30 dinner party mains (2023)

Dinner party main ideas

One-pot chicken with dates and caramelised onion

Jammy lemons and plump roasted dates are cooked with this chicken for a sweet and easy alternative to a whole roast bird.

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Fideua with king prawns, chicken and mussels

This typical Spanish seafood dish (think paella with short, noodle-like pasta instead of rice) is packed with king prawns, chicken and mussels as well as smoked paprika for that authentic taste. It may take a little more effort to cook and source the ingredients, but you'll be wowing at the dinner table by the end of the night.

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Hot-smoked salmon vol-au-vents

A brilliant main for a special occasion – make these hot-smoked salmon vol au vents ahead of time, then reheat and assemble to serve.

Roast pork shoulder with cinnamon and clementines

Serve this fall-apart roast pork shoulder with tortillas, sour cream and lime and let everyone dig in.

Austrian wiener schnitzel

For a meaty main with a difference, try this wiener schnitzel – the national dish of Austria. Traditionally made with veal, serve this dish with buttered potatoes as a quick dinner party main.

Porchetta with salsa verde

Try this tender pork belly dish from London's Mortimer House restaurant, featuring crisp crackling, roasties, pan-fried purple sprouting broccoli and fresh salsa verde, for your next dinner party main.

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Roast duck breast with figs, rosemary and garlic fried potatoes

Try this sumptuous duck recipe from littlefrench, an intimate neighbourhood restaurant in Bristol serving regional French recipes. Served with sweet figs and salty potatoes, this dish is the perfect balance of flavours.

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Saffron risotto

This soothing risotto is delicious on its own, or served with a roast chicken and the roasting juices from the tin. An impressive entertaining idea, if you've got friends round for dinner.

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Goat's cheese and beetroot citrus salad

Serve a show-stopping centre piece with this bright and colourful beetroot salad bursting with citrusy flavours and creamy goat's cheese.

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Roasted hake with clams, cider sauce and dill oil

Get a taste of the Spanish Camino with this elegant seafood dish from My Million Pound Menu winner, Pilgrim. A light but tasty main course, your guests will certainly have room for dessert!

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Tamworth chop, white beans and turnip tops

Jackson Boxer serves this impressive pork dish at his Hebrides-inspired Notting Hill restaurant, Orasay. Be sure to buy quality pork to ensure a flavoursome feast for your guests.

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Slow-roasted lamb with wild oregano

Impress friends and family with this succulent and comforting slow-roasted lamb recipe with wild oregano. Cooking in a rich and juicy sauce, the lamb is served with delicious onions, tomatoes and root veg for a well-balanced feast.

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Lamb ragu pappardelle

Check out chef Louis Korovilas's melt-in-the-mouth pappardelle with indulgent lamb ragu. This easy yet impressive recipe comes from Italian restaurant Bancone in Covent Garden, and careful slow cooking will ensure that beautifully tender meat takes your guests by surprise. For more pasta-based dinner party treats, check out our posh pasta guide here...

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Hanger steak with braised greens

Here's a super succulent steak with crunchy garlic greens. This easy dish comes from Little Duck The Picklery restaurant in Dalston, and it's perfect for a quick but satisfying dinner party dish.

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Romana courgette agrodolce

This easy recipe for romana courgettes with a sweet and spicy agrodolce sauce is perfect for a vegetarian or vegan dinner party. Serve with cous cous or roast potatoes for a filling main course, with not a scrap of meat in sight.

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Salt and pepper côte de boeuf

This salt and pepper côte de boeuf with easy béarnaise sauce looks really impressive but is easy to make. Perfect for a show-stopping main.

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Duck and shallots au vin

This is a great winter celebratory meal and a good alternative to duck or turkey for Christmas. The grapes add a delicious sweetness to the duck. You can use ordinary-sized shallots or banana shallots for this.

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Roasted skate wing with charred leeks and samphire

Check out this simple recipe for roasted skate wing and charred baby leeks served with a creamy buttery sauce. This straight-forward recipe comes from Amy Corbin and Patrick Williams’ new South London restaurant, Kudu in Peckham, and will secure you a main course that you can be pretty certain none of your guests have attempted before.

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Crab cacio e pepe

Pasta certainly doesn't have to be dull or cliché. Take this cult pasta dish up a notch with a spike of briny shellfish in a creamy sauce. Simple, but beautifully effective.

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Luxury fish pies with rösti topping

This recipe uses the luxury fish pie pack from Skipper’s Choice a fish-box delivery business. You can also buy fillets of haddock, smoked haddock and salmon, cut them up yourself and mix in some prawns.

Thinking about pairing some wine with this? Check out our guide on what wine to drink with fish pie.

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Cajun picanha with bean salad

Here's an epic beef recipe with punchy cajun spices and a fresh bean salad. It’s a pointed cut, so is great for serving a crowd as you’ll get well done to rare from the same piece of beef.

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5-spice sriracha pork belly

Check out this punchy, easy, crispy pork belly with Chinese five-spice. This flavoursome pork recipe is great with rice, noodles or bao buns, and the crispy crackling on top will be a sure-fire crowdpleaser.

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Giant vegan wellington

Looking for a showstopping vegan recipe? Check out our impressive vegan wellington packed with roasted red peppers, cooked beetroot and kale. Plus, we've made a vegan stuffing and glazed the pastry in marmite to take this wellington to the next level.

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Preserved lemon poussin with tabbouleh and saffron yoghurt

If you're looking for a slight change from chicken, have a go at this poussin recipe with preserved lemons. This easy dish makes a great alternative to any weekend roast, and is excellent served with freshly chopped tabbouleh salad and a smooth saffron yogurt for delicious Middle Eastern flavours.

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Lamb steaks with yeast butter and warm hummus

Check out our succulent seasonal lamb recipe, complete with homemade yeast butter. A perfect recipe for that dinner party main, the hummus makes a delicious alternative to mash or roast potatoes and fresh asparagus tops everything off for the dream springtime feast.

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Cauliflower and fontina cannelloni

This recipe for cauliflower and fontina cannelloni comes from the chefs at Cantino Corvino, London. It's a delicious, comforting pasta dish, which can be enjoyed by vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Making your own pasta may seem time-consuming, but the results will be worth it, and you can be sure that it'll earn you extra points from your guests.

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Whole roast John Dory with potato and fennel Dauphinoise and salsa verde

Wow your guests with this impressive whole John Dory recipe with indulgent creamy dauphinoise potatoes. This easy white fish dish is simple to make and perfect for a satisfying Saturday night dinner. It'll look so good that nobody will want to dig in to the first helping!

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Beef, ale and bone marrow pie

Up your pie game with this epic recipe. Packed with melt-in-the-mouth, tender beef and crunchy pickled onions, serve this dish with creamy mash and leafy greens for a showstopping weekend meal with family and friends.

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Butternut ravioli with brown butter and sage

Learn how to make the silkiest, smoothest dough to create out-of-this-world pasta at home, with step-by-step tips from our cookery team. This ravioli recipe is light yet satisfying, with a veil of buttery sauce and a slight sweetness from the butternut squash.


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Roast salmon with herb crust and brown shrimp butter

Want an impressive fish dish to serve up to your guests? Check out our roast salmon with a crunchy herb crust and buttery new potatoes. Salmon is the easiest fish to please with, but the addition of the crunch herb crust will ensure that this is no standard meal.

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