How to Write a Dinner Party Menu

Updated February 21, 2017

A dinner party is a chance for friends to get together and chat while enjoying good food. Hosting a dinner party is enjoyable, and a successful party is something to be proud of. But dinner parties are a lot of work, and the menu needs to be well thought out so the party comes together naturally. Start planning the party at least a few days before the event so that you have a chance to put all the details together.

Choose a theme for the dinner party. This ensures that the dishes will go well together and makes it easier to narrow down the menu. Some themes include types of world cuisine, such as Italian or Thai; a diet plan, such as vegetarian or a holiday-based theme, such as Thanksgiving.

Brainstorm the dishes that fit the theme. Think of items for an appetizer, soup or salad, main dishes, side dishes and a dessert. Plan for dishes that you are comfortable preparing as this reduces the chance of a ruined dish on the day of the party.

Narrow down the items by considering any special dietary needs your guests have and what ingredients are in season. Write down your menu plan and keep it handy.

Break down each menu item and make a grocery list for the ingredients you will need to purchase. Plan how long it takes to prepare each menu item and when you need to start preparing it by the serving time.

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About the Author

Shara JJ Cooper graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism in 2000, and has worked professionally ever since. She has a passion for community journalism, but likes to mix it up by writing for a variety of publications. Cooper is the owner/editor of the Boundary Sentinel, a web-based newspaper.