October 12, 2022

Laura’s Favourite Dinner Party Recipes

One of my favourite things to do on the weekend is spend time with my friends and family and share a meal together.

It is always so special once everyone is together, and the food is organised / cooked but sometimes the lead up (aka working out who is bringing what / what you are actually going to eat ) can be a little stressful.

Shout out to those organised hosts who are perfectly clear about what their guests should bring!

When I’m hosting a dinner party, I always like to choose a hearty main and then complement this with a variety of sides. I have my go to dishes which I have tried and tested and I know will please my crowd!

When I’m attending a dinner party, I’ll let the host guide me as to what I can bring to ensure it ties in nicely with their menu. More often than not it’s a request for a dessert (KIC Brookies are on high rotation) but sometimes it might be a side or a big salad. At the minute I’m loving bringing along the KIC Fennel and Orange Salad – it’s super easy to assemble, looks beautiful, travels well and is packed with goodness.

No matter if I’m the host or the guest, I’ve always got my trusty list of dinner party recipes to resort to.

My lists includes mains, sides and dessert recipes. These recipes are ones that I love and keep people coming back for more, as well as recipes that others have made for me and have inspired me to recreate and continue sharing.

With the festive season around the corner and dinner party/entertaining season in full swing, I wanted to share with you some of the recipes from my list.

I hope that these recipes inspire you to cook up a storm and delight your friends and family at the next dinner party or special occasion!


My dinner party mains:

Classic Roast Chicken with Pumpkin and Potatoes

This is a classic dish which is so simple to assemble plus you can roast whatever veggies you like! I love doing pumpkin and potatoes as the recipe suggests, but if I’ve got other veggies in the house, I’ll throw them in too! Sweet potato, carrot, zucchini, broccoli and cauliflower are all delicious roasted too.

Even better is that this dish is perfect for anyone who is gluten, nut, dairy or egg free! I will always also pair it with a simple leafy green side salad and then add some fresh sourdough bread with butter to the table and you’ve got yourself a killer spread.

If there are ever any leftovers, they work perfectly in a sandwich, a wrap or salad the following day.


Red Curry Salmon Bake

This is a deliciously fragrant salmon dish which I love to serve up with additional steamed rice to what the recipe calls for and a garnishing station so that each guest can add however many extra fresh herbs, chopped nuts, extra chilli and lime as they wish!

If I’m wanting to make this meal even heartier and for there to be even more to mop up the delicious curry with, I’ll also make or buy (depending on busy I am) some flatbreads / naan breads. The best thing about this dish is that it’s so easy to adjust the recipe based on the number of guests.


Creamy Pumpkin Fettuccine

If ever I’m needing to cater for both vegans and those who love their meat, this is my go to dish! I’ll often buy freshly made fettuccine which takes it to the next level.

Pumpkin is always a crowd favourite as it’s so rich and sweet and when combined with the vegan sour cream it creates a beautifully creamy sauce.

The sage in this dish also makes it extra special, not only because of how beautiful they garnish the dish, but because of their flavour! Sage has a slightly peppery and earthy taste with a hint of mint and citrus notes which pairs perfectly with the pumpkin.


My dinner party sides:

Fennel and Orange Salad

If you want a make a dish which only needs a few simple ingredients but is an absolute showstopper, then this is the recipe for you! This salad is so summery and fresh and really brightens up any table! Why I love this salad even more is because of how quick it is to prepare.The aniseed flavour of the fennel pairs so well with orange. I recommend using navel oranges but if you want to make it a little bit more exciting, opt for blood oranges for a bit of a twist.


Dukkah roasted carrots

With my nut allergy, I need to be mindful of which dukkah I use as sometimes they use the nuts I can’t have. If you’re not across what dukkah is, it’s basically a mix of herbs, nuts and spices and most commonly used to season bread or vegetables. You can buy it or if you’re feeling a little boujee, make it yourself at home.

The reason why I love this side dish is because it’s complex in flavour but so quick and simple to make. The sweetness of the carrots pairs perfectly with the nuttiness of the dukkah. I love making these to accompany a simple protein and they’ll often side alongside another 1 or 2 side dishes.


Grapefruit and Radicchio Salad

This is another deliciously fresh side salad that will impress. Not only does it look beautiful (thanks to the crimson from the radicchio and the pink from the grapefruit) but it also tastes incredible. Both grapefruit and radicchio can have a slightly bitter taste but when coated with the dressing of olive oil, orange juice and dijon mustard, the bitterness becomes incredibly pleasant. Due to my allergies I omit the pine nuts, but if you’re not needing a nut free version then make sure to include them for a nutty crunch.

This is the perfect salad to serve alongside a hearty stew, with BBQ meats or roasted dishes.


My dinner party desserts:


Who can turn down a brownie? And who can turn down a cookie? Our Brookies are half brownie, half cookie, and they are mouthwatering. This dessert recipe is super easy to make, it’s rich, fudge and decadent, and will keep well in the fridge. My tip is to zap them in the microwave before serving with some ice cream. You can thank me later.


Mini Pavlovas

With summer fruits slowly coming back into season, there’s no better time for pavlovas! I particularly love these for a dinner party as the meringues can baked in advance.

Sometimes, depending on my guests, I’ll set up a pavlova station and allow each guest to top theirs with whatever they like! I’ll usually pop out strawberries, kiwi, blueberries, raspberries, mango and passionfruit alongside a thick and creamy yoghurt that has had honey and vanilla mixed through.


Vegan Pumpkin Pie

This dessert takes a little longer to prepare but it pairs so perfectly with a cup of tea after dinner. I especially love how fragrant this dessert is, all thanks to the spice mix. Even better is that you can easily make this recipe gluten free by opting for gluten free flour. Plus, you can have the filling and pastry ready a little earlier and then bake the day of.

Laura Henshaw