Small Group Meal Ideas


Our church small group meets once a week and we eat dinner together before Bible study.  Each week we sign up to bring something for the next weeks meal, such as drinks, cups, side dish, dessert, etc.  Well, I am scheduling the meals for the next few weeks to give the girl that normally does it a break.  I started googling ideas for themes or dinner ideas and nothing much came up for a while.  Eventually I read several posts and came up with a list of ideas.  I thought I would share in case you needed some ideas for a dinner party or potluck too:


Soup Night

People can bring soup, bread or cornbread, garnishes for the soup, dessert or drinks.

Comfort Foods

Each person or couple brings a dish that is comforting or nostalgic for them.  Mine would be macaroni and cheese or chocolate chip cookies.  Google comfort foods and tons of great recipes emerge.

Tailgating Appetizers

Wings, dips, sliders, pizza rolls, the possibilities are delicious and endless.

Breakfast at Night

Breakfast casserole, sausage balls, cinnamon rolls, bacon, fruit, juice, etc.

Salad Night

Bring any kind of salad: chicken salad, pasta salad, fruit salad.

Chili Night

chili, white chicken chili, bread/fritos, sour cream, cheese, hotdogs

Build Your Own Pasta

a few pastas to choose from, a couple of sauce choices (alfredo, marinara, pesto), garlic bread and then additions like chicken, mushrooms, roasted garlic, tomatoes, broccoli, peppers

Grill Night

everyone brings something to throw on the grill like: chicken, burgers, sausage, vegetables, etc

Baked Potato/Salad Bar

someone brings lettuce, someone brings baked potatoes, everyone else brings toppings for both

Pizza Night

order pizzas or make your own, you could even have a fruit pizza or dessert pizza

Crockpot Night
Keeps everyone from heating up their home.  Just bring a dish you make in the crockpot.  Pulled pork, mashed potatoes, soup, cheese dip, veggies, etc.

Chicago Night
Bring things like hot dogs, italian beef, polish sausage, deep dish pizza, german food, etc.

Cajun Night
Bring dishes from New Orleans, like beignets, jambalaya, gumbo, cornbread, etc.


Do you have any fun dinner night ideas?  Or suggestions?


Update:  your suggestions

Taco Night

Some people bring taco shells, tortilla chips or lettuce for taco salad.  Others bring toppings and the meat: chicken, beef, pork, beans, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, cheese, jalapenos, salsa, onion, cilantro

Weenie Roast

Someone brings hotdogs, buns, condiments (ketchup, relish, chili), smores, sides like potato salad or chips

Sweet or Savory Night


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  1. Thanks for these great ideas! I coordinate meals for my Life Group and was looking for some new ideas. A couple that we do that weren’t on your list: taco salad night, weenie roast, and sweet or savory.

  2. Thank you! I have also looked for ideas on the internet and have not found many… My husband and I host small group in our home each week and this was wonderful ideas! Nora

  3. Tank you for sharing! We are starting our small group again soon and we were looking for some options.

  4. Thanks for the blog post! I am a Community Group meal coordinator and am always on the look out for new ideas. Things that have worked great for us: Taco night, breakfast, Panera night (Soup, salad and sandwich), Sandwich night,
    Italian night, Chili cook-off with judging and prizes, (def one of the highlight nights), grilling, and baked potato bar.

  5. Using Sweet/savory night and Tailgating foods! We can add BBQ night and Breakfast for dinner to your list!

  6. Lynn Moon says:

    This site is just what I was looking for. Our small church group have a meal after the service and have fellowship together over a meal. I needed ideas and I got a lot here -Thank you. I will put this site on my favorites.

    • Thanks Lynn!

      • I’m one of the 3 others in charge of hosting (believe me, it can be fun sometimes or it can get stressful) our small group. I was asked to cook a meal (it didn’t have to be extravagant) for us, this helped me out. Adding it to my home screen for a quick go to in times of need.

  7. Mel Diego says:

    Thank you! This really helps us out! Our small group was running out of ideas.

  8. Thanks for these ideas!

  9. We also do a Life Group and our theme this week is Around the world food. You pick a country and bring a food..Any and all..In March we do and Ireland themed food. October we do anything silly,spooky or scary. We have had some really neat creations. Thank you for this page it has helped me alot

  10. Our small church also has supper before Wednesday night service. We average about 20 people. We have done sloppy joes, chicken-n-dumplings, and poor man’s supper. One person usually does the main coarse then everyone else signs up to bring the rest. We rotate the main coarse person and sometimes share to keep the cost down.

  11. I found your site because we have Bible study at our home every Sunday night with dinner before and I am running out of ideas! We’ve done:
    Chinese Food Takeout,
    Pinterest (where everyone had to make something they found on Pinterest that they’ve not made before),
    Soup night (like your crockpot night),
    Smoked Meats (everyone brought what they wanted to smoke in our smoker the day before and then we prepared it),
    Fried night (we fried EVERYTHING from meatballs dipped in batter to frozen cookie dough),
    Dipping Night (everything had to be dip-able or dipped i.e. veggies, chips and salsa, wings & ranch, strawberries & chocolate, Italian beef & au jus),
    Shhhhhh Night (where you cannot tell anyone what you are bringing – it is so random!)
    Something Amazing Night (you have to bring your FAVORITE thing), and
    Appetizer Night.

    I think we will do your Chicago Night this week. Thank you for the idea! 🙂

  12. One of our favorites is Twelve Boy Curry. You can google to get the recipe. It’s a chicken curry over rice and there’s 12 toppings so everyone can bring something. Put the rice and chicken in the middle and arrange the toppings around the outside like a clock, then you can mix the different flavors and textures a few at a time. Also good just mixing it all up together.

Thanks for commenting!!