20+ Meals that Feed Large Groups

meals that feed big groups of people

With a husband in full time college ministry, we find ourselves hosting meals at our home quite a bit. I love it. I love feeding people. I especially love feeding college students because they are so grateful for pretty much ANY home cooked meal. They are my best eaters. 🙂

I am by far not the perfect hostess. We tidy up, but my house is a house lived in and I can’t hide that. Our kitchen table is from a garage sale and our food budget is limited.

I say all of this because some people think they need to have the perfect setup to host. Not true. Our kitchen table and the food that goes on it isn’t all that fancy. The truth is, 95% of people don’t care about that stuff. The important thing is that they feel welcome, loved, and nourished in our home.

meal for big groups

When you open up your home to someone, you are in a way opening up your life to them. People respond to THAT, not the number of courses a meal may have. Don’t stress yourself out. Focus on the people, not on the performance of your meal and home.

college boys eating

Because I am so often making meals for groups of people, I’m constantly on the lookout for meals that are tasty AND feed large groups. I created this round up of meal ideas more for my sake. I needed a reference to go to when I have a group coming over and my only idea is spaghetti or pancakes. Hopefully it will prove to be useful to you too!

Lastly, wanted to throw in one shameless plug for our freezer meal labels. They are great to slap on these meals either for your freezer OR for when taking them to others. 

On to the meals!

20 Meals that Will Feed Large Groups of People

Pulled Pork

slow cooker pulled pork

Cinnamon Rolls

bread machine cinnamon roll recipeChicken Spaghetti

Freezeable Chicken Spaghetti

Creamy Mac & Cheese

The Best EVER Creamy Mac & Cheese

Baked Ziti

baked ziti @createdbydiane


Baked Italian Meatballs are a 20 minute meal staple in our house! Perfect every time. #freezermeal #realfood

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  1. This is a wonderful list! This time of year always has me looking into new recipes to have for all the parties going on!

  2. hannah says

    I just noticed that you are a God-believing family and wanted to extend an invitation to join a group Bible study I have on facebook!

  3. Kate Henard says

    My husband is a youth and college pastor as well. I was needing some new recipes for the college bible study this semester. Thanks for putting this together.

    • Polly says

      You bet. Hope it can help you feed some hungry college kids. 🙂

  4. Alli Townsend says

    Oh my goodness, this is the first post I’ve read on here and I feel like you are my long lost sister. I am a campus missionary and we host 15-30 college students for dinner and Bible study every Tuesday night. I had just run out of meal ideas and your blog was the first that came up on my google search for easy dinner recipes for large groups of people. Spaghetti and pancakes are my knee-jerk reactions and our dinning room looks very much like yours with the college kids gathered around the table and standing. Anyways, I’d love to know where ya’ll are in ministry, but I understand if you don’t want to post on such a public forum. All of this to say, THANK YOU, because of this blog, we will be serving baked Ziti at our meeting on Tuesday night.

    • Polly says

      Sending you an email, Alli!

  5. Elizabeth says

    Another campus minister’s wife here and Googled “meals that feed large groups” and your blog was at the top! Sadly (and eccitingly!) our group has outgrown our current house. Until we can get a bigger one we have to feed them elsewhere. Sad! Anyway, thank you for this post! I’m bookmarking it for sure.

  6. Sounds great. Going to make this for Fathers Day. Side dish ideas???

    • Rachel says

      Which one are you making?

  7. Fran says

    This is just awesome.!! As a Foster Parent, there are 8 of us for every meal. When we have company the number grows quickly!! Our menu has gotten a wonderful overhaul!! Thank you!!

    • Rachel says

      Bless you for fostering! We’re so thankful this post is useful for you.

  8. Stephanie says

    Loved your article. It has inspired me to do more inviting/hosting. Thank you for posting the yummy ideas! Gears are turning 😊

  9. Melanie says

    Wow! I love how this happens. I was looking for recipes to prepare for teams of short-term missionaries (many college students) while they serve in Alaska. These recipes just made my job easier! Thanks and blessings on your ministry.

    • Rachel says

      So thankful for your ministry, Melanie! We love that we can help you and others in this way.

  10. Kymberly says

    We’re a college ministry family too! We host students every friday night, but often other nights too! Always looking for new recipes. Thank you so much for sharing not just these recipes but the call to live openly and wholeheartedly. May God bless yall!

  11. Heidi says

    Googled “Meals that feed large groups” and found your post right away. I am cooking for a weekly middle school outreach for our church. Needed some trusty simple recipes, and here you are. Thanks!!!!