The Best Recipes To Make In Bulk: Dinner Party Menu Plan For 30 Guests

We recently had a big dinner party in the garden for 30 friends for Jonathan’s 30th birthday. He was in charge of the marquee (we found pretty cheap marquee hire through Gumtree), the picnic bench hire and the meat joints (just throw them in the oven in the morning and cook them on a low heat), and I was in charge of the rest of the menu.

Of course, cooking for 30 people is no easy feat, but I felt comfortable enough with some of the below recipes and in the end managed to get it all done in an afternoon – but only just!!

If you’re planning to make big batch food, ask some friends or family to help with things like chopping or washing up, you won’t regret it. The below was plenty for 30 people, and could have easily fed 40 or more. Jonathan bought a few large joints of lamb meat from the butcher, rubbed them all in olive oil and sprinkled them with chopped thyme, rosemary, and some salt and pepper, and put them in the oven for 5 hours of slow cooking, while I got on with the side dishes below.

The food prep took longer than I expected, and that was with the help of two friends who helped with chopping and washing up! So I was very grateful that the cake was provided by one of the guests. If you’re feeling ambitious enough to make your own cake too, I would suggest something super simple like this chocolate chip banana cake, or a pile of 3-ingredient scones with strawberry and prosecco jam. A Dutch apple cake is pretty east to make too, or for something slightly more fiddly but a bit different, you could try the courgette and pumpkin spice cake. Feeling up for a challenge? My bunny cake is a real show-stopper and would be great for a kids birthday party or christening, or otherwise this Watercolour cake has real wow-factor too!

Aside from the food, we filled the wheelbarrow with cans of coke, Diet Coke, bottled water, beer etc, and had a table laid out with wine glasses, wine, prosecco and champagne glasses. I also blitzed a few tins of peaches in syrup (super cheap from the supermarket) with a hand blender, and set the mixture aside in a jug so people could pour the mixture into their champagne glasses if they fancied a Bellini.

In the end, my menu for 30 people consisted of the following recipes:

Canapes

Starter

Side salads

Other sides

We also had some mint sauce and other condiments dotted around for Jonathan’s roast lamb.

Then a cheeseboard to finish off, along with the cake that one of the guests brought.

For ease, I divided the menu into a spreadsheet with columns representing supermarket isles, so I don’t forget anything!

It was a great success and I know I’ll be using this menu plan again – although hopefully not too soon!

I hope this helps inspire some ideas for your next dinner party!

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