In this post, I write about how to plan and prepare to serve guests in your home.

I hope you’ve been enjoying my series on hospitality. I have had a lot of fun digging in a pulling it all together for you. Today, I’m going over How To Plan Meals For Your Guests. The most significant part of planning is to remember the reason we’re doing this in the first place which is to get to know our guests more deeply by showing them, Christ-like love.

In my last post Hospitality – How To Serve Guests In Your Home, I talk about how guests are most comfortable when their visit is relaxed and casual; boy does this makes it so much easier for the host. It gives you the freedom of planning something on the simple side and frees you up to enjoy yourself along with your guests.

In case you’ve missed any, here are the posts in my hospitality series:

How To Practice Practical Hospitality
Hospitality – How To Have A Hospitable Home
Hospitality – How To Serve Guests In Your Home
Hospitality – How To Plan Meals For Your Guests  (you are here)

How I Plan Meals For My Guests:

Prepare as much ahead of time as possible:

  • Have your house picked up and presentable a day or two in advance. You want things to look orderly, but keep in mind they’re not coming to inspect your house they are coming to enjoy time with you.
  • Most casseroles, vegetable salads (without dressing added), and gelatin salads can be made the day before. So many desserts can be made ahead of time too. Choose these dishes a couple of days in advance so you can take advantage of being able to prepare them before the big day.
  • Plan meals that can cook during the day in a slow cooker.
  • Freezer meals make great options. Lasagna and chicken pot pie are perfect make ahead and freeze dishes. But you can also freeze meatballs, meatloaf, and many casserole recipes. If you already have a frozen meal made ahead of time, you can take it out earlier in the day to let it thaw before cooking. It will save so much time having the meal prep already done for the main dish.
  • Set the table the night before if you plan to eat at a table you don’t use every day. If it’s going to be buffet style go ahead and set out what you can in advance. Every little bit of time saved is worth it when the actual day comes.
  • Remember, you can always invite guests over for breakfast or snacks too. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an evening meal.

Here are some recipes to help as you plan for your guests:

Supper Suggestions:

Slow Cooker Pulled Barbeque Chicken Sliders with Quick Creamy Slaw served on a plate.Slow Cooker Pulled Barbeque Chicken Sliders

More supper ideas:

Cold Taco Salad
Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Crock Pot Roasted Chicken
Chicken Noodle Soup

Breakfast Suggestions:

Meat And Potato Quiche on a plate wit green grapes.Meat and Potato Quiche

More breakfast ideas:

Feather Pancakes
How To Make {Make Ahead} Egg McMuffins
Make The Best Banana Nut Bread  {With A Twist}

Dessert Suggestions:

Four elegant glass pudding cups filled with chocolate mousse and topped with a raspberry.Easy Chocolate Mousse

More dessert ideas:

Homemade Chocolate Pudding
Whole Lemon Bars
Snickerdoodle Blondies
Chocolate Buttermilk Cake
Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Pie

Snack Suggestions:

A jar of homemade salsa with chips and a jalapeno pepper.Restaurant – Style Salsa

More snack ideas:

Green Chile Pimento Cheese
Snack Mix Squares
Garlic Pepper Jelly
Oven-Baked Caramel Corn {With Nuts}

Trying to decide what to feed your guests can be a daunting part of hospitality, but it doesn’t have to be. If you plan your meal ahead of time, you’ll find that early preparation is key to keeping it real and relaxed. Remember, chance are your guests like comfortable and casual just like you. If so, I would love for you to mention it in the comments.

A collage of four food images for a Pinterest graphic.

What about you? Do you have a favorite meal to serve your guests when extending hospitality? If so, I would love for you to share what it is in the comments.

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  1. Great post, Kim… Love how you weaved the tips in with some of your recipe posts! Very smart! PInned!

  2. Simple is the way to go for me! I’ve really enjoyed your hospitality posts!

  3. Loving your hospitality series! This is one of my favorite subjects. :)

  4. Great ideas! Having house guests has always been a challenge for me. Especially where the food is concerned! They come hungry ;). Having the meals in the freezer is so smart – if they don’t eat all that I had planned and had in the freezer, I would have a couple of meals for hubby and me! Thanks for sharing your tips on hospitality!

  5. I love these ideas! The restaurant-style salsa sounds perfect for when my family joins us down here! I always love simple slow cooker meals, so helpful!

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