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Easy Pasta Buffet for 20

Easy Pasta Buffet for 20
I used this menu for a dinner for family and friends the night before my parents' 50th wedding celebration.  I had been getting ready for the party all afternoon and needed something elegant, fun and EASY for dinner.  This plan fit the bill perfectly and everyone was raving on how good it was.  Dump Cake is my daughter's favorite dessert to make, because it is so fool proof!!

Veggie Tray with Ranch Dip
Green Salad
Make Your Own Pasta Buffet
Dump Cake
Grocery List
veggies for tray 2 pkg linguine 2 - 20 oz cans pie filling - any flavor
1 bunch green onions 2 pkg bowtie pasta 2 - 20 oz cans crushed pineapple
2 heads romaine lettuce 2 cans diced tomatoes 2 pkg yellow cake mix
8 large roma tomatoes 2 jars alfredo sauce 4 cups chopped pecans
fresh herbs such as basil and oregano 4 - 7 oz can sliced black olives 1 cup butter
1 pkg chicken, cooked and diced 2 large cans spaghetti sauce 2 cups shredded Parmesan
1 lb ground beef, cooked 2 - 14 oz cans sliced mushrooms ranch dip
4 loaves French bread 2 - 14 oz can artichoke hearts

 Order of Preparation 

  1. Make dump cake.
  2. Cook pasta and prepare sauce.
  3. Heat French bread.
  4. Prepare veggie tray.
  5. toss salad.
  6. Set up buffet line.
  7. Serve and enjoy!


 Appetizer - Veggie Tray with Ranch Dip
Veggies such as broccoli, carrots, green peppers, cauliflower, grape tomatoes
Ranch dressing or dip

Place a bowl of ranch dressing or dip in center of platter.  Arrange veggies around bowl on platter.

Entree - Make Your Own Pasta

Marinara sauce:                                                   2 pkg linguine and 2 pkg bowtie pasta
2 cans spaghetti sauce                                           Toppings:
Italian herbs such as oregano and basil                     1 lb chicken, cooked and diced
1 lb. ground beef                                                   10 slices bacon, fried
1/2 can sliced mushrooms                                       4 - 7 oz cans sliced black olives
minced garlic, to taste                                           1 pkg green onions, sliced
2 cans diced tomatoes                                            1 1/2 cans sliced mushrooms
Alfredo sauce:                                                      4 cups shredded parmesan cheese
2 jars alfredo sauce                                                2 cans artichoke hearts, chopped
2 cups half and half
2 cups shredded parmesan cheese
Marinara sauce:  Brown ground beef in skillet.  In large saucepan, pour spaghetti sauce, chopped herbs (3 Tbsp basil, 2-3 Tbsp oregano), ground beef, mushrooms, 1 tsp minced garlic and 2 cans diced tomatoes.  Heat thoroughly and allow to simmer while making alfredo sauce.
Alfredo sauce:  In saucepan, pour purchased alfredo sauce, add 2 cups half and half and 2 cups shredded parmesan cheese.  Heat until cheese is melted.
Cook pasta according to package directions.  While pasta is cooking, prepare toppings for pasta.
Set up a buffet line with pasta, sauces, and toppings.  Allow guests to choose their pasta, sauces and toppings.  FUN!
Green Salad
2 heads romaine lettuce                                     8 large roma tomatoes, cut into pieces
Bottled dressing

Chop lettuce and tomatoes.  Toss together and serve with dressing.
French Bread
4 loaves French bread                                       garlic salt

Slice bread almost all the way through in 1" slices.  Spread butter and sprinkle garlic salt in between the slices.  Wrap in foil and heat in a 300 degree oven until butter is melted and bread is hot.
Dessert - Dump Cake
2 - 20 oz cans crushed pineapple                         2 cups chopped pecans
2 - 20 oz cans pie filling - any flavor                    2 sticks butter (1 cup)
2 pkg yellow cake mix - 2 layer size

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two 9x13 baking panx.  Spread pineapple evenly in pan.  Spoon pie filling evenly over pineapple.  Sprinkle dry cake mix over mixture then chopped nuts over all.  Slice chilled butter in thin slices, put strips evenly over other ingredients.  Bake for 50 minutes or until golden.  Serve warm.  Makes 2 cakes.