35 Dinner Party Ideas Your Friends Will Keep Coming Back For (2024)

35 Dinner Party Ideas Your Friends Will Keep Coming Back For (1)

Hungry to have friends over? It's important to keep some dinner party recipes in your back pocket. These dinner party ideas are great for any season — from a cozy winter potluck supper or a Sunday dinner with family and friends to an outdoor BBQ bash to make the most of warm summer weather.

Looking to build the perfect, casual dinner party menu? Look no further for tasty ideas that will impress all your friends. Start with easy appetizers and snacks that are perfectly paired with a classic co*cktail or a glass of sparkling wine (like sweet-and-spicy mixed nuts or an elegant smoked salmon dip with pumpernickel toasts). Simple salads and soups also start the meal on the right foot, if you're looking for a plated appetizer before the main event.

We've gathered our favorite easy dinner recipes for the main course, like citrusy shrimp scampi and a simple sheet pan roasted chicken (read: fewer dishes to clean!) along with yummy side dishes that match with any protein — cheesy polenta and roasted potatoes, for the win! On the hunt to add some vegan recipes and vegetarian ideas to your menu? Try a hearty pasta with arugula pesto or a veggie-packed soup recipe.

Many of our recipes serve four people, but they can be easily doubled to make for a delicious dinner party menu for eight. No matter who you're having over, they're going to be impressed with the spread you set out.

1

Cacio e Pepe

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With only five ingredients and in 20 minutes, you'll have a creamy crowdpleaser. Best served with a glass of white wine!

Get the Cacio e Pepe recipe.

RELATED: 50+ Easy Pasta Recipes for the Perfect Weeknight Dinner

2

Lemon Tahini-Marinated Chicken

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Hosting a summer gathering? Fire up the grill to char some delectable chicken thighs and serve with a light, bright salad.

Get the Lemon Tahini-Marinated Chicken recipe.

RELATED: 30 Easy Grilled Chicken Recipes That You'll Be Making All Summer

3

Smoky Mussels Pomodoro

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Mussels may look complicated to make but this simple main, seasoned with smoked paprika and two types of tomatoes, takes only 25 minutes to make.

Get the Smoky Mussels Pomodoro recipe.

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4

Lasagna with Meat Sauce

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A homemade pork ragu, three types of cheese and spinach stack together in this cozy, comforting and crowd-pleasing casserole.

Get the Lasagna With Meat Sauce recipe.

RELATED: 50 Best Casserole Recipes for the Ultimate Comfort Food

5

Steak and Rice Noodle Bowls

Guests will love this interactive dinner. Set up the toppings and invite everyone to build their own bowls, inspired by Vitenamese Bun.

Get the Steak and Rice Noodle Bowls recipe.

RELATED: 83 Steak Recipes That Make Dinner at Home Feel Extra Fancy

6

Fruity Mojito

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Jam gives this tropical sip a fun, fruit-forward twist. No simple syrup required!

Get the Fruity Mojito recipe.

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7

Whipped Ricotta Three Ways

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All the best dinner parties start off with an easy app. Make one or all three of these cheesy dips to satisfy every palate.

Get the Whipped Ricotta Three Ways recipe.

8

Grilled Shrimp Kebabs

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Grilled shrimp get an upgrade from a homemade spice rub and a quick char on the grill. A squeeze of lemon is recommended!

Get the Grilled Shrimp Kebabs recipe.

RELATED: 70 Insanely Delicious Grilling Recipes to Try ASAP

9

Saucy Sausage Meatballs

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Cheesy, meaty and saucy, these meatballs also get an extra hit of flavor from two secret ingredients (cinnamon and orange zest!). Pair with pasta or a salad and extra-crusty bread.

Get the Saucy Sausage Meatballs recipe.

RELATED: 50 Homemade Meatball Recipes That Make the Perfect Family Dinner

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10

Roasted Strawberries and Brie

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Roasting strawberries allows even out-of-season fruit to shine while gooey melted brie adds richness to this decadent appetizer.

Get the Roasted Strawberries and Brie recipe.

11

Green Soup with Crispy Tofu

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This vibrant bowl, powered with broccoli, spinach and spicy ginger, makes for a hearty app or a light, bright vegan main course.

Get the Green Soup with Crispy Tofu recipe.

RELATED: 85 Best Vegan Recipes for Lunch, Dinner and Beyond

12

Shrimp Scampi

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Be sure to serve tender, garlicky shrimp with lots of bread to sop up the sauce. It's a classic for a reason!

Get the Shrimp Scampi recipe.

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13

Roasted Clams with Lemony Panko

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It doesn’t take much to bring out the best in these bivalves: lemon, garlic, a splash of wine and crispy, parsley-flecked panko to sprinkle on top.

Get the Roasted Clams with Lemony Panko recipe.

14

Spinach-Herb Polenta

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Pair this salty, creamy side with roasted sausage or shrimp.

Get the Spinach-Herb Polenta recipe.

15

Maritozzi

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Stuff store-bought brioche buns with sweetened whipped cream and add a sprinkle of fun toppings (chopped pistachios, freeze-dried fruit and cacao nibs) for an extra-easy but showstopping sweet treat.

Get the Maritozzi recipe.

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16

Vegetarian Antipasto Salad

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Toss crunchy veggies, chickpeas and fresh mozzarella in a vibrant vinaigrette. Bonus: It can be made ahead of time!

Get the Vegetarian Antipasto Salad recipe.

RELATED: 37 Delicious Healthy Salads That Are Fresh and Filling

17

Multicooker Risotto

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Minimal stirring is necessary thanks to your trusty Instant Pot. The extra hands-off time lets you prep a variety of crowd-pleasing toppings.

Get the Multicooker Risotto recipe.

RELATED: 50 Easy Instant Pot Recipes to Make the Most Out of Your Appliance

18

Sriracha Mixed Nuts

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Put out these craveable sweet and spicy nuts with drinks — everyone will come back for handful after handful.

Get the Sriracha Mixed Nuts recipe.

RELATED: 40 Best Finger Food Ideas to Get the Party Started

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19

Linguine with Arugula Pesto

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It's always good to have a vegetarian recipe in your back pocket for a last-minute dinner party. This one is fresh, filling and packed with a whopping 20 grams of protein!

Get the Linguine with Arugula Pesto recipe.

20

Aperol Spritz Granita

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This fun (frozen!) twist on Aperol spritz stays perfectly cold till the end, thanks to the flaky shards of citrus ice in the granita.

Get the Aperol Spritz Granita recipe.

35 Dinner Party Ideas Your Friends Will Keep Coming Back For (2024)
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