Meal for 30 people

My son is doing his first communion next Saturday. I will have about 25-30 guests coming to my house afterwards. Since we will all be at church for the ceremony, I will not have time to come home after church and cook. I need ideas that I can make ahead the day before. Any help is appreciated. Thank you!

  • Posted by: lich
  • April 18, 2017


Luna R. April 2, 2018
Let's try the shrimp salad for the side dish, it would be really nice! :)
Check it at:
keg72 April 19, 2017
I have been in the same boat and thought for a long time about what would work! It's not the easiest thing to pull off -- especially because you want it to run smoothly and look under control. Here's a menu that has worked for me:

shrimp salad -- I recommend the following one, but I think it makes too much dressing -- and I would suggest making everything a day ahead but only tossing the shrimp with the dressing the morning of your party

chicken salad -- I recommend the following one, which you can make a day ahead, but any nice chicken salad recipe would be great

a green salad -- make the dressing up to several days ahead and toss the salad together, minus the dressing, right before church

a spiral sliced ham (or two) -- bake it before church and then leave it on your counter

one or more types of quiche or strata -- bake them before church and leave either on your counter or in a warming bag of sorts (or you can serve room temp or re-heat for a few minutes when you get home) -- I recommend

some type of potato dish that isn't too mayo-y -- maybe a room temp salad like

nice rolls from the bakery

All of the above can be served in your fancy serving dishes (or not) and made to be more or less dressy, whatever your taste.

lich April 21, 2017
Keg72, I love LOVE your ideas! Thank you so much, especially for adding the links. And best of all, this all can be made and set up before hand, which is exactly what I want and need.
PieceOfLayerCake April 19, 2017
One of my favorite things to make for a crowd is a "fancy" taco bar. I slow roast a huge pork shoulder (I do it simply, but any number of spices would work nicely), and roughly tear it up and serve it along side corn tortillas, homemade pico, cilantro, limes, rice, black beans, cotija etc. You could have as many toppings or as few as you'd like. When I slow roast meats, I actually prefer to do it a day ahead and then let it slowly reheat.
lich April 21, 2017
I don't know why I never though about this before. Thank you! And the only thing I would need to do after we return from church is heating tortillas. When you do the "fancy" taco bar, do you reheat the pork once you shred it? Or let it sit at room temperature?
ktr April 19, 2017
Congratulations on your son's first communion!
Lasagna is always easy to make for a crowd. Depending on how far from the church you live, you may be able to throw it in the oven when you leave and pull it out when you get home. Or, if the weather is going to be nice, you could grill burgers and brats. They cook fast so no one would have to wait too long to eat.
lich April 21, 2017
Thank you! If we get good weather, definitely grilling. But it has been raining so much in my area.
luvcookbooks April 19, 2017
I don't know how formal you want to be, but black bean chili reheats quickly. You can have diced or grated cheese, pickled red onions, chopped chilis and chopped cilantro on the side. Can serve w tortilla chips, salsa, and beer or Agua Fresca, maybe a relish tray. I assume Cake for dessert.
lich April 21, 2017
I love this idea - especially the Agua Fresca! Thank you!
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