30 Easy, Party-Perfect Big-Batch Recipes
When you're entertaining, it's important to use easy recipes that you can make in bulk. You don't have the time to spend all day in the kitchen—you have a party to host! These big-batch recipes will have you covered from happy hour to dessert.
Big-Batch Bloody Marys
Making bloody Marys for a big crowd doesn’t mean you have to spend your whole brunch or tailgate playing bartender for everyone. Our big-batch recipe makes enough for 10 people and frees you up to enjoy the party. Set out these Big-Batch Bloody Marys in a large punch bowl or glass dispenser with your choice of garnishes next to glasses and a bucket of ice and let everyone help themselves. Even better, you can make this cocktail ahead. You can prepare the mixture up to two days in advance and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator; reserve the vodka and stir it in before serving.
Basic Pimiento Cheese
There are countless views on pimiento cheese perfection. It can be a smooth and spreadable version sandwiched between two slices of white bread. It can be chunky, spiked with hot sauce and cayenne pepper, and stuffed into celery sticks. It can be made with extra mayonnaise for a creamy cracker topper. The list goes on and on. We found that, apart from the fundamental ingredients (cheese, pimientos, and mayo), the best pimiento cheese is the one you grew up eating. However you enjoy it, two things are essential: First, hand shred the cheese—some finely, some coarsely—for the best texture (a food processor will get the job done, but don’t cheat with the pre-grated stuff). Second, pick jarred pimientos that are diced, not sliced. This classic recipe works as a dip, spread, or all by itself.
Pimiento Cheese Crackers
Here is the approximate way my thinking went when I was dreaming up these crackers:
I have delicious pimiento cheese. I should eat that.
It will be best upon a cracker.
What type of cracker would be the superior vehicle for the cheese?
Sweet Fancy Moses, what if the cheese WERE THE CRACKER?????
After all, in my forays into cracker-making I had discovered that many crackers are just fat and flour and seasonings. And I had made cheese crackers which were just fat and flour and seasonings and cheese. Well, pimiento cheese is cheese and fat and seasonings, so what would happen if I just added flour and baked it?
Magic, people, this is what happens, pure alchemical wizardry.
Slow Roasted Pulled Pork
When I make this recipe at home, I slow cook the pork in the oven. It's such a treat to have leftovers of this for enchiladas, tacos, tostadas, or sandwiches. To make a delicious quesadilla, combine about 1/3 cup of this pork with a little coleslaw and grated sharp Cheddar cheese.
This sensational spud riff on nachos is an hommage to party food lovers everywhere. Loaded with toppings and drizzled with a hot cheese dip, these totchos are ready to rock and roll right onto your plate. This dish has all of the goodness of trashy, delicious bar nachos but are made with potato tots for a warm comfort food addition. Fresh jalapeno slices and cool avocado round out this dish, leaving the end impression and flavor as simply drool-inducing.
Loaded Chorizo Nachos
When we say loaded, we mean it. These nachos require a fork for scooping up all the tasty fillings. Building on a foil-lined pan means instant cleanup: Bring the pan right to the table after broiling, and discard the foil after dinner.
Pigs in an Everything Blanket with Cream Cheese Dip
Two finger food favorites collide as pigs in a blanket get an everything bagel makeover. Rather than the traditional canned biscuit or croissant dough, the "blanket" of this playful appetizer is made with fresh pizza dough that is first boiled, brushed with egg wash, and rolled in an "everything" seasoning blend (poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried minced onion, dried minced garlic, and coarse salt) before being baked. Using a yeasted dough and this double cooking method is what gives these tailgate-ready bites their bagel personality. Serve them up with a tangy cream cheese dip for a party-perfect snack platter.
Nashville Hot Chicken Dip
Slow-Cooker Beef Nachos
From the Kitchen of Julie Hutson, Callahan, Florida. "This is surprisingly yummy to have such simple ingredients."
Chorizo Deviled Eggs
Ryan Pollnow, the chef at the San Francisco Spanish restaurant Aatxe ("Ah-chay"), always has hard-cooked eggs on his tapas menu. This version--with its smoky, creamy filling and crunchy topping of fried chorizo sausage--is especially delicious.
Crispy Parmesan Chickpeas
Dry your chickpeas as thoroughly as possible before cooking to ensure a satisfyingly crisp result. If you're planning to pack these flavor-coated, fiber-filled poppers as a to-go snack, be sure to allow them to cool completely on a flat surface first.
Miso-Caramel-Tamari Popcorn Mix
A slightly thicker caramel and the addition of whole roasted almonds turn traditional caramel popcorn into gift-worthy popcorn mix. We use less sugar in the glaze and cut the sweetness with mild white miso (fermented soybean paste) and tamari (a richer, wheat-free soy sauce) for a salty-savory note that makes the snack incredibly addictive.
Spicy Pimiento Cheese Sausage Balls
If you thought you had your perfect, go-to sausage ball recipe—wait until you’ve tried these. Using prepared pimiento cheese in this party food favorite eliminates the need to shred cheese when it comes time to prep your sausage balls, and keeps them from drying out in the oven—as sausage balls are prone to do. In other words, this ultimate appetizer recipe is as genius as it is delicious.
Easy Margaritas for a Crowd
Look no further than these large-batch margaritas when you're hosting your next big fiesta and can't spend hours juicing limes. This margarita recipe is a revelation--the secret ingredient is a can of frozen limeade concentrate which, once emptied, doubles as a measuring cup for the remaining ingredients. These margaritas are strong, slightly (but not overly) sweet, and have the perfect note of orange flavor. Oh, and did we mention there's beer involved? We prefer to serve in a large glass drink dispenser with plenty of limes on the side.
This classic red chili has chunks of stew meat and ground beef along with tomatoes, red beans, and spices. Fire-roasted tomatoes add a note of smokiness to the mix. If you can't find fire-roasted, use plain tomatoes and add a pinch of smoked paprika.
Look no further for the ultimate, easy chili recipe. You may think you know how to make chili, but our homemade chili recipe is a gamechanger. With just a push of a button, your weekday dinner is taken care of as the chili cooks away in the slow-cooker. Add chili to your next barbeque to top grilled sausages for an upgraded version of chili dogs. You can easily substitute ground turkey instead of beef for a lighter option and the rest of the ingredients should already be stocked away in your pantry. To top the hot, spicy chili, add shredded Cheddar cheese and corn chips for extra flavor and texture. To go beyond our favorite classic recipe, find more chili recipes here.
This recipe gets back to basics and makes flavor balance the top priority so no ingredient tramples on the exquisite, subtly nutty, and lightly sweet flavors of avocado. As with all simple recipes, the quality of the ingredients makes or breaks the dish: Be particularly sure to use avocados at peak ripeness. We let the onion and jalapeño macerate with the lime juice and salt to tame their flavors slightly. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips, and set out some crunchy vegetables to dip, too, such as radishes, mini sweet peppers, and jicama slices.
Grilled Pork Meatball Kebabs
Gochujang, a Korean chile sauce, adds heat and a touch of sweetness to these meatballs. Serve the cooked skewers atop small lettuce leaves for a pretty presentation that also doubles as a wrap. Gochujang can be found at many grocery stores (we recommend Bibigo Gochujang Sauce), but you can also substitute 2 Tbsp. sriracha chile sauce and increase the sugar to 2 tsp.
Saucy Mini Meatballs
Adding cinnamon gives these meatballs a slight Moroccan feel. You can make this a day ahead and reheat on the stovetop before the party. Using different types of beef adds moisture to the meatballs while keeping sat fat in check.
Seasoned Saltine Crackers
Cheddar Cheese Straws
Cheddar Cheese Straws
Bacon Wrapped Club Crackers
Bacon-Wrapped Potatoes with Queso Blanco Dip
You can keep the queso blanco warm in a fondue pot or 1-qt. slow cooker. These are hearty, and would be a winner for a tailgate too.
Salty Dog Slushes
The Salty Dog has no flaws, but turning it into a slush makes it the most wonderful and festive summertime cocktail ever. The bitterness, sweetness, salt, and booze come together to make a subtly sweet pink and frosty delight. You can even keep frozen grapefruit juice cubes in the freezer and whip a few drinks up to amaze friends (or yourself). If you’d like to experiment, this would also make a mighty fine granita.
Irish Beef Stew
Slow simmered with Guinness and finished with a bit of Dijon mustard for depth, this rich and hearty beef stew is comfort food at its finest. Although we’re all for breaking out the Dutch oven for a Sunday supper, if you’re looking to whip this recipe up in a hurry, we’ve included instructions for achieving the same intensely savory Irish beef stew in the Instant Pot. Either way, you’re guaranteed tender beef and the perfect reason to pick up a loaf of fresh, crusty bread.
There's a reason this warm, creamy, and cheesy dip appears frequently at staff gatherings—the tasty spinach and artichoke dip is pretty much the best appetizer of all time. Want to save time? Assemble up to two days ahead, and bake just before serving. It couldn't be simpler to prepare: Just mix all the ingredients together and bake until golden brown. Serve with tortilla chips (or better yet, these flavorful Seasoned Saltine Crackers) for an impressive and easy dish.
Hungry for more? Check out Our Top 100 Tailgating Appetizers next.
Dry-Rubbed Smoked Chicken Wings
This recipe is from pitmaster, Wade Reich, of Butts To Go in Pell City, Alabama. His story and recipe is one of many beloved pitmasters in our new book, South’s Best Butts. Wade opened Butts To Go in a Texaco after a friend invited him to go in on a local service station. So what about the barbecue? Well, with all his Southern-gentleman charm, Wade says, “The gas business got so bad that it made the food business look good.” His place serves as a quick in-and-out eatery for families and hungry road warriors to literally get their butts to go. Butts ain’t the only item highly demanded by customers of Butts to Go. The wings are equally delicious. They come on and off the smoker throughout the day just to keep up with demand. The low-and slow method ensures that the meat remains super moist and fall-off-the-bone tender, with a deliciously melded skin that is heavily seasoned with an in-house rub. Paprika, along with a good bit of salt, plays the dominant role in this fragrant, orange-hued rub, which works great with poultry. Don’t be too shy about trying it out on other food as well. This rub works great as a finishing seasoning for soft-scrambled eggs.
Lemon-Herb Chicken Kebabs
These light and summery kebabs are made with chicken thighs, which won’t dry out on the grill. Cut the chicken into strips and thread it, accordion-style, onto the skewers along with thinly sliced lemons and asparagus. The tangy herb and lemon marinade also tastes great with pork or lamb.
Kahlúa Cookie Dough Bites
If you're only going to have "a bite" of dessert, this is the bite to have.