Alfresco Dinner Party Menu with Recipes

Follow this alfresco dinner menu and you’ll be ready to entertain at home. This menu is easy, fresh, and delicious! I prepared it for a lovely dinner party alfresco, and you can find the easy recipes for the menu here.

Al Fresco Dinner Party Menu with Recipes; white plate with food

Easy Alfresco Dinner Party Menu 

When you’re looking for dinner party menu ideas, these easy and fresh alfresco menu recipes will guide you whether you’re a first time hostess, or a seasoned pro.

I’m a believer that any entertaining opportunity should be well rounded and balanced, and as such the food should compliment the setting and vice versa.

I put together a menu that’s full of fresh ingredients and seasonal items, and nothing is difficult to make. In fact, I’d call this a beginner level meal plan! This is a perfect menu to add to your summer entertaining too.

This meal plan would be terrific for this green dinner party tablescape setting also.

I’m sharing the complete meal recipes plus the homemade jam party favors. Just follow this guide for stylish entertaining.

Al Fresco Dinner Party Menu with Recipes; lemon herb chicken

My al fresco dinner party menu with recipes starts with this light, aromatic chicken recipe. It’s a classic entree that looks pretty displayed on a bed of greens with lemon wedges. You’re not going to want to save this one just for entertaining!

Lemon-Herb Chicken Grilled Breasts

  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves {trimmed of fat}
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • Lemon juice from 1 1/2 lemons
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3/4 Tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • salt & pepper to taste

Combine all marinade ingredients together in a large zip lock bag. Add chicken breasts and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or over night.

Preheat grill on medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Add chicken breasts and cook for about 5 minutes per side, depending on thickness.

Remove chicken from grill and cover with aluminum foil to allow chicken to continue to cook, and for juices to settle. Internal temperature should reach 165 degrees F.

Serve over a bed of arugula with slices of lemon for garnish.

Al Fresco Dinner Party Menu with Recipes; spinach orzo salad

This spinach-orzo salad was served to us when I helped with Operation Shower last month. The wife of one of the officers on base hosted the loveliest dinner for us volunteers and I have to say she was certainly the hostess with the mostess that evening! She had wine and nibbles stations all throughout the downstairs, and served us a delicious meal and dessert. This is one of the dishes she made for us, which I fell in love with.

Spinach & Orzo Salad

Make this spinach orzo salad recipe using these simple ingredients.

  • Fresh baby spinach leaves 
  • Orzo pasta
  • Purple onion
  • Crumbled Feta cheese
  • Pine nuts
  • Balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Combine all salad ingredients and drizzle with vinaigrette to taste. Toss and serve.

When I was putting together this al fresco dinner party menu with recipes, I wanted it to be as easy and fresh as possible. Tomato-mozzarella salad is a tried and true option, and the fresh basil adds such a vibrant aroma to the table. It’s really a great option for almost any occasion.

Al Fresco Dinner Party Menu with Recipes; tomato-mozzarella salad

It doesn’t get any easier than a tomato-mozzarella salad, and it’s pretty self explanatory. It makes such a pretty presentation though!

Tomato Mozzarella Salad

  • 2-3 vine ripened tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • fresh ground pepper

Alternate tomatoes, cheese, and basil on a serving plate. Top with fresh ground pepper {from a pepper mill} and drizzle lightly with balsamic vinegar.

Don’t forget about the party favors. Easy homemade jam makes a great gift for guests to take home.

Al Fresco Dinner Party Menu with Recipes; easy freezer jam party favor jars

Many years ago I attending a Taste of Home Cooking School event here in Richmond. It was basically a cooking demo show with lots of recipes to take home. One of the demonstrations was how to make freezer jam using Ball® brand instant pectin. I never knew it was so easy to make jam or preserves! This recipe is adapted from the Ball Preserving site.

Raspberry Freezer Jam 

  • 4 cups fresh raspberries, washed & clean
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons Ball Real Fruit Instant Pectin
  • Zest of 1 lemon

In a large bowl crush raspberries by hand or with a blender or food processor. Add lemon zest.

In a separate, large bowl, combine the sugar and pectin until well blended.

Add crushed fruit in small batches at a time, until completely combined. Stir or whisk for 3 minutes.

Ladle jam into clean jars to fill line. Let stand until thickened, about 30 minutes.

If freezing, make sure to leave room at the top for expansion of jam.

Store in refrigerator for up to 3 weeks, or freeze up to 1 year.

Makes about 8 cups.

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