Comfort Food Meals to Make for a Crowd for Brunch, Dinner, or Dessert

Scott Peacock's Pulled Pork
Photo: Blaine Moats

Why fuss over a big culinary project when meals to make for a crowd can be low-fuss yet high-flavor all at once? A warm plate of food plus a crew of friends and family equals a foolproof recipe for a joyful experience. So whether you're hosting or attending a gathering, turn to these large-batch good dinners for a crowd (each recipe serves 8 or more) to guarantee rave reviews, plus a full stomach and warm heart.

01 of 15

Alfredo Bacon Tot Casserole

Alfredo-Bacon Tot Casserole
Blaine Moats

Good Dinner for a Crowd of: 8

Bacon. Potato tots. Alfredo sauce. Talk about a comfort food trifecta! Package that all in one cozy casserole, and you have a supremely mouthwatering meal to make for a crowd. (Psst...this is also the perfect vehicle to put leftover chicken to great use.)

02 of 15

Chipotle Chicken-Squash Chili

white pot of Chipotle Chicken-Squash Chili
Carson Downing

Good Dinner for a Crowd of: 8

You can use that or rotisserie chicken to hit the "easy" button on this big-batch chicken chili. With three types of peppers—poblano, green bell, and canned chipotle—in the mix, this good dinner for a crowd really packs a punch. Pair it with shredded cheese, sour cream, and cornbread croutons or tortilla chips to complete the tailgate- or potluck-ready feast.

03 of 15

Deep-Dish Cheeseburger Pizza Casserole

Deep-Dish Cheeseburger Pizza Casserole
Jacob Fox

Good Dinner for a Crowd of: 12

When you're having a tough time deciding between burgers or pizza, we say, "Why choose?" This mash-up recipe is a good dinner for a crowd since it can keep the peace. Cheeseburger elements like ketchup, mustard, beef, pickles, and cheese are stuffed inside pizza dough alongside pizza sauce, peppers, and onions to deliver on both flavor fronts.

04 of 15

Porcini Biscuits and Mushroom Gravy

Porcini Biscuits Mushroom Gravy
Blaine Moats

Good Brunch for a Crowd of: 8

No need to feel like a short-order cook when you're hosting brunch. This super-savory, just-so-happens-to-be vegetarian meal to make for a crowd is easy to whip up for a couple families at once. Adding ground dried mushrooms to the biscuit batter beautifully echoes the umami mushroom flavor in the creamy white wine and Parmesan gravy. Top each portion with a fried egg and everyone will stay satisfied for hours.

Buy It: VIGOROUS MOUNTAINS Dried Porcini Mushroom ($15, Amazon)

05 of 15

Creamy Chicken Alfredo Tortellini Soup

Creamy Chicken Alfredo Tortellini Soup
Jason Donnelly

Good Dinner for a Crowd of: 8

Come winter, soups are our go-to when we're seeking ideas for easy food for a crowd. This chicken soup is among the best of the best since it tastes restaurant-quality but practically preps itself in your slow cooker. Chicken thighs simmer down to juicy, tender perfection in a combination of garlic-scented chicken broth, heavy cream, and white wine. A bag of baby spinach sneaks in a little nutrition, while store-bought cheese tortellini lend even more lusciousness.

06 of 15

Scott Peacock's Pulled Pork

Scott Peacock's Pulled Pork
Blaine Moats

Good Dinner for a Crowd of: 20

Whether you roast the pork in the oven or slow cook it, you'll score a platter full of fall-apart tender barbecue. It serves 20(!), making this one of the top meals to make for a crowd. Invite the neighbors or the entire family to enjoy a build-your-own-sandwich buffet.

07 of 15

Carrot and Parsnip Swirl

Carrot and Parsnip Swirl
Andy Lyons

Good Dinner Side Dish for a Crowd of: 16

Mashed potatoes are a surefire pleaser, but we're partial to this creamy root vegetable blend that's as easy to make for a party as it is for a family of four. (Don't worry, this easy food for a crowd still includes some russet potatoes for a silky-smooth texture.) Because the rustic vegetables cook in a saucepan with butter rather than boil in a pot of water, you concentrate the earthy qualities and don't dump any flavor down the drain. Bonus: You can use an immersion blender to "mash" the vegetables right in the pan to cut down on dishes.

Buy It: KitchenAid Hand Blender ($60, Amazon)

08 of 15

Classic Dinner Rolls

Classic Dinner Rolls
Andy Lyons

Good Dinner Side Dish for a Crowd of: 24

The recipe for these fluffy dinner rolls says it serves 24, but let's be honest: Each diner will probably want at least two once they take one bite of the butter-brushed carb clouds. For a remarkably light texture, allow the dough to rise twice before shaping into the cloverleaf form. Round out a good dinner for a crowd by scattering baskets of this homemade bread recipe around the party tables.

09 of 15

Caramelized Pear Skillet Cake

Caramelized Pear Skillet Cake
Carson Downing

Good Dessert for a Crowd of: 8

"This upside-down cake is deceptively easy, even though its impressive appearance might indicate otherwise," says recipe creator and Grandbaby Cakes blogger Jocelyn Delk Adams. That sounds like a recipe for success for a meal to make for a crowd. The cast-iron skillet dessert or brunch idea is a breeze to prepare in a mere 20 minutes with a handful of baking staples, fresh pears, and a speedy stove top Bourbon Sauce.

10 of 15

Rich Beef Stew with Bacon and Plums

Rich Beef Stew with Bacon and Plums
Blaine Moats

Good Dinner for a Crowd of: 8

Please meat and potatoes fans with this rustic beef stew. With butternut squash instead of russets, plus bacon and a healthy glug of red wine (or, you know, half a bottle), this good dinner for a crowd goes well beyond standard steak and baked potato territory. The best part: You have time to mingle with guests while it cooks low and slow in the oven.

11 of 15

Kale, Chorizo, and Red Bean Brunch Casserole

Kale, Chorizo, and Red Bean Brunch Casserole
Andy Lyons

Good Brunch for a Crowd of: 8

With sun-dried tomatoes, chorizo, beans, and plenty of cheese, this savory casserole is appropriate for all large-group occasions. Try the whole grain bread-based dish for brunch (as the entrée) or dinner (as a side). This cozy meal to make for a crowd might be one of the easiest ways to get the vegetable-averse to enjoy eating kale.

12 of 15

Tomato and Onion Brisket

Tomato and Onion Brisket
Andy Lyons

Good Dinner for a Crowd of: 10

Whether for Passover or a crew of barbecue-lovers, this roasted brisket satisfies with its layers of flavor by way of garlic, onion, tomatoes, and more. Serve this dinner with Ginger Pickled Onions (we explain exactly how to make them in the recipe) and fluffy mashed potatoes. Or slice and serve inside warm sandwich buns or cornbread muffins for a blue ribbon-worthy barbecue feast.

13 of 15

Ham and Cheese Brunch Casserole

Ham and Cheese Brunch Casserole
Andy Lyons

Good Brunch for a Crowd of: 12

Croque-Monsieur meets breakfast casserole in this easy make-ahead dish. It will satisfy guests who prefer basic ham-and-cheese sandwiches and fans of fancier French bistro fare. Pair with a big bowl of fruit salad, and you have one of the best (and easiest) a.m. meals to make for a crowd.

14 of 15

Classic Buttermilk Biscuits

Classic Buttermilk Biscuits
Andy Lyons

Good Dinner Side Dish for a Crowd of: 12 to 16

If you ask us, the more carbs, the better—at least when it comes to meals to make for a crowd. Quite possibly the best of the best? Biscuits. Because melting butter + flaky biscuit = a recipe for comfort food success. These traditional baking powder biscuits will be winners whether you serve them topped with eggs and bacon at breakfast or spoon on strawberries and cream for dessert.

15 of 15

Banana Rum Trifle

Banana Rum Trifle
Carson Downing

Good Dessert for a Crowd of: 10

Ina Garten is the queen of entertaining. So of course we had to include one of the recipes she was kind enough to share with us from her latest cookbook, Modern Comfort Food! To complete your meal to make for a crowd, layer up the celeb chef's rum-spiked banana trifle. Thanks to a head start from store-bought gingersnap cookies, this tropical dessert is surprisingly simple to re-create.

Buy It: Modern Comfort Food: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook ($19, Amazon)

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