19 easy meal ideas for large groups –

It can be difficult to plan a family dinner, but when you have a large group, meal planning takes on a whole new meaning. Suddenly you have to go from thinking about what your family likes to finding easy meals for a large group. This can be true even if you have a large extended family – in which case you’ll need easy meals for large family gatherings.

And believe it or not, the type of meal you choose can mean the difference between an easy meal and a difficult meal. For example, you can create a taco bar and ensure everyone’s meal is to their liking while cutting down on cleanup. And the preparation time? Make it easy for yourself by preparing all the vegetables in a food processor like the Ninja™ Professional XL Food Processor.

taco bars

Overhead view of a wooden cutting board with hidden vegetable beef tacos

A taco bar is one of the best inexpensive meals for large groups. You can customize your bar according to your budget and individual tastes. Imagine crispy tacos presented on a colorful plate and surrounded by bowls of chopped onions, peppers, garlic and shredded cheese. You can add beef, chicken, or fish to make the tacos high in protein. Don’t forget to add the accompanying bowls of sour cream and salsa to complete the meal.


Close up view of a bowl of easy turkey pesto meatballs with penne

Pasta makes group meals easier, and adding meatballs to the mix will ensure that all of your guests leave full and happy. The pasta and sauce are cheap, so the cost of making the meatballs probably won’t blow your budget. All you have to do is adapt the meatball recipe to the number of people you need to feed.

To serve pasta to a large group, arrange the pasta and meatballs in a large serving bowl and offer a plate to each of your guests. Allow them to use tongs or a serving spoon to pile the goodness onto their plates. Add bread to the meal so your guests have something to soak up all the goodness of the sauce.

Butter chicken

Overhead view of a black bowl of Indian butter chicken over rice

If your guests enjoy an international meal, cook a butter chicken. The delicious combination of chicken and curry will satisfy even your hardest-to-please guests. And don’t forget to add a cool drink like coconut water or mango lassi to refresh their senses after eating the spicy curry.


Looking for meals for large groups that will stay hot and not require a lot of dishes? This lasagna is the perfect solution. All those noodles, tomato sauce, and cheesy delights will fill your guests with less. And speaking of your guests, they’ll love this fun and unique twist on a traditional lasagna!


Overhead view of a bowl filled with southwestern chili

Whether you’re making a meaty chili or going the vegetarian route and making a bean chili, you can cook large batches effortlessly, making it the perfect dish for large groups. To add a little something to make the meal more memorable, bake some cornbread and serve it with room temperature butter so it spreads smoothly on top.

Homemade pizzas

Side view of a Margherita pizza

If you are looking for meals for large groups, the pizza stands out as one of the best. To start, you can make the dough in several times and then separate it to make several pizzas. You could even build your own pizza station for everyone to help out.

You can also mix and match toppings so everyone in your large party gets a pizza they love. You can make pepperoni pizza, ham and pineapple, cheese, veggies, or whatever your audience will love.

Pasta in the oven

Top view of a white plate filled with Pizza Pepperoni Pasta Bake

Another great dish for large crowds is baked pasta. Everyone loves baked mac and cheese, but you can mix things up and bake spaghetti, fettuccine, or many other types of pasta. For best success, think pasta, tomato sauce and cheese. Who doesn’t love this combination?


Overhead view of a brown serving dish with several grilled shrimp skewers

If you’re hosting an outdoor event while serving a large crowd, kebabs could make a great meal. And it’s easy to assemble. Put meat or seafood, onions, peppers and pineapple on a skewer and cook them in no time. You can even involve other people to help assemble the skewers.

Grilled chicken

Overhead view of a whole roast chicken

If you want a meal consisting of an easy meat dish, roast chicken is a great choice. You can roast the chicken on its own or you can add vegetables to the pan and roast them together. Serve this hearty meal with rice, pasta, couscous or quinoa. When cooking with chicken, be sure to follow all safety standards.


Overhead view of a white plate of Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas

What do you get when you combine tortillas, cheese, meat and a delicious sauce? Enchiladas! This hearty Mexican cuisine is a great way to serve a large crowd and ensure everyone is satisfied. If you want to add a little fun to your meal, add margaritas.


Side view of a plate full of pork and shrimp dumplings

If you want a lighter meal to serve your large group, why not incorporate dumplings? You can make the dumplings and put them in a soup – chicken soup and dumplings, anyone? Or go for an Asian menu and sauté them with vegetables, lemongrass, peppers and onions.


Side view of two hawaiian pulled pork

Sliders are a meal option when you need to serve a large crowd. You can use rolls and stuff them with pulled pork, chicken, or even portabella mushrooms if you want to skip the meat. Make them unique by mixing ricotta cheese and spices and spreading a large portion on the bread. You will have people begging for seconds!

Stuffed peppers

Side view of a serving platter with stuffed peppers

A great way to impress a large crowd is to serve stuffed peppers. You can stuff the peppers with rice and vegetables or a combination of meat, vegetables and rice. To impress your crowd, add a special sauce to the stuffing to enhance the taste and make it unique.


Overhead view of a large plate with Tri Tip smoked nachos

Everyone loves nachos, which is why it’s a great choice when you need to serve a large crowd. Start with a large dish and fill it with fries. Add cheese, jalapenos, tomatoes, onion and whatever else you want. Nachos are one of those dishes that you can customize and make yourself.

Chicken pot pie

Side view of a slice of chicken pot pie

If you don’t mind a little work, making a chicken pot pie for your large group will make a great impression. Instead of making individual pies, this pot pie is made in one pot for convenience. Your guests will love this hearty, hearty meal. As they dig, they’ll appreciate all the effort you’ve put into making sure they’re well fed.

dirty rice

Side view of a plate of cajun fish and dirty rice with andouille sausage

If you want to cook a Cajun-style meal, dirty rice is a great option. You can add Cajun-style fish or chunks of beef or pork and whatever spices you want to customize. This dish can also be served with any type of meat or even seafood.

Jumped up

Top view of a black bowl of beef noodle stir fry

If you’re willing to work a little to prepare your meal, a stir fry is a great option when you have to serve a large crowd. For example, this stir-fried beef noodles cooks in about 30 minutes in the Ninja Foodi NeverStick Premium Hard Anodizes 11 inch wok.


Close up view of a classic cheeseburger on a plate

Another great meal for serving a large crowd is the cheeseburger. You can set up a grill station outside and cook the burgers to order. Ask your guests to bring you their brioches and meat patties, cook them while you wait and direct them to a table where they can pile on the toppings of their choice.

Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches

Overhead shot of a white bowl with tomato soup and croutons on top

A meal that almost everyone loves is tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches. The combination of tomatoes and hot cheese pleases every palate. Make sure you cook enough sandwiches for a few seconds, because your guests will probably ask for them.

Use your imagination to please the crowd

When cooking for a large group, it’s important to serve them foods that fill them up and please their senses. And when you use your imagination to put your own spin on a recipe, you can’t go wrong.

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