25 no-oven effortless entertaining ideas
Easy on the eye and simple to make, thanks to shop-bought ingredients and no fiddly techniques, our no-oven effortless recipes can be made ahead or require 30 mins or fewer of prep – they’re go-to ideas for entertaining special guests
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.
No-oven effortless entertaining ideas
Starters and sides
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Grill shop-bought lamb kebabs and pair with a simple sticky glaze to make this effortless main.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Panettone and pandoro have become popular Christmas gifts – if you’ve got one you haven’t used yet, give this effortless bake a try.
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.
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.
Five minutes is all you need to whip up this refreshing three-ingredient dessert.
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.
This sweet treat is deceptively easy to make, thanks to shop-bought brioche buns and gelato.
End your dinner on a high note with this sophisticated syllabub using floral rosé – it takes just 10 minutes to make, too.
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 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.
Shop-bought meringue nests and custard combine to make an effortless no-cook pavlova that's brilliant for entertaining.