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The Best Lunch Catering Ideas

Have you heard? The lunch party is the new dinner party. You heard that right. Lunches are the fun, less casual way to have a social event, whether it’s to spend time with family and friends or to celebrate an occasion such as a birthday, anniversary, bridal or baby shower. And “doing lunch” has always been a business standard in the working world whether it’s to woo clients, host meetings or simply for fueling employees during a busy day. Messina’s Catering and Events shares our best lunch catering ideas.

Lunch Timing

To make the most of your mid-day meal, take into account the type of occasion and the time frame you have for your event. Is it a relaxed, sit-down luncheon in which you want to feature a buffet or plated meal like with celebrations?  A multi-course meal would be in order. Or is it a meeting where the focus is on being productive and efficient? Grab and go boxed lunches or stationed platters that rise above plain old deli sandwiches should be served.



Let’s face it. Every lunch needs a salad. It’s a great lunch requirement. But no need to throw some iceberg and romaine lettuce in a bowl. We’re talking serving up a sophisticated niçoise salad, or a bountiful chopped Greek salad.  Or a beautifully arranged Cobb salad with hardboiled egg, blue cheese crumbles, tomatoes, bacon, cucumber and buttermilk ranch dressing could do the trick. Or Messina’s Ponchatoula strawberry salad featuring spinach, strawberries, toasted pecans and feta cheese topped in a balsamic vinaigrette.



Forget the watery chicken noodle. Soups are perfect for lunches either as a course or all on its own with a side of artisan bread. Bisques work perfectly like corn and crab, wild mushroom, or lobster for the extra impressive touch. Also consider local favorites, like Messina’s turtle soup for authentic New Orleans Cajun flavor.


You heard that right. Not just for southerners, a spicy gumbo filled with smoked chicken and andouille sausage or with seafood will liven up any mid-day activity. This hearty, spicy stew served with rice offers a unique and filling option for guests. It works as a perfect option for a quicker business lunch or as an impressive station served out of a big gumbo pot for special occasions.


Instead of traditional sandwiches, offer your guests or clients a variety – with style. Messina’s serves up the classic burger sliders and kicks it up a notch with chipotle ketchup. Now traditional BBQ Pulled Pork can be messy, but with Messina’s Mini BBQ Pulled Port Biscuits makes it yummy and neat. ( Warm Miniature Muffuletta Sandwiches are filling and unique treat consisting of olive salad layered with mortadella, salami, ham, swiss cheese and provolone. Finally offer up some comfort with a slider variation of Grilled Cheese Squares served with Tomato Bisque shooters which are impressive, vegetarian, and hugely comforting.

Comfort Food


Be it rigatoni, penne, spaghetti or fettuccine, your guests will dive into pasta. There’s pasta salad, mac and cheese, or have your guests salivate over gourmet selections like Messina’s Shrimp Pasta La Scala, Shrimp Basil Pesto Penne, or decadent Chicken Alfredo. Pasta equals happy!

Southwest Lunch

For a fun and customized lunch, go for a taco bar, quesadilla station, or nacho bar because quite frankly, you can’t go wrong with any of these Southwest options. Ensure that guests have plenty to choose from with toppings and distinguished bases like Spanish marinated chicken, chorizo, roasted veggies and steak. (


Everyone loves sushi – in some form or another. Sushi boats offer a great presentation and have your caterer include a variety of raw, cooked and veggie only selections.

Carving Station

Oh yes – they’re not only for dinner. Include a chef’s carving station to wow and fill guests with various meat selections. Some of Messina’s carving stations include Beef Tenderloin, Southern Fried Turkey, and Root Beer Glazed Chisesi Ham, which far surpass a boring chicken entrée.


Although chocolate chip cookies are nice, they are what’s expected at the end of lunch. Instead choose from beignets with powdered sugar, a donut wall, fresh fruit tartes or crème brûlée! Don’t forget the coffee for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.


Don’t let lunch get squeezed out by breakfast and dinner. Let it be the force that it was meant to be and utilize lunch catering for your next gathering or meeting.  Messina’s Catering and Events has been providing spectacular lunches on location, in offices, in customers homes, and at our own venues in the New Orleans area for over 58 years.

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