10 Menu ideas for a casual get together
Not every get-together has to be a formal affair. Some of the best parties are just getting the gang together or the girls coming over for some fun and laughs. Here are some quick menu plans you can follow to make sure everyone gets fed, but things stay chill.
Menu #1: Taco bar
Taco bars are about as far from fancy as you can get, but they’re still delicious. Brown up some hamburger, heat some refried and black beans, and chop some lettuce and tomatoes. Add salsa, cheese and sour cream and all you have to worry about are the dishes.
Menu #2: It came from the crockpot
Slow cookers are a partygoer’s best friend. Just throw in a roast or pork shoulder or some other piece of meat and let it cook all day. Then serve it with some bread and mashed potatoes and you have a very casual meal.
Menu #3: Pasta party
Pasta is great because it’s easy to make in huge quantities and everyone likes it, kids and adults. You don’t even need to make the sauce! All you need to do is pour several containers of store bought sauce into a pan and doctor it up with garlic, fresh basil, and a pinch more salt. If you’re feeling really ambitious, serve the pasta with ground hamburger!
Menu #4: You bring it, I’ll grill it
Fire up the grill, buy some hot dogs and brats and tell your friends to come and eat. Also, tell them to bring anything they’d like to see grilled. The party will evolve into a giant grilled potluck. Soon, everyone will be sampling different cuts of steak, fruits done on the grill, maybe even a cake.
Menu #5: Kebab party
A cousin to the “You bring it, I’ll grill it” party, the Kebab party gets the guests involved in the meal. All the host needs to do is lay out a spread of cubed meats, cut vegetables, etc. Guests build their own kebabs and then grill them over several grills.
Menu #6: Fried chicken and fixins
At some level it may feel like cheating to buy fried chicken for this party, but if you don’t want to fry it yourself, run to the store or your favorite military-officer-who-fries-in-Kentucky and bring home fried chicken and all the sides. No one will mind that you didn’t cook as they bite into the juicy, golden-fried meat. Seriously.
Menu #7: Dip potluck
Everyone loves dip: salsa, guacamole, hummus, cream cheese dip, feta dip. Dip, dip, dip. So take the onus off yourself and put it on your guests. Tell everyone to bring a dip and something to dip in it. Award prizes for the best submission if you’re not too full to move.
Menu #8: Chili
Chili is the perfect get-together food, especially when the weather turns cold and there are sports on television. Chili is so easy to make by just about anyone and it’s as good done in a small batch for one as it is in a large batch for one hundred. Serve with toppings like sour cream, cheddar cheese, green onions, and tortilla chips. Even better, all you need to do to clean up is throw away some plastic bowls and spoons!
Menu #9: Carnival food
Carnival food is greasy, fried, and totally delicious. That makes it party food. All you need to do is grace the frozen section of your grocery store for corn dogs and maybe even funnel cakes, get some hot dogs, and pop corn and you have the essential ingredients of a carnival feast!
Menu #10: Do it yourself pizza party
If you can get your hands on store bought dough, make some pizza sauce, and let everyone do their own pizza. You can get fancy with the toppings for the adults and keep it simple for the kids and everyone will have a good time.