Southern-Style Dinner Party Recipes

Spring is here! Why not pick a free weekend on your calendar and invite friends to your home patio (or a nearby picnic spot) for an outdoor dinner party? Warmer temps have arrived, and it is a good time of the year to eat as many meals outside as possible. The season’s most colorful bounty provides endless options for a tabletop dining inspired by nature.

Southern entertaining is all about easy sophistication. Breezy linens, colorful flowers, and big platters of seasonal food set the stage for a memorable meal. In keeping with the graciousness that defines a Southern host, I try to think about what details will make my guests feel comfortable, taken care of and well-fed.

For a casual weekend dinner party, I always serve food family-style. There’s nothing like having guests pass around abundant platters of food to get them mingling and enjoy friendship with dinner.

Baby Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese and Strawberries


Mixed baby lettuces
Sliced strawberries
Almonds or walnuts
Goat cheese crumbles
Sliced mint


Drizzle with a little olive oil and balsamic, plus a sprinkle of flaky salt, and you’ve got spring’s simplest salad!