LOOKING for: Pasta Salads or Dessert for a Crowd

mrobbinsJuly 15, 2009

What's your favorite source of recipes to serve ten or more? I'm volunteering as a cook at my local church, and will be responsible for serving a pasta salad or dessert (someone else does the main course of meat chili and cornbread) for the homeless lunch on Sunday. I usually don't cook for more than five or six people at a time so I know there will be a learning curve for me in this. My usual recipe sources aren't geared towards institutional cooking situations, either....any ideas? or favorite recipes? Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This board has been around for a long time and is a great source for quantity recipes and techniques.

Here is a link that might be useful: Growlies for Groups

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 5:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This delicious cake is made in a large sheet cake pan or jelly-roll pan. The combination of chocolate, cinnamon, and coffee is really something. The yield is 16-24 servings.

Mexican Chocolate Sheet Cake

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

* 4 (1 oz.) squares unsweetened chocolate
* 1/2 cup butter
* 1 cup hot water
* 2 cups flour
* 2 cups sugar
* 1 tsp. cinnamon
* 1 t. instant coffee
* pinch of salt
* 1/3 cup buttermilk
* 1-1/4 tsp. soda
* 2 eggs, beaten
* 1 tsp. vanilla

* 2 (1 oz.) squares unsweetened chocolate
* 1/4 cup butter
* 8 Tbsp. milk
* 4 cups powdered sugar
* 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
* 1 tsp. instant coffee
* 2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large saucepan, melt the chocolate and butter in the hot water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well with a wire whisk or eggbeater. Then stir in buttermilk, soda, eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth. Pour into greased and floured 15"x10"x2" pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until the top springs back when touched with a fingertip. Make the frosting while the cake is in the oven.

While the cake is baking, make the frosting. In a heavy saucepan, melt 2 squares chocolate and 1/4 cup butter together. Add powdered sugar, milk,, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, and 2 tsp. vanilla and beat well. You may need to add more milk or powdered sugar to reach the desired consistency: the frosting should be pourable.

When the cake comes out of the oven, let cool for 15 minutes, then pour the frosting over. Spread if necessary, and let the cake cool. 24 small servings

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 10:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is my Mom's pasta salad recipe and it has been a favorite over the years.

12 oz vermicelli cooked and drained
1 small bottle wishbone Italian salad dressing
1 pkg Italian seasoning mix (found near salad dressings)
1/2 bottle of salad supreme (found in the spice section)
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 chopped red onion
1 can sliced black olives, drained
3 or 4 chopped tomatoes

Cook vermicelli according to pkg directions. Mix with all other ingredients and refrigerate.


    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 11:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am and have been the "funeral lunch lady" at our church for the past 3 years. In that time I have done about 25 meals for 75 or more....and many for 100 and some for more than that. Pasta salad and pasta veggie salad are as staple this time of the year.
I have recipes scaled for 50 and more.,...what do you need? I am not a fan of Growlies as I have found their amounts way too much and some of the recipes strange. I have learned from experience and through cooking many many meals for a crowd.
Linda C

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 8:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is an oldie that can be served at room temperature.

** Cherry Dessert serves 12

2 cans (21 oz. ea) cherry pie filling
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 pkg Jiffy cake mix, yellow or white
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Into a 9x13 cake pan empty pie filling.
Swirl in extract and cinnamon.
Sprinkle with cake mix. Drip butter over all.
Sprinkle with almonds.
Bake 375 for 30 min.

This is the only pasta salad I make. It needs the tuna so may not be appropriate for your needs. Especially good on a hot day. I always chill overnight.

Pasta Salad with tuna
2 C. (~8 oz). dittalini pasta

1/3 - 1/2 C. sweet pickle relish
3 stalks celery, chopped
opt: 1/2 C. green grapes, sliced in 1/2 lengthwise
or 1/2 Fuji (tart crisp) apple, chopped
6 oz. can albacore tuna, drained

1/2 C.+ mayonnaise

Cook dittalini al dente (about 8 min.) Drain & rinse! Cool.
Toss with remaining ingredients, adding mayo last.
Chill 4 hours or overnight (better). Serves 8 (or more?)

**Do not double the amount of tuna**
Fruit is optional.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 3:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You didn't mention if your meal would be sitting out for any length of time, but here are some more ideas. Some include mayo, so use your own judgement on whther they will work for you or not.

This one will serve 6 people, maybe more, and is easy to double or triple, if necessary.

Tequilaberry's Salad

1 cup Hellmann's Mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip!)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 pound bacon-cooked until crisp and crumbled (can use real bacon bits)

Salad Base:
2 pounds bagged Dole Salad Mix ( I use my own mixed greens)
1/2 head of cauliflower, cut in small pieces
11/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Mix dressing ingredients until they are the consistency of heavy cream.

If needed, add extra milk or sugar to taste.
Toss together the Salad ingredients and pour the dressing on. Toss until
well coated.

This one makes enought ot feed probably 8 people. Again, easily doubled. 

Caesar Pasta Salad   
From Cooking Light   
3 c. cooked Penne pasta   
2 c. chopped Romaine lettuce   
1\-1/2 c. halved cherry tomatoes   
1/2c. chopped fresh basil   
1/2 c. chopped green onion   
1/3 c Caesar dressing   
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley   
4 oz. crumbled Feta cheese   
1 garlic clove, minced   
3 c. shredded cooked chicken breast 

I think it was Ruthanna who posted this one a few years ago. Sorry if I am mistaken. Simple but very good!


3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
3 cups granulated sugar
6 eggs (at room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups chopped, peeled peaches

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time,mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts.

Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in the sour cream and peaches.

Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 75 to 85 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Invert onto wire rack and cool completely.


8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 (1 pound) box confectioners' sugar, sifted

Cream the cream cheese and butter in a mixer bowl until light and fluffy.

Add the milk and almond extract and mix well. Add the confectioners sugar gradually, beating until smooth. Frost cake. Store leftover cake covered in


1/4 c. butter   
1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs   
1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)   
1 c. (8 oz.) sour cream   
1 (3 oz.) cream cheese   
1/4 c. Realemon lemon juice   
1 can Comstock apple pie filling   
1/4 c. chopped walnuts   
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 1 1/2 quart shallow baking dish (10 x 6 inch) melt butter in oven. Sprinkle in crumbs; stir well. Press on bottom of dish. In medium bowl, mix together sweetened condensed milk, sour cream and lemon juice and cream cheese. Spread evenly over crumbs. 

Spoon pie filling evenly over creamy layer. Sprinkle with walnuts that have been mixed with the cinnamon. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until set. May be served warm or cold. Refrigerate leftovers. 

Variations: Omit cinnamon, substitute blueberry, cherry or peach pie filling for apple pie filling. 

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 10:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here's a different, but very refreshing dessert type salad I have been making now for several years. I'm constantly asked for this recipe. Extremely easy to increase amounts for desired number of servings

From Everyday Food.

Watermelon and cucumber salad.

3 cups watermelon cut into bite size pieces
3 cups seedless cucumber peeled and cut into bite size pieces
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
salt and pepper to taste.

Combine watermelon and cucumber in bowl. Add lime juice and mix to combine. Add pepper and stir again.
If serving right away add salt if desired. If not serving right away, add salt just before serving.

This tastes wonderful as is, but is also wonderful served over lime sherbet as well.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2009 at 6:34PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
LOOKING for: Paprika bacon?
Mu husband brought home a 1# slab piece of paprika...
RECIPE: looking for: potato boats recipe
What are the healthy ingredients you can incorporate...
RECIPE: Corn chowder recipe
I recently had this and it was delicious. The only...
RECIPE: Sauce for Meat
Years ago my Grandmother use to do a lot of canning....
RECIPE: Oven Canned Tomatoes
Since 1974 I've used this recipe to process/can my...
Sponsored Products
Campania Morgan Scroll Urn - 7247476
$729.99 | Hayneedle
Five-Light Hooded Chandelier
$501.95 | Bellacor
Safavieh Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug: Safavieh Rugs Wyndham Ivory/Multi 4 ft. x 6
Home Depot
Sage Egyptian Cotton-Blend 800-Thread Count Sheet Set
$44.99 | zulily
Hudson Valley Quinton Historic Nickel Ceiling Fixture
Lamps Plus
Reflecting Pool Bold Stripe Ovo Floor Lamp
Lamps Plus
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™