Wedding reception menus and event catering seem to be a major topic of conversation within my circle lately. Over the summer, my cousin’s fiancée was discussing the menu for her upcoming nuptials, and my sister suggested a taco bar. I thought this was a great idea, which got me to thinking about what other types of foods could be served up in the same way. It’s easy to please everyone with these easy recipes, as the foods are provided in a buffet style where your wedding guests may build their own main course.
A taco bar can be a relatively quick and easy menu for the do it yourself bride. The food can easily be prepared ahead, with the taco meats being reheated just prior to serving. Provide a couple of different types of meat, including chicken, steak and pork along with the traditional ground beef. Some guests will expect hard shells for their tacos while others prefer soft shells in the form of either flour or corn tortillas. Another option is hard shelled salad bowls with plenty of lettuce for those who prefer to prepare a taco salad.
Then throw out a variety of ‘fixins’ in decorative serving dishes. Offer the basics, including chopped onions, tomatoes, shredded lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, a selection of shredded cheeses, refried beans and seasoned black beans. For sides, offer a couple of different types of rice, Calabacitas Guisada (Stewed Mexican Zucchini), Poblanos and a myriad of other authentic Mexican or TexMex dishes.
The pasta bar is another interesting catering idea your guests will love. All you need for these easy recipes is a fixings bar set with bowls which can be filled with a variety of cooked pastas, prepared meats and chopped veggies, a selection of pasta sauces and a couple of hot plates where a designated cook can toss the dishes together for your guests.
Picture this: Your guests line up at the pasta bar where Uncle Frank fills a bowl with a large helping of rigatoni noodles. He loves his veggies, so he piles on the fresh onions, peppers, olives and sun dried tomatoes. He chooses a serving of shaved beef and steps up to the chef who will toss the food into a hot, oiled skillet and quickly stir fry it to perfection. The dish will then be poured into a clean bowl and topped with a heaping ladle full of Frank’s favorite Alfredo sauce, and maybe even a sprinkling of shredded cheese.
Aunt Jo, on the other hand, prefers her angel hair pasta with marinara sauce, a pinch of veggies and a couple of shrimp. And the little cousins all want their favorite macaroni noodles (hold the veggies, thank you very much,) tossed with a dash of olive oil and shredded cheese. The beauty of this fabulously easy wedding reception pasta bar is that each and every one of them may have exactly what they want!
For sides, you can’t go wrong with bruschetta, garlic toast and a huge tossed salad. You could also offer a variety of other Italian side dishes such as asparagus with prosciutto and pine nuts, polenta and any number of other tasty sides.
Who needs a professional wedding planner when you can add these easy recipes to your wedding catering menu?
Next Up: An omelet bar with dessert buffet!
Check this out:
-Thrifty food ideas for wedding receptions
–Taco bar for 200
-From Project Wedding: What to Serve, a variety of wedding catering ideas for various venues