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You love hosting. But let’s face it: Your schedule is packed, and you don’t have a full day to shop for groceries, cook and still somehow manage to stay awake long enough for your friends to arrive. We hear you—here’s how to throw a totally make-ahead dinner party, so you can cook and prep a little bit at a time. (And best of all: On party day, your friends will be so impressed by how chill you are.)

RELATED: 25 Low-Maintenance Summer Dinner Party Recipes

Meyer Lemon Gimlet with Thyme Simple Syrup

Make this tasty “lemonade for adults” up to a day in advance, then take it out of the fridge and start pouring when your guests arrive.

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Italian Bruschetta Bar

Keep everything in separate containers in the refrigerator, then assemble right before the party. Invite guests to help themselves (extra burrata encouraged).

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Prosciutto and Fig Salad Board

Part dinner, part work of art—best of all, it’ll stay gorgeous in the fridge all day.

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Cheesy Polenta Bites with Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta

Cook ’em the night before, then serve at room temperature.

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Roasted Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

Our favorite veggie makes this dish surprisingly light. (And you can keep it in the fridge unbaked for a few days before you pop it in the oven.)

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Ruby Red Grapefruit Panna Cotta

Store these cute little guys up to a day ahead in the fridge, then pull them out when you’re ready to impress.

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RELATED: How to Throw a Spring Dinner Party For $50

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