19 Whimsical But Super Easy Recipes


Dinner parties always seem like a good idea. Good food, good company, no corkage and no need to leave the house. But if you’re the host, hosting a dinner party can easily turn you into a ball of stress.

Often you spend half the day getting ready, and it always takes longer than you think. The guests arrive on time and you’re still frantically turning around in the kitchen.

Not to mention that sometimes that great recipe you found ends up looking like a Pinterest Failure and at best a mediocre taste. Just like that, going out to dinner is well worth the splurge.

But no need to throw in the towel. We have tips for hosting a successful dinner party. Hosting a dinner party can be fun — and these 19 whimsical yet super simple dinner party recipes prove it.

1. Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Pappardelle

Slow cookers are the secret ingredient to a happy kitchen. The magic happens in the pot, and you don’t even have to be home during this time.

Prepare the meat in the morning, simmer it for 6-10 hours (allowing plenty of time for a workout, massage, etc.), and the rest can be prepared in less than 10 minutes.

Your home will smell like heaven, you’ll barely be in the kitchen, and the end result will taste anything but effortless.

Discover the recipe here.

2. Soy-lemon flank steak with arugula

A grill is a dinner party host’s best friend. Prepare the marinade in the morning for best taste.

And then you’re ready for the party.

The steak will only need a few minutes of cooking on each side and a few more minutes of resting. Make this meal extra special by getting arugula and cheese from a farmer’s market.

Discover the recipe here.

3. Sweet potato noodles with chorizo, roasted red peppers and spinach

Nothing says “Dig!” like a plate of vegetable noodles. Add chorizo, hearty vegetables like spinach and red pepper, and a slew of herbs and spices, and you have a real crowd pleaser.

Feel free to swap Italian sausages if chorizo ​​isn’t for you, and experiment with bitter greens like broccoli rabe. Cooking the noodles gives the squash an al dente texture and makes us never go back to wheat pasta.

Discover the recipe here.

4. Salami, Jalapeño and Olive Pizza with Honey

Pizza night? We are in. Homemade pizza is easy when you use store-bought pot dough and sauce. Just remember not to overload the dough with toppings, so you don’t end up with a soggy crust.

Sprinkling the outside rim with “all bagel” seasoning gives the crust a special crunch.

Discover the recipe here.

5. Spicy Sausage, Kale, and Whole Wheat Orecchiette Soup

If you’re feeding a large group, this recipe will make a big batch of hearty, one-pot soup. We’re big fans of the awesome soup trick used in this recipe: stir grated cheese into the broth to add flavor and richness.

Serve with a crispy loaf of multigrain bread.

Discover the recipe here.

6. Baked Chicken Meatballs with Garlic-Dill Yogurt Sauce

Homemade meatballs in less than 30 minutes? It’s true. Simply combine ground chicken, panko breadcrumbs, garlic, onion, herbs and spices. Roll the mixture into small balls and bake.

Although we usually tell you to make the sauce ahead of time, this can be made while the meatballs are in the oven. We love serving it over zucchini noodles or in warm pita bread.

Discover the recipe here.

7. Easy Weekday Chicken Curry with Cucumber Yogurt and Roti

Receive a group of spice lovers? This simple curry creates an impressive aroma of Indian spices. Your guests will be drooling when they walk through the door.

Pro tip: Prepare in advance. This way, all you have to do is throw things in the pot and stir it occasionally. Start cooking the chicken about 20 minutes before the guests arrive.

Discover the recipe here.

8. French Onion Chicken

Don’t let the cooking time fool you: this recipe is child’s play. The majority of the time is spent simmering the onions in butter (hello, tasty homemade flavor!) and roasting them just before serving.

Try adding things to the oven just before guests arrive so you have time for a glass of wine and conversation before it’s time to assemble and serve the meal.

We’ll never turn down processed cheese, but feel free to opt out of the Gruyere filling to avoid any cheese.

Discover the recipe here.

9. Maple-glazed salmon steak

Take 15 minutes to prepare this dish ahead of time, then place the salmon and vegetables on a baking sheet and cook for 25 minutes. You have an impressive, wholesome, company-worthy entree filled with Brussels sprouts, delicata squash, and radicchio.

Plus, you only have one pan to clean. Discover the recipe here.

10. Seared ahi tuna with chimichurri sauce, arugula and avocado

This recipe calls for sushi-grade tuna. It is important to use high quality tuna because the inside remains mostly raw.

Shopping is the hardest part of this tuna recipe. Nothing, and we mean nothing, is as quick and easy as burning. It’s a good dish for dinners that start with an appetizer, as it’s easy to leave the crowd and come back a few minutes later with the main course.

Arugula and chimichurri can be made ahead in minutes. Discover the recipe here.

11. Mussels marinière

Mussels steamed in white wine are absolutely delicious. And they couldn’t be easier. Combine the mussels in a large saucepan with the wine, onions and fresh herbs and cook over high heat for 5 minutes, until the mussels open.

Serve with oven fries or a loaf of crusty bread to soak up the buttery juices. Discover the recipe here.

12. Roasted Sweet Potato Pitas with Arugula-Garlic Vinaigrette

This vegetarian dish gets its robust flavor from the homemade garlic dressing and is loaded with lovely fresh ingredients like lightly seasoned arugula, red onion and roasted sweet potato.

The dressing can be made ahead to cut down on prep time, and the rest is a matter of roasting followed by quick and easy assembly.

This dish is perfect for vegetarians and meat eaters and fits both the waistline and the wallet. Heat the pitas just before serving for a freshly baked texture and an extra-pleasant touch.

Discover the recipe here.

13. Cauliflower Steak with Olive and Caper Salsa

There is nothing simpler or more beautiful than roasted cauliflower steaks. The salsa can be made well in advance – the longer it has to blend, the more flavor it will impart. Steaks are prepared in two simple steps: slicing and then roasting.

Serve with a simple side salad and farro or quinoa. Discover the recipe here.

14. Grilled Bruschetta Portobello Mushrooms

We’re all about anything with garlic butter. We are also dishes that can be prepared in 15 minutes flat. To reduce the cooking time, prepare the tomato mixture (without basil) in the morning and let it marinate slightly in the refrigerator.

Serve with an equally easy Caesar salad and fresh multigrain bread – trust us, you’ll want it soaking up every last drop of garlic butter.

Discover the recipe here.

15. Eggplant cannelloni

This dairy-free recipe uses cashews in a savory spinach and basil filling. Cashews should be soaked the day before. And soaking gives the best result, so don’t skip it.

Another favorite tip: use store-bought tomato sauce. All you have to do is roast or grill the eggplant slices, fill them, coat them with sauce and put them in the oven as soon as the guests arrive.

Pour glasses of wine and relax until the timer goes off. Discover the recipe here.

16. Acorn squash stuffed with za’atar and lemon-pepper tahini sauce

Za’atar is one of our favorite Mediterranean spices – or rather a spice blend, which can include thyme, sumac and sesame seeds.

We also love that this flavorful dish is packed with nutritious ingredients like chickpeas, kale, and quinoa.

Discover the recipe here.

17. Cooked zucchini with farro and ricotta

How to make zucchini and cereal delicious? With melted cheeses – ricotta, mozzarella and fontina, to be exact.

This recipe requires minimal effort in the kitchen, but it’s important to start cooking well in advance since the recipe takes about an hour from start to finish.

Whole grains taste best when toasted before cooking. Heating the dry farro gives it a more nutty flavor.

Discover the recipe here.

18. Creamy Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Soup made from scratch doesn’t have to be a pain. The hardest part of this vegetarian recipe is grilling (or broiling) the red peppers, which only takes 5-15 minutes.

Everything else happens in the pot, and most of the magic happens while it simmers, which means you can drink that much-deserved glass of wine and even set the table.

To keep things simple, opt for an immersion blender because transferring ingredients into a stand mixer means extra work (and probably a lot of spills).

Discover the recipe here.

19. Vegetarian Black Bean Enchiladas

Surprise your guests with the bean and vegetable filling of these enchiladas. Sometimes the tastiest meals come from the least expected combos.

Double the recipe for a large group (or for leftovers) and make the sauce ahead of time to make things easier on the night of the party.

This recipe is easily adaptable. For meat eaters, use roast chicken instead of black beans. If you’re looking for even more vegetables, add mushrooms to the vegetable mix. Serve with extra napkins and feel free to lick your plate.

Discover the recipe here.


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