Dip cayenne-spiked roasted shrimp into a zesty pesto of pumpkin seeds, parsley, and cilantro for a flavorful appetizer your guests won’t soon forget. The shrimp and pesto can be made up to six hours in advance—refrigerate it, covered, until ready to serve. Serve the dish chilled, or at room temperature.
It’s not a party without a bowl of guacamole, and if you’re the one hosting, you don’t want to disappoint. This quick and easy recipe requires just five ingredients, and you can whip it up mere minutes before the guests arrive. If you prefer a milder dip, omit the jalapeño.
If you like crispy cookies and a creamy filling, make these as close to party time as possible. For a softer, ice-cream-sandwich type of dessert, make them a day ahead and keep them covered in the refrigerator. Either way, you can’t go wrong—and with only three ingredients, they couldn’t be simpler.
Boil sugar, thyme, and water together to create a delicious simple syrup for this lemonade—it adds an herbaceous flavor to the fruity libation. Prefer to serve an alcoholic beverage? Add a splash of vodka, and serve over ice. Either way, garnish with additional sprigs of fresh thyme.
Got 20 minutes? Then you’ve got time to make these mini burgers, which are layered with tangy ranch dressing, lettuce, and fresh slices of plum tomato. The dressing gives the burgers an unexpected zesty kick, and the smaller portion size is perfect for a party with lots of options.
Spiced with coriander and topped with crumbled goat cheese, this easy dip will be a welcome addition to your next appetizer buffet. Though this recipe assumes that you are using peeled carrots, the skins on tender, young baby carrots (like those you find at the farmers’ market) are edible; no peeling is required.
Using store-bought rotisserie chicken means this dish comes together in just minutes. Instead of cutting into dinner-size wedges, cut into strips to feed multiple party guests. Serve with avocado, salsa, and sour cream. For a vegetarian version, omit the chicken and swap in black beans and sweet potatoes.
For a fun upgrade to this old-time classic, prepare marshmallow treats the traditional way and add a hefty spoonful of creamy peanut butter. Then, spread the surface with a mixture of melted chocolate and more peanut butter, before sprinkling the decadent treat with miniature peanut butter cups. Yum!
With decidedly Italian ingredients like salami, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, this pasta salad is bursting with flavors reminiscent of your favorite Margherita pizza. You can toss everything together the night before to keep day-of prep at a minimum. Short noodles, such as gemelli or penne, work better than spaghetti or linguine.
Everyone’s favorite dip is transformed into an elegant starter when nestled in a buttery phyllo shell. To ensure that the crust stays nice and crispy, it’s essential to drain the thawed spinach and artichokes thoroughly. Place them in a colander and press down firmly, or wrap them tightly in a thin dish towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
Enjoy the campfire favorite as an indoor treat by tossing graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows into warm and gooey blondies. The bars keep well between sheets of wax paper—though chances are you won’t have many left over. Because you’ll be serving these to a crowd, play it safe and omit the pecans, or make one with nuts and one without.
Bye-bye, burgers and buns—it’s time to rethink the backyard barbecue. Let the chicken marinate in a mixture of buttermilk, garlic, and paprika to infuse it with flavor and moisture, and keep it juicy and delicious. Toss it on the grill about 30 minutes before you’re ready to eat.
The only thing better than corn on the cob? This fresh corn salad that’s much easier to eat. Sweet fresh corn kernels get a salty hit from shaved Parmesan; sliced red chilies provide a spicy kick. Allow the mixture to sit before serving to give the flavors time to meld and develop.
This mouth-watering dessert is studded with fruit for picturesque slices that will impress friends and family. The texture itself is a cross between cobber and cake—a win-win when it comes to summertime sweets. After allowing the buckle to cool slightly, dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm.
These easy refreshments can be made up to 12 hours in advance, so mix up a big batch the day before the party. The cucumber adds a pleasing savory note that makes the drink utterly refreshing. Serve over ice, and garnish with lime slices. Adults can add a splash of gin, if desired.