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Knowing how to feed a crowd is one of those little life skills that every good host or hostess should have up their sleeve.
Whether you’re having family members over for Thanksgiving dinner, hosting friends for a Super Bowl party or inviting your neighbors over for a summer barbeque, there are occasions for food-filled get-togethers all year round.
Learning how to cook for a large group without driving yourself crazy, therefore, is a skill that will come in handy over and over again, and is one that can save you boatloads of time and stress.
Simple Party Food Ideas
The key to throwing a stress-free get together is choosing basic and party-friendly foods that are fast and easy to throw together.
Saving time is crucial to saving you stress when it comes to entertaining, and the following recipes all use shortcuts and tricks that will save you time in the kitchen and make your life easier:
Looking to serve steak or chicken at your next get-together?
Cooking each guest an individual fillet or breast is a huge time-waster, not to mention that cooking that much meat will get expensive fast!
Instead, chop up meat and vegetables and stick them on skewers; kebabs are great on the grill, or try sticking a cooked meatball, bowtie pasta and basil on a skewer for an Italian twist.
Bruschetta is great for serving to a crowd because you can pack a big punch of flavor into a small bite, with hardly any effort on your part.
Simply slice a baguette into bite size rounds and toast, or buy your slices pre-toasted.
Then, top the bread rounds with whatever you’ve got on hand.
The most popular form of bruschetta consists of diced tomatoes but feel free to use cured meats, spreads or tapenades for an easy appetizer you can make in minutes.
If you’re looking to serve a crowd during the colder months, chili is your way to go.
Not only can you whip up a huge batch of chili in no time at all, but it’s the perfect dish to sit in the slow-cooker while you have people over.
Using a slow-cooker during parties helps keep the food warm for hours and also vastly reduces the amount of actual cooking you’ll have to do.
There are dozens of easy slow-cooker recipes out there, so you’ll have plenty of options for your next party.
Tarts or Flatbreads
Keeping puff pastry or pizza dough in your freezer is one of the best ways to prepare for a get-together, since tarts, pizzas and flatbreads are perfect for serving to a large group of people.
You can make a variety of bases — from olive oil and garlic to pesto — then sprinkle with cheese and garnish with your favorite veggies.
You can even make sweet fruit tarts for a tasty dessert option.
Tarts and flatbreads are simple to serve and eat, too; just slice them up into bite size pieces and serve!
So the next time you’re preparing to feed a big group, don’t panic. Just keep it simple and try one (or all!) of these dishes to keep yourself unstressed and your guests’ stomachs satisfied.
Meredith K. loves cooking and entertaining, and writes on behalf of Hunt’s®. For other easy, timesaving appetizer recipes perfect for your next party, visit www.hunts.com.
I love my kitchen… and I like to cook. But my #1 requirement is that recipes have fewer than 7 ingredients (or arrive on my doorstep via a food delivery service). My absolute favorite thing about being in the kitchen is trying out new gadgets, cookware, and storage containers! I'm SUPER organized in the kitchen (and everywhere else) and I have every gadget I could possibly need neatly and compactly tucked away until I need it. I share only the simplest recipes (which is great for people who don't like to cook), along with time-saving food tips and cooking tricks (that will save you time and money). When I'm not cooking, cleaning, or organizing my kitchen… you can find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).