Are you throwing a huge birthday or wedding party and don’t know what food to serve? Or maybe you have an important event to organize and want to impress your guests with every detail.
If you have more than 100 guests, consider hiring a catering company to handle the food. If your guest list is around 20-50 people, you can make some of the catering yourself.
Whichever option you choose, the food you serve should be fresh, delicious, and cater to your guests’ special dietary needs. This means adding some vegetarian/vegan options, along with gluten-free and dairy-free entrees.
Keep reading for the ultimate list of catering ideas for your next event that’ll wow your guests and make your party a success.
Classic Dishes and Entrees
Depending on your budget and theme for the party, the classic catering menu could be your safest choice. Some of the best classic catering food ideas include cucumber sandwiches, pizza bites, roast beef or turkey, and stuffed chicken breast. You can also add lasagna stuffed mushrooms, grilled burgers, pulled pork, seafood, and baked salmon.
You can always add or remove some items to fit the guest list and talk to your caterers about special dietary requirements. For a more high-end or corporate event, opt for food that’s easy to eat on the go and while standing. You don’t want your guests to get all greasy and stain their clothes.
If you want to make your event a true social gathering like a BBQ, then Beck’s Prime Restaurant has the best burgers for catering. Don’t forget to stock up on beer, white wine, and sodas and make your party one to remember.
Exotic and International Cuisine
To add a little excitement to your party, consider adding a few exotic and international cuisine options when catering your event. For example, you can have a separate table with several different cuisines such as Mexican, Chinese, Italian, and French. You can serve original Italian pasta, French butter croissants and jam, Mexican tacos, and sweet and sour chicken.
This explosion of tastes will intrigue your guests to try everything, which is a great conversation starter. If you work with a catering company, ask them to add a few international options to the menu so you can have a diverse range of foods for every taste.
Organic and Farm-To-Table Options
For an element of nature in your event, add some organic and farm-to-table options for your guests to try. You could even team up with a local farm or farmer’s market and make some delicious meals with their products. This is a win-win for everyone involved. You’ll get organic food for free, your guests will enjoy healthy and organic entrees, and the farm will get a free promotion at your event.
Some ideas for farm-to-table catering include a charcuterie board with local artisan cheeses and wines, fruit salads, deviled eggs, meat skewers, and desserts made with local milk and butter.
Coffee and High Tea Bar
Not all guests at your event will drink alcohol, so consider setting up a small coffee and tea bar with some pastries, desserts, sandwiches, and biscotti. Make sure you have all the supplies for making fresh coffee such as a coffee machine. Add different types of beans, creamers, sugar and sweeteners, and lemon and honey for the tea.
Try to avoid paper cups for the coffee and aim for glass or ceramic coffee and tea mugs for a more elegant experience. The coffee will taste so much better and your guests will love to mingle and chat about their favorite coffee.
Desserts are the cherry on top of the catering cake, so to speak. They’re small and sweet and your guests will lap them up. Whether you want small bite-sized desserts or muffins and cake, they’re as important as the main dishes.
As with everything else, you should also consider people with allergies or intolerances when ordering desserts. Luckily, there are many easy recipe swaps to make any dessert fit any dietary requirement.
Some of the best dessert ideas for catering include macarons, donuts, cupcakes, pralines, and macaroons. Also, cheesecake bites, dried fruits, madeleines, cream puffs, chocolate bars, biscotti, creme brulee, assortment cookies, and fruit tarts.
Special Dietary Requirements
When hosting an event of any kind, you’ll probably have some guests with special dietary requirements. Some will have allergies and others will have severe food intolerances, so it’s a good idea to ask them about their needs before the event.
This way, you can prepare separate tables with gluten-free, dairy-free, or sugar-free options. This includes vegetarian or vegan options. Also, remember that gluten-free food needs to be prepared in separate bowls using separate tools. This is to avoid cross-contamination. You can make most regular entrees gluten-free or dairy-free by swapping out a few ingredients.
Vegetarian and Vegan Options
Aside from gluten-free and dairy-free options, you should also provide options for your vegetarian and vegan guests. Some foods can be both vegan and vegetarian, while for others, you may need to look into the ingredients to know if they are. If you work with a catering company, ask them to provide you with a list of ideas for catering for vegans and vegetarians.
If you’ll be preparing the food yourself, look up some recipes that you can serve to all guests, including vegetarians and vegans. For example, cucumber sandwiches can be easily made vegetarian by removing the deli meat, and made vegan by replacing the cheese with vegan cheese.
Other ideas include French fries or potato salad, fruit salads, vegetable salads, vegan burgers, and pasta. You can also make desserts vegan by eliminating milk, butter, and eggs and replacing them with vegan alternatives.
This List of Catering Ideas Will Make Your Next Big Event a Success
Whether you’re throwing a big fun party or a small intimate gathering, these catering ideas will help you make the event a success. From the classic cucumber sandwiches with a twist to exotic entrees, you want to serve your guests small bites so they can mingle and still enjoy the food.
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