71 Recipes Perfect for a Progressive Dinner Party

Updated: May 06, 2024

A progressive dinner party (also known as a round-robin) is when a group of friends plan a meal together. Each course is served at a different couple's home, and the party "progresses" from house to house. Taking part in one of these parties? Make planning your course a cinch with our ideas for appetizers, soups and salads, main dishes, desserts and after-dinner drinks.

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Shrimp Tartlets

Mini tart shells filled with a cream cheese mixture, topped with seafood sauce and shrimp make for a picture-perfect, tasty appetizer. You could also serve several as a fast, light meal. —Gina Hutchison, Smithville, Missouri
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Best Deviled Eggs

Herbs lend amazing flavor to these deviled eggs, which truly are the best you can make! The recipe includes tasty variations that feature bacon, chipotle peppers and crab.—Jesse & Anne Foust, Bluefield, West Virginia
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Hot Crab Dip

I have a large family, work full time, and coach soccer and football, so I appreciate recipes that are easy to assemble. This rich, creamy dip is a fun appetizer to whip up for any gathering. —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan
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Marinated Olive & Cheese Ring

We love to make meals into celebrations, and antipasto always kicks off the party for Italian dinners. This one is almost too pretty to eat, especially when sprinkled with pimientos, fresh basil and parsley. —Patricia Harmon, Baden, Pennsylvania
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Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread

This festive dip is a snap to make, taking only 10 minutes from start to finish. Thanks to its hint of sweetness, both kids and adults will gobble it up. —Frankie Robinson, Lockhart, Texas
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Bacon and Fontina Stuffed Mushrooms

What's better than lots of bacon and cheese in a mushroom cap? Yum! They'll be a hit with your guests, too. —Tammy Rex, New Tripoli, Pennsylvania
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Apricot Turkey Pinwheels

I created these unique pinwheels for a football game snack using ingredients I had on hand. They were a huge hit! I appreciate how quick and easy they are to prepare. —Melanie Foster, Blaine, Minnesota
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Cucumber Canapes

I always get requests for the recipe for these canapes whenever I serve them. They're delicate finger sandwiches with a creamy herb spread and festive red and green garnishes. —Nadine Whittaker, South Plymouth, Massachusetts
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Kalamata Cheesecake Appetizer

It's believed the Greeks served cheesecake at the first Olympics, so why not rewrite history with a Greek cheesecake appetizer? Ingredients in this version "tame" the kalamata olives, so even if you shy away from kalamatas, you'll be glad you tried this one. For a milder flavor, use the more common black or green olives. —Theresa Kreyche, Tustin, California
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Watermelon Cups

This lovely appetizer is almost too pretty to eat! Sweet watermelon cubes hold a refreshing topping that showcases cucumber, red onion and fresh herbs. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Brie Appetizers with Bacon-Plum Jam

Among my friends I'm known as the pork master, because I love to cook just about every cut there is. These appetizers combine soft, mild Brie cheese with a sweet-sour bacon jam that has a touch of Sriracha sauce. —Rick Pascocello, New York, New York
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Crab Phyllo Cups

I always like a little extra chili sauce on top of these easy snacks. If you're out of crab, water-packed tuna works well too. —Johnna Johnson, Scottsdale, Arizona
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Hoisin Meatballs

These meatballs are braised in hoisin sauce and cabernet sauvignon for a delicious, rich sauce. If you prefer not to use wine, simply substitute beef broth. —Lisa de Perio, Dallas, Texas
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Potato Soup

I decided to add some character to a basic potato chowder with a jar of roasted red peppers. The extra flavor gives a deliciously different twist to an otherwise ordinary soup. —Mary Shivers, Ada, Oklahoma
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Roasted Autumn Vegetable Soup

Roasting sweet potatoes, carrots and parsnips brings out their best features. Blend them, and you have a warm, healthy soup for a cool fall night. —Stephanie Flaming, Woodland, California
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Fresh Broccoli Salad with Lemon

The slightly sweet flavor of this salad's dressing is a great contrast to the rich bacon. You can substitute cauliflower for the broccoli if you prefer. —Janet Roth, Tempe, Arizona
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Icebox Rolls

I remember my mom making these rolls almost every Saturday so they'd be ready to bake on Sunday for company or someone just dropping by. Although they take a little time to prepare, they're really not all that difficult to make. And there's nothing in the stores that can compare to them! —Jean Fox, Welch, Minnesota
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Shrimp Gazpacho

Here’s a refreshing take on the classic chilled tomato soup. Our twist features shrimp, lime and plenty of avocado. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Spinach, Apple & Pecan Salad

One day, company was on the way, and I forgot to buy salad fixings. Scavenging the fridge for ingredients, I pulled these together and invented a salad superstar. —Kelly Walsh, Aviston, Illinois
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Soup and Salad Course: Honey Whole Wheat Pan Rolls

With their pleasant wheat flavor and a honey of a glaze, these rolls impress my guests. Every time I take them to potluck dinner parties, I come home with an empty pan. —Nancye Thompson, Paducah, Kentucky
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Citrus Avocado Salad

This recipe nicely showcases grapefruit and oranges, which are at their peak around the holidays. Citrus fruits pair well with a sweet dressing. —Sonia Candler, Edmonton, Alberta
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Apple Walnut Salad

The pumpkin seeds and homemade dressing make this salad so special—and healthy, too. Add leftover turkey and you’ve got a main-dish salad. —Bjorg Martin, Noblesville, Indiana
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Spiced Sweet Potato Soup

This Thanksgiving serve your spuds as soup. It makes a unique first course, and guests will love the creamy texture and flavors of ginger, cinnamon and curry. —Lisa Speer, Palm Beach, Florida
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Herbed Bread Twists

A blend of herbs and a special shape dress up ordinary frozen bread dough in this unbelievably easy recipe. —Deb Stapert, Comstock Park, Michigan
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Honeydew & Prosciutto Salad

For parties, I turn melon and prosciutto into an easy salad with a honey mustard dressing. To add zip, stir in fresh basil and mint. —Julie Merriman, Seattle, Washington
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Pomegranate Persimmon Salad

To bring some sunshine to the table, I toss up a bright salad of persimmons and pomegranate seeds, dressed with a puckery vinaigrette. —Linda Tambunan, Dublin, California
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Sunday Pot Roast

With the help of a slow cooker, you can prepare a down-home dinner any day of the week, not just on Sundays. The roast turns out tender and savory every time. —Brandy Schaefer, Glen Carbon, Illinois

Serve with: Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Garlic

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Serve with: Coconut-Pecan Sweet Potatoes

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Slow-Cooker BBQ Chicken

Of all the recipes I make in my slow cooker, this Crock-Pot BBQ chicken is my most treasured. If you enjoy your BBQ sweet with a little spice, this will be your new favorite, too. —Yvonne McKim, Vancouver, Washington

Serve with: Pennsylvania Dutch Coleslaw

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Stuffed Pasta Shells

These savory shells never fail to make a big impression, even though the recipe is very easy. One or two of these shells makes a great individual serving at a potluck, so a single batch goes a long way. —Jena Coffey, St. Louis, Missouri

Serve with: Pillow-Soft Dinner Rolls

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Garlic-Apple Pork Roast

This is the meal I have become famous for, and it is so simple. The garlic and apple flavors really complement the pork. It's especially good with steamed fresh asparagus and roasted red potatoes. —Jennifer Loos, Washington Boro, Pennsylvania

Serve with: Scalloped Taters

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Slow-Cooker Spaghetti & Meatballs

I’ve been cooking for 50 years, and this dish is still one that guests request frequently. It is my No. 1 standby recipe and also makes amazing meatball sandwiches. The sauce works for any type of pasta. —Jane Whittaker, Pensacola, Florida

Serve with: Herb-Happy Garlic Bread

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Garden Chicken Cacciatore

Treat company to this perfect Italian meal. You will have time to visit with your guests while it simmers, and it often earns rave reviews. I serve it with couscous, green beans and a dry red wine. Mangia! —Martha Schirmacher, Sterling Heights, Michigan

Serve with: Slow-Cooked Green Beans

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Flavorful Pot Roast

On hectic days, this is so quick and easy to prep! Convenient packages of dressing and gravy combine to create a sauce worthy of a fall-apart roast. For a filling meal-in-one, serve with mashed potatoes and ladle the juices over top. —Arlene Butler, Ogden, Utah

Serve with: Mushroom Wild Rice

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Four-Cheese Sausage Rigatoni

To make this twist on traditional baked pasta, we start with creamy goat cheese and build from there with mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan cheese. —Teresa Ralston, New Albany, Ohio
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Hearty Beef & Cabbage Pockets

I found a similar recipe many years ago and experimented with my own version until I had it just right. If you can't find the frozen rolls, you can use a homemade dough. —Elaine Clark, Wellington, Kansas

Serve with: Colcannon Potatoes

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New Orleans-Style Spicy Shrimp

We have family members who attended college in New Orleans. This shrimp captures their favorite flavors from the Big Easy, with the right touches of spice and heat. —Susan Seymour, Valatie, New York

Serve with: Buttery Corn Bread

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Slow-Cooked Beef

Crushed gingersnaps, lemon and vinegar give the marinated slow-cooked beef and gravy their appetizing sweet-sour flavor. —Susan Garoutte, Georgetown, Texas

Serve with: Slow Cooker Creamed Corn with Bacon

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Stuffed Salmon

You could get stuffed salmon from a big-box store, but my fillets are loaded with flavor from crab, cream cheese and savory herbs. We love them. —Mary Cokenour, Monticello, Utah

Serve with: Easy Potato Rolls

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Slow-Cooker Short Rib Ragu over Pappardelle

An irresistible sauce gives the beef in this short rib ragu another dimension of flavor. Nearly any starchy side, such as potatoes or polenta, will work in place of the pasta. Short ribs are my crowd-pleaser weekend meal for all occasions. —Missy Raho, Morristown, New Jersey

Serve with: Butter-Dipped Biscuit Squares

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Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake

If you delight in the taste of chocolate, then this is the cheesecake for you. Every creamy bite melts in your mouth. It's so impressive yet not difficult to prepare-I whip up this dessert each time I want a yummy treat for my family, friends or co-workers. —Mary Jones, Cumberland, Maine
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Deep-Dish Apple Pie

This deep-dish apple pie is a winner! The crust is so flaky and the filling is sure to please everyone. —Salem Cross Inn, West Brookfield, Massachusetts
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Buttermilk Cake with Caramel Icing

This fabulous cake and caramel frosting are so tender, it melts in your mouth. It's been a family favorite since the '70s and it goes over really well at church potluck meals. —Anna Jean Allen, West Liberty, Kentucky
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Red Velvet Cheesecake

Festive and oh, so good, this cheesecake will become a fixture on your Christmas dessert menu. The red velvet filling is spiked with cocoa, topped with cream cheese frosting and baked in a chocolate cookie crumb crust. —Karen Dively, Chapin, South Carolina
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Chocolate Angel Cake

When I was married in 1944, I could barely boil water. My dear mother-in-law taught me her specialty—making the lightest angel food cakes ever. This chocolate version is an easy, impressive treat. —Joyce Shiffler, Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Butter Pecan Layer Cake

Pecans and butter give this cake the same irresistible flavor as the popular butter pecan ice cream flavor. —Becky Miller, Tallahassee, Florida
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Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Everyone gets a kick out of this fun take on the popular red velvet cake. Take a shortcut and use packaged cream cheese frosting for the filling. —Judi Dexheimer, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
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Apricot-Filled Cookies

The recipe for these rich, buttery cookies originally called for dates. Apricots have long been my favorite fruit, so using them as a substitute seemed natural. —Bonnie Waliezer, Brush Prairie, Washington
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Caramel Fluff & Toffee Trifle

The best part of this stunning dessert is that you need only five ingredients to put it together. —Daniel Anderson, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
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Chai Truffle Tart

My chai-flavored tart boasts chocolate and caramel layers tucked inside a salty pretzel crust. Truffles on top make it extra indulgent. —Chantal Bourbon, Montreal, Quebec
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Chocolate Salted Caramel Bars

I love to experiment with different recipes and combine classic and new flavors. I've been making this shortbread for over 20 years and finally have found the perfect pairing! I love salted caramel, and of course I love dark chocolate, so I layered these two flavors with my favorite shortbread crust. It's melt-in-your-mouth good, and it is quickly becoming a favorite with my family, friends and customers! For even more gooey goodness, drizzle bottled caramel sauce over top. —Lisa Glenn, Sarasota
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Fudgy Layered Irish Mocha Brownies

My husband and I are big fans of Irish cream, so I wanted to incorporate it into a brownie. I started with my mom's brownie recipe, then added frosting and ganache. These decadent treats are the result, and we really enjoy them! —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Triple Chocolate Mousse Torte

When it's too hot to bake something sweet but you're craving chocolate, my chocolate mousse torte is all you need. Stack up the layers any way you like. —Samantha Hernandez, Vacaville, California
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Cherry Nut Cake

My grandmother made up this recipe for her children. Using Ozark-grown cherries and walnuts, she invented one they all liked. Granny always used cream from the dairy farm near her home, but the half-and half works well and is easier to find. —Diana Jennings, Lebanon, Missouri
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Lattice-Topped Pear Slab Pie

A lattice top serves as a charming frame for this special holiday dessert filled with fresh pears and candied fruit. Add a dollop of whipped cream if you like. —Johnna Johnson, Scottsdale, Arizona
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Cappuccino Punch

When I tried this punch at a friend's wedding shower, I had to have the recipe. Guests will eagerly gather around the punch bowl when you ladle out this frothy mocha ice cream drink. —Rose Reich, Nampa, Idaho
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Hot Spiced Cider

Next time you're entertaining, stir up a batch of this nicely spiced apple cider. The wonderful aroma will make your guests feel welcome on a chilly day. —Kim Wallace, Dennison, Ohio
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Hot Almond N Cream Drink

Just a few sips of this drink, with its rich almond flavor, will warm you up in a hurry. I'm the food service manager for a Christian camp and it's a favorite each year at our Christmas party. —Kaye Kirsch, Bailey, Colorado
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Slow-Cooker Chai Tea

A wonderful sweet and spicy aroma wafts from the slow cooker as this fragrant and flavorful chai tea cooks. —Crystal Jo Burns, Iliff, Colorado
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Bourbon Slush

At our holiday parties, Bourbon Slush is definitely a favorite. Have fun experimenting with different teas when you make it. We like black tea, green tea and orange spice. —Darcene Sigler, Louisville, Ohio
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Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate

My mom makes this hot chocolate with pumpkin, spices and white chocolate. We usually drink it on Halloween, but it’s delish at Christmas too. —Sasha King, Westlake Village, California
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Celebration Punch

This pretty fruit punch has just the right amount of sweetness. The ice ring keeps it cool for hours without diluting the flavor. —Marci Carl, Northern Cambria, Pennsylvania
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Mulled Grape Cider

I came up with this recipe one year when I tried to make grape jelly and ended up with 30 jars of delicious grape syrup instead. I simmered the syrup with spices to make a lovely autumn drink. —Sharon Harmon, Orange, Massachusetts
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Apricot-Apple Cider

Dried apricots give this comforting cider a marvelous twist. Add cranberries, cinnamon, allspice and cloves for the perfect hot drink to sip on cool nights. —Ginnie Busam, Pewee Valley, Kentucky
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Bubbly Champagne Punch

This champagne punch, served at my wedding, continues to this day to be the elegant drink we serve at special events. —Anita Geoghagan, Woodstock, Georgia
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Blackberry Brandy Slush

We wanted a fun twist on a slushy made with tea and fruit juice, so we used blackberry brandy. The deep red color makes it very merry. —Lindsey Spinler, Sobieski, Wisconsin
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Cranberry Pomegranate Margaritas

I came up with this beverage to serve at holiday celebrations for a festive twist on the traditional margarita. It's light and refreshing, and looks beautiful with sugar crystals on glass rims. —Mindie Hilton, Susanville, California
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Dulce de Leche Hot Chocolate Pods

Who doesn't love a steamy mug of hot chocolate on a snowy day? Now you can give friends, neighbors, co-workers or anyone who deserves a treat the pleasure of this indulgent drink with these giftable hot chocolate pods. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin