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18 recipes to feed a crowd when everyone’s home for the holidays

18 recipes to feed a crowd when everyone's home for the holidays

Whether you’re planning a big holiday or just trying to feed houseguests in between festive end-of-year activities, you need recipes that serve at least eight or 10 or 12 people, rather than the usual one or two or four. Below are some of The New York Times Cooking and Food staff’s favorite dishes that are made especially for groups or can be easily scaled up so you can worry less about the “how” and just enjoy it. “what”: a delicious, celebratory meal.

This buttery breakfast casserole from Melissa Clark stretches the Christmas spirit beyond dinner and appetizers, and can comfort anyone suffering from a holiday hangover. Even better? You can make it the night before. Yes, there are croissants and cheese and sausage, but instead of competing, they build each other up. If that isn’t a metaphor for spending time with family during the holidays, then I don’t know what is. ELEANORE PARK

Preparing birria de res can be complicated, but this recipe, which Tejal Rao has adapted from Chef Josef Centeno, is always worth a look. It’s delicious and feeds so many – in one sitting or over several meals. I last made it over Thanksgiving weekend, a turkey cob that perfumed the air as we trimmed the Christmas tree. BRETT ANDERSON

Recipe: Birria de Res

This mushroom larb from Yewande Komolafe can very easily be doubled, tripled, quadrupled, maybe even sixfold. It is delicious at any temperature and everyone can put together their own perfect bite. It is hands down one of my favorite recipes in our database. PRIYA KRISHNA

Recipe: Roasted Mushroom Larb

I switch between my recipe for picadillo and this one from Sam Sifton. The bowl of seasoned ground beef, well populated with chillies, olives, raisins and so on, becomes a do-it-yourself feast. I serve it with warm tortillas, a bowl of slightly soupy black beans, sour cream, shredded romaine, shredded red onions, and pickled jalapeños, and let the guests go! Enjoy with beer. It’s great for New Year’s Eve. FLORENCE FABRIC

Intensely cheesy, with chunks of Colby Jack extending from every fork, this giant Millie Peartree casserole is loved by my kids and their friends. If I’m hosting right after work or on another busy day, I assemble the whole thing the night before, cover it, and refrigerate. Just bake it for about 10 minutes extra. GENEVIE KO

Recipe: Southern Macaroni and Cheese

Baked kimchi rice in a sheet pan is always the answer when it comes to feeding large groups. Sometimes I make it for myself on Sunday so I can have lunch all week. My recipe is simple and requires one pan, gochujang and really good Kimchi. Reach for the funky stuff. Eric Kim

Recipe: Vel-Pan Kimchi Fried Rice

You know what’s a really good time? Brunch with a waffle tower. Stack the waffles high in the center of the table and surround them with all the batter: blueberries, bananas, jam, whipped cream, peanut butter, plain butter. It feels extra but doesn’t break the bank. In the past I have used Sam Sifton’s recipe for sourdough pancake or waffle batter, which is a great way to use up your starting scrap. But this recipe from Melissa Clark will do a great job too. And if you have any leftovers, freeze them so you’re ready for any rush. KRYSTEN CHAMBROT

Recipes: waffles | Sourdough Pancake or Waffle Batter

This is a go-to when I need to feed a crowd. The rich, cheesy goodness satisfies kids and adults alike, and as a bonus, it’s vegetarian. I put it together a few hours in advance so I have more time with guests. When I’m short on time, I use a good store-bought sauce and follow the rest of the directions in this Alison Roman recipe as written. I usually double the recipe for a crowd because it disappears quickly and my kids always hope for leftovers. Kim GOGENHEIM

Recipe: Baked ziti

Once a year I like to make my retro cheese fondue with Appenzeller, Gruyère and Vacherin Fribourgeois and then prepare bread, homemade pickles and cornichons, boiled small potatoes and a big mix of blanched and raw vegetables for dipping in the cheese or some salad dressing. When we reach the bottom of the jar, it happens! — I bake eggs in it for the crunchy cheese that is created. TEJAL RAO

Recipe: Cheesefondue

My parents always declined when it came to New Year’s Eve cooking, and a few years jump into my memory like the years they made pernil. In my own years of cramming too many people into an apartment for a dinner party or trying to impress a group on vacation, I’ve also come to discover that few things impress quite like that piece of garlic pork sizzling out of the oven. The recipe that Von Diaz adopted from cookbook author Maricel Presilla is a great guide for beginners, as it gives foolproof instruction on how to end up with the crunchiest chicharrón. You’ve been warned: your guests will fight over it. TANYA SICHYNSKY

Recipe: Pernil

Melissa Clark knows how to please a crowd and the cook. This garlic sauce is ready in seconds. The only time you need is to roast the vegetables, and you can use her recipe as a guide. Roast some red cabbage, mushrooms or potato wedges for a winter feeling. And if you’re craving garlic, use five or six cloves in the aioli, as readers have done with great results. SARA BONISTEEL

When I planned the menu for my Friendsgiving this year, the biggest goal was to strike a balance so that the guests didn’t feel like the meal was too heavy. I included Lidey Heuck’s pan-fried zucchini so there would be some lighter fresher options. It can be doubled or tripled, but the really great part is the technique: place zucchini slices in hot oil, immediately season with salt and pepper, then flip when it reaches a nice cabbage. If you’re looking for something even faster, you don’t need to baste the shelves with butter, garlic, and rosemary. It’s a knockout even without it. And you can extend the same cooking method to other easy-to-cut vegetables. CHRISTINA MORALES

Recipe: Breaded Zucchini

These carnitas from journalist and cookbook author Tara Duggan offer the biggest bang for your buck. The recipe is simple but offers rich flavors and a big pot of tender meat and crunchy bits. Enjoy it rolled in tortillas and topped with veggies and salsas that are in bowls on the counter. And a big green salad doesn’t seem so sexy for a big group, but Samin Nosrat’s version of Via Carota’s insalata verde — piled high and tossed in a dressing so good you’ll want to drink it on its own — will be a welcome addition to the table. KIM SEVERSON

Recipes: Tacos de Carnitas | Via Insalata Verde from Carota

Don’t forget dessert. This Bundt cake is rich and extremely boozy, feeding at least 10 to 12 people. Melissa Clark, who borrowed this recipe from baking legend Maida Heatter, gave me an excellent tip: You can make the cake more festive by filling the center hole with fresh whipped cream. EMILY WEINSTEIN

Recipe: Whiskey soaked dark chocolate cake

Colu Henry’s recipe for Greek Baked Pasta, made with an herb- and spice-laden tomato and meat sauce topped with a layer of creamy béchamel sauce, is my go-to party pleaser. Anyone who likes lasagna will love it, but it’s just different enough to feel festive and fun. MARGAUX LASKEY

Recipe: appropriate

When Sam Sifton wrote about David Chang’s boss ten years ago he called it the boss miracle, which is exactly how I feel about this spectacular dish. It’s not fast – you have to start brining the pork shoulder the day before and then it takes six hours in the oven – but the recipe itself couldn’t be easier. Present your friends with a bowl of that tender, melt-in-the-mouth, brawny pork under its salty, caramelized crust and let the praise pour in. It’s the best party trick I know. MELISSA CLARK

Recipe: Bo Sam