A Simple & Impressive Menu for Throwing the Perfect Stress-Free Dinner Party

By: Sophie M Johnson  |  EatingWell.com, November, 2017

We believe dinner parties should be spent relaxing alongside friends and family. This meal plan, including store-bought apps and a make-ahead dessert, is the key to a laid-back evening you'll actually enjoy. Stunning secretly-easy recipes, such as 5-ingredient sour cherry-glazed pork roast and big-batch grapefruit punch, are bound to elicit oohs and aahs from the crowd without requiring hours of work.

On the Menu:

Honey Buzz Cocktail

Hummus (store-bought) with olives, feta, & pita

Cauliflower Casserole with Mixed-Seed Crust

Whole-wheat couscous

Sautéed Spinach

Gochujang & Sour Cherry-Glazed Pork Roast

Pear Custard Pie

Honey Buzz Cocktail

honey-buzz cocktail

While gin lets the grapefruit shine through, this punch recipe also works with bourbon. Using the Angostura bitters is optional, but the cinnamon-clove flavor gives this drink a bit of holiday-appropriate spice.

Cauliflower Casserole with Mixed-Seed Crust

cauliflower casserole with mixed-seed crust

The cheesy-seedy crust that tops this cauliflower casserole recipe evokes everything bagels. This healthy side can be made ahead, making it the perfect side to make all Holiday season long.

Gochujang & Sour Cherry-Glazed Pork Roast

gochujang & sour cherry-glazed pork roast

For this standing rib roast of pork recipe, get the roast with the bone tips frenched (stripped of meat) and the chine bone removed for easy slicing. You can often find them ready to go during the holiday season, but you may want to call your butcher in advance to make sure one is available. Gochujang, a Korean red chili paste, which can be found in your local Asian market, pairs nicely with sour cherries.

Pear Custard Pie

pear custard pie

A velvety, light custard surrounds ripe pears in this healthy pie recipe to finish off the night. Make the pie a day ahead to save time the day of your party. Be sure to sprinkle with confectioners sugar for a truly stunning treat. Serve with a dollop of vanilla whipped cream.

Wine Pairings:

2016 Stemmari Grillo, Italy, $10

2012 Stump Jump Grenache/Shiraz/Mourvèdre, Australia, $12

Related:
5 Tips to Throwing a Killer Dinner Party without Breaking a Sweat
How to Build a Festive Cocktail Station for Your Next Party
6 Gorgeous Products for Your Holiday Tabletop Setting