Hosting a get together for a large crowd doesn’t have to be difficult or stressful — and it won’t be as long as you remember to keep it casual and simple. The best way to do that is to pick a simple but delicious menu that all of your guests will love — like sloppy Joe’s and potato salad. These recipes are simple, easy to prepare and won’t leave you stuck in the kitchen cooking for the duration of your party.
Sloppy Joe’s and potato salad aren’t just for your kids lunches — they are the perfect crowd pleaser if you are serving lunch or dinner for a large group of people. These hearty dishes are perfect for entertaining year-round and are quite simple to make, especially if you are cooking for a crowd. These recipes are designed to serve 50 people, but if you aren’t expecting that large of a crowd the ingredients can be cut in half to serve 20 to 25.
Chunky potato salad
- 25 large russet potatoes
- 1 dozen eggs (hard boiled and chopped)
- 3 cups Miracle Whip salad dressing
- 1 cup yellow mustard (regular yellow mustard)
- 2 large white onions (chopped)
- 3 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- paprika (optional)
- Place potatoes in a very large pot and cover with water. (If you don’t have a large enough pot, split into two batches.)
- Boil until potatoes are tender when stuck with a fork.
- Be careful not to overcook. The potatoes shouldn’t be mushy.
- Remove potatoes from water and let cool until potatoes can be handled.
- Peel carefully and discard skin.
- Chop potatoes in 1/2″ chunks.
- Place the chopped potatoes, hard-boiled eggs and onions in a large plastic bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix together salad dressing, mustard and seasonings. Stir well.
- Pour mixture over potatoes and mix with your hands to thoroughly coat.
- Seal in air-tight bowl and refrigerate overnight.
- Top with paprika, if desired.
- 10 pounds lean ground beef
- 4 large white onions (chopped)
- 3 large green bell peppers (chopped)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
- 1/2 cup spicy brown mustard
- 2 cups ketchup
- 1 can (16 ounce) tomato sauce
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 50 hamburger buns
- Split the beef, onions and peppers in thirds.
- In a large dutch oven, place a portion of the beef, onions and peppers.
- Cook until meat is browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a large roaster.
- Repeat with remaining batches of beef.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the roaster and stir well.
- Cover and simmer for four hours. Add more water if necessary.
- Serve on hamburger buns.
If you do not have a large roaster you can borrow crock-pots from a few friends or neighbours. If you do this you will have to split all the ingredients into thirds, but three crock-pots should be enough to cook all the meat.
A simple dessert for a crowd
A super simple dessert that requires little work from you are cookies. The best part about this dessert is that you don’t need to slave in the kitchen all day either. So head to the bakery or your neighborhood grocery store and choose a variety of cookies. You can usually buy them by the dozen or 100. Account for two cookies per guest. If possible, purchase a small amount of sugar-free cookies as well for diabetic or dieting visitors.
Drinks for a crowd
Canned sodas and beers are the best option when serving a crowd of people. You can usually pick up a variety of soda’s — whatever is on special at the grocery store. Make sure to have several large trash cans or containers marked for recycling where guests can pitch their aluminum cans.
Don’t forget plenty of paper plates, napkins, plastic utensils and trash bags on your grocery list.
Cleaning up after a crowd
Cleaning up should be a snap if you have large trash cans visibly located in several areas throughout your home and yard. This way people can throw out their own trash and all you have to do is empty the trash at the end of the night. If you see any trash remaining you can always enlist your children (or visiting children) to help you gather it up as the party begins to wind down.