Large parties require a certain amount of preparation and a certain amount and type of food. While you can serve a variety of foods at a large party, a few work best for serving a large number of people. Not only will these foods keep your guests satisfied, but they will make your life easier by shortening the amount of effort and preparation you put in.
Simple, Pre-Prepared Foods
To accommodate all of your guests, plan for a variety of simple foods that you can easily replace once they start to run out. The Food Network’s article “How to Host a Large Party” suggests keeping things simple buying already-prepared foods to use as appetizers, snacks or side dishes. Some of these foods include crackers, cheeses, chips, hummus, dips, salsa, nuts, breads, olives, cold cuts or already-prepared salads such as potato salad or coleslaw. Buy extra so that when they run out, all you need to do is refill the serving dishes.
Elegant Finger Foods
According to author and food expert Kate Heyhoe, the editor of “The Global Gourmet,” finger foods are an essential food item to serve at a large party due to their accessibility. These foods are also relatively easy to serve, prepare and refill in large quantities. According to an article taken from O Magazine on Delish.com, some of the best finger foods include dips or spreads with chips, such as guacamole or black bean chips, coconut shrimp, empanadas, beef or chicken burger sliders, flat bread pizza and tea sandwiches.
For your heartier, main dishes, experts at the Food Network suggest making dishes that you can prepare in large portions the night before, either by fully cooking or half-baking them. This way, all you will need to do the day of the party is reheat or finish heating them. Some examples are eggplant parmesan, macaroni and cheese, lasagna, soups, stews and meats such as smoked brisket or honey baked ham. Salads or bean dishes are recommended for side dishes, and for desserts, the Food Network recommends cookies, cakes and pies.
References and ResourcesFood Network: How to Host a Large Party
Food Network: Entertaining a Crowd
Kate's Global Kitchen: Party Food...by the book!
Delish: It's Party Time: 14 Finger Foods from O, The Oprah Magazine