Best Side Dishes You Can Make In Advance For A Big Group

When planning a meal for a big group, it is necessary to prepare the side dishes in advance. This article is about the best side dishes you can make in advance for a big group. 

These side dishes can be served at your next cookout, big family thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other event where you have a lot of people.  They will also work well also at weddings and receptions.

We like these dishes as you can mals make them in advance.

First, determine how many people will be at the event and how many side dishes you need. 

Distinguishing the Difference Between a Main Dish and a Side Dish

The main dish is the primary course of a meal in which the side orders are served to complement. Normally the main dish is meat–such as roast beef, fish, or pork. It can also be a casserole dish with meat, fish, or pork in it. There are then side dishes served which are meant to accompany and complement the main dish. 

How Many Side Dishes For a Group of 50?

As a general rule, you need about three side dishes (plated full size so each person takes some) for every six people. Therefore, a group of fifty diners will require approximately 25 side dishes. When planning these side dishes, you should have one that contains starch–such as a pasta dish. There should also be a salad, along with a vegetable dish. 

What are the Best Side Dishes?

When planning a buffet lunch or dinner for a big group you need side dishes to accompany the main course. Below are ideas for some delicious side dishes that are certain to be a crowd-pleaser to your guests: 

Can Side Dishes Be Prepared the Day Before?

Yes. There are a lot of side dishes you can prepare the day before your dinner/lunch for a big group. Just make a little extra, because if your family is like mine–they will be tempted to try a few bites! Some of the side dishes that are best prepared ahead of time include (but not limited to) the following: 

There are many more popular side dishes to choose from when planning a dinner or luncheon. Most of these dishes can be made in advance, and taste even better the second day after the flavors have blended. Some of these side dishes include: 

See also how to keep food cold for a big group

What are Hors d’oeuvres?

Hor d’oeuvres are small items that are normally served prior to the main course dinner entrees. These are little one-or two bite finger foods that are usually served with cocktails. Sometimes hors d’oeuvres are served at parties when a complete meal is not being served.  

What Main Courses Go Best with Mashed Potatoes?

Mashed potatoes are a favorite side dish that goes with a lot of main dishes. Holiday dinners in particular always have a side order (or two) of mashed potatoes and gravy. Other favorite main dishes that mashed potatoes accompany include meatloaf, Beef Wellington, steak, Chicken Cordon Bleu, and Fish Cakes to name a few. 

Can Mashed Potatoes Be Made in Advance?

Left over or pre-made mashed potatoes may be heated back to their original hot, smooth, and creamy state. Avoid using a microwave oven when reheating mashed potatoes for best results. The extreme temperatures inside a microwave will just suck the moisture from the potatoes. The best way to reheat mashed potatoes is in the oven or on the stovetop. 

Extras on Mash
Making Mashed Potato Ahead Of Time

What are the Best Side Dishes for Catering a Large Group?

If you are planning to cater a large group of people here are some ideas for some of the best side dishes.  

Potatoes are a number one favorite side dish amongst the majority of people you will serve. You can bake, fry, or mash potatoes; make Au Gratin Potatoes, or make a Potato Salad.  Don’t forget the “other” potato–sweet potatoes and yams! Your guests will love a baked sweet potato as an optional side to a traditional Russet baked potato. 

Vegetables are another favorite side dish that can be served up in a number of delicious ways. There’s cranberry sauce, steamed cabbage or cauliflower. Cauliflower and melted cheese sauce. Broccoli and Cheese Casserole. You can also steam some squash and serve with butter, cheese, or a creamy Hollandaise sauce. 

Last, but not least are the carrots. This strange looking orange vegetable can be served up to make a number of yummy side dishes. Steam some baby carrots, or make a carrot and raisin salad. You can also make a carrot cake for dessert to satisfy the sweet tooth of your guests. 

How Should Side Dishes and Main Dishes Be Paired Together?

When planning a large meal for several people you need to ensure the side and main dishes are paired well. The way to do this is to follow the following tips: 

  • Ensure the flavors of each side balance well together. 
  • Round out the nutritional levels of each course. 
  • Add textures to compliment the main dish. 
  • Add the right amount of color to add compliment to the main dish. 

Chocolate brownies can also be made in advance, they store well. Plus see our table for the exact amount of brownies you need for between 10 and 100 people.