We were greatly saddened by the recent New York Times article “The Death of the Party,” in which reporter Teddy Wayne discusses how today's twenty-somethings seem to have stopped hosting house parties. Whether it's due to technology or the costly expenditure a traditional party entails, there are far fewer house parties happening today than in decades past. In an attempt to invigorate your entertaining appetite, we’ve put together a mouthwateringly delicious dinner menu that’s simply too good to keep all to yourself. So round up a group of foodie friends, split the grocery shopping, and hit the kitchen. This menu is sure to inspire one of the best nights of the season.
This white wine granita is like a winter snow cone for adults. While we prefer mixing in Chardonnay, feel free to use any full-bodied white wine—even champagne. The trick to keeping this cocktail from getting too sweet is to use unsweetened apple juice, not a cocktail blend. Dried apple slices make the perfect garnish.
We love the idea of transforming traditional après-dinner sweets into savory pre-dinner bites. These goat cheese apricot truffles show just how scrumptious reimagined dessert foods can be. Layered with fresh herbs, crushed pistachios, tangy goat cheese, and chewy apricot cores, these addictive truffles are incredibly low maintenance—they don’t even require an oven!
These pecan cheese wafers look like tea cookies, but they're a melt-in-your mouth savory option perfect for passing around as your guests arrive. Lightly brushed with egg whites, the buttery wafers also have a touch of chili flakes, adding a spark of unpredictable heat to this pre-dinner treat.
It doesn’t feel like fall without a cozy, warm soup on the menu. This creamy garlic soup is the perfect precursor to the winter season. Seasoned to perfection with shallots, chicken stock, and, of course, garlic, this dish is a crowd-pleaser if we’ve ever tasted one. Serve with a large serving of rustic bread. We’d be surprised if your guests don’t wipe it clean.
We love a tasty panzanella salad. Seasoned with thyme, rosemary, and shallots, this peppery arugula version offers the perfect spin on a summer classic. The secret to this textural masterpiece is the dressing. The acidic punch of red-wine vinegar and lemon juice make this concoction wonderfully fresh and light.
When you add melted butter, garlic, chanterelle mushrooms, lemon juice, and pasta together, the result is irresistible. This fricassee of chanterelles is one of our favorite fall dishes. It takes only minutes to put together, but it will fill your home with the scent of fall for hours.
This comforting, earthy gnocchi uses sweet potatoes, brown rice flour, and freshly grated nutmeg to compile a complex, wintry flavor we love. If you’re not a blue cheese fan, swap in a simple brown-butter sauce. Either option makes for an excellent choice. This is a delicious dish for guests, and its natural, vibrant color makes it a hit on Instagram as well.
One of the best things about fall is the plethora of cozy pasta dishes filled with some of the season’s best ingredients. We love this pappardelle version with mushrooms, ricotta, and walnuts. If you’re in the mood for an extra-sweet version, toss the entire dish with honey. Given that this is a first course, a small portion of this heavenly dish goes a long way. Or you can use it as a main-course alternative for your vegetarian guests.
In light of the gluten-free craze, we’re big fans of wheat alternative crusts, bread, etc. This wild rice-crusted halibut provides the crispy exterior of traditional breadcrumbs but without the bread. While it sounds intimidating, making puffed and pulverized wild rice is a simple process—and it makes a delicious, nutty crust for any white, meaty fish.
Butterscotch pie always sounds delicious, but curry crust? Yes, at first we were skeptical as well, but trust us, this lightly spiced crumb adds a wonderful richness to this creamy pie. You can even add a teaspoon of toasted crushed cumin seeds to take it up a notch.
Filled with oats, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts, this pumpkin-pear crisp is a nutrient-packed dessert features all of autumn's colors. Pair this sensational concoction with a scoop of homemade or store-bought vanilla ice cream and you will be lulled into a blissful food coma.
The best part about this delicious rich chocolate tart recipe is that you can adjust it for vegans and non-vegans alike. The salted-oat crust cuts the sweetness of the chocolate filling in just the right way, and we love the little added kick from the espresso powder. Why dig into store-bought Halloween candy when you can whip this up for a fall feast?
Know of any delicious, easy-to-make fall dinner recipes? Share them with us in the comments!