Holiday entertaining can be extremely fun but also very intimidating and time-consuming. With this easy dinner party menu, your friends will leave impressed, full, and happy.
Is it possible to prepare a four-course dinner party in less than 30 minutes? Maybe not.
But, with this step-by step plan and dinner party ideas, you can work ahead and use convenient BUITONI® Refrigerated Pastas & Sauces Tortellini: 3 Cheese Tortellini to create the perfect party menu in less than three hours.
4-Course Italian Dinner Party Menu
A four course meal can be scary but not with this dinner party menu. Anyone can easily put together a casual dinner for friends and family, enjoying the holiday season without a lot of stress.
You can quickly pick up everything you need at Walmart by browsing the produce section, deli, condiments, and baking aisle.
Antipasto Platters – Create dishes with various meats, peppers, olives, cheeses, crackers, and bread. (For my meat platter, I selected pastrami, pepperoni, proiscutto-wrapped mozzarella, salami, and provolone. To provide a foundation for stacking, I chose two types of crackers as well as bagel chips and Italian bread.)
Pepper Jelly over Cream Cheese with Bacon and Pecans – If you want to give the impression of something “homemade” within your appetizer selections but do not want to add a lot of work to your plan, this is an excellent dinner party idea. Just bring an 8-ounce brick cream cheese to room temperature and then stir in a clove of minced garlic. Spread on a plate and refrigerate. Before the party, add a layer of pepper jelly and a sprinkling of bacon and toasted, chopped pecans (optional).
Salad Greens – A simple salad that requires very little preparation, this mix will have them remembering their favorite Italian restaurant. Toss together your choice of mixed salad greens with cherry tomatoes (halved), black olives (whole), pepperocini (sliced thinly), red onion (sliced thinly), shaved Parmesan, and crunchy croutons. Choose a high-quality Italian dressing or make your own.
Chicken Pesto Alfredo Tortellini (recipe below)
Butterfinger Pudding Pie (recipe below) – I prepared this in a chocolate graham pie shell but honestly, it would be so much more elegant in mini dessert jars.
Time-Saving Dinner Party Ideas
Breaking your work into pieces and starting your preparations a couple of days before the party will make hostessing less stressful.
Two days before the party (prep time: about 1 hour)
- Choose your serving plates, platters, and silverware
- Iron any linens
Day before the party (prep time: about 1 hour)
- Make the Butterfinger Pudding Pie
- Prepare antipasto platters, refrigerating everything but the crackers
- Slice tomatoes and pepperocini for the salad, storing separately
Just prior to the party (prep time: less than 1 hour)
- Toss the salad
- Slice the bread
- Set the buffet
- Cook the Chicken Pesto Alfredo Tortellini
Dinner Party Menu Recipes
Chicken Pesto Alfredo Tortellini
- 1 20 ounces package BUITONI Three Cheese Tortellini
- 1 10 ounces container BUITONI Alfredo Sauce
- 1 7 ounces container BUITONI Pesto Sauce
- 1 22 ounce bag frozen fully-cooked and diced chicken breast
- 1 pint grape tomatoes sliced in half
- 2 cups baby spinach chopped
- Shaved Parmesan garnish
- Prepare BUITONI Three Cheese Tortellini according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, reheat frozen chicken in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Once warmed, add tomatoes and spinach, cooking until spinach is slightly wilted, about two minutes.
- Stir in the BUITONI Alfredo Sauce and about half (according to your preference) BUITONI Pesto Sauce and heat through about one minute.
- Serve with shaved Parmesan cheese as a garnish.
Butterfinger Pudding Pie
- 1 9-inch prepared chocolate crust
- 1 12 fluid ounces can NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 cups BUTTERFINGER® Bits plus some for garnish
- Whipped cream
- Using a pastry blender or your hands, break any large BUTTERFINGER® Bits (placed in a batter bowl) into tiny pieces to aid in melting.
- Heat evaporated milk and egg yolks in medium sauce pan over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and about to boil. Do not boil.
- Pour the evaporated milk mixture over the BUTTERFINGER® Bits and whisk until melted.
- Immediately pour into prepared pie shell and refrigerate 3 hours to overnight.
- Top with whipped cream and additional BUTTERFINGER® Bits as garnish.