Hot Buffet Food Ideas

Updated November 21, 2016

If you are planning on entertaining friends or family members and want to offer them a buffet of hot foods, there are a few delicious easy-to-make recipe options you can prepare. From cooked meatballs to steamed vegetables, these foods can be prepared earlier on in your day and kept warm all day in a slow cooker, from which guests can serve themselves once they arrive.

Mashed Potatoes and Noodles

This inexpensive but satisfying meal can be made in large quantities and isn't very difficult to prepare. Whether you decide to make a large bowl of instant mashed potatoes or create them with a sack of fresh spuds, they make a great combination when topped with warm egg noodles. For added taste, cook the noodles with shredded chicken, vegetables and let them simmer in chicken stock.

Steamed Mixed Vegetables

Add a healthy blend of steamed mixed vegetables to your buffet feast. Not only are steamed vegetables easy to prepare, but they are also lightly cooked, which means many of their nutrients are preserved. Steam a mixture of carrot slices, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, peas or your own desired combination. You can choose to either steam prepackaged frozen mixed vegetables for an easier preparation, or chop up your own fresh whole vegetables for a heartier blend.

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joe sandwiches are quick to prepare and will save you a lot of hassle. These sandwiches are made with minced meat seasoned with brown sugar, ketchup, mustard, bits of green pepper, onion, lemon juice and vinegar to taste. Once you have prepared a desired portion for your buffet, you can leave the cooked meat in large crock pot with the setting on low to keep the meat warm. If you are having guests, keep a few extra packages of hamburger buns handy.


Meatballs can be made in large portions and tend to be a popular buffet food item. Some recipes only take about 10 to 15 minutes to prepare and cook up to four hours in a slow cooker. For a sweeter version of meatballs, some recipes require grape juice, apple jelly and ketchup. Leave the meatballs in the slow cooker when guests arrive. From there they can serve themselves.

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