Lasagna for 50 People
Janelle from Comfy in the Kitchen is SO good at cooking for a crowd. She has done it many times – so here’s her menu plan and pictures from a weekend she spent cooking for the new members at church. She writes:
I can’t even explain how much fun it was cooking for a crowd in our church’s new kitchen…plastic gloves, hair nets, disinfectant and all…I had a blast. Here are some photos of the day.
My van was FILLED with food, drinks, vases…you name it.
Alice and me making a HUGE pot of Grandma Ruth’s Spaghetti Sauce! We also had ground chuck and Italian sausage cooking on the stove top.
2 large salads made with Romaine, tomatoes, olives, croutons, cheese and seasonings. We semi-homemade the dressing with Good Seasons, oil and Red wine vinegar, a little sugar, and parmesan cheese.
This mixer was amazing! It whipped up our Pineapple Fluff in no time at all! (I multiplied this recipe by 3)
Our Cream Puffs/Eclairs – these were purchased, placed in muffin cups and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
3 very large lasagna’s baking in the convection ovens. One was meatless-and was appreciated as some people didn’t eat meat at the event. That is something to always be considerate of when you are cooking for a crowd-meatless items.
GFS Garlic Toast- I was very impressed by this product. SO many people told me they smelled this baking in the oven while service was going on…YUM (not to mention easy)
The lasagna is done! This also smelled delicious baking …
Our buffet warmer- this was a very convenient way to cart the warm food into the room. We filled it with water, turned it on and placed the pans of lasagna with covers on to keep warm. We also had room for the bread.
Getting ready- We had some “kiddo” food in case they didn’t want lasagna. Their menu included Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches, Pumpkin shaped sugar cookies, chips, carrots and veggie dip and juice boxes.
Some easy decorations. We don’t have a ton of time to decorate as the room was being used for first service and lunch started after second service. So we used white paper rolls for table coverings and set out these pretty glass vases with floating flowers. We also had balloons for the main table.
Setting up the main table. Cutlery, salads, extra parm cheese and sauce, pastries and the kiddo table at the end.
The kids table
Garlic bread and lasagna in the warm buffet.
Kristen (Courtney’s sister) and Michelle serving punch. This was made with fruit punch, 7up, frozen strawberries, and rainbow Sherbert. We also had bottled water, sodas, and juice boxes.
Alice and me after a full weekend of cooking!
These are such inexpensive decorations…I paid 99 cents a vase at Marcs and have reused them for SO many events. Fill them up with water and place a daisy inside and you have a very elegant/festive centerpiece.
Is this beautiful or what?! A room filled with fellowship.
Menu for the day:
Italian Tossed Salad
Simple Party Punch (I added frozen strawberries)
Peanut Butter and Jelly (25)
Carrots with Veggie dip (3 large bags)
Pumpkin Shaped Sugar Cookies (25)
Juice Boxes (25)
- 8 pounds Mozzarella (Pre-shredded)
- 15 lbs Ricotta Cheese (whipped preferred)
- 6 eggs
- 2 Tbsp parsley
- 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
- 5 lbs ground beef (butcher preferred)
- 5 lbs Italian Sausage (butcher preferred)
- 9 (9oz) boxes of Barilla flat /no boiling required Lasagna noodles
- 3 cups Parmesan Cheese (for inside the lasagna)
- 51 oz cans of Tomato Sauce
- 2 51 oz cans of Tomato Puree
- 1 51 oz can of Tomato Paste
- 1 51 oz can of water (add this slowly and to your desired consistency-you may not need all of this)
- 3 green peppers cut in half/cores and seeds removed
- 6 stalks of celery cleaned off
- 3 Tbsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 Sugar
- 1 Cup Parmesan Cheese (into sauce)
- 2 Tbsp Parsley
- 2 Tbsp Oregano
- 2 Tbsp Sweet Basil
- Place all sauce ingredients in a large pot (I used 2 to prevent burning). Place halved green peppers and full celery in for flavoring only-these will come out of sauce before serving (do not dice-leave intact). Let sauce simmer all day. Brown Italian Sausage and Ground Chuck. Beat 15 lbs Ricotta Cheese (whipped preferred),6 eggs,2 Tbsp parsley, 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder together in a large mixing bowl. Set aside. Place Mozzarella cheese in a large bowl.
- Line up 3 20x12x4″ Chaffer pans (we are doing 3 layers)
- Ladle sauce in bottom of each pan to cover fully
- Layer noodles over sauce (I used 12 noodles a row)
- Spread Ricotta Cheese mixture over top
- Sprinkle with Mozzarella Cheese and Parmesan Cheese
- Sprinkle with ground chuck and Italian sausage
- Ladle sauce over to cover
- Begin again- 3 layers. Top with cheese and sprinkle with parsley
- Convection oven heated to 350 for 1 hour 15 mins. Uncover and bake 20 more mins. Keep checking because every oven is different.
Ladies, I hope I can be an encouragement to you to do this very thing at YOUR church! If you have the gift of hospitality, it will be such a blessing for you-not to mention those on the receiving end. Much love goes out to you…Thanks for reading. ~ Janelle
Walk with the King,
*Janelle is a woman who is dependent upon Jesus, a mom, a Licensed Professional Counselor, and an advocate for meal ministry. You can find her displaying step-by-step photos of her recipes, giving devotionals, and sharing meal ministry stories on her blog. You can follow Janelle’s blog at ComfyInTheKitchen.com.
This looks amazing! How nice to take pictures of every thing. It is like you are remembering your life and what you do through pictures! I need to take more pictures. What church do you go to? Do they have a website?
I was so excited to see this. Our church just had a Missions Dinner where one of our fabulous, dare I say it?, chefs created an amazing menu! I loved that y’all had included a meatless version of the lasagna for the vegetarians, for those who abstain it’s incredibly kind. That is something we had not thought about. We have several people in our church who have gluten allergies, are grain-less, or do a gf diet to aid healing from illnesses, so we tend to make sure that there is at least one thing (soup, salad, etc) that can easily be adjusted or is already gluten free. I pray y’all have continued blessings as you reach out to touch those lives through the gift of food, hospitality and fellowship!
That made me hungry! 🙂 I’ve been following you since the spring (found you in a friend’s post on FB…she’s in Germany, I’m in Switzerland). However, I just realized you are in OHIO! My home-state! For some reason I always thought you were down in Texas…after seeing the photo with KSU, MU, etc. I went back to read your “About Me.” I must have missed your “25 Random Things about Me” when I first started reading. Your words just hit home for me all-the-more, especially after your recent post about “How do you do it all?” With Him, all things are possible and never does He expect perfection, just commitment. Thank you for being such a Godly woman…sharing your life, your uniqueness, & your heart with others. You are an inspiration to be a better woman, a Proverbs 31 woman!
PS~Go Bucks! 🙂
Thank you for sharing about having vegetarian option. As a vegetarian, I often feel left out and I feel people think I have a condition:) I love Janelle’s heart and maybe one day I won’t feel overwhelmed cooking for a crowd. Maybe I should be a better cook first:) Be blessed:)
Looks like lots of fun…..the baking too
Excuse me but I must ask what is “Pineapple Fluff?” And how do you make it?
Awesome! Everything looks delicious! 🙂
Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement!!!! SO sweet!!! Pineapple Fluff- ahhhhmazing!!!! https://womenlivingwell.org/2010/06/tasty-tuesday-pineapple-pretzel-fluff/
I love cooks. Our church community, for over seven towards, cook twice a week, Tuesday and Friday, for90 to1245 people. It is part of our outreach. It I’d amazing what an amazing cook can do with so little when God’a hand is on the spoon. Right now we have had to stop the meals as we moved into another place and still have to raise money to f inish t he kitchen . Will have to try the cream puffs when the kitchen gets opened.
wow! cooking for such a big number is a challenge–looks like you had fun though!
I can’t believe I haven’t stumbled across this site before! I’ve been cooking large meals for our church and Christian camp for years. In all of my google searches I’ve never seen this! What a blessing. I love what you do. As I was looking at your pictures I could so relate to the picture of all of the groceries in your vehicle! My car has looked like that so many times after a trip to GFS to prepare for a banquet of some sort. We live 1 hr. from the closest GFS so when I go I generally need to take my husbands pick up to get all of the supplies…..now that’s work! I love the ministry of preparing meals for large groups of people and I know this site is going to be a blessing to me in the future! Thank you! God Bless!
I just came across your website looking for ideas on Pinterest. I’m super excited to have found this recipe for lasagna for 50 as I am in the process of planning a new members luncheon for our church. However, as I was looking over the recipe I see the first ingredient under sauce just list “51 oz. cans of tomatoe sauce”. Am I wrong to assume that means 2 51 oz. cans of tomatoe sauce? Please help as I would love to plan this recipe for one of our luncheons.
I’m wondering the same thing, as I want to make it as well, for a group golf outing!
Hello! This my first time at at your blog and I must say, it’s very sweet. 🙂 my question was(and someone may have already asked so, I’m sorry about repetitiveness)
What was your budget for this event? Everything sounds great but, I don’t want to set up this fantastic meal plan to find out we are well over budget. =\
Thanks for your help!!
Muchos Gracias for your article post.Really looking forward to read more. Really Cool.
I’m using your recipe for sauce later this fall. I wanted to ask about the tomato sauce. The recipe says 51 oz cans tomato sauce. Is this one can, two cans or what? (Plural or singular). Thank you!!
How many cans of tomato sauce do you use? It says 51 oz cans on the recipe.
Did they answer this? I’m wondering too!
What did this menu end up costing?
I would like to know the measurement for sugar in the sauce. Also, what was the cost?
I don’t see a reply about the amount listed for tomato sauce so I back tracked to an earlier post for”Grandma Ruth’s Spaghetti Sauce”. Using that recipe as a reference it appears that one would use “2 51 oz cans of tomato sauce” in this recipe. Also, I didn’t see sugar listed in the original recipe. Given the volume of this recipe it would seem that 1/2 cup of sugar might be appropriate to “take the edge off” of the acidity of the tomatoes. I have not tested these options so use them at your own risk. I hope this is helpful to those of you with the same concerns and observations.