Hosting a large group without a hassle

Hosting a large groupe without a hassle

Have a lot of family and friends? A social or celebratory occasion – or both – are coming up and your house was chosen as the meeting place? Is the idea of welcoming everyone stressing you out? Don’t worry – we’ve got tips and tricks to make your evening a memorable one. Whether you’re looking for tips to lighten the workload, healthy and easy recipe ideas or a buffet that’s out of the ordinary, we’ve got what you need.

Dare to be simple

Having a dozen people over is a lot of work. You have to cook, clean and get ready. There’s not enough time to get everything done. So the idea of having people over often stops when you think about all the work. You do have two options though: a group meal and preparation.

Finger food and tapas – great for a successful group meal


Need inspiration for your next family meal, but don’t have the time to make a million things? Why don’t you suggest that everyone bring their specialty? That will free up your schedule while letting everyone discover new recipes!

Choose a classic dish like Sweet Pea and Mint Devilled Eggs or a side of raw veggies with Ginger-Miso Edamame Spread. Try an Asian-inspired tapa that uses these dumplings (shrimp, beef or vegetables). You can also adjust the recipes you love by making individual servings like BBQ Chicken Jalapeno Popper Cupcakes that are all the rage. When it comes to recipes, the sky – and your imagination – is the limit!

Save time preparing – from the freezer to the slow cooker

One of the best ways to save time is when preparing meals is to use the slow cooker. Since it’s easy to put pre-cut food in the crockpot, this electrical appliance allows us to do other things, like housework, for example. If slow cooking can give you a break, imagine the time you’ll save by preparing all your meals ahead of time! This is what the Dump Dinner technique suggests. The principle is simple: just prepare your recipes, then freeze them. When the time comes to serve them, all you have to do is defrost one or two bags you have in the fridge the night before, then dump the thawed contents into the slow cooker. Yup, it’s possible to prepare these recipes in advance!

But how can you be healthy?

Popular belief is that healthy dishes are hard or complicated to make in big batches. After all, you have to cut all those veggies! Obviously, this is an urban myth. If you’re looking for recipes for 10 people or more, here are suggestions that’ll make your mouth water.

Meals for 10 or more people

Classics like lasagna, turkey, roasts and that kind of thing are often served for large groups, so if you really want to make an impression, you’ll just need a little imagination for your menu. Here are a few examples of dishes that will make your evening special while providing enough for everybody.

Spaghetti squash

Spaghetti squash

Serving spaghetti is a classic when you’re hosting. Everyone loves it, pasta is filling and people aren’t often hungry for dessert – which is too bad when you’re the host and you’ve put so much effort into your dinner. That’s why spaghetti squash is an interesting alternative.
Pasta actually has about four times the calories than its veggie equivalent. As well, it’s not recommended to serve garlic bread as a side. That way you avoid consuming too many calories and carbohydrates. But this variation lets you partake without guilt! You can offer guests a complete meal: veggies, protein (from the sauce) and grain!

If you’re looking for a recipe, feel free to choose one of ours!

Arctic Gardens Spaghetti Sauce (8 to 10 servings)

Big Batch Spaghetti Sauce (30 to 40 servings)

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Spaghetti Sauce (8 to 10 servings)

Italian Meat Sauce (8 to 10 servings)



Paella is without a doubt the best known Spanish dish. It’s first and foremost a dish that’s meant to be shared in a group, whether you start off enjoying it with a spoon with everyone eating straight from the pan. There’s nothing friendlier than that!

The ingredients are disarmingly simple: rice, tomatoes, fish (or chicken) stock and saffron. Saffron’s pronounced taste only requires a pinch to enhance this recipe. There are all kinds of variations. The best known is paella Valenciana that has oven-roasted chicken, chorizo, langoustine or squid, mussels and peppers. The other popular version is paella de mariscos that’s enhanced with seafood and lobster.


Homemade pizza

We’re not talking about restaurant or frozen pizza here. We’re talking about homemade pizza. Whether you make your own pasta or buy it, you control what you put on it and can make it healthier than what you find at the grocery store or pizza joints. Don’t be shy to put a lot of veggies, to try different sauces and cheese, even add fruit and nuts. You can even use pita or tortillas so guests can make their own!

Healthy dessert for all tastes

Dessert, it’s the last thing you eat and the last thing people remember – good reasons to end on a positive note. But after enjoying a nice meal, guests are full and hesitate to take dessert. So why not offer a dessert that has veggies, but is still delicious! Here are a few easy recipe ideas that will end your evening in a delicious way.

Banana vegetable bread

Banana vegetable bread

This is an excellent dessert for those who don’t have a sweet tooth. It’s an easy alternative solution for a nutritious breakfast if you have overnight guests. It’s also a flexible dish that only takes 20 minutes to make and makes enough for 12 people!

Sweet pea brownies

Sweet pea brownies

We’ve all heard about avocado brownies, so why not impress your guests even more with this delicious option that uses sweet peas? Just sweet enough, kids and grownups alike will love them. Twelve servings with just 15 minutes of preparation – what more could you ask for?

Upside-down apple corn cake

Upside-down apple corn cake

This recipes gives you the choice: make the night before and serve cold the next day or make while your guests are there and serve hot which will also make your kitchen smell great. This little number will feed 8 to 10 and requires only 15 minutes to prepare.

Corn ice cream

Corn ice cream

Does your family always serve ice cream for dessert? So why not make a homemade version? It won’t take more than 15 minutes and can be made in advance. Then you’ll sleep better at night.

Surprise your guests!

Thinking buffet? Try something different with a fantasy bar. It’ll make your evening unforgettable! That’s why we propose four ideas, one just as delicious as the next: hamburger and hot dog, chili, poutine and breakfast.

Hamburgers and hot dogs

Want to take advantage of a good barbecue and even get to socialize at this kind of get together? A hamburger and hot dog bar is just the solution for you! To mix things up a bit, prepare different types of meatballs (meat and veggie) and offer an assortment of hot dogs. Don’t hesitate to grill a few veggies to add to your other toppings. This will add a touch of healthiness to your meal!


Even though chili is a classic dish, its uses are limited. Surprise your guests with these suggestions: on a hot dog, on pasta, nachos, fries (why not turn it into a poutine?) or simply as chili. There a lot of different toppings too, like sour cream, cilantro, cheese, even crushed chips. To add a little craziness to your meal, why not have your guests eat their chili out of a bread or tortilla bowl!

For a veggie version, try our slow cooker chipotle vegetable chili. If you’d prefer a chili with meat, we have our chili con carne that will make your day.


Don’t be fooled. A poutine bar can will give guests a lot to choose from. In fact, the items in this meal can be changed. Take the fries, for example. Who says you have to use potatoes? Our article, Vegetize your weekday menu! has several ideas on how to transform them with veggies. For the sauce, there are many options available to you: classic, barbecue, pepper, beer, etc. As for the cheese, opt for cheese curds (seasoned or not), mozzarella or even grilled halloumi. Nothing’s stopping you from offering people more toppings.


Having people over for brunch? Don’t worry, we’ve got a solution for you: a waffle and pancake bar! You can prepare sauces like caramel, chocolate, strawberry, maple syrup, as well as your condiments like fruits and nuts, in advance. You can also make the batter ahead of time. When the time comes, you’ll just have to make the pancakes and waffles and voilà, you’re done! You can also whip up some green smoothies that will delight your guests.


As you can see, hosting doesn’t have to be synonymous with stress. And thanks to our tips, you don’t have to worry when family and friends come over. And what are your tips to take it easy before having people over?

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *