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17 Easy Recipes For A Dinner Party

Colder weather is coming, and throwing a dinner party is the only socially acceptable way to stay home all weekend.

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1. Slow Cooker Pumpkin Beer-Braised Chicken

halfbakedharvest.com

Serve it with rice (here's how you make rice without a rice cooker) and maybe have one of your guests bring over some crusty bread, too. Recipe here.

2. One-Pan Chicken with Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Sauce

foodiecrush.com

Cook it in a pretty cast-iron skillet and leave it in there to serve. Recipe here.

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3. Slow Cooker Lamb with Olives and Potatoes

Romulo Yanes / marthastewart.com

There are two parts of this recipe that might make you nervous and I'm going to explain to you why NOTHING ABOUT THIS RECIPE SHOULD MAKE YOU NERVOUS.

1) Maybe you've never bought lamb shanks before. Don't worry, most butchers have them, and they're happy to cut and trim them for you.

2) You need to brown the meat before you put it in the crockpot. This should not scare you. Get a skillet really, REALLY hot, then put the lamb shanks in and turn them a couple of times so that they're browned on ever side. And honestly, if you over- or under-brown, it's not a big deal.

Recipe here.

4. Garlic and Rosemary Roast Pork Loin

Chris Court / foodandwine.com

First, heat a skillet and brown the outside of the pork loin on the stove top. Then, stick the whole skillet in the oven to finish cooking the meat. To complete the meal, these garlic roasted potatoes are great, and you can cook them at the same time as you cook the pork, since both call for a 400°F oven. This simple green salad would be good on the side, too. Pork loin recipe here.

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5. Pasta with Chorizo and Chickpeas

Hirsheimer & Hamilton / bonappetit.com

Buying a super-flavorful sausage like chorizo takes no extra effort, but makes an otherwise easy and simple dish dinner party-worthy. Recipe here.

6. Thai-Style Shrimp Curry

Liren Baker / kitchenconfidante.com

Red curry paste, which is sold in the ethnic aisle of most standard grocery stores, adds a ton of complex flavor to an otherwise simple dish. If you can't find Chinese spinach, sub regular spinach or mustard greens. Serve over rice or rice noodles for an impressive but quick (20 minutes, start to finish!) dinner party dish. Recipe here.

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7. Chicken in Milk

jamieoliver.com

Jamie Oliver tells you to "baste with the cooking juices when you remember," because even if you forget, the end result will be delicious. To serve, no need to carve (which really isn't that hard but I get it, it's intimidating), just let the chicken cool a little, pull it off the bone, and serve it on plates on top of mashed potatoes, drizzled with the delicious sauce that's creating in the pot with the chicken as it cooks. Recipe here.

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8. Roasted Chicken Legs with Potatoes and Kale

Tina Rupp / foodandwine.com

This impressive-looking dish is almost stupidly simple: Remove kale leaves from the stem, slice potatoes, cut chicken legs in half, throw everything together in a pan with oil and seasoning, and roast. If separating the chicken thigh from the drumstick sounds intimidating, just buy 8 chicken drumsticks and 8 chicken thighs. Recipe here.

9. Easy Beef Lasagna

jocooks.com

Easy, and everybody's favorite. Recipe here.

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10. White Bean Chicken Chili with Butternut Squash

foodiecrush.com

This easy stew is so pretty and so hearty that all you need to serve it with is tortilla chips! The recipe is for 6, but if you have a big (at least 6 quart) pot, you can double it and freeze the leftovers. Recipe here.

11. Braised Pork Shoulder

marthastewart.com

You could serve this with a quick stovetop polenta. That would be good. Recipe here.

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12. Sunday Night Stew and Potatoes

thepioneerwoman.com

The best part of beef stew is that it pairs well with both red wine and bourbon, the two greatest things about staying in when it's cold outside. Recipe here.

13. "Stacked" Chicken Enchiladas

gimmesomeoven.com

Enchiladas can be easy to make, but this enchilada casserole is even easier. And face it, everything falls apart on the plate anyway. Recipe here.

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14. Passover Brisket

thepioneerwoman.com

You need to plan ahead, since this one takes 12-24 hours to marinate and 7 hours to cook. But other than that, all you need to do is mix ketchup and soup mix, smother it on brisket, put it in the fridge, take it out of the fridge, put it in the oven, and take it out of the oven. Sandwiches are a good idea, I think, but if that's too lowbrow for you, you can serve this with potatoes. Recipe here.

15. Pork Shoulder Ragu

dinneralovestory.com

The only ragu you'll ever want to eat again. Serve it with pasta, prefereably a thick noodle like pappardelle. Recipe here.

16. Best-Ever Homemade Tacos

yummyhealthyeasy.com

Sometimes you just want to have a bunch of people over, and you just want to feed them something delicious. This recipe serves 4, but you can easily double it to serve 8. Recipe here.

17. Baked Ziti

simplyrecipes.com

Red sauce Italian is always a crowd pleaser. Recipe here.

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