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DIY-Style Recipes for Hosting

By: Lodge Cast Iron / July 25, 2023

Planning a menu that fits the preferences and diets of everyone on your guest list can feel like a tall order. One way to keep everyone happy is to offer dishes that can be customizable. Think tacos, burgers, and pizza. Around here, we call it a DIY recipe. From brunch gatherings to cookout hangs, we’ve rounded up our favorites (including our August Recipe of the Month!) to help you serve up “yums” at your next get-together!

Registry Guide: Skillets
Brunch gathering  

We have three rules for brunch: you need a main that everyone likes and a sweet breakfast treat. For the main, start with something that people can build themselves. 

Maybe a breakfast sandwich bar or homemade bagels with an assortment of cream cheese. Or there’s always the breakfast casserole route. You can hold the toppings on this Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole and let your guests dress it up themselves. It calls for all the typical accouterments of a classic baked potato: green onion, bacon, extra cheese, and even a dollop of sour cream. 

Frittatas and quiches work well, too, especially if you bake them in a Wedge Pan and allow guests to pick the filling. We’ve got a guide with all of the cheese, veggies, and proteins we marry together on a frittata morning. Our point: The more customizable you can make the menu, the better. 

Classic Bagels Recipe
Shrimp Tacos
Dinner at your place 

When it comes to DIY dinners, tacos might be the reigning champion. Everyone gets to pick the toppings they like and it’s easy to provide folks with a meat and vegetarian-friendly option. Tacos make this easy! 

This shrimp taco recipe is topped off with an avocado aioli that tastes just as great over black bean tacos. If you make a batch of citrus carnitas, throw on some pulled mushroom tacos, too. 

When it’s cooler outside, you might turn to soup or chili when company’s coming. You can make plenty to share in a big dutch oven and have people fix their bowls with all of their favorite toppings. This chicken tortilla soup calls for everything from tortilla strips and sour cream to lime and pico de gallo. Similarly, this crowd-pleasing chocolate chili calls for folks to load up on cheese, crema, cilantro, and diced avocado. 

One thing these recipes all have in common? They all taste great with a big splash of hot sauce for the heat-seekers at your table. Leave it off until the end so your guests can control the heat. 

Backyard cookout 

Cookout food lends itself to customization. Hotdogs and burgers can easily be grilled and topped to everyone’s liking—that’s part of the appeal when the neighborhood heads to your backyard during the summer. There’s no problem with sticking with the typical fare—just be sure to have a veggie option like this portobello burger. 

But if you want to change things up, look to a crowd favorite: grilled pizza. You can put a big cast iron skillet or pizza pan on your grill and sling pies all night long. Plus, everyone can get in on the fun! Have folks roll out their own dough and top their pizza just how they like it, then bring it to the grill for quick baking. We like this homemade pizza dough recipe, but we’ll let you in on a secret: most local pizzerias will sell you dough and save you the trouble. We won’t tell! 

Smash burgers
Holiday Hosting 

When it comes to holidays, families and friends usually have opinions on how the menu should look. There’s always an extra dose of pressure to get things right. Once you settle on the main dish—whether that’s turkey, ham, or maybe a standing rib roast—leave room for people to make the sides their own. 

If you have a family sweet potato casserole recipe, there’s probably a divide over how it’s topped. One side of the family likes marshmallows, the other pecans. We say split it down the middle and have it all! 

Cornbread is another contentious topic, especially here in the South. No problem, make sweet and savory—all in one pan! 

And when it’s time for dessert, skip the gingerbread house and decorate mini cakes or cookies together. If there’s one thing we know, it’s that family bonding is more fun when dessert is at the center.  

Your turn to host? 

We've got you covered. 

Contributed By: Lodge Cast Iron

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