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Hosting a Neighborhood Dinner Party and I Don't Cook!

We are the worst, three of our neighbors have all had us over for dinner at least one time each in the past year and we've never hosted anything at our house. Part of the reason is because I don't really cook, another part of the reason is I'm in school and work full time, but also it's because our house isn't set up as nicely and we don't have a lot of seating area. I want to have at least 6 of our neighbors over next month - any ideas for what to cook or what to do?

Re: Hosting a Neighborhood Dinner Party and I Don't Cook!

  • Instead of dinner, why not have them over for drinks and apps, or coffee and dessert?  You can great apps and desserts at Costco or Whole Foods.
  • Love it! Thanks for the idea.
  • That's really sweet of you, especially since you're so busy!  Just remember, those neighbors of yours are not likely tallying who has done what and who still needs to host.  And, they are likely going to appreciate your effort, so you don't need to throw yourself into cooking an all-out dinner party if you don't usually cook.  I second the drinks or dessert ideas!  It's a great compromise for someone busy who doesn't cook.
  • Why not have a summer BBQ?  Then you wouldn't have to worry as much about seating space, the interior of your house, or your cooking skills.

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  • I second the idea of coffee and dessert.  You can buy desserts and put them on your own serving platters. 

    Summer BBQs are also good since you can sit outside.  You could get cornhole, Bocce or some other outdoor games.  Set up a tournament of sorts with all of the games the top teams getting points.  Find some heinous trophy or something and the top team gets it.  It could easily become an annual event. 

    Food is easy for that- grill some brats/burgers, buy some potato salad, mix up a little coleslaw and cut up some fruit.


  • I would just do carryout--we have a ton of fab barbeque places in my area, so I'd just do that. 
  • It's so nice that you're doing this! If you want, you could make soup, chili, or something else that is easy and you could even make ahead of time and heat up later. Spaghetti or tacos are both easy. The BBQ is a good idea. When we have BBQs, DH does the meat on the grill and I do everything else. If your DH likes to grill, this could be an option too!  Surprise I like the coffee and dessert idea if you need a way around doing an actual dinner.  

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