Try these dinner party ideas: fun inspiration for meals to impress your friends and family! Browse ideas fit for every occasion.
Hosting a gathering? Then let us be the first to suggest these Dinner Party Ideas! These recipes cover the gamut of occasions and seasons. Have a casual pizza party with friends, or a fancy meal of seared scallops. Try a cozy pot pie in winter, or breezy poke bowls in summer. These meals are perfect for entertaining and will impress everyone! Here’s our list: with side dish suggestions to pair!
Want to make pizza that's perfect for a dinner party? Let’s make Sheet Pan Party Pizza! This style of pizza is a bit different than the standard circular variety, but it’s an instant favorite. It makes a big pan that's the equivalent of 3 medium pizzas, and it’s so easy to make. Top the thick crust with tangy pizza sauce smothered in smoked and fresh mozzarella, and everyone will be talking about it.
This shrimp and grits will impress everyone! This restaurant-style Cajun recipe is the ideal dinner party idea. The grits are intensely creamy and savory and the shrimp is ultra tender, all covered in a luscious veggie gravy.
A great lasagna is a fantastic centerpiece for a dinner party, and this one is tops. The tomato sauce has just the right zing and garlic nuance, and the spinach ricotta cheese filling is classic and creamy. It’s scented with fresh thyme and a little lemon zest, which takes it to over the top status. There’s no one who will turn down a piece!
Real homemade falafel is at the top of our dinner party ideas! Eating them in sandwich form is ideal: the crunch of the fried chickpea fritters and the sauces that dribble down your chin….it’s pretty much the ultimate sandwich. This one features the crunchy fritters with ultra soft flatbread, crunchy veggies and creamy, garlicky sauces. For an easier spin, try Falafel Burgers.
Here’s an incredible dinner party idea that’s impressive every time: these Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas! Tender sweet potatoes are the perfect contrast to savory black beans and tangy salsa verde. Top it off with Colby cheese, it’s the best gooey comfort food around. This one will please everyone: we guarantee it.
Every now and then you come across a recipe that is a cut above the rest – one that makes everything you’ve made before pale in comparison. We present:this Vegetarian Meatloaf!Somehow, the ingredients meld into an appearance and texture just like a meatloaf: and it tastes AMAZING. That is: better than the meat version! It’s perfect for dinner parties when you want to impress.
This Hawaiian bowl of seasoned raw fish, rice and crunchy veggies has caught on here on the mainland, and everybody’s doing it! Poke bowls are easy to make in the comfort of your own home: they're a great meal for dinner parties and entertaining.
Here’s how to make your favorite restaurant style scallops at home: easy Pan Seared Scallops! Scallops have a beautiful, mild sweet flavor that’s easy to love: and there’s nothing better than that perfect seared crispy outside. But let’s be straight about it. Scallops are easy to cook, but they’re tricky to get right. Here's how to get that golden brown crust without under cooking or overcooking them.
This Italian dinner party idea is all about simplicity! The vodka sauce pasta takes about 1 hour to simmer, but it’s mostly hands off. You can put it on the stove and let it simmer while you make the rest of the recipes and preparations. It’s truly all about the goodness of simple, high quality ingredients.
Here's a dinner party idea we use often: Shrimp Tacos! These are quick and easy to whip up and they have a fun and festive vibe. The shrimp is juicy and savory, spiced with Old Bay and cumin, the cabbage is crunchy and tangy, and the creamy cilantro taco sauce brings it all together.
Bibimbap is a Korean rice dish: it’s a bowl of warm white rice topped seasoned vegetables, spicy gochujang, and a fried egg. The best part: you stir the dish together just before eating it! This melds together all the zingy pickled and fermented flavors from the vegetables with the creamy egg yolk. This one is ideal for serving for dinner parties!
Here’s a meal that consistently makes everyone who takes a bite say Wow. Try this Pecan Crusted Salmon! It has an air of restaurant-style fancy, but it’s quick and easy to whip up. It takes basic salmon to the next level, coating it in a crunchy topping of nuts, seasoned breadcrumbs, and Parmesan cheese. The flavors are elevated enough for a dinner party, but also tasty enough for kids to shovel in bites.
Is there any recipe more festive than a pot pie? This one's got a ton of veggies, pesto and Parmesan in the filling, which makes for a filling that smells (and tastes) incredibly savory and earthy. Top that with a crispy, flaky crust, and it’s crazy delicious. It's ideal for a fall or winter dinner party.
Here’s a stunning one pan dinner that’s made for dinner parties: paella! This traditional Spanish rice dish has thousands of variations. but it’s always rice with an explosion of colorful toppings. This one is our best classic paella recipe, based on our travels through Spain! It stars saffron-scented rice, mixed colorful vegetables and shrimp, and it’s full of traditional flavor.
When you've got some time to prep, try this tasty stuffed peppers recipe! The filling is seasoned irresistibly with Italian spices, pizza sauce and melty cheese. Even better: it works for many diets, with variations for meat eaters, vegetarian, and gluten-free eaters! Also try: Stuffed Green Peppers
Another great dinner party idea: try these baked fish tacos! The white fish is baked until it’s flaky with a zingy dry rub of spices, then topped with a tangy slaw and a creamy fish taco sauce! It’s a spin on Mexican Baja tacos using the flavors and style of this cuisine. They’re tasty, easy to make, and ideal for dinner parties (double the recipe for a crowd).
This vegan shepherd’s pie is cozy comfort food to the max! Imagine: a creamy gravy filled with tender vegetables, lentils and scented with fennel and sage. Then a fluffy layer of Yukon gold potatoes, topped with fresh rosemary. It’s layered together in a baking dish and then baked until golden.
Ever tried making meatballs…with eggplant? Garlic, herbs, breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese make one insanely juicy and savory meatball. Roasted eggplant makes them moist and textured, vs dry or mushy like lots of vegetarian balls. Combine it with marinara sauce and pasta and it’s out of this world delicious.
Here’s a dinner party idea to impress: Cajun Shrimp Pasta! This one scores major points with kids and adults alike at our table. It features irresistibly seasoned Cajun shrimp, colorful veggies, and a rich garlic Parmesan flavoring that lightly seasons the entire batch.
Want one last easy dinner party idea? Here baked salmon is infused with lemon and herbs and cooked until it’s perfectly moist. Then drizzle over a silky lemon caper sauce. Just a small drizzle packs a huge punch!
Optional topping: 4 cups (3 ounces) baby arugula, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1/4 teaspoonkosher salt
Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
Make the dough (5 minutes): In a large bowl, stir together the all-purpose flour, yeast, kosher salt, oregano and garlic powder. Add the warm water and olive oil and stir until flour is incorporated.
Knead the dough (8 minutes): Knead the dough by pushing with the base of your palm, then reforming it into a ball. Continue kneading for 8 minutes until the dough feels pillowy and has a smooth, stretchy exterior. If the dough is very sticky, add a small amount of flour while kneading. Alternatively: attach the dough hook to a stand mixer and start the mixer on medium-low speed, then allow the mixer to knead for 8 minutes.
Roll out and rest the dough in a sheet pan (15 minutes): Using floured hands, gently shape the dough into a boule (ball shape) by folding the dough under itself. Add a light sprinkle of flour to the boule. Then roll out dough on floured surface to roughly the shape of the 13×18 sheet pan. Brush 3 tablespoons olive oil on the bottom and sides of a standard 13″x 18″ sheet pan. Add the dough and brush it lightly with oil. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and rest for 15 minutes to relax the dough.
Rest the dough again (45 minutes): Press the dough back into the corners of the pan so it evenly covers the pan. Cover and rest 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 500F.
Bake the pizza dough* without toppings: After the 45 minute rest, bake the pizza dough for 6 minutes without sauce and toppings.
Add the toppings and bake again: Remove the dough from the oven. Add the pizza sauce, smoked mozzarella, fresh mozzarella (torn into pieces), and Parmesan cheese, and top with a few pinches of kosher salt. Take care, since the pan will be hot! Bake for 6 to 8 minutes until the cheese is melted and lightly brown.
Serve: If using, in a small bowl, mix the baby arugula with the olive oil and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Sprinkle the pizza with torn basil, then add the arugula on top. Cut into pieces with a knife (a pizza cutter doesn’t get all the way to the pan edges) and serve immediately.