Holiday german dishes - sauerkraut, sausage, pretzel, mashed potato and beer. Top view on black table.

Part 1 of 3: How to Cook for a Crowd | Meal Planning and Preparation

Cooking for a crowd can be intimidating, especially if you're not used to cooking for large groups. But fear not, because with a little bit of planning and preparation, you can pull off a delicious feast without breaking a sweat. In this three-part series, we'll guide you through the process of cooking for a crowd, from meal planning and preparation to cooking and serving tips, and clean-up strategies.

Let's start with the first step: meal planning and preparation. Before you even step into the kitchen, you need to have a plan in place. Here are some tips to get you started:

1: Choose your menu wisely

When cooking for a crowd, it's important to choose dishes that are easy to make, can be made ahead of time, and are crowd-pleasers. Consider dishes like lasagna, chili, or stir-fry that can be prepared in advance and reheated when it's time to serve.

2: Consider dietary restrictions

When planning your menu, be mindful of any dietary restrictions your guests may have. Are there any vegetarians or vegans in the group? Any gluten-free or dairy-free eaters? Make sure you have options for everyone.

3: Make a shopping list

Once you've decided on your menu, make a shopping list of all the ingredients you'll need. Check your pantry and fridge to see what you already have on hand and what you need to buy.

4: Prep ahead of time

To save time on the day of the event, prep as much as you can in advance. Chop vegetables, marinate meat, and measure out ingredients. You can even cook some dishes a day or two ahead of time and reheat them when it's time to serve.


Now that you have your plan in place, it's time to prepare your kitchen. Here are some tips to get you started:

1: Clean your kitchen

Before you start cooking, make sure your kitchen is clean and organized. Clear your countertops and wash your dishes so you have plenty of space to work.

2: Use the right tools

Having the right tools can make cooking for a crowd much easier. Consider investing in tools like the Duo Cover® silicone microwave splatter guard mat, the ZipBag® reusable silicone storage bag, the Swedish Dishcloth, and the UniLid® universal lid. These products are eco-friendly, reusable, and will make your life so much easier in the kitchen.

3: Make use of your appliances

Your appliances can be your best friend when cooking for a crowd. Use your slow cooker to keep dishes warm, your microwave to reheat leftovers, and your oven to cook multiple dishes at once.

By following these meal planning and preparation tips, you'll be well on your way to cooking a delicious feast for your friends and family. Stay tuned for part two of our series, where we'll share our top cooking and serving tips! And don't forget to check out Two Pillars' eco-friendly kitchen products to make your life easier in the kitchen.

Links to products mentioned in this article:

  1. Duo Cover® 
  2. ZipBag® 
  3. Swedish Dishcloth 
  4. UniLid®
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