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Hosting a Paleo Party

For yourself, you might be perfectly happy to dump a can of tuna on top of some lettuce and call it lunch (or dinner, or breakfast…). Even if you’re cooking for a family, the pressure is low and you’re probably familiar with everyone’s tastes. But what if you’re in charge of feeding a group?

With the holiday season coming up, parties and family dinners can quickly turn into a headache – but they don’t have to be! Here’s a guide to making it all work.

Party Hosting Tips

Planning your Menu

If you’re following traditional menu (e.g. turkey and cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving), then it’s almost easier, because you don’t have to plan what to serve, only how to make it tasty. But even if you don’t have a traditional menu to rely on, the principle is the same: focus on what you are eating, not what you aren’t, and serve dishes that highlight what Paleo food does incredibly well:

The foundation of a gourmet menu is meat and vegetables, cooked in ways that bring out their natural flavors instead of hiding them, and seasoned with rich spices and plenty of fat. If it’s impressive enough for high-end restaurants it’s impressive enough for your guests!

A few other general tips for meal planning:

Managing Non-Paleo Food and Expectations

Even if you serve the most delicious, gourmet-restaurant steak and salad, most people will expect bread with it because that’s what they’re used to seeing. You’re going to have to decide what you want to do with this. Here are some potential ways you could manage it:

There’s no right answer; it’s all about what works for you and your guests.

Menu Inspiration

And now the fun part: what to eat! It’s impossible to cover every occasion, but here are some menu suggestions for a few potential needs.

Appetizers and Finger Food

Potlucks (and Similar Events):

With potlucks, you want something that’s relatively inexpensive to make for a big crowd, easy to store and transport, and a classic crowd-pleaser. Here are some ideas:

Main Dishes Vegetables

Casual Dinner with Friends

Italian-inspired menu Roast Chicken Feast BBQ Party
Starter/appetizer Egg and pesto stuffed tomatoes (one per guest) or oven-roasted garlic cabbage. Wild Mushroom Soup Oven-fried pickles
Main course Herb prosciutto stuffed steak Butterflied roast chicken Portobello burgers (or Aussie burgers, if you’re brave)
Side dish 1 Tomato spinach salad Roasted acorn squash and shallots Spicy sweet potato wedges
Side dish 2 Zucchini mushroom pasta Ratatouille stuffed zucchini Fresh summer salad

Dinner Party for Adventurous Foodies

Game Day Party

For something like the Superbowl, here’s a menu of many smaller dishes for easy snacking: think of it as more like a tapas-style meal than a traditional three-course dinner.


Looking for Thanksgiving recipes and menu ideas? Here you go! And keep watching the site: more will be coming up in a later post!