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Make Ahead Dinner Party Menu (NYE 2021/2022)

My NYE dinner menu was the perfect combination of fancy and easy. It presented as this feaster with delicious sides but I was able to prep it entirely in the hour or two between brunch and shopping and our wine and cheese happy hour. This left me plenty of time to set the table, get my house in order and get myself ready- many things that get left behind when hours are spent in the kitchen.

For NYE I wanted something I could prep entirely before so I could just relax, spend time with my parents and enjoy the night! We actually checked out a local wine & cheese pop up before dinner so hours in the kitchen was not an option. My grocery shopping was done from my phone- the best- on our travel day from Boston back to Philly. Week to week I will go to the grocery store myself because I enjoy it but on travel days or busy weeks, grocery delivery is key.

For the main dish I prepped a boneless roast pork shoulder, get the recipe for this at the bottom of this page!

I got the picnic roast and got plenty of meat- about 7 lbs. I definitely didn't need 7 lbs but loved having it for leftovers throughout the week for lunches. I've been making sandwiches with it all week- served in a roll toasted with provolone, sliced pickles and dijon mustard. A delicious take on a cuban!

For sides I did some roasted veggies, smashed potatoes and avocado Caesar salad. I roasted fresh broccoli, Brussel sprouts and acorn squash with olive oil, salt and pepper earlier in the day. I choose these because I knew they are hearty enough that I could roast them in advance, transfer them in a casserole dish and return the dish to the oven when we're almost ready to eat without them withering away to nothing.

I also made my garlic and chive red smashed potatoes, get the recipe here.

These I boiled in my instant pot (uncovered) and then mashed them in there and left it on the keep warm setting until I was ready for them! Perfect for make ahead and I've also found the instant pot doesn't burn the potatoes like if I had heated them on the stove.

For the salad course, I made my favorite avocado Caesar dressing in the afternoon- grab the recipe here. I baked some Turkey bacon (when I was baking the veggies) and then tossed the dressing with romaine, croutons, chopped bacon and fresh parmesan when ready to eat!

We served all of this with a loaf of French bread and some wine!! A fancy dinner party entirely prepped ahead of time!!


  1. Boneless Pork Roast with Herb Chimmichurri (recipe below)

  2. Roasted Vegetables

  3. French Bread


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