Things have been a bit serious here at Rachael Gathers for a few weeks now. I thought for a change of pace, I would share some of my favorite recipes when cooking for a crowd.
Almost two years ago, we started hosting a small group in our home. One of the first weeks, I offered to serve dinner. There was something really sacred about inviting people to my home and serving them a meal. I never looked back, and have been cooking for anywhere from 8-25 people nearly every week for two years.
When I first began, I had NO IDEA what I was doing. I could barely pull off meals for my own small family, much less a group of 15-20. Thankfully, my crock pot and Pinterest came to the rescue! I’m honestly not sure I could have pulled off so many meals without my two crock pots. I have learned so much about not only cooking for large groups, but also about hospitality. God has opened my heart as I have opened my home. There’s simply no other way to put it.
So without further delay, I present my favorite recipes for a crowd.
1. Shredded chicken tacos
This is my go-to meal when I’m in a hurry or out of inspiration. I’m a little embarrassed to admit just how easy and foolproof this recipe is (and I must credit my friend Tasha for sharing it with me!). Ready?
6-8 chicken breasts
1-2 jars of salsa (I prefer Herdez)
Yes, that’s it. This makes the juiciest, most flavorful meat for tacos. I dump the chicken and salsa in the crock pot and cook it on low for 8 hours or so. Before I serve, I simply shred it with a fork. You can drain the liquid if you prefer, but I like how juicy it is. I typically plan on one chicken breast per two people.
2. I LOVE this Crock Pot Minestrone soup from Skinny Taste. I typically double the recipe. I always have extra spinach, cooked Italian sausage, Parmesan cheese and cooked pasta for people to add in on their own. It is delicious and healthy.
3. This Italian Chicken from Crock-a-doodle-do is tasty and I like that it incorporates vegetables. I like to cut the chicken breasts into large chunks before I serve it.
4. Slow Cooker Jambalaya from My Recipes has been a crowd favorite. I typically make one crock pot with shrimp and one without for people who don’t love seafood. It isn’t too spicy, which is great for kids, but forces me to have a large selection of hot sauces on hand. With this recipe, I also recommend letting the rice cook longer than 30 minutes. I typically let it cook closer to an hour.
5. Chicken Tortilla Soup from Miller Musings has been one of my most frequent dinners. It is one of those meals you that you can dump everything in the crock pot and not worry about it again until 5 minutes before dinner. I love that. This soup has a great flavor and is delicious with tortilla chips, cheese and sour cream on top. I always double or triple the recipe to feed the crowd and have leftovers for the next day!
6. Crock Pot Ravioli Casserole from Becoming Betty is delicious. It sort of reminds me of lasagna. Again, I always double or triple the recipe. This is typically served with a large salad and garlic bread.
7. From Southern Plate, this is the recipe for Cheesy Chicken and Rice. You have to love casseroles to love this recipe. Everyone at my house always gobbles this up. We actually had it Monday night! It is just a classic chicken and rice recipe. I have quadrupled this recipe before and had two giant crock pots full.
So there you have my favorite recipes to feed a crowd!
We also rely on go-to meals like hamburgers on the grill, chili in cool weather, spaghetti, sandwich night, and lasagna. I normally have a big salad to help fill people up, offer something healthy, and make the main dish last for everyone. I also use paper products so I can enjoy my company and not stress about clean-up.
You can find all of these recipes and many more crock recipes by following me on Pinterest.
Do you ever cook for a crowd? What are your go-to recipes? Are there any crock-pot recipes you can suggest for me? I’m sure our small group would be thrilled to have some new recipes added to the same old mix!
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