiting” for them, able to spend quality time with them and have plenty of food ready. This is what makes a successful party; one that everyone remembers.

The very first thing you must know, when cooking for a crowd, is how many people will be present for the meal. Make a note of this number in your dinner planner. It will also help when you start the cooking to know how many children, how many men and how many women. This will aid in figuring the portion sizes, thus figuring how much food will be needed.

If you are familiar with your guests, write down any special need foods; perhaps you will be entertaining diabetics. If this is the case, you should provide a diabetic dessert along with a regular dessert for the other guests. If you know of favorite foods or dislikes of your guests, this is the time to make notes of those also. Perhaps a guest is allergic to fresh mushrooms; by all means do not put fresh mushrooms on anything.

The best advice I can give you is to make notes of everything you can think of. You will be surprised how important these little insignificant details will become when preparing your party foods.

How to Make Garnishes

Learn how to make garnishes from tomatoes, lemons, oranges, cucumbers, carrots, turnips and many other fruits and vegetables.

Free Beverage Recipes

Make simple and delicious beverages that are normally are offered for free at most parties and functions you will attend.

  • Tips for Party Planning like how much to serve for each person, how to set the atmosphere, party ideas and party ideas for children.
  • Cooking for a Crowd Recipes make party planning easier. If these are not available, most recipes feed six to eight people so converting them to larger quantities are easy to do.

  • Cooking for a large crowd might seem difficult at first but organization will help you to overcome most fears. The more parties you plan the more professional you will become.

  • Planning large meals for a crowd means making a plan; that means writing everything down and following the plan. Start with a theme; food is often chosen to fit the theme.

  • Shopping for specials when cooking for a crowd can save a lot of money. Use your planner and all your notes when shopping to get the best deals.

  • How to cook cheap recipes for a crowd like chicken and dumplings. Crowd size entertaining need not be expensive with great recipes and a little planning.
  • Host rules for entertaining plus great recipes

Many of us dress up our dinner tables with nice tablecloths and cloth napkins when cooking for a crowd. When we do this, we take the risk of getting many different types of stains. The first thing to do to prevent these stains is to starch our table linens to prevent stains from soaking in. But be prepared! Know ahead of time how to remove stains.

The next thing you must make notes about when cooking for a crowd is what your dinner ideas are. This will determine the type of meals you will be preparing for your gathering. A sit down gourmet dinner will be approached in a different way than a buffet meal. If you want to have a sit down dinner, you must provide table space and chairs for all guests to sit down together.

You have already listed in your dinner planner the number of guests; men, women and children. Use this information to decide if you can comfortably entertain all your guests at a sit down dinner. If this is not possible, then you might consider a buffet in which your guests might find comfortable seating throughout your home grouped with other guests.

If this does not sound reasonable then consider a cocktail party with a selection of appetizers and drinks. In this case most guests will choose to stand and socialize with other guests. Whichever you do, when you learn to write all the information down as you go, you will find it much easier to organize. This is all part of your meal planning process.

When cooking for a crowd, select one of your dinner ideas for your theme. This could be a special holiday like Christmas or New Years. Perhaps you will want to use holiday recipes such as for Christmas or Valentine’s Day. Maybe it is a birthday or anniversary. If it is not a special day or occasion, make it one. Come up with some theme; build your party around that theme.

A theme gives an opportunity to add colors and decorations to your home and in the food. Any special occasion will be reflected in your food and how to set a table for the event. Special themes get the conversation going with your guests and helps with having a successful party. Again, I stress write everything down! This will guide you in selecting recipes and garnishing the dishes once they are prepared.

The next step when cooking for a crowd is selecting a menu that goes with your dinner ideas that you have selected and wrote down in your dinner planner. Meal planning is much easier if you focus on dinner ideas or themes. If you have favorite recipes which you have cooked before, use them and adjust the proportions to the number of guests.

If not then ask family and friends for favorite recipes or search through your cookbooks and recipes to find something special. I lived my life when a meal always started with the meat; then vegetables, salads and dessert recipes were added to complete the dinner. I still find this the easiest to begin. Remember to write all dinner ideas down in your dinner planner!

desserts for a crowd

Desserts for a crowd party offer the grand finale. People love desserts; a special recipe with a great presentation will leave a lasting impression of your party.

Salad recipes for a crowd are necessary for any large party dinner. A dish of colorful vegetables and fruits is a great start to any meal.

Learn how to make punch for special occasion parties; it turns an ordinary affair into a gala affair. These refreshing recipes are even appreciated if other beverages are served; serve either with alcohol added or without.

Appetizers for a crowd gathering can be a great welcoming to arriving guests. If dinner is not quite ready to serve and guests arrive hungry, they will appreciate your thought.

Sandwiches for a crowd party is sometimes all that is needed for feeding a large gathering. If you decide on this easy way to entertain, make the sandwiches unique and delicious; the options are endless.

Easy breakfast casserole recipes are often the best selection for early morning or brunch buffets. Many of them are conveniently prepared the night before and popped in the oven in the morning. These are so flavorful and delicious!

Budget cooking for a crowd might be a big consideration for you. If you are having a large gathering, it requires more food than you would normally buy. Food is expensive! At this point know exactly what you can afford to spend on your food. This will help to narrow what foods you will want to purchase.

This is one reason I always start with the meat selection; it is the most expensive part. Chicken and turkey are among the most inexpensive proteins; and can be prepared in many delicious and elegant dishes. When budget cooking for a crowd, great flavor and a beautiful presentation can cover for inexpensive foods.

For meats, you might want to offer a choice of two; perhaps a delicious chicken dish and a beautiful presentation of a bowl of flavorful meatballs. Also consider cooking pasta for a crowd; it is so cheap to do and most people love pasta. Again, make your notes!

After selecting the main focal point (meat) of your meal, add the side items; starch, vegetables, salad and dessert. Whenever I do budget cooking for a crowd, I like to present one very special dish; it is usually a special dessert.

It doesn’t have to be expensive; just elaborate is some way. This could be in size, shape, decoration and of course, taste. I find this easier to do in desserts than in other dishes; also dessert is at the end and this is what guests remember most. Write it down!

  • Shrimp recipes for a crowd might be in the form of many great appetizers, salad recipes or entrees. Often these dishes are low in calories and a favorite of seafood selections.

  • Learn how to make crab cakes if entertaining guests who are especially fond of crab. These are so easy to make and so tasty. Small ones can be served as appetizers and large ones can be served for entrees.

  • Chicken and rice casserole recipes are very economical when feeding a large crowd. Price does not sacrifice taste; these dishes are some of the best tasting so have plenty.

  • You cannot go wrong with chicken recipes for a crowd; this is a favorite source of protein in many parts of the world. It is economical and can be fixed in many different ways.
  • Cooking pasta for a crowd is probably the cheapest way to feed a large number of people. What is so great about this kind of a meal is that everyone loves dinners like spaghetti and meatballs or lasagna.

Read over the recipes that you have chosen. Write down the times it will take to prepare, the ingredients and special equipment you will need to go shopping to purchase. Also, write down any special cooking information.

The most important point to stress in cooking for a crowd is FOLLOWING YOUR DINNER PLANNER; DO NOT VARY FROM THE PLAN. With all these notes that you have taken, now is the time to sit down and write out your cooking guide every step of the way. These steps will relieve much stress, and see that the meal stays on schedule. You will be a total success!


Meat, Poultry or Fish

25 Servings

Beef or veal (roasted)  10 Pounds

Fish, large whole          13 Pounds

Fish, fillets or steaks    7.5 Pounds

Ham, roasted               10 Pounds

Hamburger                    9 Pounds

Meat loaf                       5 Pounds

Pork rib roast               10 Pounds

Pork chops or veal cutlets  9 Pounds

Turkey or chicken, roasted 16 Pounds

50 Servings

40 Pounds

50 Pounds

30 Pounds

30 Pounds

35 Pounds

18 Pounds

36 Pounds

30 Pounds

50 to 75 Pounds


25 Servings

Bread                  50 Slices

Butter                  .5 Pound      

Mayonnaise             1 Cup

Mixed fillings (meat, eggs, fish) 1.5 Quarts

Lettuce               1.5 Heads

50 Servings

200 Slices

1.5 Pounds

4 to 6 Cups

5 to 6 Quarts

5 to 6 Heads


25 Servings

Potato salad            4.5 Quarts

Scalloped potatoes  4.5 Quarts

Spaghetti                1.5 Gallons

Baked beans           .75 Gallons

Gelatin salad             2 Quarts

Lettuce (large heads) 4 Heads

50 Servings

4.5 Gallons

17 Quarts

5 Gallons

2.5 Gallons

2.5 Gallons

12 Heads


25 Servings

Beets (fresh)            5 Pounds

Beets (canned)        Can (number 10 size)

Cabbage (shredded) 5 Pounds  

Carrots (cooked)       6 Pounds

Corn (canned)          3 Cans (number 2 size)

Corn (frozen)       3 Packages (40 oz size)

Peas (fresh)            18 Pounds

Peas (frozen)      3 packages (40 oz size)

Sweet potatoes (fresh)  7 Pounds

Sweet potatoes (canned)  1 can (number 10 size)

50 Servings

20 Pounds 

4 cans (number 10 size)

20 Pounds

24 Pounds

2 Cans (number 10 size)

10 Packages (40 oz size)

70 Pounds

10 packages (40 oz size)

24 Pounds

4 cans (number 10 size)

› Crowd Size Cooking

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