3 Easy Dinner Menus for Any Occasion
You can host a dinner party without stressing out—just follow one of these easy meal plans, which feature plenty of quick, make-ahead dishes.
A Mediterranean Feast, Food Expert-Approved
Every part of this meal delivers rich flavor using light ingredients, from Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's marinated olives to the main event: a deliciously tangy and vibrant roasted chicken from food expert Michael Pollan. Kale salad and potatoes are simple but delicious accompaniments, and roasted pears with ricotta and honey round out the dinner.
Orange and Fennel Marinated Olives
Kale with Onions and Pine Nuts
Roasted Pears with Ricotta and Honey
Photos: John Kernick (olives), Coral von Zumwalt (others)
A Not-Too-Heavy Supper with a Few Brilliant Surprises
There are some unexpected twists in this comforting meal, beginning with an arugula and apple salad dressed in a bracing apple-cider vinaigrette. Dinner includes a savory—and crustless—zucchini pie, chicken meatballs and garlicky bread with melted Parmesan. Chocolate pudding is an unexpected throwback at the end.
Arugula and Apple Salad with Cider Vinaigrette
Savory Zucchini Pie
Cheesy Garlic Bread
Warm Chocolate Pudding
Photos: Ron Manville (pie), Con Poulos (salad & meatballs), Thinkstock (others)
A Homestyle Dinner Your Guests Can Linger Over
Wild mushroom and mozzarella crostini kick off this comforting supper, followed by cauliflower soup, roast pork tenderloin and mashed potatoes that get a subtly sweet edge from pureed fennel. Old-fashioned Italian biscotti studded with cranberries and pistachios end the meal; send guests home with extras (they're great with morning coffee).
Crostini with Wild Mushrooms and Mozzarella
Cauliflower Soup with Crème Fraîche
Roast Pork Tenderloin
Potato and Fennel Puree
Cornmeal Biscotti with Cranberries and Pistachios
Next: Party apps that look way more complicated than they are
Photos: Thinkstock (crostini), Dana Gallagher (pork), Hannah Whitaker (biscotti), Chris Court (others)