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Your Menu for a Casual, Stress-Free Dinner Party

Food, and foolproof fun to nourish your soul with a simple get-together.

Sharing a homemade meal with friends is one of the best ways to stay cozy and cheerful during the dreariest months of the year. If the idea of hosting a dinner party is intimidating – or if winter weather leaves you wanting to stay curled up under a blanket with some takeout – check out this tempting, can’t-fail menu. It’s perfect for a low-key evening of board games or just catching up and sharing some laughs. Combat the cold weather blues while also showing friends how much you care by hosting a night of fun at home starring these feel-good foods.

Crab Rangoon Dip with Wonton Chips

We took everyone’s favorite Chinese restaurant starter, crab Rangoon, and turned it into a shareable appetizer that will kick off the evening with a bang. Oven-crisped wonton wrappers serve as dippers for a creamy combo of imitation crab, scallions, and two kinds of cheese served warm from the oven.

Lightened-up Nachos

These meal-worthy nachos made with better-for-you ingredients prove that a dinner party doesn’t have to be fancy to be memorable. Loaded with butternut squash, lean ground turkey, lentils, and, of course, plenty of melty cheese, they’re ready to feed a hungry crowd in under 25 minutes using just a sheet pan.

Quinoa Salad with Grapefruit and Avocado

This light, refreshing salad starring peak season grapefruit is the perfect accompaniment for the hearty nachos. Peppery arugula, nutty quinoa, and creamy avocado are a satisfying mix of tastes and textures, and the zingy lime vinaigrette brings it all together.


Whether or not your guests are doing “dry January,” this non-alcoholic take on sangria is a festive sip everyone can enjoy. Ruby-colored cran-raspberry juice and four kinds of fruit make this by-the-pitcher mocktail a beautiful addition to the appetizer table or bar.

Classic Carrot Cake

Here’s a sweet ending you can feel good about: our carrot cake is made in one-bowl while still bringing all the flavor you’ve known to love. Simple to make but still bringing all the moisture topped with a decadent cream cheese frosting, this classic is sure to dazzle your guests.

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