Easy but impressive dinner party recipe ideas for entertaining friends, including starters, mains and desserts
Easy dinner party recipes that will impress, including make ahead starter recipes to share, dinner party main courses that you can get ready before your guests arrive and decadent desserts that will finish your meal in style.
Find everything you’ll need to host the perfect dinner party, whether it’s a relaxed gathering for friends or a more formal meal for a special occasion. Of course, we all want to impress when it comes to creating a delicious dinner party menu but there’s no shame in looking for easy dinner party recipes to mean you spend less time in the kitchen – and more time with your guests! These recipes, picked by our food team, have interesting twists and flavours to help you give your guests something they might not have tried before… and a dinner they’ll remember!
Our vegetarian, gluten free and dairy free options are clearly labelled in case you have anyone with a special diet coming round. There’s something for everyone in our easy dinner party recipe collection, which we update regularly with brand new recipes and to reflect the new season.
To start, you could serve chilled avocado, cucumber and lime soup in pretty tea cups, make a glossy red onion tarte tartin to cut at the table or make a selection of homemade dips for a more informal approach, such as white bean and garlic served with salty tortilla chips.
And for dessert? We’ve selected easy make ahead recipes such as marsala and mascarpone syllabub, individual rhubarb and orange crumbles served in jam jars or a show-stopping chocolate and honeycomb torte. The fab thing about this coconut sorbet recipe is that it’s so simple to make without an ice cream maker – and you can just pull it out the freezer when you need it! And it tastes just like summer!
Roasting the garlic reallly makes these simple crostini, which are then very quick to assemble before your guests arrive. Great with your first drink!
A summers dinner party in the garden is a great excuse to crack out the barbie. But it doesn’t have to be all meat meat meat. This easy and delicious Salmon papillote with fennel and grapefruit will have all your guest asking for the recipe.
Enjoy Teriyaki steak and garlic greens for smaller dinners. It’s perfection for a romantic meal for two. Or in summer take your meat outside to the BBQ, and elevate your grilling game with this sweet sticky Teriyaki marinade.
You guests will think you have been slaving away in the kitchen all day, but this Thai basil chicken just takes half an hour to rustle up! It’s also healthy and low fat so ideal if your guests are conscious of watching their waistlines.
Brilliant buffet food is an art. But we have you covered with this delicious dish. It could either be served in portions, or on a big buffet platter. The great thing is the couscous is delicious hot or cold so can be easily prepared ahead of time. Get the recipe: Grilled peaches couscous with glazed pork chops
This One pot chicken with wine saves on the washing up, which we think is a blessing after a party. It’s similar to a Coq au Van, but instead of red we use white wine in this dish. It makes it lighter and more appropriate for a summers meal. Serve with seasonal potatoes or mash to soak up the rich tasty jus.
Classy comfort food. This dish would be at home on the menu or a fancy gastro pub. Mushroom truffle sauce with chicken and cheesy polenta is delicious all year round. It’s worth buying a good quality truffle oil to make this dish extra special.
Chargrilled steak gets a fresh twist with basil orecchiette in this simple but delicious recipe that would work so well al fresco. Make it on the barbecue or on a griddle pan and the whole meal will be ready in just 25 minutes.
See the steak with basil orecchiette recipe.
Make salmon with parmesan and feel crust (pictured) for a dinner party main course that brings interesting flavours but is still ready in 25 minutres.
This smart duck dinner party main course workd so well with lentils dotted with salty pancetta. It's beautifully slow cooked over 4 hours, but so worth the effort.
This impressive coffee panna cotta recipe has a flavour pairing that really works and is ready in just 25 minutes.
This no bake white chocolate cheesecake zings with tropical fruit for a refreshing end to your dinner party.
It's easier than you might think to make this simple salmon en croute recipe stuffed with spinach and it's an extra special main course to share with friends.
This easy Mediterranean recipe is so simple to make using tinned sardines and finished with a zesty, peppery crumb, plus it can be easily scaled up for however many guests you have. This is perfect for a laidback dinner party.
Creamy and fragrant, beef stroganoff is a retro favourite that's ready in just 30 minutes.
See the beef stroganoff recipe.
Make easy venison steaks with a simple redcurrant sauce for a smart dinner party supper that you won't beliebe is readyin 10 minutes.
Pork tenderloin in creamy mushroom and cider sauce makes an easy but impressive dinner party recipe to share with friends.
Make this slow-roasted pork belly with garlic and sage recipe as an easy but impressive main course.
Quick and easy kale pesto and curd cheese crostini are so simple to make, but work perfectly with some pre-dinner drinks.
This garlic prawns with Romesco sauce recipe is made with an easy blitz-and-serve sauce and ready in just 15 minutes.
This passion fruit cheesecake is beautifully light and fresh, made with cream cheese and creme fraiche and fresh fruit in the mix.
See the passion fruit cheesecake recipe.
Try this easy pot-roast as an interesting alternative to chicken. It pretty much cooks itself so you can relax.
See the pot-roast guinea fowl recipe.
Mediterranean stuffed squid is stuffed with pork and capers and slow cooked in a rich puutanesca sauce made with tomatoes and olives. It takes 2 hours to cook, but is a real treat.
See the Mediterranean stuffed squid recipe.
Give your dinner party a more laidback feel with DIY wraps that guests can help themselves to. The spicy salmon and zesty salads take this recipe up a notch.
See the Cajun salmon wraps with salad recipe.
The clean flavours of fennel and pomegranate contrast beautifully with luxurious lobster in this easy, but impressive, fennel and lobster salad with pomegranate recipe.
Make a tower of meringue kisses with fresh cream and strawberries as the perfect end to your dinner party. It's so worth the extra effort.
See the strawberry meringue tower recipe.
This salmon and roasted vegetables in filo recipe is a real showstopper. Great for a large lunch gathering, but not over-fiddly and easily prepared ahead.
This incredible 'sundae' is so creay and delicious but made with coconut yogurt instead of dairy, which works so well with tropical flavours. Plus, it's ready in just 5 minutes!
Lamb cutlets with pomegranate molasses, fresh pomegranate and mint are so easy to make, bringing interesting flavours to your dinner party. Serve as part of mezze for a casual sharing dinner.
An easier version of a zabaglione, this marsala and mascarpone syllabub recipe is an almost instant, lighter way to end a meal.
This tikka roast chicken recipe will make a delicious dinner party centrrepiece with a spicy twist.
Sticky, spicy and citrussy with a fresh kick from the pomegranate - this pork recipe is bound to become a favourite.
A creamy chocolate filling sits on tart raspberries over a crumbly biscuit base in this delicious dessert recipe.
This parma-wrapped beef topside with orzo salad makes a stunning yet surprisingly good-value roast.You can vary the size of the beef depending on how many you are seving.
The crunch of meringue with the velvety texture of whipped cream and custard - this peach and passion fruit meringue trifle is made in minutes and in heaven!
During warmer months a chilled soup makes the perfect starter to your dinner party. This avocado, cucumber, lime and watercress soup recipe can be served hot or cold which means you can cater for all tastes around the table.
Try another of our soup recipes here
Spoil your veggie guests with this luxurious, rich red onion tarte tatin.
Tom Kerridge's lemon posset with fennel biscotti is so easy tomake and sets very quickly, plus the fragrant biscotti make it special enough for a dinner party.
See the lemon posset recipe.
Want to give your get-together that cheffy, bistro-style feel? Show you've really made an effort with these delicious trout fishcakes. The shallot and lemon butter sauce really gives this recipe the special treatment.
Give the traditional roast a twist with this Persian style stuffed lamb dish. Stuffing the leg makes the meat go much further and it's very simple to carve.
The side dishes at your dinner party are just as important as the main event! This is the ultimate accompaniment to lamb, steak or even a simple roast chicken - find our creamy gratin dauphinoise recipe here.
What a colourful way to kick off your dinner party! The beetroots in this salad are served raw to add earthiness and crispness. The radishes add a firey contrast against the sweet grapefruit and nutty tahini.
Clever presentation and a couple of surprising ingredients make this honeyed chicken with braised chicory recipe a dinner party essential.
If your dinner party has an Indian food theme then these dahl fritters with minty peas are a fab way to kick off your meal.
This impressive strawberry cheesecake is a fantastic way to use fresh fruit in season and takes just 20 minutes to prepare.
See the strawberry cheesecake recipe.
A beautiful red chicory, walnut and goats' cheese salad recipe to kick off a summer meal with friends, this is very simple to put together.
Save yourself stress - this scrumptious serrano-wrapped beef fillet recipe can be prepared ahead.
This striking chocolate torte, crowned with honeycomb and glossy ganache, is the perfect end to special occasion dinner parties.
This buffalo mozzarella with crispy Serrano ham and roasted peppers recipe is so quick and easy to make, just ensure you use real buffalo mozzarella, which is soft and squidgy with far more flavour, albeit delicate, rather than a cheaper, rubbery one.
Be warned - this Italian espresso mousse is dangerously moreish!
This classic lemon tart recipe is really straightforward and everyone will love the refreshing flavour.