30 Teens are coming for dinner before prom. What can I cook?

This group won't be interested in appetizers. Green salad is a given. I would love to hear any and all ideas for a main course and sides.

  • Posted by: Waverly
  • April 7, 2014


Waverly April 19, 2014
Thank you all for your contributions. I made the meat lasagna and the vegetarian. All dresses and tuxes remained clean because drippy sauce was not an issue. The lasagna was pretty firm - not terribly saucy, so not messy. Everyone enjoyed it. I learned lots about lasagna - ie. it is not as easy as I thought, but it is a great way to feed masses of people.
healthierkitchen April 10, 2014
I know my daughter was concerned in advance about the Italian food her group was going to eat before her prom both in terms of possible stains and high carb. But once they were on their way I don't think she thought about it again. Hate to stereotype, but they boys did most of the eating.
Bill F. April 8, 2014
That's an awesome idea! Have fun with it, plus it'll help calm some nerves for first timers.
Pegeen April 8, 2014
You could get a bunch of lobster bibs from your local seafood restaurant. Like TobiT said, will make for some good photos. Maybe set aside some seltzer water and plain white dishtowels for any spills. Happy Prom to your daughter!
TobiT April 8, 2014
I am worried about sauce stains, too! Perhaps have a pile of big bibs or artists' smocks or large old shirts on hand - could make for some amusing prom photos!

Voted the Best Reply!

Bill F. April 8, 2014
I hate to be a party pooper but 15 teenage girls will be in beautiful expensive gowns some white. I feel serving something with red sauce could absolutely ruin someones prom night. Just saying...
Waverly April 7, 2014
The lasagna recipes we've chosen are here at Food52. They can both be made and assembled the day before and frozen. The day of the party, I'll bake them frozen. The meat lasagne recipe is "Merrill's Birthday Lasagna". Doubled, it will feed 12 from a 9 x 13 pan. I will make 2 of these. The vegetarian recipe is " Vegetarian Greek Lasagna" which serves 12.
inpatskitchen April 7, 2014
I'm thinking the garlic factor in the Caesar salad could be an issue with these kids. Maybe a salad that's a little more subdued. Lasagna is perfect though!
Waverly April 7, 2014
I thought about that too and agree. We are going with a mixed green salad of some sort.
Waverly April 7, 2014
Thank you for your suggestions - I like them all. After consulting with my teen, I think we are going to go with lasagna - one with meat and one vegetarian, a Caesar Salad, and a large plate of cookies. This will work out well since I can get most of it done a day or two ahead of time. Thanks again.
Dave O. April 7, 2014
Baked ziti or lasagna will fill that many teens up for the least bite out of your wallet and easiest to prep. Salad and bread on the side.
ChefJune April 7, 2014
Depends upon the eating habits of those 30 teens, but my first thought was a couple of large pans of a beautiful lasagna. Includes all the food groups and is delicious. Salad and bread, of course. If you're going for something a bit fancier, maybe this salmon dish? Easy to bake off 30 servings on a half-sheet pan. http://food52.com/recipes/4532-falafel-crusted-salmon-on-a-bed-of-spinach
Alexandra V. April 7, 2014
Maybe a simple pasta Alfredo and some grilled chicken breasts with veggies? Dietary restrictions or allergies? I remember when we had prom at a parents house they did something like that, and we thought it was classy! But that was the late 90's so not sure. A prime rib and baked potatoes is pretty easy for a group....but is pretty meat-centric. Pork tenderloins are quick and easy to pan sear and finish in the oven, with smoked gouda mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus. Sounds like a fun adventure, let us know what you end up making.
Recommended by Food52