This easy, creamy pasta bake recipe is perfect for feeding a hungry crowd. It's simple to make and can easily be doubled or tripled!
For those who are worried about how to cook for a crowd because they have never done it before, relax! You might need a bigger pan or more room in your refrigerator for the ingredients but anyone can do it. Don’t let the idea of cooking for a big group make you shy away from it!
There are many reasons you might have to cook for a lot of people (8+) at once. They include:
Sports team get-togethers
Extended family dinners
Girls night in
Honestly, there are a ton of reasons why someone might need to (or want to) cook for a crowd. For me, it usually happens when my adult children come home and bring their friends, partners and others they have met along the way.
Since I offer complimentary home-cooked breakfasts every morning to all the guests staying at Sugar Water Manor, I have gotten quite good at figuring out how to cook for a crowd.
4 Tips For How To Cook For A Crowd
1. Make more than you think is enough.
The worst thing you can serve to a group of people is…not enough. For pasta, you can figure about 1 cup per serving and since this pasta bake is SO good, you should count on needing at least 2 servings per person!
Yes, the main dish you are making is going to be the star of the show, but don’t forget to supplement that dish with something else. Salad and bread are two super easy items to add to your table that work with just about anything. Plus, they can help stretch the food to feed more people. Cheese and crackers, vegetables and dip, and chips and salsa are also really good (and easy) appetizers to put out for a big group.
3. Set up a buffet.
Yes, you could all sit down and pass the dishes around but save yourself the hassle. Just set up a buffet and let your guests help themselves. This means no one has to awkwardly pass around hot, heavy dishes and there is less of a chance you will get sauce on your table cloth!
4. Don’t worry that you don’t have enough room.
When people ask me how to cook for a crowd, they always seem to doubt that they have the room to actually do it. Without even knowing their kitchen situation, I tell them Yes, you have the room! Guests won’t remember if they sat at a table or the kitchen island or on a couch in the living room. They will remember the way they felt eating your food and enjoying your company.
Since it’s typically only David and I eating dinner at home most days, it’s actually really fun for me to flex my skills and throw together a big dinner for friends and/or family. I love sitting around the big dining room table with people I love eating, drinking, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. Just the thought of it makes my heart full.
If you are a bit intimidated about how to cook for a crowd, check out this delicious, creamy Alfredo Pasta Bake recipe. It is simple and definitely a crowd-pleaser. Plus, it easily feeds 12 people and can be doubled to fill up many more.
Alfredo Pasta Bake
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 27 minutes
2 Eggs, large
16 oz Alfredo sauce
16 oz Ziti pasta
1 cup Mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
16 oz cottage cheese
8 oz Sour cream
2 tablespoons of parsley
1. In a mixing bowl, add cooked pasta, Alfredo sauce, and sour cream.
2. Stir the mixture until the pasta is coated.
3. Spray 9 x 13 pan with oil and add half of the pasta mixture.
4. In another mixing bowl combine cottage cheese, parmesan, eggs and 1 tablespoon of parsley. Mix until combined
5. Pour the mixture over the pasta in the pan. Add remaining pasta on top.
6. Spread mozzarella cheese and parsley over the pasta.
7. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 27 minutes.
8. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.