Our house has an open floor plan with a huge kitchen and our dining room table is in the center of that space. This gives me plenty of room for entertaining. However, if I am still preparing the food when company arrives, I end up with my back to my guests or constantly looking over my shoulder to see them. Once these recipes go into the oven, you are done. Nothing else to prep, stir or sauté. Toss the dirty prep dishes in the dishwasher, and you're ready to spend time with your friends!
Calabacita Enchiladas ~ Calabacitas is a traditional Spanish skillet meal composed of squash, tomatoes, onion, corn, garlic and green chiles. Layering the spicy vegetables into enchiladas is one of my favorite twists on the classic dish.
Sweet Potato Topped Rancher's Pie ~ Seasoned with balsamic vinegar and Italian seasonings, this is not your everyday shepherd's pie. Not a fan of sweet potatoes? Just use your favorite potatoes.
Mexican Lasagna ~ All of our favorite Mexican flavors are layered into this one-dish meal. The recipe makes enough to feed a crowd and can easily be doubled to feed an even bigger crowd. This has been my go-to company meal for years.
Roasted Potatoes with Brussels Sprouts and Sausage ~ The meal that converted my entire family of haters into Brussels sprouts fans. Nervous about serving Brussels sprouts to guests who might not love them? The recipe works great with broccoli, as well.
Spicy Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers ~ Bright, colorful bell peppers are filled with spicy meat, black beans and fresh corn; seasoned with Mexican spices, this can be made as hot or mild as you like.
Want an alternative to using the oven? Loaded Baked Potato Soup can be made up to two hours in advance, and it will hold perfectly in a crockpot until you are ready to eat.
What is YOUR entertaining style? It's nice to have everything ready in advance, but I don't mind asking for help when I'm running later than planned. I try to remind myself that I love being able to help when I'm someone else's guest!
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Disclosure: I was compensated to write this post as part of BlogHer's Kitchen Entertaining editorial series, made possible by KitchenAid.