Dinner Party

Throw A Non-Holiday Holiday Dinner Party

December 10, 2015

You want to host a dinner party for friends before holiday travel mayhem ensues, but with holiday carols playing everywhere and a growing list of cookies to make, you may already feel like avoiding the kitchen entirely. This time of year—when there are more parties than you can keep track of, and everyone is in the mood to celebrate—the only problem is time and expendable energy. 

But if you do decide to have some friends over for dinner, you'll want a meal that's festive, but not too complicated or fraught with holiday pressure. Think hearty dishes that can be made ahead of time, keep well, and taste even better after sitting overnight. This menu is laidback, low stress, and won't overwhelm your holiday agenda. Reuse your beautiful seasonal centerpiece, throw in a few pretty glasses, and gather good friends—your low-key, holiday-safe evening is set.

Shop the Story

Brussels Sprouts Gratin by hardlikearmour


Miso-Maple Roasted Roots by Nicholas Day


Judy Rodgers' Lentils Braised in Red Wine by Nicholas Day


White Lasagna with Swiss Chard, Leeks, and Gruyère by lagougerie


Sweet and Savory Overnight Roast Pork by Merrill Stubbs


Black Pepper Popovers with Chives and Parmesan by FamilyStyle Food


Alsatian Gingerbread by Nicholas Day


Pear Galettes with Spelt Crusts by Yossy Arefi

Are you planning a pre-holiday dinner party with friends? Tell us what you're making in the comments!

52 Days of Thanksgiving
Check It Out
52 Days of Thanksgiving

Top-notch recipes, expert tips, and all the tools to pull off the year’s most memorable feast.

Check It Out

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Donna
  • Laura Beam
    Laura Beam
foodie, writer, performer


Donna November 23, 2014
I'll be cooking on Wednesday for two of my three children. We're having lamb tagine, a chick pea dish, maybe David Tanis's jeweled rice, and a pistachio cake. Then I'll let somebody else do the big meal on Thursday :)
Laura B. November 23, 2014
Donna, I'm hosting something tonight -- which is why this post is so relevant for me. :) Someone else is cooking my Thanksgiving meal, too. But I can't help but bring a few dishes since I just love to contribute!