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9 Best Food Ideas for Any Family Gathering

Posted by Michelle Huddleston on

Deciding what to include on the menu can be a little overwhelming; hence, why we’d like to share our best food ideas for any family gathering. Skip the catering and save money with these tried and true food ideas. 

Nine best food ideas for any family gathering.

9 Best Food Ideas for Any Family Gathering

Appetizer Food Ideas

Perhaps you’d like to offer your family an appetizer-style menu. This food choice is perfect for gatherings held between normal meal times where you’re not quite hungry enough for a full meal. Not to mention, these food ideas are easy to make and yummy to taste.

Dressed Eggs

With the most basic recipe being 4 ingredients, these won’t require a big grocery bill. Boil a few dozen of eggs, cut them in half, and use the cooked yolk to create the “dress.” Most simple recipes call for a mayonnaise base, pickle relish, salt and pepper to taste, and a garnish of ground cayenne pepper. 

Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks

Two words: air fryer. This kitchen gadget makes cooking everything so much easier. Purchase a few bags of mozzarella sticks, pop them in the air fryer, and position them on a circular plate with dipping sauces in the middle. These will be a huge hit for kids and adults alike.

Chips & Salsa

Another easy appetizer idea that is super easy to throw together. If you will have lots of kids at your family gathering, consider adding some original chips and dip. There are so many to choose from so making a chips, dip, and salsa bar would be easy and affordable.

Salad Bar Ideas

If you’re looking for a little more than an appetizer, but still not quite ready to put together a full course meal, a salad bar is the way to go!

Summer Macaroni Salad

Combining all the flavors of summer, this salad is both light and refreshing. Boiled macaroni noodles are the foundation and the salad is pulled together with a mayo-based dressing and diced green pepper, red (orange or yellow) bell pepper, celery, and onion. Give it a good stir, chill in the fridge for a couple of hours, and it’s ready to be served.

Classic Fruit Salad

You can’t go wrong by adding a healthy fruit salad to the table. Simply combine your favorite fruits together in a bowl and you’re done. There are different types of fruit salad dressings you can make to drizzle over the top or put to the side for self-serve. The best fruits for summer are watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, mango, and kiwi.

Creamy Dilled Cucumber Salad

Using another summery vegetable staple, cucumber salad is light and healthy. It only takes 20 minutes of prep time and you’re done. The creamy dill sauce is made with sour cream and white wine vinegar and a mixture of fresh snipped dill, minced garlic cloves, a dash of sugar, and crushed pepper. Add this to thinly sliced cucumbers for a salad your family will be raving about for weeks to come.

Table of party food for a family gathering.

Heavier Food Ideas

If your family gathering will be during a time of the day when most meals are eaten, then you may want to opt in for foods that are filling. This doesn’t mean you need to spend endless hours in the kitchen, though. The meal ideas below will keep you stress-free!

Air Fryer Friend Chicken

Back to the air fryer, use it to fry some of the best chicken your family will ever have. You’ll still want to double dip in an egg/milk mixture and flour, but you can skip the oil and extra cleanup. Most air fryer fried chicken recipes call for a 390 degree cook setting and 25-minute cook time. Pair the chicken with one of the salads and appetizers mentioned above.

Burgers On a Stick

Instead of patting out big burgers and waiting for them to cook, go for rolling them into meatball size and stick them on a skewer. The key to preventing skewers from burning is to soak them in water for 2-3 minutes prior to placing them on the grill. Once your burger balls have finished cooking, load the skewer with a small piece of cheese, lettuce, pickle, and a cherry tomato. 

Build Your Own Sandwich Buffet

This is another platter-style, buffet idea that will give your guests the option of putting together their own hearty sandwich meal. Provide them with a variety of meat and side options, and don’t forget the condiments. 

Ideas for Food Storage and Placement

Take the guesswork out of how to place the food on your table, let alone what to put it in with these cute and reusable ----:

These three things alone will help you table and food stand out!

Final Thoughts

Use our best food ideas for any family gathering to help keep your menu planning easy and stress-free. Don’t forget to solicit the help of other family members and in some cases, call for a good old fashioned potluck! We’d love to hear from you. Share some of your food ideas in the comments below!

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