You will love this three-course dinner party menu. It’s easy on the cook. It’s easy on the wallet. And yes — it’s easy on the eyes! The first-course Red Bell Pepper Soup, the main-course Sage Chicken with Roasted Brussels Sprouts, and the grand finale Pink Champagne Cake can all be made well ahead of time. You can relax and enjoy a cocktail when your guests arrive. Here’s the video how-to plus links to printable recipes:
Easy Dinner Party: The Video
Click the “play” arrow above to watch me prepare this meal. As a bonus for watching, I’ll set the table and make a budget-friendly floral centerpiece for you! And to be the first kid on the block to see my videos, subscribe to my YouTube channel.
Easy Dinner Party Recipes
Red Bell Pepper Soup is a healthful puree of ripe, Vitamin C-rich bell peppers, plus zingy garlic, fragrant thyme, and creamy russet potatoes. And Lawd A-Mighty — it’s delicious! You can make the soup three (or even four) days ahead of time. Reheat over a low flame shortly before guests arrive. Here’s the printable recipe:
Whole sage leaves infuse these Sage Chicken Thighs a delicious perfume. For the best flavor, first brown the chicken (skin-side only) in a hot skillet for 30 seconds. Then transfer the chicken to a sheet pan along with halved Brussels sprouts (or with shredded cabbage and sweet potato medallions). Cover the baking sheet with cling film and refrigerate. Pop the sheet pan into the oven approximately 25 minutes before serving time (or while guests are enjoying their first-course soup). Here’s the printable recipe:
Pink Champagne Cake was popular during the 1960s. “Champagne” is a misnomer here, as the cake is made with inexpensive blush Prosecco or sparkling wine. A little strawberry extract gives the cake a strawberry-champagne scent that no one I’ve ever met can resist. You can make the cake up to three days ahead of serving time. As if you can wait that long. Here’s the printable:
I hope this menu will encourage you to host a small dinner party soon. xKevin
You take the worry out of entertaining-
I love that everything is ready while you can relax with your guests over snacks and drinks-
Thanks for a great menu!!!
Pat Yerian says
Love these menus. Holidays are coming and I’m always looking for easy but delicious meals to serve for lunch or dinner. These make-ahead dishes are the best. No worries or fussing about in front of guests. Thank you for all your great ideas.
I really like these make ahead recipes. Thank you Kevin. Always look forward to new ideas.
I love when I can spend time with guests rather than in the kitchen.
Is there a way to do the sage chicken with a whole fryer rather than thighs? Even if you don’t do it ahead of time, because I know the different parts cook at different rates.
You’ve done it again, Kevin! Everything looks delicious and elegant and makes me wonder how I can get an invitation to your home for dinner. You have mastered the art of flower arranging as well as cooking, which you make look so easy. Will have to try the chicken and would love to be ambitious enough to do the cake in my crummy old oven. If you don’t mind saying, is that Towle sterling, King Richard pattern? It looks so much like mine.
Thank you for inviting me and showing me how it should be done.
Tiiu Mayer says
The soup sounds delicious! May I suggest adding the chicken stock to the empty pot you used to steam the veggies, ‘rinse’ the pot with the stock and THEN putting it in the blender? I just hate to see all that goodness go down the drain….. 🙂
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Kevin, I have an issue that keeps coming up. When I entertain, I usually have a sort of open bar for initial cocktail hour before the dinner. And then I have the different wines for the different courses for dinner and dessert. However, I keep running to folks who do not drink alcohol. Whether it is due to medications where they cannot mix with alcohol, or other reasons, I am at a loss for what to serve. It seems that most of elegant dinners have a foundation around alcohol. And rightly so as wines do enhance the flavors of foods – whether cooking with the appropriate wine or drinking the appropriate wine to couple with a course. However, do you have any great suggestions to serve folks who do not “drink”? I hate the degradation of tossing some fruit juice, nonalcoholic bubbly, or just……water to them. No. Please help.