5 No-Cook, No-Fuss Starter Recipes: Ideal for Christmas or New Year's

Updated on December 10, 2019
Gabriel Wilson profile image

Gabriel Wilson loves to cook, eat tasty foods, and drink a glass of wine—without having to do the washing up.

Mozzarella Cheese with Beef Tomatoes
Mozzarella Cheese with Beef Tomatoes | Source

Five Easy Starter Recipes

I would like to share with you five of my favourite easy starter recipes that are no-cook, no-fuss, and no-stress. Choosing an easy starter means that you can spend more time on the main event, ensuring all goes well. A simple starter is also a crucial element when catering for large numbers. The dishes are very simple but still look good—and are just enough to whet the appetite before the tucking into a celebratory dinner:

  • Presunto and Honeydew Melon
  • Mozzarella Cheese With Beef Tomatoes and Basil Pesto
  • Fresh Goat Cheese and Pesto-Filled Cherry Tomatoes, Served With Crackers
  • Crisp Caesar Salad
  • Carpaccio With Rocket and Balsamic Glaze

Presunto and Honeydew Melon
Presunto and Honeydew Melon | Source

Presunto and Honeydew Melon

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 200g good quality presunto/prosciutto (dry-cured ham)
  • 1 medium honeydew melon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Cracked black pepper (optional)

Method

  1. Arrange the Presunto on a bread or cheese board.
  2. Cut the melon in half, using a teaspoon scoop out the seeds.
  3. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the melon and cracked black pepper.
  4. Cut the melon into long strips and/or bite-size pieces leaving the skin on and arrange on your board to serve.

Tips

If I have a crowd and dinner is a little way off, I like to serve Philadelphia cheese with added snipped chives in a bowl surrounded by cheese sticks and salt crackers with some cherry tomatoes and baby mint leaves on the side. The soft cream cheese and tomatoes complement the cured ham and melon, plus it's a great crowd pleaser.

Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese with Beef Tomatoes and Basil Pesto
Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese with Beef Tomatoes and Basil Pesto | Source

Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese With Beef Tomatoes and Basil Pesto

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 100g buffalo mozzarella cheese (drained from the milky solution)
  • 2 beef tomatoes
  • Basil pesto (available from any good supermarket)
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
  • Fresh chives, for garnish

Method

  1. Cut the mozzarella into 1/2-inch thick slices.
  2. Slice the tomatoes into similar sizes.
  3. Arranged the tomatoes and cheese into a tower as per the photo.
  4. Drizzle a little pesto over the top tomato and also around the plate.
  5. Top with a basil leaf and some snipped chives.

Tips

Fresh bread rolls with basil butter add a little texture to this starter. Simply blitz some basil leaves and gently mix into some softened butter, place back in the fridge to chill, and remove from the fridge 10 minutes before serving.

Goat Cheese and Pesto-Filled Cherry Tomatoes
Goat Cheese and Pesto-Filled Cherry Tomatoes | Source

Goat Cheese and Pesto-Filled Cherry Tomatoes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 100g fresh goat cheese
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Basil pesto
  • Basil leaves, for garnish
  • Crisp crackers, for serving

Method

  1. Slice the cheese into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
  2. Scoop out the centre of the cherry tomatoes and fill with the basil pesto.
  3. Arrange the cheese and tomatoes on a plate as per the photo.
  4. Garnish with basil leaves.
  5. Serve with crisp crackers.

Tips

Fresh walnuts add another dimension to this dish; the natural oil in the nut works well with the goat cheese. Pop half a walnut on top of each cheese disc.

Crisp Caesar Salad
Crisp Caesar Salad | Source

Crisp Caesar Salad

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head flat-leaf lettuce (romaine or cos)
  • 2 shallots
  • Caesar salad dressing (available at all good supermarkets and/or Amazon)
  • 100g grated Parmesan cheese
  • Caesar salad croutons (available at all good supermarkets and/or Amazon)
  • Handful of fresh chives

Method

  1. Lightly wash the lettuce leaves and pat dry.
  2. Thinly slice the shallots.
  3. Toss the lettuce leaves, shallots and snipped chives in a deep bowl.
  4. Pour over the Caesar dressing and mix together to coat evenly.
  5. Place the salad mix on to serving plates.
  6. Scatter the croutons over the salad mix and add the grated Parmesan cheese.

Perfect, crunchy croutons

Fresh Gourmet Premium Croutons, Classic Caesar, 5 Ounce (Pack of 6)
Fresh Gourmet Premium Croutons, Classic Caesar, 5 Ounce (Pack of 6)

I love the premium classic croutons from Fresh Gourmet; they are perfect for my Caesar salad. The flavour is not too garlicky and they have a great crunch that complements the creamy dressing and salty Parmesan. I eat these tasty croutons straight from the bag; good thing it's a big bag! Highly recommended!

 
Carpaccio with Rocket and Balsamic Glaze
Carpaccio with Rocket and Balsamic Glaze | Source

Carpaccio With Rocket and Balsamic Glaze

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 200g raw fillet beef
  • 1 bag pre-washed rocket leaf
  • 1 bottle balsamic glaze (available from all good supermarkets and/or Amazon)
  • Pine nuts, for garnish
  • Parmesan cheese, for garnish
  • Olive oil, for garnish
  • Sea salt, for garnish
  • Cracked black pepper, for garnish

Method

  1. Cut the fillet beef into thin slices (straight from the fridge, not room temperature).
  2. Place each slice of beef between 2 sheets of cling film. Using a rolling pin, roll the beef out as thin as you can get it. Don't worry if it breaks a little.
  3. Arrange the slices of beef onto serving plates.
  4. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the sliced beef in a zig-zag design.
  5. Place the rocket leaves in the centre of the beef slices and sprinkle over the pine nuts.
  6. Pour the olive oil into a tablespoon and gently add 6 to 8 drops around the edge of the plate.
  7. Shave over a generous portion of Parmesan cheese.
  8. Season with sea salt and cracked black pepper.

Ideal glaze for carpaccio

Roland Foods Balsamic Glaze, 12.84 Ounce
Roland Foods Balsamic Glaze, 12.84 Ounce

Roland's Balsamic Glaze is perfect for carpaccio and has just the right amount of sweetness without any vinegar aftertaste. I use this a lot and leave it out of the fridge for about 10 minutes before using to get a perfect design on my plates. Highly recommended!

 

Easy Appetiser Dips

Dips and crisps are always an easy appetiser to serve your guests as they arrive however they don't have to be dull and boring. A little extra finesse makes all the difference:

  1. Put your favourite dips into serving bowls (shop-bought is fine; all are available from good supermarkets or deli counters): e.g., cream cheese, guacamole, hummus, salsa, taramasalata and tzatiziki.
  2. Chop up some vegetables into crudities and arrange around the dips: e.g., carrots, cucumber, celery, peppers, sugar snap peas, sliced radishes and cherry tomatoes.
  3. Add crackers, crispbreads, flatbreads, cheese sticks and tortilla chips for texture and variety.
  4. Dice a good-quality hard cheese (use two varieties) into bite-size pieces and arrange on a cheese board with cocktail sticks.
  5. Add a few small bowls with mixed pitted green and black olives, and drizzle over a little olive oil.

Do You Panic in The Kitchen?

Do you end up fretting in the Kitchen at Christmas and big family get togethers?

See results

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Gabriel Wilson

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • Gabriel Wilson profile imageAUTHOR

        Gabriel Wilson 

        6 weeks ago from Madeira, Portugal

        I must be getting old :) I am looking for a few easy ideas to combat the long haul main lol.

      • Gabriel Wilson profile imageAUTHOR

        Gabriel Wilson 

        6 weeks ago from Madeira, Portugal

        Hi Liz, yeah it's good sometimes to enjoy the fun and not be stuck in the kitchen. Ease and simplicity are under rated :)

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        7 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        Very cool my friend.

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        7 weeks ago from UK

        These are great ideas, not just for Christmas but for starters at any time of the year. I am all for ease and simplicity.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, delishably.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://delishably.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)