Bookmark These Easy Recipes for Your Next Party

baked scallops
Photo: Bryan Gardner

Our deliciously simple recipes—which include everything from appetizers to entrées to desserts—take the stress out of entertaining. Add these dishes to your menu and you'll spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying time with family and friends.

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Pull-Apart Pigs in a Blanket
Kirsten Francis

From easy yet elegant crostini fit for a classy cocktail hour to interactive appetizers for game day (such as the Pull-Apart Pigs in a Blanket that you see here), this collection of recipes is full of great ideas and simple recipes that are ideal for entertaining. No matter the occasion, it's a great idea to keep your menu—and the recipes within them—as simple as possible when you're having guests over. After all, if you have less chopping and stirring to do in the kitchen, you'll have more time to spend with spend with guests. And as the host, it's your job to create a nice and joyful ambience (which is something your guests are more likely to remember than the complexity of the menu), and you can't do that when you're standing over the stove all night long.

The recipes included here were all chosen specifically because they ensure the host spends a fraction of the time prepping than usual. In the Asparagus-Gruyere Tart, for instance, the long stalks are a feature of this stunning starter, so you won't have to spend precious minutes chopping and arranging. Store-bought ingredients can also play a major role in making hosting any party a stress-free experience. For the Baked Feta-Marinara Dip, all you need to do is assemble two flavor-packed ingredients in the same dish and let your oven meld them into dippable perfection.

Throwing a party can mean more than serving just a few appetizers; if you're planning a full meal, we've got you covered, too. Assembling all of the components of a dish ahead of time, like for our Baked Rigatoni with Mini Meatballs, means that you don't have to worry about dinner right before your friends arrive. What about when you need to feed any unexpected guests? Make ahead and then stash some of our special Bolognese sauce in your freezer so you can pull it out and serve a delicious pasta dinner to loved ones whenever they drop by.

Finally, it's always nice to end a party on a little something sweet, and from a No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake that can feed an army with ease to a cozy bread pudding you can assemble the night before, this recipe gallery has you covered with smart ideas for easy dishes sure to delight your guests.

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Baked Feta-Marinara Dip

baked feta marinara dip
Sidney Bensimon

Some of the best easy recipes come from simply putting a few personal touches on good store-bought ingredients. Here, marinara is spiked with some smoky piquillo peppers and baked with a slab of tangy feta cheese for an irresistible dip for pita chips or crostini.

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Roasted Pork Shoulder with Sage and Coriander

Roasted Pork Shoulder with Sage and Coriander
Victoria Pearson

Rub a simple spice blend on the pork shoulder the night before, then let it cook low and slow in the oven all afternoon the day of the party. Once it's fall apart tender, serve it in slices over something like polenta; for a more casual party, shred it up for sandwiches, tacos, or pasta.

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Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie

Lennart Weibull

Just one trusty skillet and two steps until this big, sliceable cookie is ready for the taking.

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Pear, Walnut, and Ricotta Crostini


If you're ever in any doubt about what to make for a small gathering or party, crostini are always a safe bet. Endlessly adaptable to the seasons and your own taste preferences, they make throwing a classy soirée both look and feel easy.

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Instant Pot Turkey Chili

instant-pot turkey chili and add-ins
Bryan Gardner

A big pot of chili can feed a group on a cold night or be spooned over hot dogs for a backyard barbecue; it's an all-around, all-weather hit, and it's extra easy when made in a multicooker.

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Apple Pie Bread Pudding

apple pie bread pudding
Bryan Gardner

A cozy and casual dessert like this bread pudding is perfect for an intimate dinner party on a chilly fall or winter's evening.

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Chicken and Black Bean Nachos


Easy to make, a fan favorite, and you never have to worry about having enough utensils: What's not to like about nachos? For an extra-speedy shortcut, use a store-bought rotisserie chicken.

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Baked Scallops

baked scallops
Bryan Gardner

Seared scallops get much of the press and foodie fanfare, but they require constant attention at the stove which isn't ideal when you are trying to host guests. This dish circumvents the skillet and bakes in an irresistible mixture of crème fraiche, garlic, and white wine instead.

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Strawberries and Cream Stack Cake

strawberries-and-cream stack cake topped with fresh strawberries
Chris Simpson

Store-bought lady fingers, usually reserved for tiramisu, show off their range in this summery make-ahead stack cake.

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Baked Rigatoni with Mini Meatballs

Yunhee Kim

What's the way to the quickest, tastiest meatballs? Using sausage! The ingredient list for this easy pasta bake stays short thanks to flavorful ingredients like sausage, marinara, and mozzarella.

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Seven-Layer Ice Cream Cake

7-Layer Ice Cream Cake
Johnny Miller

When it's hot out, who wouldn't scream for some ice cream? Here's a neat and tidy way to serve up summer's favorite treat: in the form of a layered ice cream cake. It's made with mostly store-bought ingredients, the effort is put into the assembly which will get done way before the party even starts.

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Taco Truck-Style Guacamole

taco truck style guacamole
Chelsea Cavanaugh

This dip is an easy recipe triple threat: make-ahead, low-prep, and just four ingredients. Made entirely in a blender, this bright and smooth guacamole gets its sparkle from tomatillos, which add acidity and will prevent the avocados from browning too quickly.

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Grilled Balsamic Flank Steak with Peppers and Onions

Grilled Balsamic Flank Steak With Peppers and Onions
Petrina Tinslay

Flank steak is an affordable cut of beef that cooks quickly, will feed a crowd, and is super flavorful, especially when given a chance to marinate for a while. Serve this recipe as is or use it as the filling for some fajitas for a crowd.

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No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake for a Crowd

no-bake ricotta blueberry cheesecake
Alpha Smoot

This recipe lets you have the best parts of a cheesecake without all the work, and it's no-bake nature means it's the perfect thing to make for a warm weather affair.

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Asparagus Gruyere Tart

Asparagus Gruyere Tart
Minh + Wass

Hosting a party doesn't have to mean chopping vegetables all morning. You could just make this simple and elegant asparagus tart that is so beautiful precisely because of their long and intact stalks.

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Salmon with Cucumber-Radish Relish


Roasting a whole side of salmon is one of the quickest ways to feed a group, whether it's brunch, lunch, or dinnertime.

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Baked Raspberry Custard

Baked Raspberry Custard

Commit just ten minutes to prep this sweet dessert for the oven, and you'll have an impressive yet easy dessert ready just as the dinner plates are being cleared.

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Roasted Tomatoes and Cheese with Thyme

roasted tomatoes cheese thyme
William Abranowicz

Oven appetizers are clutch for easy entertaining where the goal is to spend less time in the kitchen. Right before guests arrive, pop this sweet, cheesy app in to bake until caramelized and melty. As you mingle, the timer will go off and all you need to do is remember to serve it with crusty slices of bread.

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Pressure Cooker Corn Risotto

corn risotto with basil and tomato
Marcus Nilsson

In this elegant and seasonal vegetarian main, whole cobs of corn are added to the Instant Pot at the same time as the rice, creating a broth that infuses the whole dish with corn flavor. The best part is that this won't require constant stirring and attention, so you can carry on with more important matters like fixing you and your guests a refreshing aperitif!

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Easy Chocolate Truffles

easy chocolate truffles
Ryan Liebe

If you're looking to serve something small and sweet at your next party, consider these delicious and easy five-ingredient truffles as your answer.

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Spring Pesto Dip

spring pesto dip with veggies
Lennart Weibull

Pick up a deli container of pesto the next time you are at the store, and this versatile and creamy dip will only be a few minutes from done. Use it as the spring-y centerpiece on a plate full of crisp, seasonal vegetables.

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Bolognese Sauce

Bolognese Sauce
David M. Russell

Simmer and freeze a batch of Bolognese sauce—traditional or this vegetarian version—and you'll have almost instant dinner party material ready when the moment happens.

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Pound Cake with Peaches and Cream


Pick up a pound cake at the store, then make it your own by following the recipe for this peachy stunner.

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Caramelized Mustard-Marmalade Wings

caramelized mustard marmalade chicken
Marcus Nilsson

The citrusy-sweet mustard sauce these wings are coated in make them an app that guests will remember; since these wings are baked in the oven and a relatively hands-off affair, the host will be happy, too!

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Instant Pot Shrimp Boil

instant pot shrimp boil on table on plates
Julia Gartland

The magical multicooker strikes again in this easy and casual one-pot shrimp boil. Set it out and let folks serve themselves for a relaxed potluck feel.

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Texas Sheet Cake

Con Poulos

No stand mixer required for this classic cake that is deeply chocolatey and bakes up in a common casserole dish.

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Slow-Cooker Queso

Slow-Cooker Queso recipe
Con Poulos

Some things deserve to be made year after year, and queso dip is one of them. If you haven't tried making it in a slow cooker, here's your chance: it makes the process good-proof and will keep the queso at the perfect temperature all party long.

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Spinach-Feta Pizza Slab Pie

spinach-feta pizza slab pie
Linda Pugliese

Store-bought pizza dough makes this savory pie a cinch to pull together for a casual get together. Serve slices up with a salad and you'll delight your vegetarian and omnivore guests alike.

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Crispy Cereal Treats

full grid of crispy rice cereal treats
Kirsten Francis

Great for a party with lots of kids (or a party with kids-at-heart in attendance!), these crispy cereal treats are endlessly customizable and come together quickly.

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