Feed a Crowd With These 11 Festive Recipe Ideas

Check out these festive dish ideas to serve to a houseful of family and friends

Feed a Crowd With These 11 Festive Recipe Ideas

Serving and feeding a crowd of people is no easy feat.

First of all, you want to ensure that everyone eats well and is satisfied with your culinary creations (without breaking the bank); but it is also important to serve your food in a way that’s tailored to your group and atmosphere.

For instance, if you've got a large group for a dinner party, big, one-pot dishes like brisket or hearty soups or stews are great options, but these dishes can also be presented to feed grazers buffet-style at a holiday cocktail party.

All the recipes included in this recipe roundup are perfect examples of how to feed a cheery holiday crowd; recipes for delicious finger foods, cocktails, and main dishes are collected here to give you cooking and entertaining inspiration.  

From cocktail parties to more intimate dinner parties, these 11 dish ideas are great ways to feed the masses in the best, most delicious way possible. 

Maple Bacon-Wrapped Dates With Manchego Cheese

Bacon-wrapped dates are the ultimate sweet and savory combination; to that effect, I like to call them “meat candy.” Stuffed with melty manchego cheese, these little appetizers are seriously irresistible. Find the recipe here.

Endive With Sweet Cheese

This is an elegant way to serve a lighter appetizer; the individual leaves of endives are the perfect vehicles to drive a cheese ball spread or nutty compote into your mouth. For this recipe, click here.

Smoked Salmon Appetizer

This is an easy-to-assemble appetizer that is wonderful when served both at evening cocktail parties or midday feasts. Make the dressing in advance to save time and to make the assembly easier. Click here for the recipe.

Sun-Dried Tomato and Manchego Flatbread

Flatbreads make great appetizers for grazing-style buffets or for a yummy bite for dinner party guests while dinner finishes cooking. These flatbreads are made with pre-made naan that is then topped generously with sun-dried tomatoes and manchego cheese. Find other variations for flatbread recipes here, and for the Sun-Dried Tomato and Manchego Flatbread recipe, click here.

French Toast With Orange Yogurt

Whether you are hosting or cramming into a spare room yourself, this is a great dish to pull out to feed everyone around you. The seasonal citrus adds an elegant touch and is the perfect complement to the rich cooking butter. You could also make this dish slow-cooker style using this recipe for Slow-Cooked Blueberry French Toast as a guide. Click here for the French Toast With Orange Yogurt recipe.

Red Wine and Honey Brisket

This version slow-cooks the meat in a sweet and tangy mixture of honey and red wine until it falls apart at the touch. Serve this brisket sliced with various accompaniments like soft potato rolls, sliced cheeses, and mustard so your guests can build their own fancy finger sandwiches. Click here for this recipe for Red Wine and Honey Brisket.


Chorizo and Pork Loin Paella


Paella is a wonderful set-it-and-forget-it dish, giving you plenty of time to chat with guests and whip up a few cocktails. Plus you want to be patient and leave this dish alone so the dish can earn that a super crispy socarrat, or those extra crunchy rice edges. (Isn’t so cool that those crispy bits are so good that they have their own cooking term?) Click here for a Chorizo and Pork Loin Paella recipe.

Swedish Meatballs With Cream Sauce (Köttbullar med Gräddsås)

If you are making large quantities of these Swedish meatballs for a party, make the meatballs in advance and then reheat them in the oven. Your guest will enjoy them both as an entrée or as a canapé they can pierce with a toothpick. Check out the recipe here.

Perfect Butternut Squash Soup

Tis the season for warm and comforting soup. This soup would be an excellent main course for a holiday party. For a cocktail party, craft a soup station complete with various breads and toppings like crème fraîche, pumpkin seed oil, fried sage, and toasted pumpkin seeds. Check out the recipe here.

Classic Cipriani Peach Bellini

This sweet, peach and prosecco cocktail is simple to make and tastes wonderfully chic. Construct a Bellini bar for your guests; include fruit purées, prosecco on ice, and fresh fruit for garnishes. Click here for this recipe for a Classic Cipriani Peach Bellini.

Merry Mezcal Punch

When serving a crowd in your home, having a full bar is often unnecessary. Instead, be specific with your choices: Stick to just wine or beer, a select variety of hard alcohol and mixers, or make your own house cocktail punch like this Merry Mezcal Punch made festive with blood oranges. Find the recipe here.