Make the most of summer with a casual al fresco dinner party. Our easy sharing platters, fresh salads and make-ahead desserts are perfect for feeding a crowd.
Summer is all about spending lazy days in the garden with family and friends. So if you are putting on a catering event, the last thing you want to be doing is rushing around madly in the kitchen. Our super simple sharing recipes involve minimal fuss yet are bursting with delicious seasonal flavours.
Start off with an impressive veggie party platter followed by quick kebabs or a one-pan seafood roast and an appropriately named epic salad. If your guests have room for dessert, then our no-churn ice cream and dainty summer fruit cheesecakes will excite all tastebuds. So take a deep breath, relax and get ready to breeze your way through the party preparations...
Beetroot hummus party platter
Keep your guests' hunger at bay with our tasty selection of nibbles. This one-platter-serves-all beetroot hummus requires no cooking and can be whipped up in just 15 minutes. Serve a big dollop of hummus as the centerpiece, along with additional chickpeas, toppings and dipping accompaniments of your choice. We've opted for a moreish medley of crunchy summer veg, toasted bread fingers, mini mozzarella balls, prosciutto-wrapped breadsticks and olives.
Sticky jerk lamb kebabs
Serve some delightfully sticky and succulent jerk lamb kebabs for a quick and easy main, using only five ingredients. Whether you are firing up the barbecue or using a griddle, these only take two to three minutes to cook each side. We've saved time and effort by marinading the meat in a ready-made spice paste mixed with honey, thyme and lime juice, though the flavour will penetrate deeper if you allow this to soak for a few hours. Any extra dressing can be served with meat or swirled into yogurt to make a dip. Serve with warm flatbreads, fresh herbs, dips and a salad.
Discover more mouthwatering kebab recipes.
Epic summer salad
Capture the colours of summer with our stunning sharing salad, which makes a light and refreshing centerpiece or side at a garden party. From juicy heritage tomatoes, crunchy cucumber and tangy mango slices to melty avocadoes and crumbly feta, this veggie assemblage is a feast of flavours and textures. All the ingredients can be mixed together in just 10 minutes before serving, and drizzzled in a zingy herb dressing. Our summer allotment salad and egg & parsley salad also make impressive sharing dishes using a combinaiton of gorgeous seasonal ingredients.
Check out our summer salad recipes for more inspiration.
One-pan seafood roast
Give your Sunday roast a marine makeover with a mixture of charred seafood, smoky chorizo, roast hasselback potatoes and sweetcorn. This sumptuous seafood supper is handily all cooked in one pan, saving on washing up. We've used a selection of large prawns, mussels and squid for maximum flavour, but you can of course vary this to preference and also add white fish fillets to the pan if you like. Most supermarkets sell high-quality seafood in the freezer aisle, which you can quickly defrost before cooking. Serve some bread on the side for mopping up all the gorgeous buttery juices.
Find more easy one-pan roast recipes.
Little buttermilk cheesecakes with honey roast summer fruits
These pretty little summer fruit cheesecakes are the ultimate make-ahead dessert to impress. The individual cheesecakes are easy to pick up and eat compared to a whole one, so are great for serving a crowd. The biscuit base and buttermilk filling are super simple to make, then you can leave the oven to do the hard work. Once cooked, they can be kept in the fridge until serving with cooked fruit and a drizzle of jam. We've used summer fruits for the topping, such as apricots, plums, peaches and raspberries, but you can of course customise to the time of year.
See our summer dessert recipe collection for more light and fruity dishes.
Cherry ripple, chocolate & rose ice cream
Short on dessert prep time? This miracle no-churn cherry ripple, chocolate & rose ice cream makes an impressive pud and needs only 15 minutes before you pop it in the freezer. The unusual yet scrumptious flavour combination is a delight for both kids and adults alike. Serve in cones or show off the chocolate chunk layers in slices for a dinner party dish, along with shortbread biscuits and extra cherries.
As well as using only five ingredients, the magic of this recipe is that it doesn't need an ice-cream maker, as using condensed milk will prevent it from crystallising. The ice cream requires four hours in the freezer leaving you plenty of time for other food prep.
If you prefer classic flavours, then try our no-churn vanilla ice cream.
Find more sizzling summer recipe ideas...
What would you serve at a summer dinner party? Leave a comment below...