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Marvelous Meatball Sandwiches

Marvelous Meatball Sandwiches

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Marvelous Meatball Sandwiches

Fan-freakin’-tastic.

I’ve never heard those words out of my husband’s mouth before.  Until I served him this meatball sub sandwich.

It all started with a quest to find the perfect lunch for an upcoming youth camp (click on the link to check out the fun pics and recipes from last year’s camp!) for our church’s young men and young women.  I wanted some kind of sandwich we could assemble from pre-made components.  Often, for these events I pick up some pre-made sub sandwiches from Wal-Mart.  Not bad, but I was looking for much better.   I’m pretty sure we’ve found it.  This meatball sub sandwich recipe requires minimal last minute prep and it’s outrageously good.   This is also a good choice if you’re looking for a dinner to take to someone.  You can provide them the components and they can enjoy them at their own schedule.

Make Ahead Meatballs

This recipe uses my Make Ahead Meatballs .  You’ll love this meatball recipe.   It’s incredibly versatile.   A big plus is that the meatballs bake in the oven.  This not only keeps them from breaking up as you’re trying to brown them, it frees you to do other tasks (besides nursing burnt fingers from turning the meatballs in the scorching hot pan!).    It’s the only way I cook meatballs anymore.

You have many options with these make-ahead meatballs.  I’ve tried each and they all work very well:

  • You can bake the meatballs the day before.  To reheat, simply add the meatballs and the sauce to a pot and heat until sauce is simmering, or
  • You can assemble the unbaked meatballs up to 4 months in advance and freeze the the unbaked meatballs on a baking sheet covered with plastic wrap.  Once the meatballs are frozen, just transfer them to several heavy duty plastic freezer bags. To cook, place the frozen meatballs in a 475 degree oven and bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until heated through, or
  • You can simply freeze the cooked meatballs on a baking sheet covered with plastic wrap.  Once the meatballs are frozen, just transfer them to several heavy duty plastic freezer bags for up to 4 months.  To reheat, simply add the meatballs and the sauce to a pot and heat until sauce is simmering and the meatballs are cooked through.

Regardless of which method you choose, you end up with lovely meatballs.  I wished you could smell these.  They taste every bit as good as they look!

Best Buns

I generally don’t like Hoagie sandwiches.  For one thing, there’s almost always too much bread for the amount of filling.  Secondly, the bread doesn’t usually add much to the over all experience.   Fortunately, there’s an easy fix for both these shortcomings:

  • Reduce the bread-to-filling ratio by removing some of the bread to leave about 1/2 inch to 1 inch of top bun and 1/2 inch to 1 inch of bottom bun.  You can use the bread removed in the meatball recipe below if you wish.

 

  • Next coat the cut sides of each bun in lots of garlic butter and griddle them or place them under a broiler until they are golden brown.

Easy Sauce

I have an out-of-this-world old family Northern Italian Spaghetti Sauce recipe which I’ll happily share with you sometime, but this Meatball Sub Sandwich recipe is all about keepin it easy.  I simply buy a jar of my favorite spaghetti sauce (Prego Three Cheese) and then I unashamedly CHEAT.  To turn a plain store-bought sauce into something swoon-worthy, all you have to do is liberally scrape the drippings from the meatball pan into the sauce.  Trust me.  It works like magic.  You’ll want about this much sauce per sandwich:

Your Make-Ahead Sub Sandwich Game Plan

  • Once you’ve toasted your Hoagie buns, place both halves of loaf bun back together.  Wrap buns in foil or plastic wrap. Place buns and mozzarella cheese in a 1-gallon freezer bag.
  • When meatballs are finished cooking, place meatballs and sauce in a 1-gallon freezer bag. Freeze meatballs, sauce and buns for up to 4 months.
  • When ready to cook: Place frozen buns and cheese on the countertop,  Bread won’t spoil at room temperature, so you can thaw your Hoagie buns easily by simply removing them from the freezer and setting them on the counter, covered with the plastic wrap, so they don’t dry out as they defrost.  A single bun should thaw out in about 15 to 20 minutes. A full bag of buns will require about 45 minutes.
  • Finally, add the meatballs and the sauce to a pot and heat until sauce is simmering and the meatballs are heated through.
  • Assemble Sandwiches per the recipe below and serve.

Pin for Later

Aloha Dreams

Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

Ever wished you could build your dream home? How about building your dream home in a tropical paradise?  Join me, room by room, as we design and build a fabulous dream home in Hawaii!

Or Make Now

 

Meatball Sub Sandwiches - Freezer Meal
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

This is a wonderful make ahead Freezer Meal.  It's the perfect sandwich for a hungry crowd.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 sandwiches
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
For the Sandwiches:
  • 36 meatballs See recipe below
  • 1 (24 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce (I use Prego Three Cheese)
  • 12 slices provolone cheese
  • 2 (6 count) packages Hoagie Buns
  • 2 sticks softened butter (16 tablespoons total)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
Special Equipment if Making and Freezing
  • (1 gallon-size) freezer bags
For the Meatballs (makes 36 medium-small meatballs)
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs made from white sandwich bread crusts removed, bread torn into pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk - whole
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano - ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 onion - diced
  • 3 garlic cloves - minced
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef - 90% lean
  • ½ pound sweet Italian sausage (do not use hot), casings removed
  • cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Assemble meatballs following instructions below.

  2. While meatballs are baking, slice hoagies in half lengthwise. To reduce the amount of bread proportionate to the meatballs, if necessary remove another ½ inch or so from each cut side, so thickness of each bun half is 1 1/2 inch. You can remove some of the bottom bun to form a ‘canoe’ like shape to better hold the meatballs. Combine butter and garlic salt. Generously spread butter on cut of each bun.
  3. To serve, heat meatballs and sauce in a pan on medium high heat until hot.
  4. Place buns, cut side up, under broiler. Broil until golden brown. Set bun tops aside.
  5. Place 3 meatballs on each bottom bun and ladle sauce over meatballs. Place 1 slice of provolone cheese on top of sauce. Place sandwich (open face without top bun) under broiler until cheese is melted.
  6. Place top bun on sandwich and serve.
MAKE AHEAD NOTE: Place both halves of toasted bun back together. Wrap buns in foil or plastic wrap. Place buns and mozzarella cheese in 1 gallon freezer bags. When meatballs are finished cooking, freeze on a baking sheet then transfer frozen meatballs in 1 gallon freezer bag. Freeze meatballs and buns for up to 4 months. When ready to cook: Place frozen garlic bread, meatballs and mozzarella in refrigerator to thaw until ready to eat.
To Make the Meatballs:
  1. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray
  2. Pre-heat oven to 475 degrees
  3. Tear bread into rough chunks and pulse in the food processor until reduced to fine crumbs.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and milk and seasonings. Stir in garlic and onion. Add breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Stir to combine.
  5. Add ground beef and Italian sausage meat (make sure you discard the sausage casing). Gently combine mixture with your hands, working the mixture into golf-ball size balls uniform in size (so they cook at the same time). The light touch of your hands will incorporate all of the ingredients without crushing the meat. You don't want to over-mix into a paste, instead make sure full pieces of ground meat are still visible. Makes 35 - 36 meatballs
  6. Place the balls on a large rimmed baking sheet as you work.
  7. Bake at 475 degrees F for 20 minutes until no longer pink inside (160 degrees internal temperature).
  8. Remove from oven and when cooled slightly remove meatballs from sheet. Pour grease off sheet and scrape browned meatball bits into the spaghetti sauce.

Here’s some other fantastic recipes if you’re cooking for a crowd.

Marvelous Meatball Sandwiches

Want a wonderful ooey-gooey, saucy, savory Freezer Meal Sandwich Recipe? These little meatballs are baked in the oven, heated with a great time-saving spaghetti sauce, and place on a crunchy hoagie roll slathered with garlic butter and melty Provolone cheese! And you have a Fan-‘freakin’-tastic sandwich (to quote Jeff).

Easy Oven Rice for a Crowd

Don’t miss this one! Now you can make perfect rice EVERY TIME in just 30 minutes with this easy and proven recipe to cook rice in the oven. You’ll want to add this to your recipe box for sure.

Butter Pecan French Toast Breakfast Casserole

Looking for an over-the-top delicious breakfast for your family this holiday season? This wonderful overnight Butter Pecan French Toast Casserole won’t fail to delight. Nestled in between the velvety pieces of cream-soaked bread are bits of buttery, suger-y crunchy pecans. Heaven!

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole for a Crowd

You’ll love this Delicious Easy Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole. They don’t get any quicker or easier than this! The great thing about this dish is that it comes together easily in 20 minutes night before and is simply the best Breakfast Casserole I’ve ever had. It’s the perfect Breakfast Casserole for your Crowd this holiday season. I’ve also included a smaller version which serves 12.

Asian Lettuce Wrap for a Crowd

If you’re looking for a healthy recipe for your family but are tired of salad, these Pork & Ginger Lettuce Wraps are for you. They are really easy and really fast, on the table within 30 minutes from start to finish. But the best part of all is they are REALLY good! Whip up a batch for your family this week, they’ll LOVE them.

Sausage, Egg and Cheese Sliders for a Crowd

You'll love this sweet and salty breakfast. It will have your house smelling so good your family will be waiting at the table, at least mine was! A few simple ingredients and a few minutes in the kitchen give you an extraordinary breakfast big enough to feed a crowd.

Explore Aloha Dreams

Things to do Big Island of Hawaii
Dream Home Bathroom

EXPLORE

If you're planning a vacation to Hawaii, I've got you covered on the very best places to go!   From many amazing restaurants to incredible adventures in the surf and on land, this is your go-to source for unique and exciting things to do on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Or just take a Virtual Vacation!!    Let's go!

SAY YES!

If you've been asked to cook for a large group activity, be it a Girl's Camp or a Graduation Party, say Yes!  I'm here to help.  From Menus to Game Plans to Recipes, I'll help you keep on schedule and turn out amazingly delicious food if you're cooking for a crowd!  My recipes are tested and trusted.    Let's cook! 

AHONUI

Ever wished you could build your dream home?  Like amazing house design and home building ideas?  Me too!  Join me as I design and build a home on the Big Island of Hawaii. Follow along while I design each room. Enjoy a front row seat for the entire amazing construction process.  Let's play!

PARTY

Would you like to throw a Luau, but not sure where to start?   Want to know how to build a tiki bar and roast a pig?  Here's everything you need to have a luau.  How about a Christmas Feast or even a fabulous dinner for your neighborhood supper club?  You've come to the right place.    Let's party!

Easy Oven Rice for a Crowd

Easy Oven Rice for a Crowd

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New fool-proof Rice Method for a Crowd or Your Family!

This. Is. Amazing!  What started out as research on how to cook rice for a large group, has turned into my all-time favorite way to cook rice – – – in the oven!   Who knew?

Not me.  Rice has always been my nemesis.  Back when I used to cook it on the stove, it was almost always likely to burn – or at the very least stick on the bottom.   If I was planning on it as part of a meal (meaning I couldn’t keep an eagle eye on it), then I frequently ended up sneaking over to the sink to try and scrape out the non-burned part – hoping my guests wouldn’t notice.

Easiest Way Ever to Cook Rice

Well no more!  This oven method is VERY EASY.   It’s also VERY FORGIVING.  We just finished teaching 17 teenage boys how to cook a Chinese Dinner (a FANTASTIC youth activity – I’ll do a post soon on it) and this rice was the star of the show.   I tasked one of the young men with measuring the rice and another with measuring the boiling water.  They came to me when they finished, and I said “Great!  So we have 12 cups of rice in there, right?”  The sheepish response was, “Yes?”  followed closely by “uh, well maybe…”   concluding with, “um, well actually, we’re not really sure.  We got interrupted and lost count.”  Feigning WAY more confidence than I felt (a very important skill when cooking for large groups), I brightly said, “No problem!  It will be JUST fine!” and into the oven (with a prayer) it went.

Twenty minutes later we (all) checked it and while it was still a bit soupy, it looked well on its way to being done.  I told them (with plenty of made-up chief-ish authority) to give it exactly 3 more minutes and when we (all) checked it again…

… it was perfect.

You really need this easy rice cooking method in your life.  P. S. It works just as beautifully for 4 servings as it does for rice for a large group of 50.

Cook Rice for a Crowd of 50 – Easiest way ever!

Cooking rice for a large group has never been easier.  Believe it or not, it’s of the easiest recipes you can make for a large group! I just used this method last week when I was serving 200+ people at our church’s Youth Conference.  It turned out beautiful.  You’ll really appreciate that it can cook un-attended in the oven while you’re busy preparing the main dishes.  Even better, you can basically add any spices or veggies you want and it still cooks perfectly!  You’re going to love it.  The trick is to cover it tightly with foil and don’t peak until the timer goes off.  If it’s not quite done, simply keep checking every 3 – 4 minutes – and then fluff thoroughly to prevent gumminess.

Holds Beautifully!

This rice easily stays warm when cooked in large batches of 50 for 30 minutes if you keep the foil lightly draped over the top to let the steam out but keep the heat in.  Mine was still warm enough to serve 45 minutes later.

Pin for Later

Aloha Dreams

Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

Ever wished you could build your dream home? How about building your dream home in a tropical paradise?  Join me, room by room, as we design and build a fabulous dream home in Hawaii!

Or Make Now

Family Size

Oven Baked Rice, perfect every time
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
Make perfect rice every time in just 30 minutes with this easy and proven recipe to cook rice in the oven. 

Servings: 4 (4 1/2 cups cooked rice) 

(NOTE: 1 cup uncooked rice = 3 cups cooked rice)

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
  • 1 1/3 cups long grain rice
  • 2 1/3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • Aluminum foil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.

  2. Place 2 1/3 cups water, 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter, and 1 teaspoon of salt in a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave till boiling.  Or heat on the stove top in a pan.

  3. While water is heating place 1 and 1/3 cups white long grain rice in an oven safe pan or dish.
  4. Add the boiling water to rice. Mix well and quickly cover tightly with a piece of foil.
  5. Bake 23-25 minutes until the rice is tender and all the liquid is absorbed. If it's not done, bake for another 2 to 4 minutes.
  6. Fluff rice with a fork to let the steam out before serving. If you don't fluff it, the rice will continue to cook and become mushy and gummy. (If making Fried Rice, spread hot rice evenly on a large tray to cool.)
Recipe Notes

Use the hottest water you can easily get. If you have a bowl which is both microwave and oven safe, heat water, salt and butter in that bowl, then add in pre-measured rice to water once boiling – just be careful.

If your baking dish also has a lid, put the lid on top of the foil. But even if you have a lid, you still need to use the aluminum foil.

If you want to cook brown rice, it takes longer. Plan on about 1 hour.

Cook at 350°F in a convection oven.

Large Group

 

Oven Baked Rice, Perfect every Time – for 50
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 
Make perfect rice every time in just 30 minutes with this easy and proven recipe to cook rice in the oven. 

Servings: 50 (36 cups cooked rice – ¾ cup each)
(NOTE: 12 cups uncooked rice = 36 cups cooked rice)

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Chinese, Cooking for a Crowd, Japanese, Mexican
Servings: 50 servings
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
  • 12 cups long grain rice (this is 5.25 pounds)
  • 5 quarts water (5 quarts is 20 cups)
  • 3 sticks butter
  • 2 tablespoons table salt
Special Equipment
  • Aluminum foil
  • 1 large disposable aluminum pan (roughly 20" x 13" x 3")
  • 1 large flat baking sheet
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.

  2. Place 5 quarts water, 3 sticks butter, and 2 tablespoons salt in a pot on the stove top and heat until boiling.
  3. While water is heating place 12 cups white long grain rice in a large disposable aluminum pan. Set pan on a flat baking sheet to make transporting into and out of the oven easier.
  4. Add the boiling water to rice. Mix well and quickly cover tightly with a large piece of foil.
  5. Bake 40-45 minutes until the rice is tender but not mushy and all the liquid should be absorbed. If it's not done, bake for another 2 to 6 minutes.

  6. Fluff it with a fork to let the steam out and serve. If you don't fluff, the rice may continue to cook and become mushy.
MAKE AHEAD NOTE:
  1. Once fluffed, if the aluminum foil cover is loosely placed over the rice, it will easily stay warm for up to 30 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Use 350°F if cooking in a convection oven).

Looking for more fantastic Breakfasts for a Crowd?

There are many excellent choices on my Breakfast for a Crowd page here.  It’s got a wide selection of large group breakfast recipes. Including this one:

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole for a Crowd

Here’s some other fantastic recipes if you’re cooking breakfast.

Butter Pecan French Toast Breakfast Casserole

Looking for an over-the-top delicious breakfast for your family this holiday season? This wonderful overnight Butter Pecan French Toast Casserole won’t fail to delight. Nestled in between the velvety pieces of cream-soaked bread are bits of buttery, suger-y crunchy pecans. Heaven!

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole for a Crowd

You’ll love this Delicious Easy Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole. They don’t get any quicker or easier than this! The great thing about this dish is that it comes together easily in 20 minutes night before and is simply the best Breakfast Casserole I’ve ever had. It’s the perfect Breakfast Casserole for your Crowd this holiday season. I’ve also included a smaller version which serves 12.

Breakfast Pizza for a Crowd

Who doesn’t love pizza for breakfast? This Meat Lovers Breakfast Pizzas really delivers. It re-heats well too, making a great morning for everyone!

Explore Aloha Dreams

Things to do Big Island of Hawaii
Dream Home Bathroom

EXPLORE

If you're planning a vacation to Hawaii, I've got you covered on the very best places to go!   From many amazing restaurants to incredible adventures in the surf and on land, this is your go-to source for unique and exciting things to do on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Or just take a Virtual Vacation!!    Let's go!

SAY YES!

If you've been asked to cook for a large group activity, be it a Girl's Camp or a Graduation Party, say Yes!  I'm here to help.  From Menus to Game Plans to Recipes, I'll help you keep on schedule and turn out amazingly delicious food if you're cooking for a crowd!  My recipes are tested and trusted.    Let's cook! 

AHONUI

Ever wished you could build your dream home?  Like amazing house design and home building ideas?  Me too!  Join me as I design and build a home on the Big Island of Hawaii. Follow along while I design each room. Enjoy a front row seat for the entire amazing construction process.  Let's play!

PARTY

Would you like to throw a Luau, but not sure where to start?   Want to know how to build a tiki bar and roast a pig?  Here's everything you need to have a luau.  How about a Christmas Feast or even a fabulous dinner for your neighborhood supper club?  You've come to the right place.    Let's party!

Butter Pecan French Toast Breakfast Casserole

Butter Pecan French Toast Breakfast Casserole

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Butter Pecan French Toast Breakfast Casserole

Your family will fall in love with this Overnight Butter Pecan French Toast Breakfast Casserole recipe.  It’s perfect for Christmas morning breakfast.  You can assemble it the night before and wake up to a warm, custardy, french toast casserole with pockets of brown suger-y, crunchy, buttery bits nestled in between the lovely velvety bread pieces.

Great Breakfast for Large Groups

You’ll want to try the large group French Toast Breakfast Casserole for a Crowd recipe next time you’re cooking breakfast for 50 or more.  Your family reunion or girls camp will rave.   Made and assembled the night before, it requires minimal effort in the morning and is met with maximum excitement hot out of the oven.   The slices are much smaller than the recipe for 12, but if you serve several other items, they’ll be perfect.

What do you think?  Doesn’t this look good.

I got the idea for this from a local restaurant.   We went there with friends for dinner and they served the most amazing Butter Pecan Bread Pudding.  It was light and fluffy, with marvelous surprise chunks of crunchy brown sugar coated pecans nestled in between the bread.  It was so good we went back the next week.  And this time I was served a dense gummy lump of sodden bread with minimal pecans with absolutely no crunchy suger-y coating.  Sigh.  Since we generally conclude we can get better meals at home, I was faced with the challenge of recreating it.  I think you’ll be blown away with the results.  So much for that restaurant.

What would you serve with this?

I just recently served this for our Church Christmas Breakfast.  Here’s the menu with links to the other items.

Mini Sweet Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole

Mixed Fruit Salad with an Orange Vanilla Glaze

Mini Ham & Cheese Sliders

French Toast Casserole with Brown Sugar Pecan Streusel Topping

Pin for Later

Aloha Dreams

Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

Ever wished you could build your dream home? How about building your dream home in a tropical paradise?  Join me, room by room, as we design and build a fabulous dream home in Hawaii!

Or Make Now

Family Size

Betsy’s Butter Pecan Overnight French Toast Casserole
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 

This may just be the best French Toast Casserole you'll ever have.  The bread is sweet, but not too sweet and the crunchy butter pecan topping really takes it to the next level.  You'll enjoy it with, and without, syrup.

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
Praline Topping:
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter , softened
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar , packed
  • 1/2 cup pecans , chopped
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 (16 – 20 ounce) loaf Italian bread , cut into 1-inch slices then torn into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 large eggs
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Instructions
2 nights before serving:
  1. Slice the bread in 1 inch slices. Tear each slice into 1 inch pieces. Put the pieces of bread in the pan in an even layer. Let sit out on the counter, uncovered.
  2. Combine all ingredients for Praline Topping in a medium bowl, blend well, cover and set aside.
  3. Night before serving:
  4. Using 1 tablespoon butter, grease a 9" x 13" pan or deep 2-quart casserole.
  5. In a large bowl, combine 8 eggs, 3 cups heavy cream, 1 cup milk, 5 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla, ¾ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg and ¼ teaspoon salt. Beat with a whisk until blended. Pour mixture over the bread slices. Using a wide flat spatula, mix by gently lifting and rearranging the bread pieces, making sure pieces all are covered evenly.

MAKE AHEAD NOTE: Can be made up to this point, covered with foil and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. It’s best if it sits at least 8 hours.
  1. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread, pressing most of it into the spaces between the bread pieces. Bake about 40 minutes, or until puffed and lightly golden. Custard should be set, but still slightly wet.
  2. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with maple syrup.

Large Group

 

Betsy’s Butter Pecan Overnight French Toast Casserole for a Large Group of 50
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins
 
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 50 servings
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
Praline Topping:
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter , softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar , packed
  • 1 cup pecans , chopped
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 (16 – 20 ounce) loaves Italian bread , cut into 1-inch slices then torn into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 16 large eggs
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 cups heavy cream
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ - 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Special Equipment
  • 1 21” x 13” x 3.5” Disposable Aluminum Pan Full Size Steam Table Pan
Instructions
2 nights before serving:
  1. Slice the bread in 1inch slices. Tear each slice into 1 inch pieces. Put the pieces of bread in the pan in an even layer. Let sit out on the counter, uncovered.
  2. Combine all ingredients for Praline Topping in a medium bowl, blend well and set aside.
  3. Night before serving:

  4. Using 1 tablespoon butter, grease a 21” x 13” x 3.5” disposable aluminum pan.

  5. In a large bowl, combine 16 eggs, 2 cups milk, 6 cups cream, 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 4 teaspoons vanilla, 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Beat with a whisk until blended. Pour mixture over the bread slices. Using a wide flat spatula, mix by gently lifting and rearranging the bread pieces, making sure pieces all are covered evenly.

MAKE AHEAD NOTE: Can be made up to this point, covered with foil and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. It’s best if it sits at least 8 hours.
  1. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread, pressing most of it into the spaces between the bread pieces. Bake about 45 - 55 minutes, or until puffed and lightly golden. Custard should be set, but still slightly wet.

  2. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with maple syrup.

Looking for more fantastic Breakfasts for a Crowd?

There are many excellent choices on my Breakfast for a Crowd page here.  It’s got a wide selection of large group breakfast recipes. Including this one:

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole for a Crowd

Here’s some other fantastic recipes if you’re cooking breakfast.

Butter Pecan French Toast Breakfast Casserole

Looking for an over-the-top delicious breakfast for your family this holiday season? This wonderful overnight Butter Pecan French Toast Casserole won’t fail to delight. Nestled in between the velvety pieces of cream-soaked bread are bits of buttery, suger-y crunchy pecans. Heaven!

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole for a Crowd

You’ll love this Delicious Easy Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole. They don’t get any quicker or easier than this! The great thing about this dish is that it comes together easily in 20 minutes night before and is simply the best Breakfast Casserole I’ve ever had. It’s the perfect Breakfast Casserole for your Crowd this holiday season. I’ve also included a smaller version which serves 12.

Breakfast Pizza for a Crowd

Who doesn’t love pizza for breakfast? This Meat Lovers Breakfast Pizzas really delivers. It re-heats well too, making a great morning for everyone!

Explore Aloha Dreams

Things to do Big Island of Hawaii
Dream Home Bathroom

EXPLORE

If you're planning a vacation to Hawaii, I've got you covered on the very best places to go!   From many amazing restaurants to incredible adventures in the surf and on land, this is your go-to source for unique and exciting things to do on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Or just take a Virtual Vacation!!    Let's go!

SAY YES!

If you've been asked to cook for a large group activity, be it a Girl's Camp or a Graduation Party, say Yes!  I'm here to help.  From Menus to Game Plans to Recipes, I'll help you keep on schedule and turn out amazingly delicious food if you're cooking for a crowd!  My recipes are tested and trusted.    Let's cook! 

AHONUI

Ever wished you could build your dream home?  Like amazing house design and home building ideas?  Me too!  Join me as I design and build a home on the Big Island of Hawaii. Follow along while I design each room. Enjoy a front row seat for the entire amazing construction process.  Let's play!

PARTY

Would you like to throw a Luau, but not sure where to start?   Want to know how to build a tiki bar and roast a pig?  Here's everything you need to have a luau.  How about a Christmas Feast or even a fabulous dinner for your neighborhood supper club?  You've come to the right place.    Let's party!

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole for a Crowd

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole for a Crowd

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Fantastic Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole for a Crowd

(and a perfect size recipe for your family)

Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or just making breakfast for your family this holiday season, you’ll love everything about this Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole for a Crowd recipe.  It’s crowned with crispy, crunchy tater tots and teeming with all your breakfast favorites including sausage, cheese and eggs; all in an easy to assemble dish.  If you have family in for the holidays you’ll definitely want to put it on the menu.

Great Breakfast for Large Groups

This is also another fantastic large group breakfast recipe – perfect if you’re cooking for a family reunion, planning a girls camp breakfast recipe or any other breakfast for a crowd situation that might arise.   And it’s not just a matter of simply increasing the quantity.  I’ll show you some terrific short cuts when cooking casseroles for a crowd and answer the many questions that are probably bubbling up in your mind.

A Tasty Treat for your Friends & Family

As a make ahead breakfast casserole, it doesn’t get any quicker or more delicious than this.  We had many people coming back for seconds and thirds when I served 3 pans of it to 130 people for our Church Christmas Breakfast this year.   If you have 12 – 20 guests, the 50 serving recipe would easily handle them for several breakfasts.  Or make the smaller Family size recipe to serve 12-15.

Quick and Easy Either Way

The great thing about this dish is that it comes together quickly the night before and is simply the BEST Breakfast Casserole I’ve ever had.  It’s a perfect breakfast for this holiday season.   Let me show you how easy it is to make (regardless of whether if you’re making it for 5 or 50!)

What would you serve with this?

I just recently served this for our Church Christmas Breakfast.  Here’s the menu with links to the other items.

 

Mini Sweet Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole

Mixed Fruit Salad with an Orange Vanilla Glaze

Mini Ham & Cheese Sliders

French Toast Casserole with Brown Sugar Pecan Streusel Topping (Coming Next!)

Here’s some tips you might find interesting if you ever have to cook for a crowd.

If you’re cooking the smaller version for your family, you can go ahead and fry up the sausage on the stove top.  But if you’re making the Breakfast Casserole for a large group, you really don’t want to fry up 6 pounds or more of sausage.  At least I sure don’t. Here’s the handy time-saving solution:  Any time you’re cooking sausage (or crumbled hamburger) for more than 50, simply do it in the oven.

Just spread out the sausage in an even layer over the bottom of several large disposable aluminum pans, breaking it into small pieces with your hands, like the picture below. In this case I  have 2 large pans, each serving 50.  And 2 smaller disposable aluminum pans, each serving 25.  The reason I used the 2 smaller pans was to give me an even number of pans for each of the 2 serving lines I set up. Cook initially for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, remove the sausage from oven and break larger pieces into smaller pieces with your hands or a plastic spatula. Then return it to the oven and continue cooking until it’s brown and cooked through, about 10 – 15 minutes more.  It looks like this prior to breaking it into smaller pieces.

Now let me answer some of those questions that are undoubtedly bubbling up in your mind if you’re cooking breakfast for a large group:

Is this an EASY breakfast casserole for a crowd?

This sure is. To save time and mess instead of frying up the sausage on the stove top, the large group recipe is modified to simply cook it in the oven. Meanwhile you not only avoid the mess, you can be breaking the eggs and mixing the rest of the ingredients.  This is especially handy if you’re making several batches!

How much will 50 people eat?

This is probably the biggest question most people have when cooking for a crowd.  Over the years I have found a wonderfully simple solution.  Regardless of what you’re serving, a 21” x 13” x 3.5” disposable aluminum pan will produce 50 main dish servings.  (If you’re serving a side dish it often produces 60 – 75 servings.)  You can fit two of these pans in a standard oven, each pan serves 50, so each oven can produce 2 pans for a total of 100 servings.  The casserole in the picture below comfortably served 50 people no problem!  Click here to order these pans.

How long should I cook a casserole for a large group?

This is probably the second biggest question most people have when cooking for a crowd.  I put this casserole (cold from the refrigerator) in the oven at 8:45 on a center rack. At 10:15 (1 hour and 30 minutes later) the edges were done, but the center was still fairly liquid. The top however was perfectly golden brown.  I covered it with aluminum foil and cooked it 15 minutes more.  At 10:30 (1 hour 45 minutes total cook time) it was perfect.

How much longer will it take to cook 2 large casseroles in the oven at once?

Your large group casseroles will typically take 15 percent longer to cook if you are cooking 2 dishes at once.  Make sure the oven is fully preheated before inserting the dishes, and to ensure even cooking, rotate the dishes halfway through.  Last time I did this, one casserole in a 21” x 13” x 3.5” disposable aluminum pan took 1 hour 45 minutes to cook perfectly, two (each in a 21” x 13” x 3.5” disposable aluminum pan) took 2 hours and 15 minutes.

How long does the casserole stay warm out of the oven?

I removed the casserole from the oven at 10:30, covered it with aluminum foil and while it was at its best up to 15 minutes later, it was still warm even after sitting for 30 minutes (allowing you plenty of time to assemble the troops).

Can the casserole be made in advance?

This breakfast casserole is fantastic for a make-ahead dish to spare you getting up with the roosters. Whether you’re prepping for breakfast the next day or making a large batch to take to a brunch, it’s very easy to assemble. It can be whipped up at any time and kept in the fridge for 24 hours before baking.

What’s the best way to store and transport a large group casserole?

Through some (very painful) trial and error (the one noise you DON’T want to hear coming from the back of your CR-V (filled with multiple large capacity slow cookers full of wonderful green beans, onions, bacon and lot’s of wonderful green bean juice) as you are careening around the corner, racing to feed a 150 member cast and crew of the Savior of the World is GLUG, GLUG, GLUG) I’ve found that the best way to store and transport food for a large group is in 2 gallon baggies.  I place these 2 gallon baggies filled with with the food in the refrigerator, preferably sitting in one of the large disposable pans I’ll be using to cook them in if I have room.  This saves time and minimizes mess should the baggie leak.

If I’m cooking them elsewhere, I transport them sealed in the baggies too.  Again, it saves a world of heartache (and CR-V mess) (despite extensive cleaning, the CR-V STILL smells WONDERFUL.)   Then when I’m ready to cook the casseroles, I simply empty out the baggies into the pans and put the pans in the oven.  NOTE: If you are doing this for this recipe, DO NOT ADD THE TATER TOT TOPPING until just before you are ready to put the casserole in the oven.  Otherwise, the tater tots will get soggy.

Pin for Later

Tropical Summer Salad
Aloha Dreams

Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

Ever wished you could build your dream home? How about building your dream home in a tropical paradise?  Join me, room by room, as we design and build a fabulous dream home in Hawaii!

Or Make Now

Family Size

Family Size Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 15 servings
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
  • 1 pound mild pork sausage
  • 7 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese - shredded
Topping
  • 1/2 (32 ounce) package Mini tater tots
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium frying pan over medium high heat, add sausage and cook until brown and cooked through, about 10-15 minutes.
  3. When done, drain off half of the fat and break up sausage into small bite size pieces with your hands or a spatula.
  4. Whisk the eggs. Add milk, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and seasoned salt. Stir in cooked sausage. Fold cheddar cheese into egg mixture.
  5. Pour mixture into the baking pan and arrange frozen tater tots in a single layer over the egg mixture. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons seasoned salt over tater tots.
MAKE AHEAD NOTE: If not baking right away, cover tightly with foil and chill in refrigerator until the next morning.
  1. When ready to bake move oven rack to middle position and set oven temperature to 350 degrees. Once oven temperature reaches 350 degrees, place uncovered casserole in oven for about 45 minutes. Let rest at room temperature for 5 minutes then slice into 3 rows by 5 slices.

Large Group

 

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole for Crowd of 50
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 45 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 15 mins
 
One casserole will take about 1 hour 45 minutes to cook perfectly, cooking two casseroles in the same oven will typically take between 2 hours to 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American, Cooking for a Crowd
Servings: 50 servings
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
  • 6 pounds mild pork sausage
  • 3 dozen large eggs (36 eggs)
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned salt
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
Topping
  • 1 1/2 (32 Ounce) package tater tots
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned salt
Special Equipment
  • 21” x 13” x 3.5” Disposable Aluminum Pan (Full Size Steam Table Pan)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Spread the sausage in an even layer over the bottom of the disposable aluminum pan and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and gently break any larger pieces into small bite-size pieces with a spatula. Return to oven and continue cooking until sausage is brown and cooked through, about 10 - 15 minutes more.

  3. When done, drain off half of the fat and break up sausage into small bite size pieces with your hands or a spatula.
  4. In a very large bowl, whisk the eggs then add 4 cups milk, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper and seasoned salt.  Pour into the aluminum pan containing the cooked sausage, add the cheddar cheese and mix well.

MAKE AHEAD NOTE: If not baking right away, pour mixture into 2 gallon baggies set in pans (to contain any leakage) and chill in refrigerator until the next morning.
  1. When ready to cook, When ready to bake, if baking 1 casserole in the oven move oven rack to middle position and set oven temperature to 350 degrees. If baking 2 casseroles, adjust racks evenly between top and bottom of oven.  Pour mixture into the aluminum pan and arrange frozen tater tots in a single layer over the egg mixture. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons seasoned salt over tater tots.

  2. Once oven temperature reaches 350 degrees, place uncovered casserole in oven for a bout 1 hour and 45 minutes (or 2 hours to 2 hours and 15 minutes.) Casserole is done when a knife inserted in center come out just slightly moist and casserole no longer looks soupy in the middle. Let rest at room temperature for 5 minutes then slice into 3 rows by 16 slices for 48 total pieces.

Looking for more fantastic Breakfasts for a Crowd?

Here are several more excellent choices.  You should also check out my Breakfast for a Crowd page here.  It’s got a wide selection of large group breakfast recipes.

Here’s some other fantastic recipes if you’re cooking breakfast.

Butter Pecan French Toast Breakfast Casserole

Looking for an over-the-top delicious breakfast for your family this holiday season? This wonderful overnight Butter Pecan French Toast Casserole won’t fail to delight. Nestled in between the velvety pieces of cream-soaked bread are bits of buttery, suger-y crunchy pecans. Heaven!

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole for a Crowd

You’ll love this Delicious Easy Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole. They don’t get any quicker or easier than this! The great thing about this dish is that it comes together easily in 20 minutes night before and is simply the best Breakfast Casserole I’ve ever had. It’s the perfect Breakfast Casserole for your Crowd this holiday season. I’ve also included a smaller version which serves 12.

Breakfast Pizza for a Crowd

Who doesn’t love pizza for breakfast? This Meat Lovers Breakfast Pizzas really delivers. It re-heats well too, making a great morning for everyone!

Explore Aloha Dreams

Things to do Big Island of Hawaii
Dream Home Bathroom

EXPLORE

If you're planning a vacation to Hawaii, I've got you covered on the very best places to go!   From many amazing restaurants to incredible adventures in the surf and on land, this is your go-to source for unique and exciting things to do on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Or just take a Virtual Vacation!!    Let's go!

SAY YES!

If you've been asked to cook for a large group activity, be it a Girl's Camp or a Graduation Party, say Yes!  I'm here to help.  From Menus to Game Plans to Recipes, I'll help you keep on schedule and turn out amazingly delicious food if you're cooking for a crowd!  My recipes are tested and trusted.    Let's cook! 

AHONUI

Ever wished you could build your dream home?  Like amazing house design and home building ideas?  Me too!  Join me as I design and build a home on the Big Island of Hawaii. Follow along while I design each room. Enjoy a front row seat for the entire amazing construction process.  Let's play!

PARTY

Would you like to throw a Luau, but not sure where to start?   Want to know how to build a tiki bar and roast a pig?  Here's everything you need to have a luau.  How about a Christmas Feast or even a fabulous dinner for your neighborhood supper club?  You've come to the right place.    Let's party!

Mini Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Mini Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Mini Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Your family will love these mini cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting. They’re bite-size delights with light fluffy cinnamon sugar layers slathered with luscious cream cheese frosting!

You’ll find they are perfect for the holidays or special occasions!  Quick and easy to make, they can be made ahead and frozen at 3 different points in the process, making it easier for you the morning you’re wanting to serve them.

It’s easy.  Here’s how.

Let’s start with the flour.  If you have a scale, you’ll want to measure out 330 grams of flour.   If you don’t have a scale and you’re planning on doing any baking for the holidays, I would strongly recommend one.  I never use a measuring cup for flour anymore and I no long worry about measuring it correctly.

If you don’t have a scale, you’ll want 2 3/4 cups of flour, measured by fluffing your flour and then gently dipping the measuring cup into the flour and sweeping the top with a straight edge to level it.

 

Then combine the sugar, butter, water and milk and microwave it until the mixture is hot and the butter is soft and almost melted, about 45 seconds.  You want the stick to remain mostly intact but be very soft when touched.  Next preheat the oven to 200 degrees.  We’ll be putting the rolls in it in a minute to rise, for now we’re just trying to warm it up slightly to help with that.  This method is easier than depending on the room temperature to aid in the dough rising, especially in the winter.

Let the mixture cool slightly then add the milk mixture into the flour mixture.   Finally add the egg and vanilla and mix, scraping the sides and bottom periodically, until a soft and sticky dough forms.

Then, using a dough hook if you have a stand mixer (or your hands if you don’t) knead the dough on the lowest setting for 4 minutes.  You want it to look like this when done.

Aloha Dreams

Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

Ever wished you could build your dream home? How about building your dream home in a tropical paradise?  Join me, room by room, as we design and build a fabulous dream home in Hawaii!

Allow dough to rest, covered, on the counter for 10 minutes.   Once the dough has rested, roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it measures a 24×16 inch rectangle.  A handy trick my mom taught me is to flour the surface under your dough, flour the top of your dough and then place a sheet of wax paper between your dough and the rolling pin, like this.

Then roll out your dough until it measures a 22 × 16 inch rectangle.

Brush all the butter evenly over the top of the dough (heat 10-15 seconds in the microwave if necessary to enable it to spread easily), then sprinkle the filling evenly over the entire surface.

Your dough should be laid out in a landscape orientation (long sides across the top and bottom, short sides on the left and right.  You have a couple choices at this point.

 

You can either make 24 medium small rolls or 48 mini rolls.

 

To make 24 rolls, using a pizza cutter or knife, cut the dough into 24 pieces, 1 inch wide, running from top to bottom along the 16 inch edges, like the picture above.  This will make 24 medium small rolls.

To make 48 mini rolls, just make 1 additional cut longwise across the middle, like the picture below.   Either is great and the recipe is identical regardless.

Roll each up into a tight roll and place into a greased 9×13 baking dish with aluminum foil over the top.  You can freeze them at this point (well wrapped) or continue with the recipe.

If you’re ready to bake now, turn OFF the oven and place the covered rolls inside for 45 – 60 minutes until rolls mostly fill the pan like this.

Here’s what the minis look like after their time rising in the turned off oven.

You can turn on the oven to low for about a minute to jump start the process anytime during the rising if you find you’re not making progress.

Once your rolls have risen to almost fill the pan, remove them from the oven and turn ON your oven to 375 degrees so we can bake them.   Once heated, remove the foil and bake the rolls for 15-18 minutes or until the rolls are light golden brown in color. They are done when their internal temperature reaches 185°F to 190°F. 9.   Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before frosting.   You’re rewarded with these luscious bites.  Here I’ve combined minis and regulars.  You can do that too if you want.

Pin for Later

Tropical Summer Salad

Or Make Now

 

Mini Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Resting Time
45 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

Your family will love these mini cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting. They are perfect for the holidays or special occasions! They’re bite-size delights with light fluffy cinnamon sugar layers slathered with luscious cream cheese frosting!

This recipe makes 24 smallish rolls or 48 mini rolls depending on how you cut the dough.  The rest of the recipe is the same regardless.

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 rolls
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
For the rolls:
  • cups (330 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Filling:
  • 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick) melted
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 2 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons butter room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons whole milk
Instructions
  1. 1. Grease a 9×13 baking dish and set aside. Add the flour, yeast and salt to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.

  2. In a small microwave safe bowl, combine the sugar, butter, water and milk. Heat on high in the microwave until the mixture is hot and the butter is soft and almost melted, about 45 seconds. Let the mixture cool to 120 degrees. Gradually add the milk mixture into the flour mixture. Add the egg and vanilla and mix, scraping the sides and bottom periodically, until a soft and sticky dough forms. 

  3. If ready to bake now, preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

  4. If using a stand mixer switch to the dough hook and set mixer on the lowest setting. Mix for 4 minutes or until the dough becomes elastic, or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 3-4 minutes.  Spray plastic wrap with cooking spray and lightly cover the dough with the sprayed side toward the dough. Allow dough to rest on the counter for 10 minutes.

  5. Once the dough has rested, roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it measures a 24×16 inch rectangle. Brush all the butter even over the top of the dough (heat 10-15 seconds in the microwave if necessary to enable it to spread easily), then sprinkle the filling evenly over the entire surface. Using a pizza cutter, cut out 24 strips of dough. Roll each up into a tight roll. 

  6.  Place the rolls into the greased 9×13 baking dish and gently place a piece of aluminum foil over top.

MAKE AHEAD NOTE: Can be made to this point (un-risen in the pan) and frozen, covered tightly with plastic wrap then aluminum foil. When ready to serve, thaw and continue with the recipe.
  1. If ready to proceed with baking, turn OFF your 200 degree oven and place the covered rolls inside to rise for 45 - 60 minutes until rolls mostly fill the pan.  Remove the rolls from the oven and turn ON your oven to 375 degrees. 

  2. Once heated, remove the foil and bake the rolls for 15-18 minutes or until the rolls are light golden brown in color. They are done when their internal temperature reaches 185°F to 190°F. 9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before frosting. 

MAKE AHEAD NOTE: Can be made to this point (baked but unfrosted), and frozen, covered tightly with plastic wrap then aluminum foil. When ready to serve, thaw and continue with the recipe.
  1. While rolls are cooling, prepare the frosting by combining all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and beating by hand until smooth. Spread over the tops of the rolls while still warm. 

MAKE AHEAD NOTE: Can be made to this point (completely iced and finished), allowed to completely cool and frozen, covered tightly with plastic wrap then aluminum foil. When ready to serve, thaw and serve.

Here’s some other fantastic recipes to put you in a Hawaii frame of mind.

Maui Road to Hana Banana Bread

This Road to Hana Banana Bread is moist and flavorful, transporting you to the islands in one bite. The crunchy sugar topping adds sweetness and texture. Read all about it along with our recent vacation to Maui.

Hawaiian Slow Cooker Kalua Pork

Another great, super-easy make ahead recipe. 10 minutes work, overnight unattended low and slow cooking, and you’ve got mouthwateringly tender luau-style Kalua pork. Really easy. REALLY good!

Beach Baby Pudding Cups

These Beach Baby Coconut Pudding Cups are everything that's great about the islands! Kids LOVE ‘EM. You will too since they are so easy to make.

Hawaiian Pineapple Cheesecake Bars

Even people who don’t like pineapple or coconut take a bite and say “WOW!” Treat yourself to a mini trip to Hawaii with these luscious Hawaiian Pineapple Cheesecake Bars.

Hawaiian Wedding Cake

Looking for a quick and easy treat? This Hawaiian Wedding Cake comes together in a snap and tastes like a piña colada on your plate.

Explore Aloha Dreams

Things to do Big Island of Hawaii
Dream Home Bathroom

EXPLORE

If you're planning a vacation to Hawaii, I've got you covered on the very best places to go!   From many amazing restaurants to incredible adventures in the surf and on land, this is your go-to source for unique and exciting things to do on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Or just take a Virtual Vacation!!    Let's go!

SAY YES!

If you've been asked to cook for a large group activity, be it a Girl's Camp or a Graduation Party, say Yes!  I'm here to help.  From Menus to Game Plans to Recipes, I'll help you keep on schedule and turn out amazingly delicious food if you're cooking for a crowd!  My recipes are tested and trusted.    Let's cook! 

AHONUI

Ever wished you could build your dream home?  Like amazing house design and home building ideas?  Me too!  Join me as I design and build a home on the Big Island of Hawaii. Follow along while I design each room. Enjoy a front row seat for the entire amazing construction process.  Let's play!

PARTY

Would you like to throw a Luau, but not sure where to start?   Want to know how to build a tiki bar and roast a pig?  Here's everything you need to have a luau.  How about a Christmas Feast or even a fabulous dinner for your neighborhood supper club?  You've come to the right place.    Let's party!

Crunchy Gooey S’mors Bars

Crunchy Gooey S’mors Bars

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Crunchy Gooey Campfire S’mores Bars

It’s campfire time of year again.  And in celebration of that, we need a S’mores Bars for a Crowd recipe and a family size s’mores bar recipe for our hungry kids at home.

Our church was planning on holding a campout recently and I was seriously contemplating breaking my staunch camping rule (DON’T) in favor of getting to cook for large groups of hungry teens.  Fortunately, the forecast called for rain and the campout was cancelled, so I was delighted I wouldn’t be camping and bummed I wouldn’t be cooking for a crowd (says no one ever – except me!)   But I couldn’t get the S’mores Bar idea out of my mind – so here you go.

You’ll Love this easy, delicious recipe!

If you’re looking for an easy treat for family get-togethers, school activities, backyard barbecues, block parties, and bake sales, the S’mores Bars for a Crowd Recipe will quickly become one of your all-time favorites.  It combines everything you love about fire roasted s’mores — crunchy graham crackers, golden-crispy gooey marshmallows, and creamy chocolate in an easy to make bar that holds together well for serving a crowd.

It’s simple to pull together with a few simple ingredients.

It comes together in no time

Start by crushing the graham crackers in a food processor, pulsing until they have a texture like the picture below.  I tried crushing them with a rolling pin while they were in a baggie, and you can do that too if you don’t have a food processor – but if you DO have a food processor, use it – it’s easier and the texture is better.  I tried several different versions of graham crackers.  I like the Nabisco Grahams better. They have more flavor than the other 2 brands I tried.

Then simply place the sugar and butter in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or use an electric hand mixer and beat on high speed until they look like this.

Add the egg and vanilla to the butter sugar mixture and beat on low speed until incorporated.  Then add the graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder and salt and beat until just combined.  Next set aside 1/3 of the graham cracker mixture to be topping on the bars and dump the remaining mixture into the prepared pan.

Gently press the remaining mixture evenly and firmly into the prepared pan.

You can substitute chocolate chips for the coarsely chopped chocolate bar, although I like the uneven chunky-ness of the coarse chopped chocolate bar.  Chop the chocolate into varying size pieces like so.

To make it easier to spread, microwave the marshmallow cream for about 15 seconds then spread the cream evenly over the graham cracker crust.  Next sprinkle with the chocolate chips and/or chunks of chocolate.

Finally, sprinkle the bars with the reserved crust mixture and the mini marshmallows and you’re ready to pop it in the oven.

Now just bake until the crust is dark brown and the marshmallows are golden-brown, 20 to 25 minutes and you’re rewarded with this.

Trust me, it won’t last long.

Aloha Dreams

Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

Ever wished you could build your dream home? How about building your dream home in a tropical paradise?  Join me, room by room, as we design and build a fabulous dream home in Hawaii!

Pin for Later

Tropical Summer Salad

Or Make Now

Family Size

 

Family Size S'mores Bars
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

These S'mores bars have all the ease of a classic bar, paired with more of everything you love in a classic campfire treat.  They come together quickly and easily.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16 bars
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
For the crust:
  • cooking spray
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter , (1 stick) - at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 2/3 cups graham cracker crumbs (this is typically 2 1/2 packages of crackers in a 4 package box)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the filling:
  • 7 ounces marshmallow cream
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate , coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
Instructions
  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Coat a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.

  3. Place the sugar and butter in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (Alternatively, you can use an electric hand mixer and large bowl.) Beat on high speed until creamy and light in color, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on low speed until incorporated. While still on low speed, add the graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder and salt and beat until just combined.

  4. Transfer 1/3 of the graham cracker mixture to a small bowl — this will go on top of the bars before baking. Press the remaining 2/3 of the graham mixture evenly and firmly into the prepared pan.
  5. Put the marshmallow cream in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 15 seconds. Spread the marshmallow cream evenly over the graham cracker crust. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips, followed by the marshmallows. Sprinkle the bars with the reserved crust mixture.
  6. Bake until the crust is dark brown and the marshmallows are golden-brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool for at least 1 hour in the pan before cutting into 16 bars for serving.
MAKE AHEAD NOTE:
  1. Storage: Can be stored in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 3 days.

Large Group

 

S'mores Bars for a Crowd
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

This crust makes these easy to cut in squares.  They will hold together very sell for serving to a crowd.  Items cooked on a half sheet can be sliced into 4 rows by 6 rows to yield 24 servings. I generally go for the 24 portions if I’m cooking for groups of 150 or less. 

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Cooking for a Crowd
Servings: 24 bars
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
For the crust:
  • cooking spray
  • 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter , at room temperature (2 sticks)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
 (this is 1 box plus 1 additional package)
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
For the topping:
  • 1 (13 ounce) jar marshmallow cream
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate , coarsely chopped
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) bag mini marshmallows
Instructions
  1. Place rack in the middle of the oven and pre-heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Coat a 13 x 18 half sheet baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.
  3. Place the sugar and butter in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (Alternatively, use an electric hand mixer and large bowl.) Beat on high speed until creamy and light in color, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides, add the eggs and vanilla and beat on low speed until incorporated.

  4. Once incorporated, set the mixer to low speed and add the graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder and salt and beat until just combined.
  5. Transfer 1/3 of the graham cracker mixture to a small bowl — this will go on top of the bars before baking. Using your hands, press the remaining 2/3 of the graham mixture evenly and firmly into the prepared pan.
  6. Put the marshmallow cream in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 20 seconds. Spread the marshmallow cream in a thin layer evenly over the graham cracker crust. If the crust begins to pull up, patch it with some of the reserved gram cracker mixture and re-microwave the marshmallow cream another 15 seconds to make it easier to spread.
  7. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips, followed by the marshmallows. Sprinkle the bars with the reserved crust mixture and the remaining chocolate.
  8. Bake until the crust is dark brown and the marshmallows are golden-brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool for at least 1 hour in the pan before cutting into 24 bars for serving.

MAKE AHEAD NOTE:
  1. Storage: Can be stored in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 3 days.

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