How To Choose The Best Recipes For A Dinner Party?


When you host a dinner party, don’t end up on #PinterestFails from trying a new recipe that looks too good to be true (and actually is) or by preparing an elaborate meal that puts you in the kitchen all night (and away from your party). By choosing the right recipes for a dinner party, you can throw a great dinner party where you spend maximum time with your guests and minimal time in the kitchen- in addition to providing delicious dishes!

The Dinner Party Do’s & Don’t:

  • DO:
    • Buy groceries in bulk (Sam’s Club, Costco, etc.)
    • Choose recipes you have made before or test the week before
    • Prep ingredients in advance
    • Make any dishes you can before-hand
  • DON’T:
    • Invite too many guests (otherwise choose a catering options)
    • Choose a labor intensive recipe (>1 hour hands-on time, >20 ingredients, or >3 cooking methods per recipe)
    • Underfeed your guest (make sure everyone leaves full)
    • Forget dessert!

The Best Recipes For A Dinner Party:

The best recipes for a dinner party provide maximum time with your guests (instead of getting stuck in the kitchen all night) and serve up delicious food (oppose to ending up on #PinterestFails or serving undercooked food). Here are the best recipes for a dinner party because they are easy to prepare and will impressive your guests’ taste buds:


First, fill your fridge up with classic drinks, like beers (extra points for local craft beers) and wines. The best drinks are ones that only require assembly- pop and drink! If you want to make a cocktail, we love this Fresh Citrus MargaritaIrish Mule, or these Hot Mulled Drinks for a cold weather party.


The Suburban Soapbox

Anything that can be DIPPED or GRABBED is a perfect dinner party appetizer! Think chips & dips, cheese boards, or easy to grab foods. Our absolute favorite dinner party appetizers include this The Very Best Crab Dip, Pull-Apart Monkey Bread, and this step-by-step All American Cheese Board.

Main Entree


The main entree is your dinner party showpiece! Showcase an elegant piece of protein, such as a high end cut of meat or seafood. Some of my favorites to serve are King Crab Legs and Beef Tenderloin. Make sure to note any of your guests’ dietary accommodations before! If you are serving vegetarians or allergies, provide a second entree or make your main entree fit their needs.


Apple of my eye

Your sides should complement your main entree. Think steak and potatoes (but make your potatoes stick out with extra garlic or cheese!) or any other traditional pairings. My favorite dinner party sides are these Unbelievable Cheesy Garlic Brussels Sprouts, Crockpot Potatoes Au Gratin, and this make-ahead Caesar Salad Recipe.


Yummy Healthy Easy

Never forget dessert!! After preparing an elaborate feast, I love to sit back and relax with a store bought dessert- such as ice cream, cake, or pie. If you prefer to make your own dessert, go for one you can make in advance, like this super simple Zebra Cake or Easy Chocolate Mousse.

Pick a date, invite your guests, choose a theme, select your recipes, and you will be set to host a memorable dinner party! Dinner parties can be time-consuming and expensive to plan, but if you follow the tips from this article you will be able to enjoy great food and company at your dinner party! Happy hosting!