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Too Many Cooks: Cooking for a Crowd

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You'll be hearing from the staff at Food52 every week in Too Many Cooks, our group column in which we pool our answers to questions about food, cooking, life, and more.


Spring has finally decided to make an appearance, and it's making us want to throw impromptu parties and break out our favorite wine to share. While inviting people over is the easy part, deciding what to cook for company can be tricky. In anticipation of a festive season, we're asking:

What do like to cook for a crowd?

Are you a grilling ninja? Do you go all out with a show-stopping main, or do you stick to chips and dip? Tell us in the comments!

Flank Steak 

Lauren: Spring crowd cooking means we are back in Montauk, grilling on the deck. Yippee! My go-to is a grilled veggie, couscous, feta, and herb salad + grilled flank steak with chimichurri.

Jennifer: I'm with Lauren -- fire up the grill for marinated flank steak!

Kenzi: Until I turn my super-tiny fire escape into an illegal grilling patio, it's all about grain salads. Or deviled eggs, but I usually eat all of them while I'm making them, so I suppose that's not very hospitable. 


Will: I like to make Asian-inspired spreads, like DIY lettuce wraps with lots of spring veggies, mushrooms, rice noodles and plenty of dipping sauces!

Bryce: I'm all about the summer spaghetti -- fresh tomatoes + garlic sauce over linguini. Plus peach pies.

Amanda Li: David Chang's Bo Ssam is a huge crowd pleaser. Bonus points if I make the buns, too.

Maddy: Charcoal-grilled chicken wings tossed in a mixture of Sriracha, honey, fresh lime juice, and olive oil.

Beatrice: Baby back BBQ ribs rubbed with a sweet paprika and espresso dry rub, cooked low and slow.

Karl: I go for lasagna, or if I'm really diving into it, BBQ pulled pork smoked in my bullet.

Marian: You guys are fancy. I like to put out a huge bowl of guacamole and call it a day. 

Lindsay-Jean: I'm with Marian. And Karl's pulled pork smells so good I reconsider vegetarianism every time he makes it.

Merrill: I like making guac too. Or a big frittata with spring veggies and cheese. And maybe some bacon.

Lauren: Is there ever a maybe with bacon?

Merrill: No.

Stephanie: I totally agree on the frittata. It's so easy to do when other people are in your kitchen (I'm an anti-help-in-the-kitchen cook), and it's fun to use whatever vegetables are available.

Amanda: I like to make Al Forno baked pasta -- it's what we made for the community in Gerritsen Beach after Hurricane Sandy.


Jason: Beer battered fish tacos!

ChristinaOrzo salad -- lemon! feta! tomatoes! spinach! Bonus: it makes a boatload.

Kristen: I love to make this Fully Grilled Caesar Salad, because it really freaks the crowd out when you grill the lettuce -- until they taste it!

What do you like to cook for a crowd? Tell us in the comments! And if you've got spring entertaining on the mind, be sure to sign up for our Spring Fling giveaway with Anthropologie.

Tags: Spring, Grill/Barbecue, Food52 Life, Burnt Toast Dinner Brigade, Too Many Cooks