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How to plan a stress-free dinner party menu

It seems like every time my husband and I host dinner for our friends or family we always start off really optimistic — meal planning and grocery shopping days before, talking about the exact time we are going to start prepping the food, you name it — and yet, somehow day of, we feel like there’s never enough time to get everything done. I remember one dinner in particular in which we were so excited to spend time with family that we specifically chose a dinner menu with minimal cooking. And somehow we still ended up spending most of our time in the kitchen and at the BBQ!

All to say, if you have ever experienced this conundrum of wanting to cook a nice meal but not spend the entire time cooking the meal, I feel you.

We DID, however, find an awesome solution for this. And it totally happened by accident.

Easy dinner party menu

I was really wanting to make homemade pizzas for dinner one evening. When my hubby went to the store, he ended up grabbing na’an bread instead of pizza dough. (The packaging said “great for pizzas,” so he ran with it.) We tried it and were blown away. Not only was it WAY easier than rolling out dough; the pizzas came out like high-end restaurant flatbreads.

Easy dinner party menu

It became apparent pretty quick that here was a chic and fun dinner party that took MINIMAL prep. All you need to do is to set out na’an bread and toppings before you join in on the party yourself. Also, who doesn’t want to attend a party with a personal flatbread pizza bar?! 😄

Want to throw your own flatbread dinner party?

Here are all the dinner party menu deets:

Ingredient Ideas:

There are SO many delicious ways to make pizzas, as well as so many preferences. Here are some ideas to get you started…

na’an bread (1-2 per person)

Sauces-
pizza sauce
pesto sauce

Cheeses-
mozzarella
goat cheese

Meats-
grilled chicken
pepperoni
prosciutto

Veggies, herbs and such-
mushrooms
spinach
basil
fresh thyme
black olives
grilled zucchini
caramelized onion
grape tomatoes

Other-
olive oil
red pepper flakes
black pepper
balsamic glaze (I found this at Trader Joe’s and love it 😍)
pine nuts

Obviously, if you decide to do something like grilled zucchini or caramelized onions, you will have to do a little cooking prep before guests arrive 😉

Easy dinner party menu

Easy dinner party menu

Easy dinner party menu

Pizza Combo Ideas

I want to say this is like putting toppings on frozen yogurt where less is more (is that just me??), but honestly, I really do put almost every topping on my pizza. And I love it. However, here are some topping combo ideas if that is more your style…

01. Red sauce, mozzarella, pepperonis, chicken, black olives, mushrooms, red pepper

02. Pesto, mozzarella, goat cheese, mushroom, balsamic glaze

03. Olive oil, goat cheese, prosciutto, caramelized onion, spinach, pine nuts

04. Pesto, goat cheese, grilled zucchini, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, caramelized onion

Hopefully, this helps spur on some ideas 🙂

Easy dinner party menu

Easy dinner party menu

Set out table with na’an bread and ingredients. Enjoy!

Really, it is that easy — buy all the ingredients you want, cut up items (maybe sauté an onion or veggie), put everything into serving bowls, and set it all out!

Easy dinner party menu

Easy dinner party menu

Easy dinner party menu

Easy dinner party menu

Easy dinner party menu

Flatbreads cook for 10 min in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. (Or maybe even try the BBQ?)

QUICK TIP: If you want a super easy cleanup as well, line a baking sheet with tin foil and cook the pizzas on top. Afterwards, you can toss the tin foil and avoid having to scrape the baking sheet clean.

Easy dinner party menu

Easy dinner party menu

Easy dinner party menu

Easy dinner party menu

Easy dinner party menu

Easy dinner party menu

Easy dinner party menu

Easy dinner party menu

I love the idea of making a few extra pizzas and setting them out on the table to share. That way people can try something they wouldn’t normally make a whole pizza out of, and it’s also great for those that want to eat just a little more.

You could even do the whole thing family style!

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