Give the oven a break with our no-cook entertaining recipes. For starters, feed a crowd with speedy crab and prawn cocktail rolls, or warm up with a slow cooker tomato soup topped with salsa macha. For mains, our rich lamb casserole with crispy hash browns does just the trick with no oven required, while for desserts, you can whip up our raspberry chocolate pots, brioche ice cream sandwiches or grapefruit and mint syllabub, all of which take less than 20 minutes of prep.


We have more effortless recipes which cut corners, such as our effortless party food platters, effortless summer dinner party ideas and effortless Christmas entertaining ideas.

Looking for low-cost recipes for a dinner party? Check out our budget recipes, budget vegetarian recipes and budget vegan recipes.

No-oven effortless entertaining ideas

Starters and sides

Paprika crisps and fennel crudités

A plate of paprika crisps and mojo verde dip makes for fuss-free entertaining – they take only 10 minutes to prep with no oven required.

Crisps coated in paprika on a platter with fennel and a ramekin of mojo verde

Tomato soup with salsa macha

This tomato soup topped with crushed tortilla chips and salsa macha is easy on the eye and simple to make. If you’ve got a slow cooker, you can keep the soup hot in it until you’re ready to serve. Garnish with coriander.

More like this
Tomato soup in three bowls topped with coriander and tortilla chips

Prawns pil pil

Use the hob to create this deliciously garlicky prawns pil pil, where plump prawns sit in a spicy oil. Don’t forget the crusty bread for mopping up all of those wonderful juices.

a white bowl of prawns next to a glass of wine and plate of toasted focaccia

Burrata and tomato salad

Simply pair creamy burrata and sweet, ripe tomatoes with a punchy dressing of olive brine, lemon and black pepper to make this fresh side salad.

A white oval platter filled with burrata, olives and tomato salad on a whitewashed wooden background

Crab and prawn cocktail rolls

Cut corners by using shop-bought prawn cocktail and brioche buns to make this starter. Serve with thick-cut crisps and dressed lettuce leaves to turn into a fun spread which feeds a crowd.

a tray of finger rolls filled with prawn cocktail next to a scattering of crisps

Bloody mary prawn lettuce scoops

Serve this speedy no-cook starter at your next dinner party – it's a fun alternative to classic prawn cocktail and only takes 15 minutes of prep.

Bloody Mary prawn lettuce scoops

Picnic platter

Take a few picnic staples, such as cheese, chutney, pâté and salami, and turn it into a no-cook dinner party centrepiece. Finish it off with some quick and easy pickles, if you like.

A serving board loaded with bread, cheese, pickles, cured meat and veg, with a knife on a pink background

Crudités with chipotle aïoli

Serve a crunchy crudité board at your next dinner party – it's a fresh, healthy, no-cook option and guests will love the chipotle aïoli.

A wooden board on a grey stone background flled with vegetable crudités and a small pot of chipotle aïoli with red rippled through


Lamb casserole with a hash brown top

Give the oven a break with our rich lamb casserole with crispy hash browns on top. Perfect for warming you up without the effort. If you prefer, you can brown this in the oven and leave it to stay warm while you serve your starter.

Lamb casserole in a pot topped with hash browns

Pomegranate glazed lamb kebabs

Grill shop-bought lamb kebabs and pair with a simple sticky glaze to make this effortless main.

a plate of hummus, salad and lamb kebabs on wooden skewers

Chicken tacos

Cuts corners by using a shop-bought rotisserie chicken instead of roasting in an oven. Serve as part of a Mexican-style feast and let everyone build their own.

A board topped with two corn tortillas, topped with pulled chicken and limes on the side

Truffle pasta mafalde

A handful of simple ingredients, including quality shop-bought pesto, wide-ribboned mafalde and colourful radicchio makes this dish much more than the sum of its parts.

A black bowl filled with frilly strands of pasta, purple radicchio leaves and shavings of parmesan cheese

Mushroom pearl barley risotto with roasted carrots

You won’t need to continuously stir this mushroom risotto thanks to pearl barley. Topped with beautifully sweet and nutty roasted rosemary carrots, it's a deceptively easy yet special main.

Two bowls filled with barley risotto and topped with orange roast carrots


Espresso martini pancakes

You only need five ingredients to recreate these knockout coffee pancakes. Flavoured with espresso and salted caramel, they're sure to leave a smile on your guests' faces.

Two plates of pancakes topped with an espresso and salted caramel sauce and a scoop of ice cream

Halva-topped rice pudding

You only need five ingredients to whip up this rice pudding, one of them being ready-made rice pudding. Simply sprinkle with cinnamon, cardamom and a little orange zest, and top with halva and extra cream. Halva is available in tubs from the olive shop – it keeps well and makes a great addition to biscuits and bakes.

Ramekins of rice pudding topped with halva

Fruit and cream layer cake

Panettone and pandoro have become popular Christmas gifts – if you’ve got one you haven’t used yet, give this effortless bake a try.

A triple-layered cake filled with cream and fresh fruit on a serving plate

Air fryer brownies

If you've already got the knack of using an air fryer, this is really easy. Let the air fryer do all the work with this speedy brownie recipe. You could add nuts or dried fruit to the batter, if you like, for extra flavour.

Air-fryer brownies

Double chocolate and passion fruit tart

A standout dessert for a dinner party or special meal, you only need a handful of ingredients to assemble this zingy no-cook tart, some of which are ready-made ingredients.

Double chocolate and passion fruit tart topped with edible gold

Strawberry sgroppino

Five minutes is all you need to whip up this refreshing three-ingredient dessert.

Two coupe glasses filled with red sorbet and sliced strawberries next to two spoons on a marble background

Raspberry chocolate pots

This is the ultimate fuss-free pud. Double cream, raspberries and dark chocolate are all you need to make this silky and decadent pud – a restaurant-level dessert with minimal prep required.

Tall glasses filled with chocolate mousse and topped with raspberries on a grey background

Brioche ice cream sandwiches

This sweet treat is deceptively easy to make, thanks to shop-bought brioche buns and gelato.

Brioche ice cream sandwiches

Grapefruit and mint syllabub

End your dinner on a high note with this sophisticated syllabub using floral rosé – it takes just 10 minutes to make, too.

A creamy dessert in stemmed glasses topped with lemon peel and mint leaves on a white plate with a pink background

Pomegranate ice cream

This creamy no-churn ice cream couldn't be easier to make, and it's perfect for serving at alfresco gatherings. Pomegranate molasses adds a fruity, sweet-and-sour smack of flavour, too.

A tub of cream-coloured ice cream with pomegranate molasses rippled through, with a silver scoop on a yellow background

Berry tiramisu

A fuss-free dessert which feeds up to 12 – try this berry tiramisu made with tart raspberries, rosé wine and creamy mascarpone, ready in just 15 minutes.

a plate of sponge fingers topped with raspberry coulis and cream with a grey stone background

Peach melba smashed pavlova

Shop-bought meringue nests and custard combine to make an effortless no-cook pavlova that's brilliant for entertaining.

A back plate of meringue chunks, peaches, cream and raspberries on a purple background

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