Near the end of July, we traveled to Bull Shoals Lake near Mountain Home, Arkansas for our annual extended family vacation at the lake with my side of the family. We’ve done this every year for 20 years!
We all stay in small individual cabins, but then we eat our meals all together and spend a lot of time together in the larger house that my parents stay in.
In addition to spending lots of time skiing, boating, swimming, and hanging out, we ate a lot of yummy meals. In order to feed 31 people without it being too much work, we stuck with cheap meals for large groups and we also all pitched in and helped with the food.
How We Planned and Divvied Things Up
My sister planned the menu with easy meals that would feed a crowd and sent out a sign-up form using Perfect Potluck (it’s free and so easy to use!). Each family signed up for the main dishes and side dishes they wanted to be in charge of.
Whatever meals or parts of meals you signed up for, you were in charge of bringing the ingredients for and cooking/baking.
Here were the meals we had…
What We Made for Breakfast
- Cinnamon Sugar Bagels, Bacon, Scrambled Eggs, Orange Juice
- Baked Oatmeal, Sausage, Orange Juice
- French Toast, Bacon, Scrambled Eggs, Orange Juice
- Pancakes, Sausage, Eggs, Orange Juice
What We Made for Lunch
For lunch, we had a huge Build-Your-Own Salad Bar (most all of my family loves salads!). We also had bread and meat/cheese and peanut butter/jelly/honey for sandwiches for the kids and any adults who didn’t just want a salad. In addition, we set out any leftovers from breakfast or dinner.
Having a Build-Your-Own Salad Bar is such an easy meal idea for 25+ people — and frugal, too! All the ingredients can be stretched a really long way, since you’re only using a little bit of each ingredient on your salad.
Build-Your-Own Salad Bar Ingredient Ideas: A variety of Greens and Lettuce, Canned Tuna/Salmon, Boiled Eggs, Raisins, Carrots, Celery, Seeds/Nuts, Feta Cheese, Avocados, Bell Peppers, Cucumbers, Chickpeas, Cherry Tomatoes, Dressings
What We Made for Dinner
If you’re looking for some really easy recipes for large groups, here’s what we made for the dinners:
- Spaghetti, Green Beans, Garlic Bread, Tossed Salad, Fruit
- Build-Your-Own Haystacks, Homemade Guacamole, Rice
- Grilled Chicken, Steamed Broccoli, French Fries, Tossed Salad, Biscuits, Watermelon
- Hamburgers/Hot Dogs, Tater Tots, Corn on the Cob, Steamed Veggies
- Papa John’s Pizza, Breadsticks + leftover salad and fruit
What other ideas of easy meals for 20+ people or easy recipes for large groups do you have? I’d love to hear!