12 Great Recipes to Make for a Crowd

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These are odd times we’re living in with the COVID-19 crisis right now. One of the unexpected upsides, though, is having family around. Kids from kindergarten to college schooling from home. Spouses working from home.

The only question is, how to keep everyone fed day after day?

Well, I may not have the answer to “when will this all be over?” But I do have the answer — 12 of them actually — to “what can I make to feed everyone?”

Here are 12 nourishing recipes that are great to scale up and have in the fridge for people to heat up on their own at will. Which frees you up to enjoy being with the people you love (or claim some time for yourself 😉).

Nourishing Quick Posole

With some ready-to-go ingredients on hand, our pozole comes together for a speedy dinner, and is great re-heated the next day.

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili with Squash

Tempeh is a firm, chewy cake made from fermented soybeans, and its dense texture makes it a hearty stand-in for meat. Tempeh does well marinated—it really soaks up the flavors. Butternut squash adds even more flavor, color and texture. For this weeknight-friendly recipe, combine the tempeh and marinade in the morning, pop it in the fridge, and then finish the recipe in the evening. 

Curried Lentil Stew

This vegetarian stew is one I crave all winter long; hearty and socked through with flavor. Serve it over rice with a dollop of plain yogurt.

Chicken Thighs Braised with Lemon, Olives, and Chickpeas

This recipe shouts (well, whispers?) comfort. It may seem strange to include whole slices of lemon, skin and all. But trust me. The rind becomes soft and adds a bitter note that’s countered by the sweet honey and savory olives. Plus, it heats up beautifully for lunch the next day.

Beef and Barley Stew with Kohlrabi and Carrots

One of the many things I love about this stew is that it’s chock-full of seasonal vegetables.


Ribollita is a classic Italian recipe that puts day-old bread to delicious use. Not only is this soup easy and flavorful and light and hearty all at the same time … it’s even better made the day before and reheated.

White Bean and Sausage Soup with Chard

Perked up with chard and Italian sausage, this white bean soup recipe straddles the line between fresh and green and rich and hearty.

Pork and Fennel Ragu

This quick ragu exemplifies my “double up-halvsies” trick. It’s got loads of onion and fennel, just a bit of pork for flavor, and half the pasta you’re used to. Yet it’s so hearty you’ll never miss the extra meat and pasta.

Improv Cassoulet

There are so many things I love about cassoulet … one of them being its versatility. Be creative with your leftovers–beans, roasted meat, stale bread–and see what it becomes.

Carnitas de Lia

These carnitas are based on a recipe by Michele Anna Jordan that I’ve been using for years. Because the pork is braised in its own juice, these carnitas are much lighter than the traditional version, which is cooked in ample fat. Serve this Mexican-style pulled pork with guacamole, lime wedges, salsa and a basket of hot tortillas.

Mushroom Farrotto with Roasted Butternut Squash

Farro is an ancient strain of emmer wheat. You can find it in many specialty shops and also online at ChefShop.com. The hearty, nutty flavor of the farro pairs beautifully with butternut squash and mushrooms.

Orecchiette with Broccoli and Sausage

This is our family’s “go-to” pasta. For some reason, we especially love to make it when we come home from traveling. There’s something homey and grounding about this dish—with or without the sausage. The sauce and veggies are so flavorful, you won’t be compromising one bit by making this meatless.