These repast menu ideas rely on beloved traditions to create a tasty spread that pays tribute to the departed.
When you think about the food for a funeral reception, what comes to mind? There is no shortage of options. Hearty casseroles are popular in the south, while those in the northeast often prefer tasty pasta or deli trays. Regardless of location, you want the menu filled with comforting, easy-to-prepare, and economical selections. Above, all, it’s important to remember that the purpose of the funeral reception or repast is to allow guests to gather, support one another, and share their memories of the departed. You can add a sentimental touch by including items on the menu that call to mind your loved one.
Read on for some repast menu ideas that will please your guests and honor the departed, too.
Serve up a brunch buffet.
Was the departed a breakfast-lover? If the first meal of the day was always their favorite, this crowd-pleasing menu is a perfect choice. If possible, schedule the funeral for an earlier time of day to accommodate a brunch menu. Include all of the standard fare you would find at breakfast or brunch, such as:
- Waffles and pancakes
- Eggs, omelets, and frittatas
- Sausage, bacon, and ham
- Hash browns
- Pastries, donuts, and bagels
- Fruit salad
- Coffee, orange, apple, or lemon juice, and tea
Put a twist on the traditional potluck.
When you’re feeding a crowd, a simple potluck luncheon can save time and money. It’s also a great way to make attendees feel welcome and included. Compile a list of your loved one’s favorite food items, from entrees to sides and desserts, and ask guests to select one to prepare. Some typical potluck options might include:
- Fried chicken
- Casseroles such as funeral potatoes (any style of potatoes with gooey cheese)
- Warm or cold pasta dishes
- Pasta or potato salad
- Fruit or vegetable salad
- Desserts such as brownies, cookies, and cakes
- Drinks like punch, soda, coffee, and water
Host a comfort food smorgasbord.
The name says it all — comfort food is meant to soothe the soul. For funerals in particular, comfort food can bring a bit of consolation at a difficult time. If the departed enjoyed indulging in comfort foods, think of them as you assemble your repast menu. Some of the most well-loved comforting dishes include:
- Homemade bread or rolls and butter
- Casseroles such as meatball casserole and tuna casserole
- Scalloped potatoes, mashed potatoes, potato salad, or other funeral potato recipes
- Macaroni and cheese
- Green bean casserole
- Deviled Eggs
- Cookies, cake, and sweet potato or apple pie
Go all out on appetizers.
Many people don’t want to eat a heavy meal at the funeral reception. Consider planning a menu that allows guests to take small bites without getting too full. This type of menu also works well if the funeral is held on a weekday when people may need to return to work. Did your loved one enjoy finger foods? Include their favorite hors d'oeuvres as you assemble the repast menu:
- Fruit or vegetable platters with assorted dips
- Chicken tenders with dipping sauces
- Various flatbreads sliced into bite-sized pieces
- Antipasto skewers, with meats, cheeses, and olives in a marinated Greek dressing
- Slow cooker meatballs
- Crab cake sliders on small dinner rolls
- Small dessert bars like brownies or lemon squares
Even if your budget is tight, you can host a heartwarming post-funeral reception that fittingly honors your loved one. For additional repast menu ideas, or if you wish to make funeral arrangements, please reach out to us anytime.
About Evan W. Smith Funeral Services: Since 2009, residents of Wilmington, Dover, and the surrounding Delaware community have relied on the caring staff at Evan W. Smith Funeral Services to help them through their darkest hours. Family-owned and operated, the company offers an array of elite funeral care services, including traditional funerals, cremations, memorials, pre-planning, grief counseling, and more. With decades of experience in caring for families from all cultural backgrounds and diverse walks of life, Evan W. Smith Funeral Services is committed to creating memorable, uplifting experiences that always exceed expectations. For more information, please visit www.ewsmithfs.com.