Impromptu Celebration? Here Are Some Cooking Ideas

If you’re not a spontaneous person, it can be downright stressful to whip up a celebratory feast on short notice. After all, thinking about the list of food to serve, considering the number of people who will eat, and adding other things that can make the overall experience pleasant for them can be time-consuming, not to mention tiring at the very least. Fortunately, we came up with a list of food choice ideas and even some tips to help you wing the impromptu celebration.

Food Choices

Fortunately, there are a lot of local Filipino food ideas to use at your disposal. You can even incorporate your personal twist to the food to make it more interesting. If you’re still not confident in making the tweaks, start small. Modify one or two spices, switch out the meat for non-meat alternatives, and so on. Let your creativity do the work. Or you may also read on below for additional cooking insights so you can get started with the preparations.


  • Get some lettuce, carrots, your favorite dressing, hard-boiled eggs, fruits (apples and mangoes are great additions), corn, mushrooms, and croutons and let your guests customize their own salads.
  • Carrot, corn, vegetable, cheese, squash, mushroom and onion are just some of the bases that you may use for your soup. If you already have a classic that’s in line with these bases, go for that and start cooking. Or if you feel comfortable enough or just don’t have all the right ingredients at the time, be creative and let your imagination do the cooking.
  • Slice up some potatoes, season them, and bake or air fry them for a quick serving of wedges. They’re also great as side dishes. 


  • Red or white sauce, you can always create the one you want at the time, as long as you have the base for the sauce and some spices to go with them.
  • Pestos are also great options. If you have the time, you can even create some out of scratch and freeze them for later.
  • Also stock up on cheese and protein so you can add more flavor and filling to each serving. You can never go wrong with some ground meat and canned tuna just in case you need some.
  • Baked feta pasta is a TikTok classic that you may have tried making–with or without modifications. In case you did the former, replicate your personal recipe and place all the needed ingredients inside the oven. You’ll be done before they even have the chance to call it a day.


  • Meatballs are versatile, and you can prepare them ahead of time. You may add them in pastas and even your classic viand. Heat them up and serve with your dip of choice if you’re running out of ideas.
  • Quesadillas only take a few minutes to prepare if you already have the basic ingredients. Soft tortillas, grated cheese, and ground beef or chicken are great starting components to work with. Add some vegetables (like spinach) if you want to have an interesting variety. You may even prepare and freeze everything and just heat them up later.
  • Chicken tenders are great go-tos as well. All you have to do is to bake or fry them. Just like meatballs, you can serve them with dips, mix them with your salad, or combine with your pasta.


  • Sometimes, you don’t even have to cook to serve something. If you have some chocolate in stock, you may directly serve them to your guests. Another option is to place them in cute bowls. Serve them with nuts for a quick trail mix.
  • Bake mixes are great if you’re in a hurry but you still want to serve something warm for dessert. Stock up on some eggs, butter, or oil as well so you can always be ready to mix everything and pop them inside the oven.
  • Pretzel bites are also great eats that you can always go to if you want to have a quick dessert for sharing. Cut up some pretzels into cubes, heat up in the oven for about five minutes, and serve with a sweet dip.


  • Cooking on a short notice can be downright stressful, especially if you also need to do other tasks outside all the preparation. Below are some tips to somewhat make the experience a bit easier for you:
  • Prepare ahead of time. This may seem counterintuitive, as you’re actually pressed for time and looked for recipes that need little to no preparation. But the thing is, it’s still better if you have something in stock to begin working with. Some examples include pre-boiled beef or vegetable stock stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Stock up on ingredients. You don’t even need to have specific recipes in mind. Just having the basics at your disposal can help you go a long way. Some ingredients to stock up on include dried pasta, marinated meat, spices, stocks, eggs, cheese, cream, and the likes.
  • Have some pre-cooked food ready. Determine the food prep days that are amenable for you and work around this option. For example, if you can only prepare food over the weekend, make sure to have all the ingredients ready by then.
  • Keep the leftovers. If you prepared a lot of beef stew but no one else to feed, keep the extra portions in the fridge and freeze it. Just make sure to take note of the shelf life to avoid dealing with food spoilage. The next time some unexpected visitors come over, just thaw and heat the food and you’re all set.
  • Learn the art of multitasking. Think of food and recipes that will use different means to cook and assemble and try to plan around these. For example, if you are to bake, stew, and stir-fry all three different foods at the same time, consider preparing the food that takes the longest to cook. Usually, stewing and baking are first on the list. After that, work on the ones that will take less time to complete. In this case, stir-frying food takes a relatively shorter time, so work on it last.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If your visitors come to your house without any rhyme, reason, or form of warning and you have a lot of people to feed, consider asking for help from anyone from your household. You may also ask a friend or two to come over and help you with the preparations if they are nearby. You’ll be done in no time before you know it.


Another entry that’s not on the list? Booze! Maybe you’re not an alcohol drinker, but your guests may be. As long as you keep things in moderation, why not stock up on some wine or vodka? If you’re not sipping it any day soon, at least you can use these for cooking more yummy treats in the near future.

The Bottomline

No matter what your favorite food is, there is a convenient way to showcase this, especially if you’re setting up for an impromptu celebration. It doesn’t have to be a grand celebration–all that matters is being with the people who matter to you the most. Everything else is just a lovely additional bonus.

JL Santiago Aquino

A millennial lifestyle blogger from Caloocan City who adores trying new things. ✨ Email: Follow @JayL_Aquino on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok & Facebook.

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