I love hosting dinner parties and recipes that you can make ahead of time really help. What are you favorite make a head dishes?

I would love suggestions for great make ahead appetizers, sides and mains for my next dinner party. Thanks!

  • Posted by: SadieS
  • November 4, 2015


Meaghan F. November 4, 2015
Cold Roast Pork with Fennel & Green Bean Salad from the NY Times: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1016667-cold-pork-roast-with-fennel-and-green-bean-salad
The pork is really highly seasoned so it works really well cold or at room temp. I've served it a couple times to rave reviews.
Regine November 4, 2015
Sadie, if you follow my suggestion of preparing Chef John's Sherry Braised Beef Short ribs, I suggest you do like me. Use boneless short ribs, low sodium beef broth, and omit adding any salt other than in the first step prior to browning the meat. Also, make sure you reduce the sauce; it may take longer than the recipe suggests; and note that when you reduce sauces, they tend to get more salty so this is why you want to go very easy on the salt. Good luck!
AntoniaJames November 4, 2015
Any braised beef, particularly beef Burgundy or the really outstanding Tuscan Beef Stew on CooksIllustrated.com. They taste better made ahead. The "Genius" recipe here for Spaghetti Bolognese is also outstanding and does well when made in advance. For sides, I always include a salad; you can wash and carefully dry salad greens the night before; store them in a bag lined with a dry paper towel. Make the dressing then and prep whatever other salad ingredients make sense.

Toast and chop nuts, grate cheese, etc., and keep together, with the dressing and salad tossers.

These are just a few ideas off the top of my head. ;o)
Nancy November 4, 2015
You'll find lots of ideas already in food52 if you search both recipes and hot line with "make ahead" and "dinner party".
Regine November 4, 2015
One of my most favorites is a recipe posted in allrecipes.com by "Chef John."

Also, check in food52.com, a wonderful grit casserole that you can serve anytime (brunch, lunch, dinner) called Bloody Sunrise Grits Casserole. Both these dishes taste even better after having been prepared overnight or a couple of days before. You just need to reheat!
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