Easy Side Dishes For A Large Crowd (20 Amazing Dishes)

Cooking for a large crowd has always been a struggle for me, especially when I was younger.

My family would always have BIG gatherings, and I was ALWAYS the one in charge of the side dishes. It was a lot of pressure for me, but I loved it.

One of the most important things to remember when cooking for a large crowd is to keep it simple.

Another important thing is that not everyone likes the same things. You’ll want to try and please as many people as possible, so a variety of dishes is always a good idea.

There are so many different things that you could make, but it’s hard to know which ones will be the most popular and easy to prepare.

I think I’ve finally mastered the art of cooking for a large crowd. I’ve learned a few tricks along the way, and I’m excited to share them with you.

Easy Side Dishes For A Large Crowd

  1. Baked Beans
  2. Corn Pudding
  3. Mixed Roasted Veggie Salad
  4. Pasta Salad
  5. Sautéed Asparagus
  6. Lettuce with Mixed Seed Sprinkle
  7. Cauliflower Mac ‘n’ Cheese
  8. Green Bean Casserole
  9. Ramen Noodle Salad
  10. Broiled Broccolini and Capers
  11. Corn on the Cob
  12. Creamy Coleslaw
  13. Creamed Spinach
  14. Bourbon Yams
  15. 30-Minute Dinner Rolls
  16. Crispy Brussels Sprouts
  17. Air Fryer Asparagus
  18. Scalloped Potatoes
  19. Creamy Cucumber Salad
  20. Macaroni Salad

Baked Beans

This super easy side dish is a crowd-pleaser and can be made ahead of time. I like to make a big batch and then freeze it in individual servings, so I always have some on hand.

It may not be the prettiest dish, but it’s delicious and hearty. Baked beans are a great source of protein and fiber and they’re also vegan and gluten-free.

Quick Recipe: Baked Beans with Maple Syrup

  • Ingredients: Canned baked beans, maple syrup, bacon bits
  • Average Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Instructions: Mix beans, syrup, and bacon bits. Bake at 375°F for 15-20 minutes.

Corn Pudding

This is a must-have side dish at all of our family gatherings. It’s easy to make and can be served either hot or cold

This super delicious and easy side dish that can be made ahead of time. I like to make a BIG BATCH and then freeze it in individual servings, so I always have some on hand.

It’s the perfect dish for a summer BBQ or potluck.

Quick Recipe: Corn Pudding with Jalapeños

  • Ingredients: Canned corn, cornbread mix, jalapeños
  • Average Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Instructions: Mix ingredients and bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes.

Mixed Roasted Veggie Salad

This easy side dish is perfect for a summer potluck or BBQ. I like to roast a mix of veggies ahead of time and then toss them with some olive oil, vinegar, and seasonings.

You can use any mix of veggies you like, but my favorites are zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, and onions.

Quick Recipe: Mixed Roasted Veggie Salad

  • Ingredients: Mixed veggies, olive oil, balsamic glaze
  • Average Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Instructions: Roast veggies at 400°F for 15-20 minutes. Drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Pasta Salad

The probability that pasta salad will be the first to go at a potluck is very high. It is always a hit with kids and adults alike.

My go-to pasta salad recipe is this one from Ina Garten. It’s simple and delicious and can be easily customized to your liking.

Quick Recipe: Pasta Salad with Pesto and Mozzarella

  • Ingredients: Cooked pasta, pesto, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls
  • Average Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Instructions: Mix all ingredients and chill before serving.

Sautéed Asparagus

Asparagus is a great side dish because it’s healthy and easy to make. I like to sauté mine with a little bit of olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice.

You won’t believe how delicious this easy side dish is.

Quick Recipe: Sautéed Asparagus with Lemon Zest

  • Ingredients: Asparagus, olive oil, lemon zest
  • Average Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Instructions: Sauté asparagus in olive oil, finish with lemon zest.

Lettuce with Mixed Seed Sprinkle

This easy and healthy side dish is a great way to get kids to eat their veggies. Trust me, the parents will thank you.

I like to mix together a variety of seeds (I usually use sunflower, pumpkin, and sesame) and then sprinkle them over a bed of lettuce.

Quick Recipe: Lettuce with Mixed Seed Sprinkle

  • Ingredients: Lettuce, mixed seeds, vinaigrette
  • Average Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Instructions: Toss lettuce with vinaigrette and sprinkle with seeds.

Cauliflower Mac ‘n’ Cheese

This is a great alternative to traditional mac and cheese. Over time, I’ve realized that what makes it so appealing to the crowd is that it’s vegan and gluten-free, while still delicious.

This means that EVERYONE, including vegans, can enjoy it.

I like to use a mix of vegan cheese and nutritional yeast to give it that cheesy flavor. Trust me, even the non-vegans will love it.

Quick Recipe: Cauliflower Mac ‘n’ Cheese

  • Ingredients: Cauliflower florets, cheese sauce
  • Average Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Instructions: Steam cauliflower, mix with cheese sauce, and bake for 10 minutes at 375°F.

Green Bean Casserole

This easy side dish is a Thanksgiving staple in our family. I like to make it ahead of time and then just reheat it when we’re ready to eat.

It’s the perfect mix of creamy and crunchy and can be easily made vegan by substituting dairy products for vegan alternatives.

Quick Recipe: Green Bean Casserole with Almonds

  • Ingredients: Green beans, cream of mushroom, almonds
  • Average Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Instructions: Mix beans and soup, top with almonds, bake at 375°F for 25 minutes.

Ramen Noodle Salad

I like to make Ramen noodles because they’re easy to find and cheap, but you can really use any type of noodle you like.

Something that I’ve found to be a real crowd-pleaser is when I mix the ramen noodle salad with a variety of veggies, including carrots, cucumbers, and red peppers.

Quick Recipe: Ramen Noodle Salad with Sesame Dressing

  • Ingredients: Ramen noodles, mixed veggies, sesame dressing
  • Average Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Instructions: Cook ramen, mix with veggies and dressing.

Broiled Broccolini and Capers

I love how easy this side dish is to make and how healthy it is. Broccolini is a wonderful cruciferous vegetable that has calcium, fiber, and magnesium, among others.

It’s also easy to find, especially if you buy it pre-washed and cut. All you have to do is toss it with some olive oil and then broil it for about five minutes.

I like to top it with a sprinkle of capers for some salty flavor.

Quick Recipe: Broiled Broccolini and Capers

  • Ingredients: Broccolini, capers, olive oil
  • Average Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Instructions: Broil broccolini and capers after tossing in olive oil.

Corn on the Cob

My two favorite recipes for a delicious corn-on-the-cob side dish are the boiled corn-on-the-cob recipe from Alton Brown or just a simple, easy-grilled version.

Both recipes are easy to follow and produce great results. I like to make a big batch and then freeze it in individual servings, so I always have some on hand.

Sometimes, I like to go with the oven-roasted version. It’s easy to make and can be served either hot or cold.

Quick Recipe: Corn on the Cob with Garlic Butter

  • Ingredients: Corn, garlic butter
  • Average Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Instructions: Boil corn, slather with garlic butter.

Creamy Coleslaw

This is one way to ensure that your side dish is easy to make and delicious. I like to use a pre-made coleslaw mix and then add in some Greek yogurt, mayo, and vinegar.

Easy peasy!

You can also add in some diced apples or cranberries for a little sweetness.

Quick Recipe: Creamy Coleslaw with Apple

  • Ingredients: Cabbage, mayo, apple
  • Average Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Instructions: Mix shredded cabbage, diced apple, and mayo.

Creamed Spinach

Like most people, I grew up eating creamed spinach from a can. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized how easy it is to make from scratch.

And it only takes a few minutes. Plus, you can control the amount of cream and cheese that you use.

Quick Recipe: Creamed Spinach with Nutmeg

  • Ingredients: Spinach, cream, nutmeg
  • Average Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Instructions: Sauté spinach, add cream and nutmeg.

Bourbon Yams

Everybody loves a good sweet potato dish and this easy recipe is no exception. I like to add a little bit of bourbon to mine for a little extra flavor.

You can also top it with some chopped pecans or marshmallows if you’re feeling festive.

Quick Recipe: Bourbon Yams

  • Ingredients: Yams, bourbon, brown sugar
  • Average Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Instructions: Roast yams, glaze with bourbon and sugar mix.

30-Minute Dinner Rolls

These easy dinner rolls only take 30 minutes to make and they’re so soft and fluffy.

They’re the perfect side for any meal, but I especially love them with soup or stew.

I prefer to use a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment to make the process even easier.

Quick Recipe: Homemade Rolls

  • Ingredients: Yeast, warm water, sugar, flour, butter, salt, egg
  • Average Cook Time: 2 hours (including rising time)
  • Instructions:
    1. Activate yeast in warm water and sugar.
    2. Mix with flour, melted butter, salt, and egg.
    3. Let dough rise for 1 hour.
    4. Form into rolls and let rise for another 30 minutes.
    5. Bake at 375°F for 20-25 minutes.

Crispy Brussels Sprouts

I don’t know about you, but I love Brussels sprouts.

They’re easy to find, easy to cook, and they’re so good for you.

I like to roast mine in the oven with a little bit of olive oil and sea salt.

You can also add in some garlic or Parmesan cheese if you want.

Quick Recipe: Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

  • Ingredients: Brussels sprouts, bacon
  • Average Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Instructions: Roast sprouts and bacon at 400°F for 15-20 minutes.

Air Fryer Asparagus

Everyone loves asparagus, but it can be a little tricky to cook.

That’s why I love this easy air fryer recipe.

It only takes a few minutes and the asparagus comes out perfectly crispy.

I like to serve it with a lemon wedge and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Quick Recipe: Air Fryer Asparagus

  • Ingredients: Asparagus, olive oil
  • Average Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Instructions: Air fry asparagus at 375°F for 8-10 minutes.

Scalloped Potatoes

If you’re looking for an easy, yet elegant side dish, look no further than scalloped potatoes.

They can be made ahead of time and then reheated when you’re ready to eat.

I like to use a mandoline to slice the potatoes thinly so they cook evenly.

You can also substitute sweet potatoes for regular potatoes if you’re feeling adventurous.

Quick Recipe: Scalloped Potatoes with Herbs

  • Ingredients: Sliced potatoes, cream, mixed herbs, salt, pepper
  • Average Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Instructions: Layer potatoes and herbs, pour cream, bake at 375°F for 25-30 minutes.

Creamy Cucumber Salad

There is no easier side dish than a cucumber salad.

It’s light, refreshing, and takes less than five minutes to make.

I like to use English cucumbers because they’re seedless and have a thin skin. But you can use any type of cucumber that you like.

You can also add some vegetables or herbs to the salad, like diced tomatoes or chopped parsley.

What are your favorite easy side dishes for a large crowd? Let me know in the comments below!

Quick Recipe: Creamy Cucumber Salad with Dill

  • Ingredients: Cucumber, sour cream, dill, black pepper, salt
  • Average Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Instructions: Mix sliced cucumber, sour cream, dill black pepper and salt

Macaroni Salad

This one is always a hit at potlucks and picnics. It’s easy to make and can be made ahead of time.

To make it more interesting, I like to add diced celery, onions, and pickles. You may also add shredded cheese or hard-boiled eggs for extra flavor.

Quick Recipe: Macaroni Salad with Tuna

  • Ingredients: Cooked macaroni, canned tuna, mayo
  • Average Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Instructions: Mix macaroni, tuna, and mayo.

A List of Other Options

Vegetable Side Dishes

Nutty Green Beans

Grape Salad

Air Fryer Broccoli

Broccoli Salad

Ambrosia Salad

Butternut Squash Pasta Salad

Pan-Roasted Mushrooms

Carbs and Starchy Side Dishes

Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes

Potato Salad

Pumpkin-Potato Mash

Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes

Yukon Gold and Sweet Potato Gratin

Hasselback Potatoes

Miscellaneous combinations

Roasted Mushrooms and Radicchio

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Brussels Sprouts Garnished with Bacon and Almonds

Cinnamon-Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Wild Rice

Lima Bean and Corn Succotash

Spinach Salad Topped with Goat Cheese, Apple, and a Warm Bacon Dressing

Classic Butternut Squash Soup

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you serve at a big crowd?

When it comes to easy side dishes for a large crowd, you can’t go wrong with classics like macaroni salad, mashed potatoes, and roasted vegetables. If you’re looking for something a little bit different, try Hasselback potatoes or a sweet potato gratin. For something truly unique, try making a grape salad or an Ambrosia salad.

What are some easy side dishes for a summer party?

Some easy side dishes for a summer party include salads, fruit salads, and vegetable platters. You can also make cold soup or gazpacho. And don’t forget the classics like macaroni salad and potato salad. Serve them with some grilled chicken.

What can I cook to feed 10 people?

Some easy side dishes that will feed ten people include roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, macaroni salad, and cucumber salad. You could also make a big batch of soup or chili. And don’t forget the bread! Make sure to have plenty of rolls and butter on hand.

What is the most ordered side dish?

Someof the most popular side dishes include sauteed asparagus with pancetta, classic green bean casserole, cheesy potato casserole and garlic mashed cauliflower. Other favorites include crockpot mac and cheese and lemon parmesan roasted broccoli.

Wrapping Up

To wrap this up, I want you to know that easy side dishes for a large crowd do exist and they are delicious.

So the next time you’re planning a big party or potluck, don’t stress about what to make. Just choose one of these easy recipes and you’ll be sure to please everyone.

Easy Side Dishes For A Large Crowd (20 Amazing Dishes)

We've gathered 21 wonderful recipe options to accompany your main dish.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 390 kcal


  • Baked Beans
  • Corn Pudding
  • Mixed Roasted Veggie Salad
  • Pasta Salad
  • Sautéed Asparagus
  • Lettuce with Mixed Seed Sprinkle
  • Cauliflower Mac ‘n’ Cheese
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Ramen Noodle Salad
  • Broiled Broccolini and Capers
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Creamy Coleslaw
  • Creamed Spinach
  • Bourbon Yams
  • 30- Minute Dinner Rolls
  • Crispy Brussels Sprouts
  • Air Fryer Asparagus
  • Scalloped Potatoes
  • Creamy Cucumber Salad
  • Macaroni Salad


  • Choose your preferred recipe
  • Prepare the ingredients needed to complete the recipe
  • Prepare your side dish
Keyword easy side dishes for a large crowd