There’s nothing quite like accepting guests into your home. You can have a good old natter, catch up on gossip, and have a good laugh over a delicious evening meal and a few glasses of wine.
And to that end, I’m going to share with you a selection of 33 dinner party recipes that are easier to make than you might imagine.
Then I’m going to top that off with a section where I answer some of your most frequently asked questions on the subject.
So, get ready for some amazing dinner party inspiration – here goes!
These melt in the mouth pork ribs are a breeze to make, and you don’t even need a smoker.
If you cook them in the oven long enough (i.e. for an hour) the meat will be wonderfully tender and will fall off the bone.
The recipe also includes a sweet and smokey sauce, featuring barbecue sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, garlic, and more.
It may be high in calories, but I can promise you it’s 100% worth it!
Chicken chasseur is a beautiful classic French bistro dish (see also ‘16 Easy French Chicken Recipes You Must Try For Dinner‘), and it’s easy to make yourself at home.
It features such ingredients as chicken legs, onion, crushed garlic cloves, button mushrooms, red wine, tomato puree, and fresh thyme, and you can make it all in one pot.
It pairs perfectly with sweet potato mash, and comes in at just 439 calories per serving.
This recipe is a scrumptious vegetarian take on the classic beef wellington. The recipe serves up to 8 people, and takes an hour to make. What’s more it comes to just 370 calories per serving.
It has some excellent ingredients and flavors, like beets (see also our favorite beet recipes), walnuts, white wine, rosemary, shallots, diced garlic cloves, chestnut mushrooms and healthy spinach leaves.
And you can cheat a little with some ready-made puff pastry.
Normally a risotto takes quite a long time to make, but you can whip this one up in just 17 to 25 minutes.
What’s more, it’s deliciously creamy and filling. It doesn’t require a lot of ingredients, but the ones it does feature are flavorful, such as dry white wine, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and plenty of minced garlic, to make it more-ish!
If you want to serve up a main that’s both sweet and savory, then this could be the recipe for you. In addition to sweet potatoes, it’s also got the likes of cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, brown sugar, and pecans.
You can make it ahead of time, freeze any leftovers you may have, and it comes to just 226 calories per serving.
Now, roast chicken is always something that goes down well, and you can really dress it up with some lemon, white wine, lemon thyme sprigs, and sweet smoked paprika.
And the recipe comes complete with an amazing Spanish style stuffing, made up of spiced chorizo and diced onions.
The recipe serves 5 people, and is 760 calories per serving.
Nothing says decadence quite like a nice salmon recipe, and this one has the added bonus of a crusty pecan topping with smoked paprika and panko breadcrumbs, combined with a sweet yet tangy glaze.
The glaze is composed of maple syrup, bourbon, Dijon mustard, minced garlic and cracked black pepper.
It only takes 30 minutes to make, serves 4 people, and comes in at 528 calories.
Why not treat your guests to something special with this decadent recipe. The ingredients are all easy to source, including the likes of onions, balsamic vinegar, goats cheese (see also ‘8 Substitutes For Goat Cheese‘), egg, panko breadcrumbs, and cream.
The recipe yields 8 servings, and it pairs excellently with roast potatoes and parsnips.
If you plan on serving appetizers before the main course, then check out this quick and easy recipe.
You simply bake sliced bread in the oven to make bruschetta, and top it with flavorful ingredients such as cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, and Italian seasoning. You can even make beautiful prosciutto roses to decorate it.
It does take a long time to make but it’s sure to be a hit with your guests!
Lobster thermidor is one of those dishes that sounds incredibly fancy, but is actually super simple to make…
First you prepare the lobster, then you make the filling, with shallots (see also ‘6 Shallot Substitutes‘), fish stock, white wine, double cream, lemon juice, mustard, and seasoning.
Then stuff the shells with the mixture, sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and broil in the oven for a few minutes. Amazing!
This recipe comes from famous chef and TV personality Gordon Ramsey, and it’s really special.
It uses top ingredients, like shallots, red wine, chestnut mushrooms, and bouquet garni, and for the celeriac mash, there’s such interesting flavors as bay leaves, sprigs of rosemary and thyme and cardamom pods (see also ‘The Best 6 Substitutes For Cardamom‘).
It does take a long time to cook, but it’s 100% worth it!
Steak (see also ‘16 Beef Chuck Steak Recipes‘) always goes down well at dinner parties – just be sure to get some good cuts!
This recipe is super simple to make and the creamy peppercorn sauce uses just 4 ingredients, namely brandy or cognac, beef broth, cream and plenty of freshly crushed peppercorns.
And trust me, the alcohol really adds an incredible depth of flavor to the sauce.
It takes just 17 minutes to make and pairs excellently with seasonal vegetables.
Is a dinner party ever complete without a cheese board? I don’t think so!
This cheese board recipe features 3 types of cheese, Aged Gouda, Brie, and Trader Joe’s Italian Truffle, 3 types of cracker, including water crackers, Italian Breadsticks, and Fig and Olive Crisps, two meats, spicy salami and prosciutto, and two types of nuts, including candied walnuts and almonds.
Soup always makes for an excellent starter at a dinner party because it’s not too filling, and it gets the palette working straight away.
It features sweet and savory carrots, which pair excellently with the other flavors from the coriander, cumin, garlic, butter, onion and heavy cream.
It’s ready to eat in just 25 minutes and comes to 327 calories per serving.
You don’t eat crab cakes every day, so it makes for a nice treat for you and your guests. And they’re easier to make than you might think.
What’s more, the dish is packed with juicy crab meat, savory seasonings such as old bay seasoning, fresh parsley, mayonnaise, ground dry mustard, egg and breadcrumbs.
It’s ready to eat in just 15 minutes and comes to just 200 calories per serving.
This tasty Italian dish is a classic, with a wonderful lemon-caper sauce. It doesn’t require many ingredients, and can be ready to eat in just 20 minutes.
I recommend using white wine rather than chicken broth for the sauce.
The recipe makes 4 servings at 381 calories per serving, and pairs well with herby buttery mashed potatoes.
This recipe comes from famous British chef Jamie Oliver, and appears in his latest cookbook.
Salmon en croute is a wonderful recipe for a dinner party, and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. It’s mostly salmon, spinach, garlic, red pesto, and lemon.
Plus, you get to cheat by using ready-made puff pastry.
The recipe makes 4 servings and is ready to eat in just under an hour.
How about a luxury seafood dish for your dinner party? Sounds impressive, right? It turns out it’s easy! And you can make this recipe ahead of time, to maximize your quality time with your dinner guests.
It features 3 kinds of fish, including cod, salmon, and smoked haddock, with ingredients like onion, spinach leaves, white wine, and bay leaves.
Then there’s a cheesy mash topping, ideally made with Maris Piper potatoes, mature cheddar, and creme fraiche (see also ‘6 Substitutes For Creme Fraiche‘).
Now this recipe is to die for! The braised skin on chicken thighs come out beautifully tender, literally falling off the bone.
And it features healthy veggies such as mushrooms, carrots and shallots, alongside other flavorful ingredients such as minced garlic, tomato paste, dry red wine, and fresh thyme and parsley.
It takes a long time to make, but I can promise you it’s worth it!
This easy to make rice dish is something of a New Orleans classic. It’s fun, it’s festive, and it’s a great crowd pleaser.
It’s a meaty dish packed with spicy andouille sausage (see also ‘20 Best Andouille Sausage Recipes‘), shredded chicken, sweet shrimp, and of course, plenty of rice, and veg such as celery, tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, alongside spices like smoked paprika.
The recipe serves 6 people at under 400 calories per serving.
Why not treat your guests to something different? Like this tasty Moroccan dish?
You can use any vegetables you like. When I made it I used zucchini, bell peppers, butternut squash, and tomatoes.
Other flavorings come from fresh ginger, sliced garlic cloves, dried apricots, almonds, fresh mint leaves, tomato paste, ground cumin and cinnamon.
It goes great on top of some fluffy couscous (see also ‘26 Simple And Tasty Couscous Recipes‘)!
Lasagna makes for an excellent choice for a dinner party – you just know it’s going to go down well!
This version features a wonderful Italian meaty sauce with ground beef (see also ‘13 Recipes For Delicious Ground Bison Dishes‘), tomatoes, bell peppers and herbs, all layered with a creamy basil pesto ricotta cheese topping.
The recipe makes 8 servings at 450 calories each. It does take a long time to cook, but you can make it ahead of time.
What could be better than a comforting fish cake dish, than one with a fish cake that’s oozing melted mozzarella cheese as you cut through?
This recipe features smoked haddock paired with capers for the main outer section, alongside ingredients such as worcestershire sauce, shredded cheddar cheese, and Dijon mustard for the melting middle.
It goes great served with fries and salad.
This elegant, scrumptious dish requires just a few simple ingredients, and can be ready to eat in less than half an hour.
Besides the salmon filets, all you need is olive oil, minced garlic cloves, maple syrup (or honey if you prefer), a lemon, salt and pepper, and chopped shelled pistachio nuts.
The recipe yields 6 servings at 409 calories per serving.
OMG – you have got to try this! Spaghetti pasta is cooked in red wine so that it soaks up the color and sweet flavor of the wine.
And it pairs excellently with the other flavors in the dish, such as spicy chopped chorizo sausage, tomato paste, healthy black kale, and Parmesan cheese.
What’s more, it can be ready to eat in just 20 minutes!
Everyone loves a good old mac and cheese, am I right? Well you can take that dish and make it more hipster and fancier by making this version, with healthy avocado.
The ingredients are easy to source, and it’s dairy-free (see also our favorite dairy-free recipes) to boot. It’s easy to make, you simply cook the macaroni until al dente, and blend the garlic, lime, avo, salt, coriander, avocado flesh, and coconut milk.
Then combine and sprinkle the mozzarella, cheddar and breadcrumbs on top of the pasta, and bake for just 20 minutes until brown and crispy!
27. Sweet Potato Noodles With Chorizo, Roasted Red Pepper, And Spinach Recipe From Get Inspired Everyday
With this yummy recipe, you spiralize some sweet potato to make veggie noodles that you season with oil, salt, and smoked paprika.
And you top it off with a spicy chorizo and veg mixture made up of red peppers, onion, garlic, thyme, and spinach (see also ‘28 Tasty And Wholesome Frozen Spinach Recipes‘).
The recipe yields 4 to 6 servings and is ready to eat in 35 minutes.
Salmon is such a nice fish to serve at a dinner party, and this recipe explains how to poach succulent salmon in a dry white wine in as little as 15 minutes, along with some dill (fresh or dried) shallots, salt and pepper, and lemon slices.
It goes great served over a bed of rice and fresh greens.
This versatile dish can either be served as a delicious appetizer or as a side dish to a meaty main course.
It features baby bella mushrooms, stuffed with garlicky, herby breadcrumbs and plenty of cream cheese and grated Parmesan cheese.
The recipe yields 8 servings, and it can be ready to eat in 45 minutes.
This flavorful roasted red pepper and tomato soup is creamy and nourishing and suitable for vegetarians. Perfect for a starter course.
It features flavors such as coconut milk, coconut sugar, basil and garlic. I like to serve it with a few croutons sprinkled on top.
The recipe yields 4 servings and takes just 30 minutes to make.
Lamb can make for a dinner party-worthy meat if done right, as per recipes like this one…
You don’t need a whole lot of ingredients to make it, it’s simply lamb shanks, broth, fresh rosemary, olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper. It takes a long time but it’s absolutely worth it!
This hearty, Italian dish is comforting and aromatic, and will have all the guests talking. It features mushrooms, bell peppers and a flavorful tomato sauce.
It takes 53 minutes to cook, serves 6 and is 349 calories per serving. It pairs very well with mashed potatoes.
Once you’ve settled on the meat for your main course, you will need a side dish to go with it, and they don’t get much better than this! The gratin has a crispy top but is thick, rich, and creamy, with a decadent cheesy flavor.
It yields 6 servings and is ready in less than an hour.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Can I Cook My Friends For Dinner?
The key to throwing a dinner party for your friends is to find out any food preferences and allergies they may have beforehand.
The last thing you’d want is to serve them something that they turn out to be allergic too. You also need to find out if they are vegetarian or vegan.
It doesn’t really matter what you decide to cook, so long as it’s done well. And remember the true focus of the party will be on the conversation and not your cooking ability. So just relax, have fun, and enjoy yourself.
How Do You Set Up A Dinner Party Table?
Place a fork to the left of each dinner plate and a knife on the right. Then set a spoon to the right of the knife. If you have side plates for bread rolls, this should be positioned to the left. It’s also good practice to provide serviettes.
I hope you’re feeling inspired and can make up your mind what you want to cook!