Easy Dinner Party Recipes
Dinner parties don't have to be stressful and difficult--turn to these simple recipes that feature fresh salads, svaory appetizers, impressive main courses and delicious desserts. Whether you’re having a summer party or a winter get-together, these dishes are perfect year round and are sure to impress. Try a few of our favorites including farro salad with fried cauliflower and prosciutto herb-and-honey-mustard-crusted leg of lamb. Whatever dishes you choose, your guests will be impressed.
These broiled mussels with a crispy bread crumb topping are perfect as a fast hors d'oeuvre.
Pepper-Glazed Goat Cheese Gratin
This warm, sweet-spicy goat cheese dip is an easy alternative to a cheese plate.
Italian Spritz Punch
Agostino Perrone, head mixologist at London's luxurious Connaught Bar, created this simple sparkling punch. "It would be a great aperitif for a large dinner party," says Wayne Collins; he recommends serving it in teacups.
Rosemary, Almond and Parmesan Cocktail Cookies
To bring out the flavor of the rosemary in these barely sweet cookies, Dorie Greenspan first rubs the leaves with granulated sugar—a technique she learned from renowned French pastry chef Pierre Hermé.
Zucchini Soup with Crème Fraîche and Cilantro
“This soup marries French cooking, with the leek and crème fraîche, and Texan flavors, with the poblano and cilantro,” says Danika Boyle. The creamy green soup is delicious served hot or cold.
Garlic-and-Rosemary Roast Pork Loin
Farro Salad with Fried Cauliflower and Prosciutto
Cooks in Italy fry cauliflower to bring out its nuttiness. Here, Ethan Stowell deep-fries it for an inexpensive salad with salty prosciutto (you could also use ham) and nubby farro, a variety of whole-grain wheat that's both flavorful and filling.
Herb-and-Honey-Mustard-Crusted Leg of Lamb
To cook the lamb so it's crusty on the outside and juicy within, Danika Boyle preheats the oven to 500° for at least 30 minutes before then reducing the temperature to 375° and roasting the meat.
Roasted Broccoli with Lemon and Pine Nuts
Vinegar-Braised Chicken with Leeks and Peas
This chicken dish is elegant enough for entertaining and easy enough for a simple weeknight dinner.
Free-Form Sausage-and-Three-Cheese Lasagna
This rustic and gooey lasagna is packed with cheese and sausage. The style is called free-form because the pasta can be arranged in different ways—for instance, folded over the filling—instead of traditionally layered.
Sautéed Spring Greens with Bacon and Mustard Seeds
You can use any greens you like in this quick sauté, which gets terrific flavor and texture from smoky bacon, hot chile and the pop of mustard seeds.
Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes
Michael Symon's four-ingredient potatoes get plenty of flavor from browned butter and crème fraîche. Reserve a little browned butter to drizzle on the potatoes just before serving.
Spice Roasted Butternut Squash
Cubes of butternut squash are tossed with a mix of warming spices—including cumin, coriander and cayenne—and roasted.
Roasted Chicken Legs with Potatoes and Kale
For this one-pan dish, Grace Parisi roasts chicken legs on a bed of potatoes and kale so the meaty juices keep the vegetables moist.
Guest-at-the-Doorstep Apple-Berry Charlotte
Classic Soviet cuisine abounded in nifty quick recipes for unexpected guests. This puffy dessert requires only sliced tart apples, a few handfuls of berries and a simple batter.
Big Italian Salad
Part green salad part antipasto salad, this recipe combines lettuce, celery, onion, peperoncini, olives and cherry tomatoes—all tossed in a dressing made with olive oil, vinegar and a little mayonnaise.
Black Pepper-Raspberry Sorbet with Prosecco
Chef James Holmes of Olivia, in Austin, topped raw oysters with this sweet-savory sorbet before deciding it would make an excellent cocktail with Prosecco. A good-quality, store-bought raspberry sorbet is a fine shortcut.
Goat Cheese Cakes with Rosemary and Lavender Honey
Pastry chef Sandra Reinli created this recipe using Provençal goat cheese and herbs.
Warm Chocolate Cakes with Apricot-Cognac Sauce
Pair these cakes with a dried-fruit-and-caramel-scented tawny port: Taylor Fladgate 10-Year Reserve.
Chorizo-Filled Dates Wrapped in Bacon
Skillet-Charred Cherry Tomatoes with Basil
Grilled Chicken Breasts with Lemon and Thyme
A bold mixture of red-pepper flakes, garlic, thyme, lemon juice, and olive oil serves as a spicy marinade for bone-in chicken breasts. If you want your chicken spicier still, increase the red pepper or leave the breasts in the marinade for an hour or two.