Olive Magazine
A roasting tray filled with roast chicken, rice and orange slices

24 effortless entertaining recipes

Published: January 25, 2022 at 12:00 pm
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Check out our lighter, nourishing recipes for easy yet impressive entertaining, from roast spatchcock chicken and steamed sea bass to herby chimichurri salad

Looking for easy, effortless recipes fit for entertaining? Try our nourishing dishes including roast spatchcock chicken, whole steamed sea bass or celeriac chimichurri salad. Tuck into a cosy dessert with one of our easy dessert recipes and pair your feast with one of our dessert cocktail recipes.

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For more easy entertaining recipes, check out our effortless summer dinner party ideas.


Effortless entertaining recipes

Crab and prawn cocktail rolls

These finger food rolls look really impressive but are simple to whip up, thanks to shop-bought prawn cocktail and brioche buns. Serve with thick-cut crisps and dressed lettuce leaves.

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

Pomegranate glazed lamb kebabs

This recipe sees shop-bought lamb kebabs served with a simple sweet, sour and sticky homemade chilli jam, making an impressive but effortless BBQ main.

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

'Nduja prawns with focaccia

Simply wrap everything in a foil parcel and in a few minutes you’ve got spicy prawns bathed in their own sauce. An easy BBQ starter that's perfect served with focaccia for mopping up the sauce.

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

Baked feta with roasted grapes and rosemary

With zero prep time required on the day, this simple starter of baked feta with roasted grapes and rosemary makes a fail-safe dinner party starter.

An oval platter filled with cooked cherry tomatoes and a block of feta

Hot smoked salmon, gnocchi and spinach bake

This impressive main cuts corners with ready-made gnocchi and frozen spinach – simply prep the day before then slide into the oven when you're ready to eat.

A deep dish filled with a golden topped bake with a linen napkin and glass of white wine

Spatchcock chicken traybake

Harissa-coated roast chicken meets with crispy chorizo and caramelised orange to make a winning one-tin dinner. Stir the wholegrain basmati rice and spinach through the resting chicken juices and oil from the tray, and tuck in.

A roasting tray filled with roast chicken, rice and orange slices

Spring chicken pie

Use a few cheat’s ingredients to make this comforting chicken and leek pie – perfect if you’re after a filling meal to make ahead of time.

A golden-crusted pie with a creamy chicken filling in a pie dish, with a pink napkin and cutlery

Prawns pil pil

Plump prawns in a deliciously garlicky, spicy oil – a simple recipe that’s perfect for entertaining.

Prawns pil pil

Steamed sea bass with soy

Entertain the easy way by serving this steamed sea bass whole, meaning less prep yet offering impressive results. Cooking en papillote means the fish delicately steams to perfection and you don’t have to stand over it fussing.

White baking paper topped with a whole steamed sea bass with red chilli and cucumber

Celeriac chimichurri salad

This herby salad cuts corners by using pre-cooked puy lentils and chucking a handful of ingredients into a processor to make a piquant chimichurri dressing.

A black bowl filled with a green chopped salad with feta and croutons

Crudités with chipotle aïoli

This crudité dish requires minimal effort, but the results are impressive – perfect for bringing out at dinner parties over the summer.

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

Picnic platter

Turn a few picnic favourites like cheese, chutney, pâté and salami into a no-cook dinner party centrepiece, and finish it off with some quick and easy pickles.

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

Burrata and tomato salad

This salad requires minimal effort, but looks impressive – simply pair creamy burrata and sweet, ripe tomatoes with a punchy dressing of olive brine, lemon and black pepper.

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

Blood orange curd crêpe cake

Use shop-bought crêpes and curd to make this speedy yet impressive blood orange layer cake.

A black cake stand topped with a crepe cake, whipped cream and blood orange slices

Strawberry sgroppino

Dinner party guests will never guess this refreshing strawberry pud takes just five minutes to whip up.

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

Plum and pistachio frangipane tart

Use a shop-bought block of shortcrust pastry to make this impressive frangipane tart, featuring squidgy plums and crunchy pistachios.

a plum tart on a peach plate with an olive green napkin

Raspberry chocolate pots

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

Cardamom buns

Our cheat’s version of cardamom buns uses bread mix as a genius shortcut – just add butter and spices for the ultimate swirl bun.

A wooden platter of cardamom buns with a mug of black coffee

Brioche ice cream sandwiches

Fill shop-bought brioche buns with velvety ice cream for an easy yet crowd-pleasing sweet treat.

Brioche ice cream sandwiches

Grapefruit and mint syllabub

This super-easy dessert is made with floral rosé wine and sharp, refreshing grapefruit – it may take just 10 minutes to make but will end your dinner on a high note.

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

Pomegranate ice cream

Pomegranate molasses adds a fruity, sweet-and-sour smack of flavour to this creamy no-churn ice cream.

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

Berry tiramisu

It might look impressive but you can whip up this berry tiramisu, made with tart raspberries, rosé wine and creamy mascarpone, in just 15 minutes.

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

Peach melba smashed pavlova

Ready-made meringue nests and custard make this an effortless dessert that's brilliant for entertaining.

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

Grilled peaches, pancakes and ricotta

Ready in just 15 minutes, round off a BBQ feast with this simple dessert of grilled peaches, pancakes and ricotta.

a white plate on a tone surface filled with folded crepes, grilled chunks of peach and thick cream, with a silver fork and green napkin

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