Easy meals to impress your guests

Easy meals to impress your guests at a dinner party. Symply Too Good To Be True Recipes.

It’s that time of year when we’re more likely to have friends or family over for a meal.

When entertaining, we often tend to stick with a BBQ because it’s easy. Want to make delicious easy meals to impress your guests?  Yes, it is possible to entertain with easy meals and still enjoy your guests 😊 And… you don’t need to make elaborate meals, here’s some tips and suggestions.

Where do you start?

A little bit of preparation goes a long way. So, here are a few quick tips to plan your meal:

  • Check in with guests. It’s a really good idea to check with your dinner guests if they have any dietary requirements. One friend doesn’t have gluten, so I buy her the gluten free rolls so she doesn’t miss out.
  • Plan your menu. Never experiment – always make recipes that are tried and true and that you are confident in making, you don’t want any failures on the night. This way you know the food will be good and it’s less stressful for the cook.
  • Write a shopping list. Be sure to check everything off the list as you add it to the grocery trolley, you don’t want any nasty surprises on the night.
  • Write a running sheet. List each part of the menu and what you will serve. This way you know what you have to do and are less likely to get distracted when the guests arrive. I also write times, for example what time to put the veggies in the oven if you are having a roast.
  • Decide what can be done ahead. Prepping ahead is my secret to entertaining but still being able to spend time with the guests. I always pick a dessert that I can make the day before. And I peel my vegetables in the morning and leave them to sit in a bath of water in the fridge until needed. I also set the table the day before so it’s another thing done. Preheat the oven so it’s ready to go when you are.


Easy recipes to impress your guests.

You don’t need to make elaborate recipes to impress your guests, most people are just happy to have someone else cook for them. So, let’s look at some easy but tasty recipes your guests will enjoy.


  • Prawn cocktail – an oldie but a goodie, people love it and can be made ahead. Make my Cocktail Sauce from book 1.
  • Mexican Dip from book 2 or Cooking for 1 or 2 people is a great shared entrée.



  • Chicken Pizziola from book 2 or Cooking for 1 or 2 people this can be made that day and left in the fridge raw until it’s time to go in the oven.
  • Lasagne from book 1 or Cooking for 1 or 2 people, or Chicken and Spinach Lasagne from book 3 or MORE Cooking for 1 or 2 people. Who doesn’t love Lasagne and it can be made a day or two ahead, then on the day, cover with foil and warm in the oven.
  • Sticky Pork Chops from book 4 or Cooking for 1 or 2 people. I make the sauce ahead then all I have to do is cook the chops in a fry pan or on the BBQ.
  • Honey Soy Salmon is another recipe people love from book 6 or Cooking for 1 or 2 people. It’s so easy, just marinate for a few hours then pan fry.
  • Steak with Creamy Mustard Sauce from book 4 gives a boring piece of steak a real lift, super easy and super delicious.



As I mentioned earlier, I always make dessert the day before, and my favourites are:

  • Cheesecake and I have several great recipes such as Raspberry Cheesecake book 3 or Cooking for 1 or 2 people, or Cookies and Cream Baked Cheesecake book 6
  • Trifle – try my Wine Trifle in book 1 or Cooking for 1 or 2 people, or a Chocolate Trifle in book 2.
  • Mango Mousse – from book 3 or Cooking for 1 or 2 people. This recipe is a little bit fancy and can be made in individual servings in a wine glass.
  • Mudcake – from book 3. You had me at chocolate and your guests will love this guilt free delight.

And remember to take time to enjoy your guests, otherwise what’s the point of having them over?