Catering Ideas for Large Groups

Updated February 21, 2017

Catering large events can be extremely stressful. Keep it simple with a traditional meal that’s easily prepared and enjoyed by most everyone. According to, two very important steps are choosing a couple of trusted companions to help the day of the event and getting organised. If you select a simple menu, it’s much easier to estimate ingredients, and you don’t have to worry as much about overcooking.


Sandwich platters can easily feed a large group of people and allow for a variety of choices. A spread with ham, turkey and roast beef along with cheeses, such as cheddar, Swiss and Havarti, is a simple way to feed a crowd. Accompany the meat and cheese with rolls or buns on which to build the sandwiches and veggies, such as lettuce and tomato. Consider adding a soup as a complementary dish. Roast beef, Swiss cheese and hot au jus lets everyone build their own roast beef lunches. Soups and sandwiches feed a large group of people simply, because you only have to prepare and display ingredients for one main dish.

Barbecue Picnic

There’s hardly a better way to enjoy a summer day than with a barbecue. Barbecue is a classic way to feed a large group. This meal requires a lot of grilling, so it’s best for outside events. Buy minced meat in bulk to save money, and form hamburger patties that are easily grilled. Guests can build their own burgers. Hot dogs or sausages are traditionally offered alongside hamburgers and require even less preparation than hamburgers. Accompany these meaty entrées with potato salad, macaroni salad or a type of green salad.

Seafood Buffet

Seafood helps dress up a simple meal plan and still feed a large group. If your event is too formal for a barbecue but requires more of a dinner meal than sandwiches, a seafood buffet is the ticket. Keep it simple with a salmon entrée, crab cake appetizers and a green salad served buffet style, or go all out with a large, formal buffet that includes appetizers, salad, entrée, accompaniments and dessert. Such appetizers as fried oysters, shrimp and seafood spring rolls are only the beginning. Consider such entrées as grilled salmon, stuffed flounder and shrimp penne. Don’t forget to add stewed tomatoes, baked spiced apples and mashed potatoes as accompaniments.

Gourmet Pizza

Pizza doesn’t always have to be smothered in cheese, grease and pepperoni, nor does it always have to appeal to children. Offer your next crowd gourmet pizza flavours, such as pesto sun-dried tomato pizza or artichoke hearts and feta. Give guests their choice of traditional tomato sauce pizza, pesto pizza or Alfredo sauce pizza, with sausage, vegetables or chicken as toppings. Accompany the pizza meal with salad and dessert pie.

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About the Author

Michaelyn Erickson has been writing since 2005 and has been published regularly in a variety of northwest publications. She has written a science fiction novel and is now working on a children's book series. Michaelyn attends Evergreen State College where she is pursuing a degree in sustainable living.