I catered a wedding.

What do you do when some of your best friends are getting hitched? Make them dinner, of course. Oh and ninety-eight of their family members and closest friends… No big deal.

My friends are not Paleo and didn’t require sticking to any dietary perimeters. We put together a menu that gave guests their meat and veggies and even a little sweet treat as well. None of this is going to blow your mind, but it will demonstrate that it is possible for one person to feed one hundred.

For this post today, I’ve modified the recipes for us weirdos who shy away from gluteny, sugary, processed stuff. So feel free to make any of these at home. They were pretty darn tasty.

The Menu
Mediterranean Meatballs
Shrimp Scampi
Classic Caesar Salad
Primavera Quinoa Salad with Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette
Fruit & Fluff Kabobs

So when you’re feeding a hundred people pretty much by yourself the key is timing. Timing—and preparation.  My plan of attack was to prep, cook and freeze the meatballs ahead of time.  This way they thawed during travel to the venue, then just required a quick reheat.  The Primavera Quinoa Salad was made the night before the wedding so the vinaigrette had a chance to soak in.  The fruit kabobs were made the morning of and kept cool til service.  The shrimp was frozen and already peeled and deveined, making it simple to thaw, skewer, season and bake an hour before the festivities began. Easy peasy! Well… almost. I was pretty whooped when it was all said and done. But guests were fed—and fed well—and the bride and groom were happy. That’s what matters.

The star of the meal was definitely the meatballs. In my case, I had to prep twenty pounds of ground beef to make a whopping 300 meatballs! Below is what just 10 pounds of meatball fixings looked like (excuse my messy kitchen!). Thankfully, I’m just giving you the recipe for one pound of ground beef, which should yield about a dozen.

Making meatballs | Popular Paleo

Oh and my son thought these were for his dinosaurs… Silly boy.

Silly Dino | Popular Paleo


1 pound grass-fed ground beef
1 egg
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp red chili flakes
1/4 cup well chopped sun-dried tomatoes (the kind not stored in oil)
1 cup baby spinach, chiffonade
Optional: 1/4 cup feta cheese

Mix all of the ingredients together by hand. Then portion out 12 pieces and roll them into balls. I use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to help me grab consistent portion sizes. This should get you about a dozen. Bake for 25 minutes in a pre-heated 375 degree oven.

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The Shrimp Scampi was adapted from one of my first posts here on Popular Paleo. It’s quite simple and convenient, hence why it made an ideal choice to include for a summer wedding reception.


1 pound prawns, 31-40 size
3 TBSP grass-fed butter (ghee can be substituted; I recommend OMghee)
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 lemon, cut into 6-8 wedges
1/2 cup white wine (sub chicken stock, if preferred)
pinch of kosher or sea salt
1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonade

Thaw prawns if frozen, remove the shell and devein. It’s fine to leave the tails on, I typically do. Assemble prawns in your baking dish of choice. Dot the prawns with the grass-fed butter or ghee, scatter the crushed garlic cloves and the pinch of salt, pour in the white wine or chicken stock and add the majority of the lemon wedges. Cover the dish and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes. After you’ve transferred the cooked prawns to a serving dish with a little of the broth spooned over them, finish with a sprinkle of basil chiffonade and arrange the reserved lemon wedges to garnish. (Here the scampi are on short skewers for serving ease and portion control. It’s not necessary to take that step when just throwing together dinner at home.)

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The other menu items probably won’t work to adapt since we all know what’s in a Caesar salad (not much of what a Paleo-er would go for in there) and quinoa isn’t exactly ideal because of the whole issue with saponin content (not to mention lectins and phytic acid — read this for more info). Here’s a picture of what it looked like anyways…






So that leaves us with Fruit & Fluff Kabobs. These were really meant to give kids something to enjoy from the buffet, but adults loved them too! It was a fun idea that I’m sure I picked up from Pinterest somewhere along the way.

There really isn’t a recipe for this. Just skewer your preferred fruit into a kabob and go.  I will note that if you aren’t serving the fruit right away, try to choose ones that won’t oxidize. Apples, bananas, pears, etc. aren’t gonna look so hot after sitting out for a while. I went with fresh pineapple, blueberries and strawberries. They held up great! If you want to add the “fluff” part, word on the Paleo street is that Urban Poser’s Paleo Marshmallows are legit. Urban Poser has serious skills; you are in good hands with whatever she shows you how to make.

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Such a beautiful place to get married…
Venue | Popular Paleo

The gorgeous bride and her rookie caterer.
Me & The Bride | Popular Paleo

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  1. Jess says

    Wow, those meatballs look and sound delicious! I’m definitely going to be making those this week. Wish you lived in S. FL so you could cater for me 😉


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