15 Easy Recipes for Your Next Crappy Dinner Party

15 Easy Recipes for Your Next Crappy Dinner Party

Ariel Knutson
Sep 22, 2016
(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

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.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

1. How To Make a Chicken and Roasted Vegetable Sheet Pan Meal

Sheet pan meals are dinner-savers. This simple recipe with chicken, potatoes, and broccoli is quick and satisfying and the cleanup is minimal.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

2. How To Make Mac and Cheese in the Slow Cooker

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.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

3. Scrambled Chickpea and Spinach Pitas

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.

(Image credit: Brie Passano)

4. Caramelized Figs and Ravioli with Rosemary Brown Butter & Crispy Prosciutto

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!).

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

5. Muffin Pan Deep-Dish Pizzas

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.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

6. Easy Sausage and Peppers

I basically lived off some version of this meal right after I graduated from college. It's not fussy, but it always hits home.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

7. 10-Minute Black Bean Tacos

Set out some beans, some toppings, and some tortillas and let your guests make their own tacos.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

8. Arugula, Pear & Blue Cheese Salad with Warm Vinaigrette

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.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

9. Ina Garten's Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

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.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

10. How To Make Pork Dumplings

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.

(Image credit: Maria Midoes)

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.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

12. Baked Denver Omelet

Throw some eggs and leftover fridge veggies into a baking dish and dinner is served.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

13. Spinach and Refried Bean Quesadillas

Throwing a handful of spinach in your quesadillas makes them a little bit healthier, right? Great — let's go with that.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

14. Sausage and Eggplant Summer Frittata

This is very similar to #2, but it's made in a cast iron skillet and includes different veggie and protein options.

(Image credit: Asier Romero)

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.

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