Whether you have an adventurous palate or prefer more traditional American food, here is a collection of some of our favorite comfort food recipes to inspire your dinner creations. Of course, Americans love our pasta and cheese for ultimate soul satisfaction. Do not despair, though, if you are on a low-carb diet or a diabetic diet. There are many great pasta substitutes out there such as zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash noodles, and cauliflower rice. To satisfy your sweet tooth, we’ve also included some healthy comfort dessert recipes in this list. We chose these comfort food recipes also because they scale up well if you are serving a large family or group of guests for an event. Check out our team’s tips below for how to save time and money when preparing food for a lot of people.
Cooking for Large Groups
- Start by cooking in a clean environment
- Wipe down and sanitize cooking surfaces first
- Wear gloves when handling raw meat, poultry, and seafood
- Clean as you go!
- Plan ahead and make lists to stay organized.
- Prepare a simple yet flavorful dish that appeals to the mainstream
- Season well without too much salt or spiciness
- Keep dietary restrictions in mind such as low-sodium, low-sugar, gluten-free, dairy-free
- Focus on nutrition and seasonality
- Prepare a colorful meal. “Eating the rainbow” ensures a meal rich in antioxidants.
- Remember that carbs, while cheap and filling, are more quickly digested than protein and fiber. A meal high in protein and fiber takes longer to digest, contributes to more satiety, and helps to stabilize blood sugars.
- Heart-healthy cooking oils include olive, coconut, avocado, and grapeseed
- Take shortcuts where it saves time, such as using jarred marinara sauce instead of making your own or using pre-chopped or frozen vegetables.
- Use your slow cooker(s), Instant Pot, and rice cooker.
- Double-check your recipe ratios and make sure you have enough of each ingredient before you start cooking. Mise en place is key!
- Buy ingredients and supplies in bulk at wholesale clubs and foodservice stores (e.g. disposable lidded foil pans, #10 cans of sauces, beans, and vegetables, spices and dried herbs, fresh or frozen meats and vegetables)
- Most importantly, have fun!
Catering Tools of the Trade for the Home Cook
If you cook for large groups frequently, we recommend purchasing Catering Crates (bulk sets of 100 crates) for temperature-safe transport of food. They also present food nicely!
Author’s Note: we are not paid for any product recommendations in this blog post