You’ve just volunteered for the yearly family party. Panic ensues. How do I cook for all these people?! Relax! Cooking for a party is not rocket science. Let’s talk through it together. Tips, tricks, theme/meal ideas and a free planning printable!
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When my husband and I moved out of our townhouse 3.5 years ago, we knew we wanted to host a yearly party. We wanted to be the go-to house for one specific holiday. We wanted to pick one that wasn’t super popular so that people would be available but also a fun one. We settled on Memorial Day and have had a Memorial Day party every year since 2016.
The first year was incredibly stressful because we had no idea what we were doing – ha! But each year it seems to get relatively easier.
Each month I go live in my Facebook meal planning group and we chat about a meal related topic. In April, we talked about cooking for parties. I have summarized the video for you right here!
What food do you serve for a party?
- Taco bar
- Hot dog bar
- Smoked meats turned into sandwiches
- Pasta salad bar
Tips for serving food at a party
- Prep everything you can the night before! When we do our memorial day party, we do most of the work the day before. Smoke the meats, make the pasta salad (before mixing it), etc. It cuts down on so much work the day of.
- Shortcuts – Shortcuts are ok. Some shortcuts we take are buying bbq sauce instead of making our own, asking people to bring dishes if they wish, buy packaged dips instead of making our own.
- Don’t experiment – There definitely is some fun in trying new recipes, but don’t do it now. Stick to tried and true things that you know are good and work. If you have things you want to try, practice before.
- Make more than you think you need – Calculate what you’ll need and always add in a few extra people. You never know who will actually show up, who will eat more than expected, who will want leftovers, etc.
- Use a crock pot – I love putting hot dogs in my crock pot with hot water. It keeps them warm and people can serve themselves. You can also use these disposable chafing trays.
- Plan – I have this party meal planner printable that we use. It helps you plan everything out so you’re making one grocery trip!
Grab your printable here to help you plan your next large party!