Sometimes even an introvert like myself decides to take on feeding a number of guests. While I both love to cook and enjoy time with my people, it is much simpler when the majority of the food is made ahead of time. This list of make ahead party foods also comes in handy when you are charged with bringing something to an event outside of your home. Pick and choose your favorite recipes so that you can spend more time enjoying company and being present with them.
Up your wow factor with these prosciutto wrapped stuffed peppers. They are easy to make for any holiday or event but they sound so fancy that they'll make you seem more sophisticated. Plus they're gluten-free, which your celiac friends can surely appreciate.
It doesn't get simpler than this. Only two ingredients are required for this mouth-watering and satisfying vegetarian appetizer. Honestly, it's hard for me to pass up a chance to eat mushrooms, doubly so when cheese is involved.
It is hard to go wrong with a classic like hummus. It's flavorful, you get to dip things into it, plus it's vegan. It has the added benefits of being really easy to make and traveling well.
Bring some brightness to your party with this lemony kale salad. It's healthy, light, and will make you feel better about eating a gallon of cheesy mashed potatoes. Life is about balance.
This is the other end of that balance scale. These potatoes have plenty of cheese and caramelized onions. They're creamy, comforting, and crock pot friendly.
No dinner party is complete without a nice loaf (or five) of bread. Crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside, this bread is sure to impress. Serve it alongside just about any main dish.
This zesty "macaroni" and cheese is easy to scale up for a group and customizable to meet the needs of your audience. It is a little spicy and a lot creamy on the inside, with a crunchy breadcrumb coating over the top.
Sometimes it can be hard to think of a fully vegan meal that scales up well for guests. This sweet potato soup is sure to please vegan, vegetarians, and meat eaters alike. Serve it with some French bread for dipping.
Who says that stuffing is just for thanksgiving? Everyone knows that stuffing is among the best holiday sides. Serve it up a new way in this chicken stuffing casserole. It doesn't get any more Midwest than this.
Sometimes what your guests need is a hearty red sauce, some starchy pasta, and a boatload of cheese. Especially during Christmas, Hannukah, and other winter solstice based celebrations. It may be cold outside but this pasta dish will warm your guests from the inside out.
This roasted squash salad is perfect for a fall party. It's a little lighter than the other meals in this list but full of flavor with hazelnuts, pomegranate seeds, and a sweet and tart maple dressing.
If you're looking for an easy holiday dessert, look no further than these dark chocolate toffee bars. Simply layer the ingredients and pour condensed milk over it and you're off to the races. In addition to being decadent and delicious this recipe is easily customizable.
Don't forget the vegans in your life, they like chocolate too. Booze plus chocolate ganache? I'm in.
Gingerbread cookies are an amazing fall dessert. This recipe is crisp and chewy and both vegan and gluten-free.
Love pecan pie but hate making pie crust? These bars are for you. Besides, it's hard to say no to a shortbread crust, especially when it's covered in caramelized sugar and pecans. Dessert bars are the definition of make ahead party foods.
Entertaining a group of friends or family doesn't have to be stressful. Choose make ahead party foods pop them in the oven as needed. Spend more time enjoying your party and less time worrying about the logistics. Remember to savor your connections with your favorite people and be safe this party season.
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