Easy Party Buffet Ideas

Jazz up mealtime with make-ahead spreads where guests do the 'cooking'

When it comes to feeding a crowd, build-your-own bars can be a lifesaver. If dining with the family, the fun factor is instantly upped when kids are given the chance to make their own salad by adding their pick of toppings onto the lettcue, or are allowed to customize their bowl of pasta. It's the same when hosting a crowd of friends to watch the game. Say goodbye to the old standby of building your own taco or bowl of chili — have you considered featuring burritos or mac 'n' cheese instead?

Click here for the Easy Party Buffets Ideas Slideshow.

Make-your-own spreads are great for parties. Picky eaters can stick with something plain, while more adventurous eaters can tweak the basic dish to their individual taste, making it as crazy or conservative as they wish. Plus, with all the cooking and prep done in advance, it's easy to set up, and people are free to serve themselves.

For easy entertaining, party buffets that don't require a lot of cooking once the ingredients are set out are great. For pizzas, all you need is a broiler to melt the cheese topping, if you decide to go that route, while a Crock-Pot (or pot on the stove) will ensure your soup or mac 'n' cheese will be just as hot for the last person as it was for the first. And the options don't stop at the main meal  it works at breakfast, or at the bar, too!

Click here for the Easy Party Buffets Ideas Slideshow.

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