Make it Ahead of Time before the Guests Arrive
Easy entertaining with these Recipes to make ahead of time. Here are 8 healthy and tasty recipes from all over the world to prepare ahead. Enjoy the party!
Make your entertaining easy with these recipes to make ahead of time. That’s right do all the work before your guests arrive. This leaves you free so you can enjoy your big day or night of entertaining as well. Whether it be for a New Year’s Eve celebration or any party or function, here is a collection of our most popular appetizers and snacks from a range of countries we featured on Compass & Fork this year.
And, I’m not the only person that likes to prepare ahead of time. Here is a good article around party planning ideas and tips to reduce stress.
We have readers from countries all over the world and although it may be in the depths of winter in the northern hemisphere, it is warm and BBQ time in the southern hemisphere. So we are featuring cold and hot appetizers, but they can all be prepared in advance to take the pressure off the host/hostess so you can spend more time with your guests.
For the health conscious, most of the recipes are gluten free and either vegetarian or vegan. The 3 meat and fish options are all baked, not fried!
To access the recipes just click on the link or the photo..
Turkish Style Recipes to Make Ahead of Time
From Turkey, we feature the very colorful Turkish Meze Platter. The platter is actually a collection of 5 common Turkish appetizers and it is perfect for easy entertaining, you can make all of these recipes ahead of time:
- Beet, Garlic and Yogurt dip (vegetarian, gluten-free). You will love the deep red/pink color.
- Mixed Olive Salad (vegetarian, gluten-free). The combination of the slightly salty olives with the sweetness of the pomegranate molasses or honey is outstanding. Don’t underestimate how good this tastes.
- Marinated Roasted Bell Peppers (vegan, gluten-free). A simple dish featuring beautifully sweet bell peppers.
- Yogurt Carrot Dip (vegetarian, gluten-free). A colorful orange delight.
- Mixed Olives (vegan, gluten-free). All you need are good quality olives.
Also from Turkey but featured just a few weeks ago, our very popular Roasted Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) (vegan, gluten-free). If you are looking for a healthier alternative to nuts, then look no further. Sold everywhere throughout Turkey, they are addicting and were our favorite snack when we went hiking in Fethiye, Turkey.
Also great to toss through a salad if you are looking for a bit of crunch or just for a snack between meals. And totally healthy for you.
Italian Style Recipes to Make Ahead of Time
If you are looking for another platter of appetizers but not of the Turkish variety, then how about this Italian Antipasto Platter? Here are 3 traditional appetizers that will transport you to northern Italy in spirit if not in body. They are all very tasting, your guests will be impressed and they all super easy recipes you can make ahead of time.
- Parmigiano Reggiano with Balsamic Vinegar from Modena (vegetarian, gluten-free). Yes, just cheese and vinegar but you won’t be able to stop eating it.
- Caprese Salad (often called Buffalo Mozzarella Salad) (vegetarian, gluten-free). The buffalo mozzarella, tomato and basil represent the colors of the Italian flag. Simple and elegant.
- Prosciutto and melon (cantaloupe) (gluten-free). The classic Italian combination of the slightly salty prosciutto and the sweet melon. Simple, classical food.
Patagonian Style Recipes to Make Ahead of Time
When we visited Patagonia, we fell in love with empanadas. Of course, empanadas are everywhere throughout Central and South America. For anyone who enjoys pasties, then you will love empanadas. They are smaller than a pastie (party size).
Ours are filled with leeks and scallops and then baked rather than fried. Click here to access our Leek and Scallop Empanadas, our most popular recipe from Patagonia. Very easy to make and perfect for a party and entertaining. Make this recipe ahead of time and then just bake them and serve hot.
Vietnam Style Recipes To Make Ahead of Time
I don’t really know anyone that doesn’t enjoy spring rolls. My first experience with them was at Chinese restaurants. Deep fried and crisp they were somewhat thick. And then later I discovered Vietnamese-style spring rolls. Thinner, than their Chinese counterparts and often wrapped in lettuce and dipped in delightful sauces. You will find them everywhere in Vietnam.
In our version, the wrapper is not cooked (although the shrimp inside are pre-cooked). These are so easy to make and no hot oil to deal with or clean up. More refreshing than their deep fried counterparts and full of crunch inside, try these Fresh Spring Rolls (gluten-free). The perfect easy entertaining recipe to make ahead of time!
Melbourne, Australia Style Easy Entertaining Recipes to Make Ahead of Time
As part of our trip around Melbourne, we visited some great food shops and wrote a post about how to construct the Perfect Cheese Platter (vegetarian). If you have access to a good fromagerie or delicatessen, a cheese platter is a simple and easy option. Add some real class to the platter by throwing in some gourmet accompaniments like lavosh crackers, or a nut loaf or just plain, old, simple dried fruits and nuts.
We give you all the hints on which cheeses to select and how to construct the platter.
World Style Recipes to Make Ahead of Time
During December this year we featured prepare ahead snacks from around the world:
We were very pleasantly surprised by the positive reaction to our Devils on Horseback recipe (gluten-free). Only 2 ingredients. Here is the simplest hot appetizer you will ever make. Prunes wrapped in bacon (Canadian-style bacon if in the US) and then grilled for 10 minutes, turning just once. Simple.
Read about the fascinating history of this centuries old snack and then make them. They might be old-fashioned but after having one, you will be wanting some more and so will your guests.
Also in December, we featured, everyone’s favorite, Meatballs. Although they may be called different names (think koftas), meatballs are so popular around the world with many, regional versions. Our savory meatballs are baked (healthier) easy to prepare, incorporate some great spices (but mild) and are served with an easy, yogurt-based dipping sauce.
We also feature a short history of the humble meatball. Think they are Italian still? I don’t think so! Read to find out.
Please Pin this post for future reference. We hope your next party is stress-free and you enjoy easy entertaining with these recipes to make ahead of time.
Sara @ Life's Little Sweets
This is exactly what I need! I have a family dinner coming up, thank you for sharing this, pinning now!
My pleasure. Always good to have quick recipes at your disposal. Thanks for your comment.
Marisa Franca @ All Our Way
Love the International flavor of the appetizers. I really like theme get togethers, so how about an International day and everyone brings some different dish with different flavors. Of course appetizers would be ideal. Thank you for the inspiration. Great Idea!!
Youy are dead right there Marisa. There are so many good cuisines out there, it is worth trying a few different ones. Thanks for your comment.
Cindy (Vegetarian Mamma)
Make ahead recipes are the best, we love to entertain but sometimes it can get overwhelming with what you have to make. I love the idea of prepping these items ahead of time 🙂
Making ahead equals calm, equals have a good time. I’m with you on that, it takes all the pressure off. Thanks for your comment.
great idea for sharing all these recipes! finger snacks are my favorite for all kind of parties!
Yes and having a variety adds to the pleasures. Thanks for your comment.
Jillian @ Food, Folks and Fun
I love make-ahead meals. I can’t wait to try some of these!
Jillian, good to be organized and relax when your guests are there. Thanks for your comment.
Wow! This is a stellar collection of starters from around the globe! I love to entertain with small plates, and some of these will find their way onto a party menu soon… I’m pinning this. Thanks Mark!
Tamara, thank you. It was all a bit of fun putting it together.
This is a great assortment of easy recipes perfect for guests coming over!! Awesome stuff!
It’s not bad to to have a collection of snack options at your fingertips. Thanks for your comment.
Charla @ That Girl Cooks Healthy
Excellent roundup and thank you!
Thanks Charla. I enjoyed putting it together.
Nice collection of recipes! The empanadas look great!
Yes they are my wife’s favorite. Mine is the Turkish meze platter. Thanks for your comment.
Everything looks very good especially the Spring Rolls only because I just love them. Great looking meals!
April, the spring rolls are a highlight. I love the freshness and the crunch of them. Thanks for your comment.
Love this “Around the World” theme … and also pretty darn jealous that you went to Patagonia!! (not just about the empanadas either)
Noel, Patagonia has the most magnificent scenery I have seen. A hiker’s paradise. I can’t speak highly enough of the place. Here are some more posts on Patagonia. Thanks for your comment.
Julia @ bavarianpicure
Great collection of recipes! I love recipes which can be made ahead, makes everything easier. Thank you for posting!
Yes, being prepared is not a bad thing. Thanks for your comment.
Wow, this looks like an awesome collection.. Something which is gonna be of great help with the schools just started
Excellent, hope you enjoy some of the recipes. Thanks for your comment.
Dawn @ Words Of Deliciousness
All the foods look perfect for entertaining. I love the fact that they are make ahead recipes. Very yummy!
Hi Dawn. Yes I like making it easy on myself. The more you can do in advance the better I think. Thanks for your comment.
These are great tips. I love the recipes and ideas from different regions!
Thanks for your comment Christine. It was fun putting it together.
Claire | Sprinkles and Sprouts
This is just perfect!!!
So much yummy food.
Caprese salad is possibly my favourite ever salad!
It’s just the best isn’t it? And so simple and quick. Thanks for your comment Claire.