The Savory Toppings Bar
Fall is always a fun time to get family and friends together – the weather is cool and there’s always a football game on. It’s the perfect time to break out your soup, stew, and chili recipes! That’s what makes for easy fall entertaining – a set it and forget it main course that allows you to enjoy time with your guests, making important memories and taking some time to relax. We have a foolproof idea that takes this simple trick to the next level and elevates a simple buffet style dinner – the savory toppings bar. We’ll tell you how to make it happen.
- Gather different sizes and styles of bowls. The key here is to choose the right size bowl for each topping you’ll offer to guests and for the design of the bowls to complement each other. Some can be colorful, and others clear, as long as the styling of the bowls is simple. Or opt for an all-white palette with more decorative bowls.
- Choose your main course fall recipe. Break out the slow cooker or Dutch oven for low and slow cooking that will have your house smelling amazing and you out and about with guests. You can do all the prep work in the morning and then let it simmer. Chili is a great option, and you can easily make two versions – one vegetarian and one meat – to accommodate a variety of preferences. Broccoli, carrot apple ginger, and butternut squash are all good fall soup options if you want to keep the menu a bit lighter.
- Prep the toppings. Once you know what you’ll be serving, prep all the toppings and get them into their serving bowls a few hours before guests arrive. If some need to stay cold, simply cover the bowls with plastic wrap for quick and easy placement on the buffet when it’s time to eat. We also recommend prepping extra of each topping to refill the bows as needed. You never want a guest to feel like there’s not enough to eat!
- Set up the savory toppings bar. On your kitchen island, sideboard or other easily accessible table, place your main dish on a trivet in the middle with a large ladle. Don’t worry about transferring your chili or soup into a bowl, your slow cooker’s inner pot works great for this easy fall entertaining idea. Next, place your savory toppings around the large pot – be sure to include small spoons with each offering for easy serving. Then, add medium-sized empty bowls in stacks with napkins and spoons nearby. Let guests serve themselves and dress up their bowl however they want.
Savory Toppings Bar Selections
Here are some of our fall favorites for your next party!
- Fresh for Fall – This savory toppings bar is ideal with a fall-forward soup like butternut squash or carrot apple ginger. In your bowls, include chopped spiced pecans, crème fraiche, fresh chives or parsley, and OMG! Sweet Chili Pretzels.
- Chili Classics – You can’t have chili without offering up shredded cheese, scallions, sour cream, fresh cilantro, and chopped tomatoes. And, make your savory toppings bar even more special with OMG! Cheddar Jalapeño Pretzels. You can serve them whole or crushed for a crave-worthy crunchy topper.
- Simple with Stews – If a hearty stew is more your style, toppings can highlight the flavors inside without stealing the show. With traditional beef stew, we like to offer fresh parsley, OMG! Garlic Pretzels, and caramelized onions. If you want to do a seafood stew, sliced fennel, OMG! Chesapeake Spice Pretzels, and fresh herbs are great for the savory toppings bar.
We hope you have fun in the kitchen prepping your savory toppings bar! It’s the perfect trick for easy fall entertaining.