Planning a casual dinner party: Menu ideas to impress

by Jan Kennemer 08/21/2022

Whether you’re hosting or attending, it never hurts to have extra casual dinner party menu ideas. A casual dinner party is perfect for sharing comfort food and simple dishes without the fancy frills. If you’re searching for ideas for your next dinner party menu, here are some casual ideas your dinner guests will love:

Charcuterie platters

A simple charcuterie platter offers a variety of flavors and textures in a single dish. Arrange some of your favorite cheeses, fruits, cured meats and other tasty snacks on a serving platter or traditional charcuterie board. Serve with a fresh loaf of french bread or a selection of tasty crackers.

Crockpot party dips

For a dinner party idea sure to please the masses, try making a batch of spinach artichoke dip in your slow cooker. This warm, cheesy favorite is simple to make ahead of time and goes perfectly with a variety of dipping items like bread, chips or veggies. 

Appetizers in the air fryer

If you have an air fryer, you’re perfectly equipped to make delicious party appetizers. Stuffed mushrooms, crab cakes and chicken wings are just a few examples. Try making your own mozzarella stick bites by rolling balls of cheese in breadcrumbs and frying until golden brown. Serve with warm marinara sauce for a delicious addition to any hearty meal.

Single-serving snacks

Creating a health-conscious party menu means more than addressing dietary needs. It also means preventing shared germs by serving bite-sized, individually portioned snacks your guests can safely enjoy. Some excellent ideas include mini caprese salad bites, bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers and roasted vegetable skewers.

Simple make ahead desserts

Don’t forget to include dessert in your casual dinner party ideas. Opt for no-bake desserts or dishes you can make the night before, like minty grasshopper pie or any number of no-bake cheesecakes. While these desserts might require a bit of prep time, you can rest easy knowing you have a delicious finale to your casual menu. 

For a casual dinner party, you can’t go wrong with sharing food you genuinely enjoy. However, if you want some new recipes for your party’s dinner table, keep these tasty dinner party ideas in mind.

About the Author

Jan Kennemer

Jan will show you how you can live close to Washington, DC – by public transit and/or highway – and still enjoy all the many amenities and friendliness of a quiet community. Jan is a life-long resident of Arlington, Va. So, she is very familiar with northern Virginia …Arlington, Falls Church, Alexandria and close-in Fairfax. She knows where to find those little out-of the-way places where you will still get excellent value and a home that meets your needs. As a Realtor® for over 20 years, Jan has developed a customized system for marketing and selling properties which includes the latest technologies combined with tried and true practices. She has received special training in working with first time buyers, repeat buyers and seniors. She is a certified VHDA trainer and is certified as a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES©). Jan is also a certified e-Pro. She gets results you want – the best price in the shortest time. Jan is dedicated to helping clients satisfy their needs and wants while providing them with a strong investment for the future. She is readily available to provide explanations and information. She won’t push you into making an uncomfortable choice. Jan helps you to fully understand the transaction, so that you can always make an informed decision based on facts and figures.