With Melbourne Cup Day falling on a Tuesday, there isn’t always as much time as you might like to organise a Melbourne Cup lunch. Most people have to head to work the day prior, and often it’s only on the Tuesday morning that you can get cooking. As a result, you might have to keep the slow cooker in the cupboard for another day, but with these great last minute dish ideas, you can make sure you still serve up a quality spread.
- Nicoise salad
Whatever you choose to accompany it, a salad of some kind is a must for your Melbourne Cup Day, particularly when you consider that the day takes place as the weather is beginning to warm up. A nicoise salad is a quick, easy and delicious option to serve as a side, or as something your guests can snack on throughout the day. This salad is made up of lettuce, tomato, hard-boiled eggs, tuna and olives – all ingredients that are easily accessible and require very little preparation, meaning you can put all this together in just a few minutes.
- Sausages and patties on the barbecue
If you walked into every house hosting a Melbourne Cup Day lunch throughout Australia, it would be a safe bet to assume that at least half of them will have the barbecue fired up at some point in the day. With the sun beginning to peek out from behind the winter clouds, people will use any excuse to dust the cobwebs off the barbecue, and Melbourne Cup Day is one of the first chances to do just that. Make sure you cook up a range of different things on the barbecue to cater to the needs of all your guests.
- Cheese and dips
If you’re having people over on Melbourne Cup Day it’s likely that they’ll be there for a while, quite possibly all afternoon, so it’s important to have a few things that guests can graze on throughout the afternoon. Cheese and dips are the ideal grazing foods, and can easily be left out on a platter for guests to help themselves to at their own leisure. On top of that, neither of these require any preparation at all – all you need to do is buy them and serve them as is on a plate, making them an ideal option for a last-minute dish.
- Party pies
Okay, it might not be the most glamorous dish selection, but hear me out. The Melbourne Cup is a quintessentially Australian holiday, so why not give your lunch a bit of an Australian flavour with some easy-to-make party pies and even sausage rolls? They’re great for kids and adults alike, easy to snack on, and require no preparation aside from a few minutes in the oven, so if your guests need a little bit of refuelling after the main course then these will be a popular addition.
Cooking a Melbourne Cup Day lunch isn’t always easy, and many hosts simply don’t have the time to spend the entirety of the Monday prior preparing lunch for a multitude of guests. But you don’t need to spend hours upon hours slaving away in the kitchen to serve up a good lunch, and with our above last-minute Melbourne Cup Day dish ideas, you can keep your guests happy with minimal fuss.