picnic with friends

Feeding a Crowd with Ease – Recipes for Summer Celebrations

Feeding a crowd this weekend? Here are 5 helpful tips, and lots of recipes, to help make your gathering easier and more fun. These are the perfect food for a crowd to make ahead.

Beach and backyard meals and snacks don’t need to be complicated. After all, the whole point of these gatherings is to spend time with family and friends. Here are 5 tips for feeding a crowd with ease:

Choose make-ahead dressings & sauces:

Save time on the day of your gathering by making dressings and sauces a few days ahead of time. Make a double or triple batch so you have extras on hand for a few weeks.

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Molasses Vinaigrette

Try this Molasses vinaigrette for Strawberry Spinach Salad:

Tip: Fresh tender greens are a great summer treat but they can wilt if left for a while with dressing on them. If your salad needs to hold up for a while choose sturdier greens like fresh baby spinach.

Skewers, or kabobs/kebabs, are a great way to feed a crowd:

teriyaki salmon kabobs

Kabobs (or kebabs) cook quickly and are easy to cook on the barbecue or in the oven. This Teriyaki Sauce recipe works well with salmon, pork and chicken so you could use one sauce recipe for all three types of protein.

Tip: Make large and small kabobs so guests can choose according to appetites and food doesn’t get wasted.

Serve Worry-free salads and sides:

potato salad with fork

Potato salad is a summer classic but mayonnaise and heat is a worrisome combination. Make this French-style Potato Salad (no mayo) to avoid mayonnaise. Looking for more salads and sides? Here are 10 recipes for summer side dishes.

Tip: Make potato salad a day ahead to let the flavours meld and use fresh baby potatoes. They’re delicious and don’t need to be peeled.

Make Big-Batch Desserts:

Blueberry Peach Cobbler

You can double this recipe for Blueberry Peach Cobbler and bake it in a 9”x13” baking dish or pan. This delectable Strawberry Rhubarb Pudding Pie is another great option.

strawberry rhubarb pudding cake

Enjoy Campfire treats even when there is no campfire:

chewy molasses crinkle cookies

These desserts are easy and always a hit.

Tip: Put your kids in charge of making the oven s’mores for the other young guests. It will free you up to serve dessert to the adults.

Oven S’Mores with Chewy Molasses Crinkle Cookies

Indoor S’Mores – all the classic s’mores ingredients tossed together in a pan and chilled

smores in a pan


  • July 22, 2020

    Marcia White

    can the marinade for the steak kabobs be made ahead and refridgerated?

    • July 31, 2020

      Crosby Molasses

      Hi Marcia, Yes, the marinade can be made ahead. Enjoy!

  • July 24, 2017


    Great tips here. Love the s’mores and the big batch dessert ideas. My mom was an expert too at feeding a crowd since she had ten children. :)

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