Easy Recipes for Entertaining

The holidays are in full swing, and your calendar probably is filling up with a get-together or two. Perhaps you’re even hosting a group of people for dinner. If that idea fills you with panic, we’ve got three easy ways you can wow your guests without spending days preparing.

Minimize your dishes

Isn’t cleanup the worst part of a party? It’s hard to focus on enjoying your friends or family when you see an ominous pile of dishes waiting for you in the kitchen. Luckily, there are tons of recipes you can make that don’t involve your whole cookware set.

Dutch ovens are indispensable for stress-free entertaining. Martha Stewart has collected some great recipes that you can simmer in just one pot, making cleanup a snap! This Peppery Pork Stew recipe looks mouth-watering. Slow-cooker recipes are also a great option, especially if you want to set it and forget it (or tidy up the house).

Cut down on day-of prep time

If you’re hosting a large group for Christmas dinner, you may need to use more than one pot. Make-ahead meals are a great way to go. Here’s is a whole Christmas dinner menu from Martha Stewart and another one from Real Simple, most of which you can assemble and make even days ahead of time!

Martha’s Zero Prep Time Menu:

  • Cheese Plate
  • Marinated Olives
  • Smoked Salmon Crackers
  • Spinach-Artichoke Dip
  • Glazed Ham
  • Roasted Potatoes with Oregano and Lemon
  • Frisee Salad with Cranberries and Pistachios
  • Creamed Spinach
  • Sauteed Mushrooms with Herbs
  • Glazed Carrots with Orange and Ginger
  • Cheddar and Sage Biscuits
  • Glazed Pearl Onions
  • Cinnamon-Roasted Apples with Pecans and Ice Cream
  • Pumpkin Gingerbread Ice Cream Sandwiches
  • Cranberry Clafouti

Real Simple’s Make-Ahead Holiday Menu:

  • Stuffed Pork Loin with Roasted Root Vegetables
  • Frisee with Warm Shallot Vinaigrette
  • Wild Rice and Mushroom Pilaf
  • Cinnamon-Poached Pears with Caramel

Limit beverage options

Whether you’re serving alcohol or not, you don’t want to be refilling a dozen types of drinks throughout the evening, so stick to one or two options and encourage guests to bring what they’d like if they want something else. This also keeps your costs down! Try this pomegranate-rosemary sparkler for your non-drinking guests or this revived classic, Fish House Punch, to impress those who are drinking. Plus, serving one type of beverage in a glass vessel adds some style to your party.


Related Reading

Top Five Cities for Entertaining at Home

Stress-free Entertaining during the Holidays

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