It's not just potluck anymore…

Archive for the ‘Main Dish Recipes’ Category

Cherry Cake and Lasagna Recipes

Cherry Poke Cake

A perfect cake around Valentine’s Day. Actually, any day is a good day for this cake. Change up your jello flavor and pie filling topping or use fresh fruit for variety. It’s a classic. IMG_6775

20 servings (We doubled the recipe to bake in our 12x20x2 inch cake pans, serves 40. Then we made it 10 times to serve 400 slices)

1 package white cake mix (eggs, water and oil will be needed as directed on the box, depending on which kind of cake mix you buy)

1 package (3 oz) cherry Jello

1 ½ cups boiling water

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

2 cups whipped non-dairy topping

1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling


Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Bake in greased 9 x 13 baking pan at 350* for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.


Dissolve jello in boiling water. Cool cake on wire rack for 5 minutes. Poke holes all over top of cake with a fork or wooden skewer.  Gradually pour jello over cake.  Cool for 15 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.


In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy.  Fold in whipped topping. Carefully spread over cake.  Top with pie filling.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.


Calvary Lutheran Lasagna


464 Servings: This recipe makes 29 pans. We use half size disposable pans, 2 1/2” deep x 9 x 13 inches. Each pan is cut into 16 pieces (4×4)


20 pounds lean ground beef (at least 90% lean)

40 pounds Italian bulk sausage (may use mild or spicy, or a combination)

10 pounds pepperoni slices (just a rough estimate)

15 pounds chopped onions

5  #10 cans tomato sauce, or may use Marinara Sauce or Spaghetti Sauce

2  #10 cans tomato paste

14 cups hot water

1 ¼ cups beef soup base or beef bullion concentrate

3 ½ cups dried parsley

3 ½ cups dried Italian seasoning

2 cups minced garlic, or ¾ cup garlic powder

18 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature

15 pounds cottage cheese

10 pounds sour cream

7 dozen eggs

30 pounds (3 10# cases, 32 5 oz noodles/case) of frozen “no boil” lasagna sheets, keep frozen

25 pounds shredded mozzarella cheese

5 pounds shredded parmesan cheese


Saute onions with olive oil on griddle until softened and clear but not browned.  Brown ground beef and sausage, draining off as much grease from the sausage as possible. Divide onions and meats into 4 large roasting pans.  Divide tomato sauce, tomato paste, and seasonings evenly into the four roasters. Dissolve beef base in hot water, divide evenly into the roasters.  Bring to a boil and simmer at least 10 minutes.


Beat eggs and set aside.  Using large mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth.  Beat in the sour cream and cream cheese and mix well.  Add in the beaten eggs and stir until well combined.


Each pan of lasagna will have 3 layers.  To assemble, spoon about 1 cup of meat sauce into the bottom of each pan. Add a frozen noodle sheet, then a layer of 2 cups meat sauce, 2 cups cheese sauce, about 4 ½ ounces of shredded mozzarella, and 16 pepperoni (laid down 4×4).  Repeat a second time exactly the same.  After the 3rd layer of noodle sheet, put the cheese sauce first, mozzarella, then the meat sauce and pepperoni on top.  Cover with a sheet of parchment paper, then cover tightly with foil.  Pans may be refrigerated overnight.


If baking right away, keep covered and bake at 350* for 45 minutes (325* convection), or until center temperature is at least 165*.  Uncover, sprinkle a layer of parmesan cheese on top, and return to oven for 15-20 minutes to lightly brown the top.


If baking after refrigerating, keep covered and bake at 300* (275* convection) for 2 hours until up to 165*. Finish as above.

Let rest about 10 minutes before cutting and serving.


Serve with a fresh Italian style garden salad and bread sticks or garlic bread.


Italian Garden Salad

400 servings

60# American Salad Blend (Iceberg, Romaine, Radish, Red cabbage, carrots)

15 red onions, thinly sliced

400 small pickled peppers, like pepperoncini

100 small vine ripened tomatoes, cut in quarters

12 cups sliced black olives

50 cups large croutons

6 cups grated parmesan cheese



25 cups olive oil

12 ½ cups white vinegar

1 ¼ cup Miracle Whip

6 cups lemon juice

12 cups grated parmesan cheese

½ cup garlic salt

1 cup dried Italian Seasoning

6 cups water

Puree ingredients in blender until smooth.

Chicken Pot Pie Recipe

As requested by a blog reader, here’s the recipe for the Chicken Pot Pie that we made for dinner this week.


Chicken Pot Pie

Makes 2 full size steam table pans (12x20x2), 48 servings

For 528 servings, make recipe 11 times (22 pans)

Total amount for 22 pans is in parentheses following the amount to use for 2 pans

5# cooked, shredded Chicken Breasts    (Total 55# Pre-cooked)  May use 140# uncooked, bone-in chicken breast or 80# boneless breasts and prepare as below)

5 ½ #  frozen Mixed Vegetables       (60#)

1# Chopped Onion        (11#)

Vegetable or olive oil for sautéing

1 #3 Can (51 oz) Cream of Chicken Soup       (11 cans)

1 #3 Can (51 oz) Cream of Mushroom Soup       (11 cans)

3  Cups Milk     (2 gallons, plus 1 cup)

2 tsp Pepper    (7 TBSP plus 1 tsp)

1 TBSP Thyme     (11 TBSP)

3 TBSP flour    (2 cups plus 1 TBSP)

2 ½  Pastry Sheets. May use either pie crust dough or puff pastry dough  (27 ½  sheets)  1 full sheet doesn’t cover, so use about ¼ of another sheet to cover the top.

  • If using uncooked chicken breasts, season chicken with salt and pepper and bake on foil lined baking sheets at 350* for 20-30 min. Shred or chop cooled chicken.
  • Sauté onion until translucent in olive or vegetable oil.
  • Stir together soups, milk, flour and spices
  • Stir in chicken and onion
  • Boil mixed vegetables until heated through and add to the rest of ingredients. (May add vegetables frozen and increase cooking time in the oven)
  • Pour into pans lined with Pansavers liners, or spray with non-stick spray, or use disposable pans
  • Bake covered at 350° for about 45 min. until hot and bubbly
  • Stir and top with pastry sheet
  • Bake uncovered at 375* for about 30 min. or until brown and internal temp is 180. Let stand 15 minutes before serving to thicken up the sauce.
  • Cut pastry top 4×6 to make it easy to serve.


Fruit pizza was a welcome taste of summer, as temperatures outside dipped into the single digits and the snow began to blow in.  Fresh blueberries, strawberries and kiwi were on sale this week at the local grocery store, so we piled it high on the shortbread crust.  Here’s the recipe on a previous blog post:  Fruit Pizza




Meatloaf Dinner, 12-13-17



DECEMBER 13, 2017

Please join us for dinner Wednesday night between 4:45 and 6:15 pm.  All members and visitors are welcome.  We ask for a donation of $5 for adults and $3 for children to cover the cost of the food.  A contemporary worship service with the praise band follows dinner from 6:30 to 7:00 pm.  The menu this week is:


Meatloaf with Cheese and Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Salad Bar

Eggnog Cake

Here’s how we make meatloaf for a big crowd, using a recipe adapted from the Disney Family Cookbook:

Mean and Lean Meat Loaf 

For 480 servings, Make 12 times: Use 15 shallow steamtable pans, lined with pansavers, or use disposable full size pans.  Press 4/5ths of each batch into each pan flat like a cake. Combine the other 1/5 from 5 batches to make 3 extra pans. (We did this because the full 10# batch seemed too thick for the shallow steamtable pans.  If you want go ahead and make them thicker and just use 12 pans.)  When done, cut into 40 pieces (8×5)  You can also form each batch into individual loaves if you’d rather have slices of meatloaf instead of squares. 

For each batch, use the quantity listed first. The total for 12 batches is in parentheses.

10# lean ground beef  (120#)

10 eggs  (10 dozen)

5 cups rolled oats  (60 cups)

2 1/2 cups chopped onions  (about 12# diced frozen onions)

1 1/2 cups chopped green pepper  (18 cups)

½ cup plus 2 Tbsp steak sauce   (7 ½ cups)

2 1/2 cups catsup  (about 3 #10 cans)

5 tsp pepper   (20 TBSP)

2 ½  tsp salt  (10 TBSP)

2 ½ tsp basil  (10 TBSP)

2 ½ tsp garlic powder  (10 TBSP)



2 1/2 cups catsup  (30 cups, about 3 #10 cans)

1 cup packed brown sugar  (12 cups)

5 tsp ground mustard  (1 ¼ cups)


Mix ingredients, but don’t over mix or the resulting meatloaf will be too dense and dry. Don’t put the sauce on top until last half hour of baking.  Cover with foil and bake at 325* convection for 1 hour.  Remove foil, spread sauce on top of meatloaves and bake an additional ½ hour, until internal temp reaches 160*.  Let sit for 10 min. before slicing.




Thanksgiving Recipes for a Crowd


Thanks for sharing these fun dining room photos, Tom Martin!

Here are a couple of recipes that might be useful for the holidays:

Sweet Potato Casserole

150 servings, 3 steamtable pans (12”x20”x2 1/2”)

6 #10 can sweet potatoes (each #10 can = 3# 13oz) or substitute fresh baked sweet potatoes (even better)

3 pounds butter, softened (6 cups)

36 eggs, beaten

½ cup vanilla

6 cups whole milk

Mix all of the above together in mixer until smooth.  Put in casserole dishes or steamtable pans.


Mix together streusel topping and sprinkle over top of potatoes dividing evenly between the pans:

4 cups flour

1.5 # butter, softened

8 cups dark brown sugar

4 cups chopped pecans (optional).


Bake at 325* until hot (165 degrees), approx. 1 1/2 hours. Cover with foil for first hour to avoid burning topping. Uncover to lightly brown the streusel for last half hour.


Here’s the original scaled back recipe:

Sweet Potato Casserole: 8 servings

6 sweet potatoes, baked

¼ cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup milk

½ cup butter

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons butter


Combine cooked sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs, vanilla, milk and ½ cup butter.  Beat at medium speed with a mixer until smooth.  Spoon into lightly greased 12X8X2 inch baking dish.

Combine brown sugar, flour, pecans and butter.  Sprinkle mixture over casserole.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Check out this older post for Pork Roast and Cheesecake recipes

Here’s another cheesecake post  Cheesecake for a Crowd

Or try this one for pork roast for a really big crowd:

Honey-Bourbon Glazed Pork Loin:  600 4oz servings

7 cases boneless pork loin roasts (4 roasts/case, average size 8 ½#/roast)  or about 240# boneless pork loin.  This is about 6.4 oz uncooked or 4 oz cooked per serving

4 cups minced fresh garlic

garlic mist spray

10# uncooked bacon slices

If roasts are large, cut in half and put 2 or 3 halves per full size steamtable pan.

Cut several small slits evenly over roasts and press minced garlic into slits.  Spray roasts with garlic mist and season with salt and pepper.  Arrange bacon slices over roasts.

Roast at 325* convection for 2 hours, or until 145 degrees.

Coat with glaze, and continue roasting to 155 degrees (about 30 more minutes)

Glaze: Combine in large pot and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes.

10 cups honey

5 cups light brown sugar

3 ½  cups bourbon

1 ¼ cup Dijon mustard

5 cups orange juice


Calvary Carrot Cake

Make 3 times for 360 servings (9 pans)

Makes 3 20x12x2 inch cakes. Cut 5×8 makes total of 120 servings.

8 cups flour

8 tsp baking powder

2 Tbsp baking soda

4 tsp salt

8 tsp cinnamon

16 eggs

8 cups sugar

6 cups vegetable oil

8 cups grated carrots

3 cups crushed pineapple, drained (for 3x recipe, use 1 #10 can plus 1 15 oz can)


Sift together dry ingredients.

Beat eggs, add the sugar and oil and beat until combined. Stir in flour mixture. Fold in carrots and pineapple. Mix well. Turn into greased and floured pans. Bake at 325* for 45 minutes.


Cream cheese frosting: For 9 cakes:

(we divided this in half to fit in our big mixer)

4 1/2# butter softened

9# cream cheese softened

6 Tbsp vanilla

16# powdered sugar

Beat together butter, cream cheese and vanilla until smooth. Add sugar gradually, beating until well mixed.

Join us on Wednesdays evenings at Calvary Lutheran Church. Meet up with friends, have some dinner, join in worship and leave with a smile on your face.




Sloppy Joes 3-29-17


Last week we enjoyed chicken sandwiches, macaroni salad and black bottom banana cream pie.  Here’s a few pics from the dining room last week:


I had a request from a blog follower for the recipe for the reuben casserole.  Here’s what we recommend after making it a couple of weeks ago.

REUBEN CASSEROLE:  For 12 Servings:

Layer in a half-sized disposable pan sprayed with non-stick spray:

1 loaf of rye bread (or sourdough if you prefer), cut or torn in 1 inch cubes

3 pounds cooked deli corned beef, sliced and roughly chopped

2 cups thousand island dressing

2 cups sauerkraut

Warm in 325* oven, covered with foil until heated through.  Remove foil and top with 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese.  Return to oven and bake until cheese is melted.

Mardi Gras Dinner Tonight


Join us for supper tonight, February 22nd at Calvary Lutheran Church.

We’re having Jambalaya (Cajun Rice), Pigs in a Blanket, Salad Bar and Bread Pudding for Dessert


Dinner will be served from 4:45-6:15 pm. Suggested donations for dinner is $5 for adults and $3 for kids under 12, but no one will be turned away for inability to donate.

Here’s how we make the jambalaya for a crowd:

Sausage, Shrimp and Chicken Jambalaya for 400

Make in 10 steamtable pans, 40 servings per pan

6 pans with shrimp

4 pans no shrimp


Per pan:              Total:

(4#)                          40 pounds cooked chicken, shredded

(10# )     50 pounds andouille sausage, sliced

(3#  in 4 pans)    12 pounds precooked shrimp, remove tails

(4#)                     132 cups (40 pounds) chopped onions

(2#)                        68 cups  (20 pounds) chopped celery

(#2)                        68 cups (20 pounds) chopped green peppers (2-3 med/pound)

(1/4 cup)              2 ½ cups chopped garlic

(13 cups)            130 cups  (53 pounds) long grain rice

(1 64 oz)               80 cups Bloody Mary Mix (10 64 oz bottles)

(68 oz)                  85 cups Chicken Stock (680 oz)

(2 TBSP)              20 Tbsp Creole seasoning

(1/2 can)              5 #10 cans diced tomatoes


Saute sausage over medium high heat, add shredded or chopped chicken to brown.  Remove to steamtable pans.

Saute onions, celery, green pepper and garlic until tender.  Mix with chicken and sausage.  Refrigerate in pans overnight if cooking the next day, or proceed with the rest of recipe.

Add liquids, seasoning, tomatoes and rice to pans.  Cover with foil.  Cook at 350* convection for 1 ½ hours, stirring halfway.  Add additional liquid as needed to keep from drying out.  Uncover.  Add shrimp to pans as indicated above and stir to mix.  Continue to bake all pans for an additional 20 minutes.


We had a great group of helpers serving dinner last week and the lasagna, cherry crisp and garlic bread were a hit. “Better than Olive Garden” was overheard in the dining room.

MENU 12-7-16 and Recipes


As requested by a blog follower, I’m posting the recipe for the Salisbury Steak that we made last week.

This makes 100 steaks and we made the recipe 5 times for 500.

20 pounds ground beef (no more than 24% fat)

1 pound 8 oz bread crumbs

6 large eggs

2 cups water

2 cups beef stock

1 cup non-instant, non-fat dry milk

1 cup dehydrated onions

1/2 cup parsley flakes

1 Tbsp black pepper

Mix ingredients well, preferably by hand instead of in a mixer so you won’t overmix it.  Portion steaks onto un-greased sheet pans covered in foil, using a 1/3 cup scoop. Flatten into oval patties.  Bake until browned in convection oven at 300 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Transfer to steamtable pas and keep warm.  Serve with mushroom gravy and egg noodles (40 pounds dry noodles, cooked as directed).

Mushroom Gravy: This makes 44 quarts of gravy; 470 servings, 3 oz each

2 packages brown gravy mix (sysco brand)

9 #3 cans cream of mushroom soup (46 oz)

14 #3 cans beef broth

4 #10 cans sliced mushrooms

For dessert we made Angel Food Cake Rolls filled with Strawberry Yogurt Filling

Angel Food Cake Roll

Makes 1 roll: cut into 14 slices and top with strawberry

For 672 servings, make cake 48 times


1 16 oz pkg angel food cake mix  (48)

5 tsp powdered sugar  (about 3 cups)

1 ½ oz instant vanilla pudding mix  (72 oz)

8 oz strawberry yogurt

Red food coloring

8 oz whipped topping  (24 16 oz containers)


Mix cake mix as directed on box. Line bottom of half size sheet pan with parchment and spread batter evenly into pan.  Bake at 325* for 20 minutes.

Cool cake 5 minutes, then run a knife around edges to loosen. Turn cake onto powdered sugar dusted parchment paper or kitchen towel. Peel off the parchment paper.  Roll up the cake in the towel starting with the short side. Let cool completely.

Whisk together the yogurt, pudding mix and food coloring (to desired color).  Fold in whipped topping.

Unroll cake; spread filling evenly over cake and roll up.

Dust with powdered sugar, cover, and freeze.  Remove from freezer 30 minutes before slicing with a serrated knife.

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