Easy Lunch Recipes for a Large Group

One of the things we love most about Trilogy is the way our Members seem to just gravitate towards each other and connect to try new things, laugh as a group, and simply make each other’s lives happier! Since living at a Trilogy community isn’t like other communities where neighbors tend to avoid eye contact and getting to know each other (eek!), we thought a fun way to bring together longtime friends and new neighbors is to host a lunch – complete with hands-on preparation participation.

Now, while we think planning your day around great food is perfectly acceptable, why not also include some morning activities on your agenda (balance is everything, right?)? Your group can try a new walking or hiking trail, a different workout class at the club, or head outside the community and act like tourists and visit a nearby attraction.

Once your morning excursions are complete, the real fun begins! Welcome the group into your Trilogy kitchen for this DIY lunch gathering and get everyone involved in the meal prep as a group. The homes at Trilogy are always designed with entertaining in mind, so we’re thinking about occasions like a big lunch party when we create the spacious, open floor plans Trilogy is known for. That means, while you may be bumping elbows with your neighbor when passing ingredients over the island, your guests will have plenty of room to put their feet up, take a load off, and chat after a day of fun.

All you need to decide on now is what meal you want to serve! Check out some of our favorites below.

Easy Lunch Idea 1: Classic Sandwich and Veggie Lunch

A sandwich, salad, and some finger foods to kick off the meal – what’s not to like about that? Sometimes keeping it simple really is the best way to go, especially if you may be inviting over some of your pickier friends or new acquaintances and you’re unsure of their likes or dislikes.

Begin with Cut Cucumber Bites filled with your favorite dip, or a variety of different dips, to appeal to a variety of palettes. We tend to lean towards hummus, ranch, or guacamole.

Cucumber Bites Appetizer Recipe
Ingredients:
– 1 or 2 large English cucumbers
– Dip of your choosing

Instructions:
1. Wash and dry cucumbers
2. Cut cucumbers into 1-inch segments
3. Use a melon baller or small spoon to scoop out a small amount of seeds in each cucumber segment.
4. Fill the divot with the dip of your choice and enjoy!

Next, our Party-Style Sandwich is meant to serve a big group with little effort! Cream cheese also helps to combat soggy bread so feel free to make a large serving size for people to go back for seconds without having to whip out all the prep utensils again.

Easy Party-Style Sandwich Recipe
Ingredients:
– Large sub roll (large enough to slice into enough slivers to feed your guest list)
– Small tub of flavored cream cheese (Try chive flavored.)
– Sliced deli cheese of your choice (We like mixing grilled turkey and roast beef.)
– Head of lettuce
– Broccoli sprouts
– Tomatoes (sliced)
– Avocado (sliced)
– Banana peppers

Instructions:
1. Wash and dry all produce.
2. Slice large roll in half.
3. Smear cream cheese on both halves of roll.
4. Layer on cheese on one half of the roll and the deli meat on the other half. (This will keep the sandwich from getting too soggy from the produce.)
5. Layer on lettuce, tomato, avocado, and banana peppers to your liking.
6. Stack sandwich and slice into 2-3 inch slices for serving.

To round out the meal, add a few greens to everyone’s plate with a simple side salad. To create less work on your lunch crew, try picking up a bag of salad at your local grocery story that contains portioned mix-ins. This will help get everyone to their meal faster and also serves as a simple task for those in your group who may not be too handy around the kitchen. If you’re looking to add a cocktail to the day, try one of the summer drinks listed in this blog post.

To divvy up work on this meal, assign a few of your guests to the following roles:

  • Produce Washer/Chopper
  • App Arranger
  • Sandwich Creator
  • Salad Maker
  • Bartender

Easy Lunch Idea 2: DIY Kabobs and Pita Chips

This recipe is hands on for everyone! While your kitchen may get a little messy while assembling the kabobs, it’s a great way to start conversation and make the meal something everyone can tailor to their own tastes.

Prep-work: Before you head out on your morning’s activities (you can even do this step the night before), be sure to complete steps 1 and 2 of the kabob recipe. That way, your key ingredients will be ready when your guests arrive.

DIY Kabobs
Ingredients:
– 1 lb of sirloin, cubed
– 1.5 lb of boneless, skinless chicken, cubed
– 1 red onion, quartered and separated into sections (3-4 layers each)
– 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch cubes
– 1 orange bell pepper, cubed
– 1 8-oz package of whole white button mushrooms
– 1 pineapple, peeled and cubed
– 1 bottle teriyaki marinade
– 1 pack wooden skewers
– 1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
– 1 English cucumber
– Pita bread

Instructions:
1. Wash and cut all produce for kabobs.
2. Add produce to a gallon-sized freezer bag along with half of the bottle of marinade. Add meats to a separate gallon-sized freezer bag with the other half of the marinade. If needed, add water in order  to cover half of the bags’ contents.
3. Marinate for at least 30 minutes.
4. Soak wooden skewers (as many as you need) in water for five minutes.
5. Add ingredients to the skewers – a random order will make for a more fun meal.
6. Set grill to medium and place skewers on grill when hot.
7. While the kabobs are cooking, make the yogurt sauce. Peel and grate 3/4 of the cucumber and stir into yogurt.
8. When kabobs are cool enough to handle, add kabob filling to pita along with yogurt sauce and enjoy!

While grabbing a bag of pita chips along with your favorite hummus is an easy option, we love the idea of making a simple pita chip at home. It will likely end up with a little less oil and sodium than you’d be getting with a pre-made version.

DIY Pita Chips with Hummus Appetizer Recipe
Ingredients:
– 1 package of pita bread
– Optional: olive oil, salt, and seasonings
– Hummus of your choosing

Instructions:
1. Set oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Cut pita bread into triangles or strips and arrange on cookie sheet.
3. If desired, brush pita with a coat of olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning to taste.
4. Bake pita bread for 10 minutes or until crispy, turning once while cooking.
5. Serve with hummus.

If you’re ready to dole out roles for this meal, consider asking for the following helpers:

  • Cucumber Grater
  • Pita Chip Maker
  • Skewer Assembly Line: Get everyone involved in this step so they can make a skewer to their liking!
  • Griller

Easy Lunch Idea 3: Baby Bells Appetizer followed by Spicy Citrus Shrimp

While this recipe requires a little bit of marinating time, you’ll be enjoying appetizers, a custom cocktail, and quality conversation while you wait, so it’ll pass in no time!

When lunch prep begins, start by creating the shrimp marinade and allowing the shellfish 20-30 minutes’ time to absorb the flavors.

Spicy Citrus Shrimp Recipe
Ingredients:
– 1 16 oz package of peeled, de-veined raw shrimp (defrosted)
– Juice of 2 medium-sized lemons
– 2 tbsp. of Sriracha
– 1 tbsp. of Mirin (cooking rice wine)
– 2 tbsp. of white rice vinegar
– 3 tbsp. of minced garlic
– 1 tbsp. of sesame oil (olive or canola oil will also work)
– 3 tbsp. of water
– Optional: 2 tbsp. of red pepper flakes for even more spice
– Additional 2 tbsp. of oil for cooking
– Head of butter lettuce

Instructions:
1. In a medium bowl, create marinade by mixing together the lemon juice, sriracha, garlic, oil, water, and red pepper flakes.
2. Set aside about 5 tablespoons of marinade and store in fridge.
3. Add remaining marinade and shrimp to gallon-sized freezer bag and store in fridge for 20-30 minutes.
4. Once completed marinating, add 2 tbsp. of oil to pan over medium heat. When pan is hot, add shrimp and cook for 1 minute per side or until opaque.
5. Serve shrimp over bed of washed butter lettuce.

After your party has completed steps 1-3 and you’re waiting for the shrimp to marinate, whip up some super simple appetizers and drinks to tide you over until the main course.

Baby Bells with Goat Cheese Appetizer Recipe
Ingredients:
– 1 package of baby bell peppers in assorted colors
– 1 4-oz package of herbed goat cheese

Instructions:
1. Wash bell peppers and remove tops.
2. Cut peppers in half along the long side and remove seeds.
3. Place a small dab of goat cheese in each bell pepper half. Enjoy!

If you don’t already have a signature drink, we recommend the Lemon Spritzer. It’s refreshing and perfect to sip on after a summer outing.

Lemon Spritzer Cocktail Recipe
Ingredients:
– 4 oz. of Prosecco
– 1 oz. of Limoncello or Framboise
– Lemon twist (for garnish)
– 2 raspberries (for garnish)

Instructions:
1. Add chilled Prosecco and flavored liquor.
2. Top with garnishes.
3. Serve and enjoy.

Do you have an ideal outing + lunch plan in mind? We’d love for you to comment with it below along with telling us about the group you’d invite!