10 Graduation Party Menus Plus Desserts and Snacks!

It’s that time of year when our graduates take the stage with caps and gowns and march off to get their diplomas and take on the world! Graduating is a great milestone and it’s something that should be celebrated.

But planning a graduation party menu can feel a bit overwhelming. Feeding a crowd can be a lot of work, and picking a menu that pleases everyone isn’t always easy. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!


Whether you are looking for a casual feast in the backyard, a pizza party, or a special sit down family dinner after your Grad gets home, these ten menu ideas will inspire you with some fun ideas and make planning your meal easy and fun. There’s plenty of different kinds of meals to fit all kinds of personalities and preferences, and I must say that they all have me drooling.

Don’t forget to read to the bottom for all the dessert and cookie ideas! Instead of adding one idea to each menu, you can pick your guest of honor’s favorite…or make it a dessert bar and serve a few!

Easy and Casual BBQ Feast

Super easy BBQ Peach Pulled Pork in the slow cooker, or any other easy slow cooker BBQ sandwich for that matter!

The pork can be made ahead of time and frozen, then heated in the crockpot.  The baked beans cook in the crockpot and are easy to put together.  The only thing that will have to be done the day of the party is tossing the dressing on the Asian Broccoli Salad.

Pair this with favorite sides like these:

potatosaladdone_thumb

bakedbeansdone_thumb

asian broccoli salad done

Asian Broccoli Salad

Add desserts and probably potato chips and perhaps some cut fruit!

Grill Out

Get out the grill and make it a backyard party!  Serve any of these and your crowd will be raving.

And when you pair these smoky meats with some classic sides, you have the makings of a winning combination!

Plus, you can get more backyard barbecue side dish ideas in this post here!

Nice Family Dinner

If you are thinking a nice sit-down dinner at home after the ceremony is the way to go, these recipes are mouthwatering and so easy!

italian seasoned salt pork tenderloin done

To make this meal easy and special, pair the tenderloin or chicken with:

Enchilada Buffet

Make a buffet of a couple big pans of different kinds of Enchiladas and let everyone serve themselves!

Some of our family favorites include:

white enchiladas

enchiladas with chili-tomato sauce

Serve these with fresh things like:

Need more side dish inspiration? Check out this post about what to serve with Enchiladas!

Build-Your-Own Fajitas or Tacos

Cook up meat in your crock pot or instant pot. Set out the meat, grilled veggies and a plethora of favorite toppings and let everyone build their own fajita or taco!

You could also grill up some chicken breasts in advance or buy a few rotisserie chickens and have them all prepped and ready to go for the big day to make one of these tasty options.

Serve them up with:

Teens Party Menu

Convert this snackadium into a teen’s dream meal! Both of these strombolis were part of a meal I made for super bowl, but with a few little tweaks it’ll be a great “main course” for your graduate and his or her friends.

Keep it simple and add a variety of chips and dips, chilled drinks and cookies and candy.  Anything they can grab, munch and head back out to dance or talk with friends.

Sandwich and Salads Buffet

Make up some easy sandwich trays that your crowd can pick and choose from!

  • Get a bag King’s Hawaiian rolls or other small buns to make a plate of small ham sandwiches and a bag of croissant rolls for Chicken Salad Sandwiches. You can get Virginia Brand ham in the deli section and have it shaved.
  • We love this easy Peach Chutney Chicken salad for sandwiches. So delicious and moist!

Serve these with a plate of assorted cheese slices, mayonnaise and mustard and almost homemade pickle slices.

 

Round out your menu with an easy pasta salad, a veggie tray with dip and some chips.

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Pizza Party

Whip up a bunch of homemade pizza and make a party out of it! You can make this easy dough in advance, and even make super easy awesome pizza sauce. Or buy your favorite premade crust and sauce and top the pizzas in any way you like. Here’s a few of our favorite pizza combos.

Serve this with a veggie tray with ranch dip, and a fresh fruit tray and fruit dip and some favorite chilled drinks.  I love root beer floats as a dessert option with pizza!

Spaghetti Feast

Cook up a bunch of pasta and serve it with one of these easy and delicious homemade sauces and meatballs! These meatballs are freezer friendly so you can make up a big batch in advance and they are absolutely delicious!

Round out the menu with garlic toast and an easy salad! Here are a couple more side dish ideas, too.

Brats or Dogs Your Way

Cook up a bunch of dogs and brats on the grill or stove top and let your people go to town topping them however they like.

You can serve this with:

Add a bowl of chilled melon balls or just an easy plate of watermelon slices and cantaloupe chunks.

Snacks

Want to have a few snack foods on hand for easy munching? Here are a couple of our favorite snack mixes and other snack ideas that are really easy to make!

Dessert Ideas

Clearly no celebration is complete without dessert! Or better yet – desserts! Make one or more of these and your graduate will feel like the party is complete.

derby-pie

peanut butter fluff pie done

lemon cheesecake dessert slice

tuxedo bars done 2

blue velvet cupcakes 2

School color cupcakesBlue Velvet Cupcakes, Red Velvet, Green Velvet, Orange Velvet, Purple Velvet

Here’s a handy tip on how to cut cake to feed a crowd!

Cookies

Narrowing down your favorite recipes to include in your menu is sure to be easier than choosing a college major these days. Especially since any of them will leave you at the top of the class when it comes to a graduation party!

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Menu, Grocery List, Recipes Year 3 Week 29

I hope you had a great weekend!

The all slow cooker menu that I published last week was very popular.  I’ll try to put together another one like it soon.

Here’s the menu for this week:

Brown Sugar Chicken and Sweet Potatoes in the Slow cooker, steamed green veggie

South of the Border Skillet, salad, chips and salsa

Bacon and Tomato Pasta, salad

Chicken Gyros, Asian Broccoli Slaw

Ham and Pineapple Fried Rice

Chicago Style Pizza Pot Pie, salad

Peach Pound Cake with Peach Nectar Glaze

To print, click here: menu year 3 week 29

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Menu, Grocery List, Recipes Year 3 Week 27

There’s a lot to love with this menu.  Two slow cooker meals, plus a meal to stock your freezer (the 50s Prime Time Meatloaf will make 2 loaves).  There’s a 15 minute meal and one our family favorites, Vietnam Fried Rice.

Oh yeah, and the dessert is a winner too!

Serving suggestions are included in bold on the menu and in curly brackets {} on the grocery list.

Here’s what’s on the menu this week:

Vietnam Fried Rice, egg rolls from the freezer section

Bowties with Italian Sausage and Bell Peppers, salad

50s Prime Time Meatloaf, Baked Potatoes with Onions, salad

Chicken Fiesta with Black Beans in the Slow Cooker, chips and salsa, salad

Easy Pepper Steak in the Slow Cooker, angel hair pasta, favorite green veggie

Chicken Florentine Pizza, carrot sticks

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cake with Strawberry Icing

To print, click here:  menu year 3 week 27

This menu is part of Menu Plan Monday at The Organizing Junkie.

 

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Menu, Grocery List, Recipes Year 3 Week 25

I hope you had a great weekend.  We had a busy weekend of birthday parties, camping trips, church dinners…  I also did a lot of cooking on Saturday and I’ve got some great recipes to share with you in the next few weeks.

The menu this week has 2 slow cooker meals, 1 meal that can be doubled and the extra stashed in the freezer and one of my favorite cookies.  There’s also a delicious pasta dish and fish recipe that might convince even people who don’t usually eat fish to give it a try.

As always, you get 6 dinners and 1 dessert.  Serving suggestions are included in bold on the recipes and in curly brackets {} on the grocery list.

Here’s what is on the menu this week:

Teriyaki BBQ Chicken Legs in the Slow Cooker, Loaded Cheesy Potato Casserole, favorite green veggie

Pepper Patch Pasta with Grilled Chicken, salad

Tropical Tilapia with Pineapple Salsa and Coconut Rice, salad

Southwestern Steak and Cornbread Dressing in the Slow Cooker, favorite green veggie

Spicy Garlic Chicken Pizza, salad

Mexican Vegetables on Cornbread

Way to a Man’s Heart Cookies

To print, click here:  menu year 3 week 25

This menu is part of Menu Plan Monday at The Organizing Junkie.

 

Menu, Grocery List, Recipes Year 3 Week 24

Yesterday was Compassion Sunday – a chance to get involved in changing the story for a child living in poverty.  It was exciting to hear stories from people in my church of children that they sponsor now.  And it was awesome to see people step into a new story, by sponsoring a child.

Soon, a group of bloggers will be in Tanzania.  They’ll be sharing everything they see and learn with us – stories of children whose lives are being made better by the work of Compassion International.

I love reading the posts from bloggers who go on these trips.  They give such an intimate look at the lives of the kids and what it really means to them to have a sponsor who cares.  The Nester is one blogger I already follow and she is going to Tanzania.  I’m looking forward to virtually traveling along to see what God is doing there.

There are 6 bloggers going, plus team leaders Shaun Groves and Keely Scott.  That’s quite a few eyes and cameras and hearts that will be sharing the story with us.  I hope you will follow along.  And consider sponsoring a child too!

This week’s menu:

As always, you get 6 dinners and 1 dessert.  Serving suggestions are included in bold on the recipes and in curly brackets {} on the grocery list.

Roasted Red Pepper and Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta, salad

Ham and Swiss Scalloped Potatoes, steamed green veggie, fresh fruit

Mediterranean Chicken in the Slow Cooker, angel hair pasta, salad

Steak Burgers with Red Wine Onions, baked potatoes, salad

Complete BBQ Chicken Dinner in the Slow Cooker

Lentil Tacos, chips and salsa, salad

Coconut Cream and Chocolate Dessert

To print, click here:  menu year 3 week 24

This menu is part of Menu Plan Monday at The Organizing Junkie.

Menu, Grocery List, Recipes Year 3 Week 22

I hope everyone had wonderful Easter and Passover Celebrations this weekend.  We had a chance to spend time with family and enjoyed the beautiful spring weather.

I love the menu this week and I think you will too.  It’s just so easy!  Anytime I can make dinner simple and taste great too is a happy day for me.

As always, you get 6 dinners and 1 dessert.  Serving suggestions are included in bold on the recipes and in curly brackets on the grocery list.

Here’s what is on the menu this week:

Pepperoni Pizza Pasta, salad

Ham and Pineapple Fried Rice

Tony’s Tilapia, favorite veggie, Asian Broccoli Salad

Honey Mustard Grilled Pork Chops, Spoon Bread with Swiss, salad

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches in the Slow Cooker, Sweet Potato Fries, favorite veggie

Bean and Cheese Enchiladas, salad

110 Calorie Ice Cream Sandwiches

To print, click here:  menu year 3 week 22

This menu is part of Menu Plan Monday at The Organizing Junkie.

Menu, Grocery List, Recipes Year 3 Week 21

I love when Easter comes late in the spring, because all the flowers and trees have had a chance to bloom.  Seeing the earth burst with new life reminds me of the new life we have in Christ.

If you’re looking for a way to share the Easter story with your kids, you might want to make these Easter Story Cookies together.  I’ve used this recipe for years, when I found it online way back in the 90s.  But just a few weeks ago, I found out more about the author.  Her daughter, Traci writes the blog Beneath My Heart.

Now here’s my “the internet is a small world after all” story:  I had just started following Traci’s blog and she linked to her sister Cyndi’s blog, Walking in Grace and Beauty so I started following Cyndi too.  Somehow, through Facebook (because Facebook tells you how many friends you have in common.  Facebook is so weird and I promise I wasn’t stalking her!) I figured out that Cyndi and I know a lot of the same people in real life.  Turns out she grew up in the town I had lived in for nearly 20 years!

Now Traci, Cyndi and I all live within 30 or so minutes of each other.  And it was after I figured this out that I found out their mother was the author of this wonderful recipe I had made with my kids to share the Easter story with them.

I love small-world connections like this!

Now for the menu:  If you make the Italian Seasoned Pork early in the week and have leftovers, you can use that meat for the Mandarin Chicken (pork) Rice Bake.  Depending on your schedule this week, that could be handy.

As always, you get 6 dinners and 1 dessert.  Serving suggestions are included in bold on the recipes and in curly brackets {} on the grocery list.

Italian Seasoned Salt and White Wine Pork Tenderloin, Mashed Potatoes, favorite green veggie

Mandarin Chicken Rice Bake, favorite green veggie

Sloppy Slow Cooked Chicken Tacos, salad, chips and salsa

Beef and Bean Topped Potatoes, salad

French Dip Sandwiches in the Slow Cooker, Ranch Veggie Salad, Macaroni & Cheese

Bacon and Tomato Pasta, salad

Black Bottom Peanut Butter Chiffon Pie

To print, click here:  menu year 3 week 21

This menu is part of Menu Plan Monday at The Organizing Junkie.

 

Menu, Grocery List, Recipes Year 3 Week 19

We’ve been enjoying such glorious weather that it’s hard to remember it’s still really wintertime.

Jim scrubbed the grill this weekend and we grilled out burgers, sat on the patio and went for walks.  Neighbors were outside visiting.  Kids were playing.

It is still March, right?

The menu this week has 6 dinners and 1 dessert, as always.  Serving suggestions are included in bold on the recipes and in curly brackets on the grocery list.

Here’s a tip for you: If you don’t need the recipes to print out each time, you can set your computer to just print page 1 instead of pages 1-9.  That’s how I do it and then I just use the site to read the recipes when I need them.

Here’s what’s on the menu this week:

Brown Sugar Chicken and Sweet Potatoes in the Slow Cooker, steamed green veggie

Zesty Chicken in the Slow Cooker with Couscous, steamed green veggie

Italian Chicken and Rice Casserole, salad

South of the Border Skillet, salad, chips & salsa

Garlic Lime Tilapia, Honey Glazed Carrots in the Slow Cooker, salad

Bowtie Pasta with Feta Cheese and Lemon Pepper Grilled Chicken, salad

Nutella Rice Krispie Treats

To print, click here: menu year 3 week 19

This menu is part of Menu Plan Monday at The Organizing Junkie.

Menu, Grocery List, Recipes Year 3 Week 14

Did you know you can get a free eBook of My Favorite Slow Cooker Recipes by signing up for email updates?  You can choose to get updates everyday or a digest version once a week.

Here’s what is on the menu for this week:

Ham and Swiss Scalloped Potatoes, favorite green veggie, salad

Pizza Steak Sandwiches in the Slow Cooker, French Fries, salad

Cottage Pie, green veggie, Cranberries and Oranges

Hamburger Vegetable Soup, cheese and crackers

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Roasted Broccoli and Red Peppers

Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce with Two Cheeses over Ravioli, salad

Raspberry Filled Brownies ala Mode

To print, click here: menu year 3 week 14

This menu is part of Menu Plan Monday at The Organizing Junkie.

Menu, Grocery List, Recipes Year 3 Week 13

The Versatility of a Menu Plan

I have recently discovered that my menu plans (probably most menu plans) are extremely versatile.  Yes, I’m a little slow at catching on.

I didn’t use to use my own menu plans and grocery lists very often.  I’m always cooking new things to share on the blog, so it didn’t make sense to print off a menu and list for meals I knew I probably wouldn’t make.

Then life got {even} busier.  So I printed off a menu and list, shopped and hung the list of meals on my fridge.  I made a few of them as written.  The rest of our meals  I created to share here with you.

What I found out is even when I don’t make the meals as planned, the grocery list still works. The reason is that almost all of my meals use common ingredients.  The list makes sure I’m keeping my pantry and freezer stocked with foods that can be used to make many different meals.

Win-win!  I don’t have to do any planning and I still have the freedom to change things up.  If you see me in the grocery now, I’ll have a printed list in my hands.

If you’re in a habit of shopping without a list or spending a lot of time creating a list, you might try printing this one.  Maybe you’ll find freedom in the plan too!

Here’s what is on the menu today:

Olive Oil and Italian Herb Roasted Chicken, Roasted Carrots and Parsnips, green veggie

Ravioli in the Slow cooker, salad

Croque Monsieur (Ham and Cheese), salad

Italian Beef Sandwiches in the Slow Cooker, French fries, carrot sticks

Black Bean and Corn Chicken Taco Bake, chips and salsa, salad

Cream of Cauliflower Soup, Cheddar Muffins

Cherry Oat Bars

To print, click here:  menu year 3 week 13

This menu is part of Menu Plan Monday at The Organizing Junkie