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Home Cooking

Need help with menu ideas for a large party

Captain_Ironphoenix | Jan 3, 202012:30 PM     44

Hello all, I've lurked around here for some time, but this is my first post.

I'm currently trying to narrow down menu ideas for a party I am hosting this September. Details are still being nailed down, but the party will be starting around 6 or 7 in the evening, and there will be about 20-40 guests (no children, and no vegetarians that I've been made aware of). Food will be served buffet style.

I do have a few parameters for the menu. The food should be:

-Budget conscious. I don't need anything overtly fancy, but I'm not wanting to serve hamburgers and hotdogs.
-Relatively simple to prepare or assemble. I have plenty of help, but not all of my help are experienced cooks. I'm capable of doing any "complicated" parts, but I'm one person.
-Able to be made in advance or frozen. I plan on cooking my main protein the day of. Everything else (sides) I want to be ready-to-eat or heat-and-serve. Or, I am not against buying pre-made food, as long as it is delicious.
-Dishes should hold well and not need major plating/assembly before serving.

So without further adieu, these are my current ideas:

As appetizers: a variety of cheeses, fresh and dried fruits, salami/smoked sausage, olives, pickles and crusty bread served with butter/spreads.

As the main protein I am thinking of marinated roast pork. I would like to offer a second protein choice. I am considering purchasing fried chicken, but I am concerned about how well it would hold up in a chafing dish.

Now for sides:
-Baked beans
-A green vegetable. I am trying to decide between collard greens, cooked spinach, green beans (from frozen, not canned) or cabbage with apples.
-A second green vegetable.
-Roasted red potatoes OR sweet potatoes.

Should I add a salad? I feel like this is a very heavy menu, but I expect some hearty eaters and I have a weakness for trying to provide too many choices. I welcome any thoughts or comments! I feel like I've provided either far too much in this post, or not enough.

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