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Classy Casserole / Stew / Soup ???

  • m

We are having a Christmas Party with lots of little canape foods but I would like to have something for later in the evening which is easily heated and more substantial.


At midnight there will probably be about 25 people in the kitchen and we have a small kitchen.

Need to feed a maximum of 75 people.

Something warm, either heated on the stove or in the oven.

It can be complicated to make but must be very easy to finish, since by midnight I plan to have a few glasses of Christmas cheer.

The party was somewhat classy up to this point so something interesting or classic would be great.

Thanks for your help.

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  1. I don't know if I'd call it "classy," but the Brazilian Black Bean Stew in the Gourmet cookbook is pretty darn good.

    black beans, kale, bacon, beef chuck, chorizo, pork butt . . . ah . . .

    1 Reply
    1. Butternut squash bisque is very nice; I particularly like it with little rounds of goat cheese which have been
      a) frozen
      b) dipped in beaten egg
      c) coated w/cornmeal
      d) fried

      I think you could do a b and c and have them on cookie sheets in the freezer (assuming you have a large freezer) then spray with pam and bake for 10 minutes or so.

      Put a goat cheese on each bowl of soup.

      are people eating standing up?

      1. I vote for the beans with a great bread. Borrow a few crockpots or get one of those large roasters.

        Sounds low maintenance and less stress for you and then you could offer garnishes, of red onion, tomato, sour cream, cilantro, cheese, etc. for that extra touch. I do the same with with black eyed peas for parties, people help themselves and they disappear.
        Sounds like fun!

        4 Replies
        1. re: chef chicklet

          You could also do those garnishes on a Tamale pie, which is fast, easy and can be made ahead of time except for the cornbread topping. I have a recipe for good tamale pie from american's test kitchen. Not classy, but could be fun.

          1. re: jackie de

            I would love your recipe jackie de, I have not had a good tamale pie in years!!
            The toppings are always for me anyway, about cold and hot, and spicy, and salty..

            1. re: chef chicklet

              Sure, I've changed it a bit to meet my taste :

              Tamale Pie

              2 T. vegetable oil
              1 onion, chopped
              2 T. chili powder
              Salt and pepper
              2 garlic cloves, minced or 1⁄2 tea. Garlic powder
              1 pound ground beef or turkey
              1 ( 15oz) can black beans, Rinsed
              1 (140z) can diced tomatoes, DRAINed
              1 package cornbread mix
              1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
              2 T. minced cilantro

              1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.

              2. Heat oil over med. Heat and add onion, chili powder, and 1⁄2 tea. salt and cook until onion is softened. Add ground beef and garlic and cook until meat is no longer pink.

              3. Stir beans and tomatoes into meat mixture and simmer about 5 min.

              4. Meanwhile, mix cornbread batter according to package directions .

              5. Stir cheddar cheese and cilantro into filling and season with salt and pepper to taste.
              Put into a casserole dish that has been oiled well. Dollop cornbread batter evenly over filling and spread into an even layer if possible.

              6. Bake until cornbread is cooked thru in center and casserole is bubbling, about 15- 20 minutes. Serve

              I added more chilli powder(I use a really good mexican blend) since we tend to like things a bit spicy. I added a yellow pepper. I think you could add fresh or frozen corn as well, but I didn't. Also, my husband loves the contrast of the sweet cornbread with the spicy meat mixture. I think it would be better with your own fav. cornbread recipe that isn't as sweet as a mix. We like this a lot and it also re-heats really well.

              1. re: jackie de

                Thanks so much!!! Will try this tomorrow evening. I use more ground turkey these days more so than beef. I have to save myself for ribeyes every once in awhile, but we enjoy the ground turkey so this should be very pleasing. Hubby will love it...

        2. Ohhhh, great ideas, especially for serving. I love the crockpot, pam on the goat's cheese and pre-made garnish ideas.

          I'll be looking up those recipes.
          And it will be mostly standing up for the guests.
          Thanks so much.

          1. Julia's classic Coq au Vin is very good, classy, classic and is hard to beat.

            1. For the second year, I have made lamb shepards pie for our Harvest Party- this year we had 30 adults and 20 children! I was given the recipe here, from Gordon Ramsey. We have a chafer with a hotel pan, but one could make the recipe into several cassarole dishes instead. We warmed the pie for 20 minutes and put it out along with salad and bread- simple and easy- and delicious! Will post if you desire.

              1. While it can be mounds of labor, most is do-ahead labor: cassoulet. Mmm...

                1 Reply
                1. re: Hungry Celeste

                  I second cassoulet. I just did this recently for a big party )of people who know their food) where I didn't want to be cooking the day of. It's best made a day or two in advance and then reheated in the oven just before serving. Very decadent, very well-received.

                2. Currys are always good heated longer and feed a lot of people. I don't know about "classy" but tasty.

                  1. Corn and crab bisque is classy and delicious, but I'm not sure you'd consider it substantial.

                    1. What about beef bourignonne? It's a classic, you can make it completely ahead (it's even better this way) and just transfer the pot (or pots) from the fridge to the oven or top of the stove to warm up before cooking. With some crusty bread, it's a fantastic and filling meal.

                      1 Reply
                      1. I too was going to suggest the Beef Bourguignonne but thought it might be too much trouble but your right Jasmine, and the flavor would be oh so very wonderful prepped a couple of days earlier.
                        I'm adding this too my party menu as well. Perfect dish if there are cocktails served.
                        Again rewarmed in one of those large large roasters (they have them at Costco) you pull the pot out of fridge, and serve with your best dunking breads in a basket alongwith a nice zinfindel. You could easily have a little mixed green salad with some frisee and arugula and a french housewife dressing..I am hungry!