Feeding a Crowd with Ease – Recipes and Tips 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. 

How to feed a crowd

Recipes and Tips for Summer Celebrations

I have no recollection of Canada Day celebrations when I was growing up and I think it’s because our summers were like one extended family picnic. Week days were spent at the beach and weekends and holidays were for family day trips.

These trips always involved great picnics.  We were often with our cousins and there were mounds of food. We’d have sandwiches, hard boiled eggs and cookies for lunch but then our moms would cook great feasts around fire pits for supper. The menu didn’t vary much which was partly why it was doable for my mom with seven kids in tow.

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 of 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.

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, are a great way to feed a crowd:

teriyaki salmon kabobs

Kabobs 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. Here are 6 of our best kabob recipes for chicken, fish, pork and beef.

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 in molasses vinaigrette non-mayonaise

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
My mom was a master of finding big batch dessert recipes to feed a crowd. Sometimes it’s as simple as doubling a recipe. You can double this recipe for Blueberry Peach Cobbler and bake it in a 9”x13” baking dish or pan. In the mood for peaches? Here are 4 of my favourite recipes for peaches.

Enjoy Campfire treats even when there is no campfire:

chewy molasses crinkle cookies

These are the desserts I feed children at our gatherings. They’re 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

s'mores bars

One more thing…

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One thought on “Feeding a Crowd with Ease – Recipes and Tips for Summer Celebrations

  1. LPV says:

    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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