Are you looking for a way to entertain friends, family, or colleagues without all the hassle of fine dining? Try a casual spread! Kids and adults alike love nothing better than getting together around good food in an informal atmosphere.
Whether you’re having a laid-back Sunday lunch, celebration, or after-work drinks, creating a delicious casual spread is sure to bring everyone together and create lasting memories.
Some posts on this site contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you!). Opinions are always my own and I’ll never promote something I don’t use or believe in. Also as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
If you want to keep things casual, or you want to be ready for company arriving at the home at any time, here are a few ideas for the best casual spreads that will get your gathering off to a fantastic start.
The classic charcuterie board
One of the best inventions French cooking has had to offer us, is the charcuterie board, for those who are not aware, is effectively a range of meats, cheeses, and other complementary foods that are offered on a platter.
They’re all cold, so they’re easy finger food for anyone to fill up a plate. You can offer all kinds of things on a charcuterie board, too, such as bread, crackers, dips, fruits, nuts, and vegetables.
Get cheesy with it
If your friends go for something a little more complex or a little more fancy than a basic charcuterie board, then you can get a lot of mileage out of exploring one component in particular.
Take a look at some cheeseboard ideas, and see if you can predict which boards might fit their taste, whether it’s the more traditionally, broadly loved ones, crumbly goat’s cheese, the complex blue cheeses, or otherwise. Perfect when complimented with a little bottle of wine.
Bring some flavor with tostadas
One of the most traditional buffet foods to serve for a gathering of friends is a whole host of sandwiches with different fillings. If you want to get a little more exciting, and you don’t mind a little bit of cooking, then tostada shells are super easy to make (or buy!), and you can fill them with just as much variety of goodies. Plus, you can make gluten-free varieties.
Set up a taco bar
If you have friends who know how they like their food, then a taco bar can allow you the perfect opportunity to let them all suit their own needs and tastes. Set out all of the ingredients, with both hard and soft taco shells, nachos, cheeses, salads, beans, guacamole, and all of the other taco essentials.
The only thing that you might need to take the time to make, yourself, is the seasoned taco meat.
Get the grill out
If the weather’s fine, outside, then why not make the most of it? If you keep all of the ingredients of a good grill, such as fuel and wood chips (if you need them), then it doesn’t take too long to get the fire going, and you can invite guests to bring meats that can be shared with the whole gang if it’s a more planned affair.
Even for more casual settings, it’s always a good idea to make sure that you’re able to account for people’s dietary preferences and concerns. Always have a backup on hand.
How about you? Have any ideas for a casual spread? Do share!