Does the idea of having guests drop in make you anxious? Maybe you worry about the perfect recipe to make for dinner, or whether your house is clean enough, or whether your kids will be well-behaved. But no more! It's time to embrace the idea of the crappy dinner party. No cleaning, no fancy menus, no hostess gifts — this is a judgement-free meal where your friends and family can just get together and eat whatever food you have around the house. With a simple trip to the grocery store, or some foresight (read: your freezer), dinner parties can be fun again.
Here are 15 recipes that are perfect for your next crappy dinner party. They are mostly fuss-free, require little time and ingredients, and are kid-friendly.
Sheet pan meals are dinner-savers. This simple recipe with chicken, potatoes, and broccoli is quick and satisfying and the cleanup is minimal.
If you know ahead of time that people are stopping by for dinner, this slow-cooker mac and cheese is always a winner. When gets arrive, let them take what they want right from the slow cooker and serve it with a simple side salad.
This meal is technically meant for breakfast, but I don't see why it also couldn't be an excellent, easy dinner. This recipe includes sautéed chickpeas and vegetables that are stuffed in a pita pocket. Great with a glass of wine.
Now, hold up, this recipe looks like it would be fancy and hard to make, but the secret lies in easy store-bought ingredients. The star ingredients include some cheese tortellini, prosciutto, and figs (or another fruit — why not!).
You like pizza, I like pizza, everyone likes pizza. This muffin tin recipe makes pizza fun and stress-free, which is exactly the kind of meal you want to serve at your crappy dinner party.
I basically lived off some version of this meal right after I graduated from college. It's not fussy, but it always hits home.
Set out some beans, some toppings, and some tortillas and let your guests make their own tacos.
Need a quick salad that is more than just, say, greens and cherry tomatoes? This recipe looks fancy, but is entirely easy to make with a quick trip to the grocery store. Use store-bought dressing or just use olive oil if you don't want to be fussy.
In the five rules for hosting a crappy dinner party post, the author mentions her friend having a couple frozen lasagnas that they ate one night. Go ahead and copy this idea and stash your fridge with one of these guys.
Last month I packed my freezer with about 100 frozen pork dumplings. Whenever we had friends over for dinner, we'd just throw a couple handfuls of these into a boiling pot of water and dinner was ready in under 10 minutes.
11. Caprese Chicken
Plain chicken gets a "fancy" upgrade with cheese and tomatoes. We'll call it "caprese" because it makes it sounds better that way.
Throw some eggs and leftover fridge veggies into a baking dish and dinner is served.
Throwing a handful of spinach in your quesadillas makes them a little bit healthier, right? Great — let's go with that.
This is very similar to #2, but it's made in a cast iron skillet and includes different veggie and protein options.
15. Pizza Delivery
Yes, fine, this is not technically a recipe, but you know what? Who cares. If ordering pizza in means you get to spend time with your friends and family and you have less stress in your life, then go with that option. It's all in the name of having more crappy dinner parties, remember.