When you are hosting a crowd of people, you want to do what you can to make it easy on yourself and your wallet. Here are a 3 options my family has used over and over for large gatherings that were not only simple and cost-effective, but incredibly delish!
Option 1: Killer Shrimp
Killer Shrimp by CopyKat Recipes – This recipe has been used so many times it’s committed to memory. And it never disappoints. It’s unexpected… and incredibly delicious. Have the broth ready to go and drop the shrimp in to cook right before serving. It’s a simple recipe with a big, tasty payoff. Serve with crusty French baguettes a plenty and lots of butter to sop up that fabulously satisfying broth.
Option 2: Lasagnas!
The Pioneer Woman’s Best Lasagna Recipe – I can’t tell you how many times I have made this and every time I get compliments. It’s definitely an Americanized lasagna, but don’t be judgy. You can prepare it before and even freeze it, if necessary. It’s a guaranteed hit. People always ask for the recipe.
If you have vegetarians to feed, try this Cheese and Tomato Lasagna from American’s Test Kitchen. Another hit. It may, in fact, be my favorite lasagna of all time. For vegetarians, just must omit the anchovies. Feel free to substitute your own vegetarian “umami hit” “of choice. A dash of miso would work well.
To compliment your lasagnas, add some sides. Or better yet, ask your guests to bring a side and take the pressure off yourself.
Option 3: A Pasta Bar
Serve a trio of pastas. A traditional basil pesto penne (homemade or purchased at the grocery store), a marinara spaghetti, and Ina Garten’s Tagliarelle with Truffle Butter Pasta. (Can’t find truffle butter? Substitute garlic butter which is also yummy.) The great thing about going with a pasta bar is there’s something for everyone and it’s really inexpensive. Add a couple of large salads to round out the meal. Want to offer some meat for your carnivores? Add a sheet pan of sausage and peppers from Well-Plated to your bar. Your guests will keep going back for seconds and thirds.
Do you have dishes you love to serve to a gathering? I’d love to hear your suggestions. Please leave a comment!