Dinner Ideas for 25 People

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Spaghetti is a popular dish with people of all ages.
Spaghetti is a popular dish with people of all ages. (Image: spaghetti image by Bartlomiej Nowak from Fotolia.com)

The best dinner ideas for 25 people create dishes appropriate for the specific occasion, party budget and the intended guests. A gourmet squid dinner isn’t going to go over well at a family party filled with children. A barbecue with hot dogs isn’t going to go over well at a black-tie wedding reception. If the food is appropriate and in ample supply, however, you’re almost guaranteed a successful event.

Budget Italian

Italian food is popular with people of any age and lends itself well to a tight budget. Beefy spaghetti sauce and spaghetti noodles create the entrée for the sit-down dinner for 25 people. Beefy lasagna or spaghetti and meatballs also work for an entrée. Thick chunks of garlic bread and a light garden salad make up the side dishes. Desserts can include generic tiramisu and/or gelato.

Casual Buffet

A low-cost and casual buffet lets guest roam around and socialize while they slowly munch on different finger foods. Finger sandwiches with turkey-and-Swiss, ham-and-cheddar and salami-and-provolone create the main entrée. Carrot, celery and cucumber sticks with dip create a healthy side dish. Apple, pear and pineapple spears create a sweet side dish. Dessert can include homemade chocolate-chip cookies, cherry-flavored gelatin squares and frosted brownies.

Expensive Gourmet

An expensive gourmet dinner for 25 people may be costly, but it’s a sure-fire way to impress a gathering of sophisticated adults. The first course is a rich salad with pear, goat cheese, baby spinach, Romaine lettuce, red cabbage and green onion in a light raspberry vinaigrette dressing. The second course is a truffle-stuffed sirloin entree with wild rice pilaf. The third course is a dessert with champagne-glazed cherry sauce over almond cream puffs.

Fancy Barbecue

Throwing a fancy barbecue for 25 people is only possible with access to a large outdoor grill. Serve appetizers to keep guests occupied while the entrée is grilling. Appetizers can include shrimp puffs, stuffed mushroom caps and a red wine cheese ball with crackers. Grilled salmon steaks with an apricot and garlic glaze create the entrée. Herb-grilled asparagus and red potato spears create the side dish. Grilled banana slices in a pecan caramel sauce make up the dessert.

Gourmet Southern

A gourmet southern dinner mixes hearty southern dishes with rich new flavors. Crispy fried chicken with a parmesan and herb crust serves as the heart of the meal. Rosemary buttermilk biscuits, garlic creamed black-eye peas and honey-glazed collard greens serve as the side dishes. Cinnamon sweet potato soufflé in rum sauce finishes the meal with a rich dessert.

Traditional Barbecue

It may be a common idea, but a traditional barbecue does offer popular dishes for a reasonable price. Hot dogs, hamburgers, buns and all the fixings create the entrée. Potato salad, garden salad, lime gelatin salad and macaroni salad make up the side dishes. Cookies, cakes, brownies, ice cream and/or popsicles are all suitable dessert choices.

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