Cooking

How to Feed a Crowd

9 projects to please a houseful of guests

Are you the over-inviter? The one who keeps adding friends to the guest list right up until the day of the dinner party? The one who suddenly has no idea how to feed everyone when they turn up en masse?

Deep breaths. We've got you covered.

These are more than recipes. They're culinary projects and they scale for a hungry crowd.

  • Whole Fish

    Whole Fish

    A whole grilled fish is an impressive thing. And, rubbed with Sichuan peppercorns and tangerine zest, it's a delicious and easy-to-pull-off feast.

     

     

  • Walnut Pesto Pasta Salad

    Walnut Pesto Pasta Salad

    Forget the mayo-slathered, overcooked pasta salads of yore. Al dente pasta, snap peas, roasted tomatoes, and pesto join together in a salad to make pasta proud.

  • Brisket Tacos

    A seven-and-a-half hour undertaking may not sound like a relaxing way to feed a crowd, but hear us out. Get all the heavy lifting done in the morning, and by the time you're ready to eat, all you have to do is cut the meat and put out the tortillas and pico de gallo. You're welcome.

  • Slow-Cooked Lamb Shoulder

    Slow-Cooked Lamb Shoulder

    Follow the same logic as the brisket here: Marinate overnight, start the meat four-and-a-half hours before you're ready to eat. You'll have to check in on it along the way, but the herbaceous meat is worth the effort.

  • Shrimp Boil

    Shrimp Boil

    Fill a pot high with the necessities (head-on shrimp, potatoes, corn, aromatics, water) and let it simmer awhile—that's it. Now just cover your table in newspaper, crack open some beers and dig in.

  • Batchable Salad

    Batchable Salad

    A big summer salad is the ultimate make-ahead dish. Unlike leafy salads—which can end up a soggy mess if you dress them too early—this farro, cucumber, and ricotta salata concoction won't wilt.

  • Burgers for Everyone

    Burgers for Everyone

    Improve on this classic party pleaser with our lesson in crafting the perfect burger. The steps (cold patty, hot pan) and toppings (vinegar-soaked onions, lettuce, tomato) are simple. Our bun pick: Martin's potato rolls every time.

  • Porchetta

    Porchetta

    Michael White blends two unlikely elements—traditional Italian porchetta and Asian spices—and, in true American fashion, throws it on the grill. The result is a juicy, flavorful hunk of pork with crackly skin everyone will be fighting over. Got leftovers? Make porchetta sandwiches.

  • Italian Hero

    Italian Hero

    Here's to the old-school hero. Layer a sesame seed-studded loaf of bread high with mortadella, soppressata, and gouda, then top it with parsely, peppers, and a quick anchovy-basil-lemon spread.

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