Dinner Party Ideas for Any Crowd

These classic dishes will make your meal special

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Don’t worry about what to make with these great recipes!

Hosting a dinner party takes a certain finesse. You must be able to gather not only the right people, but accomplish a gorgeous tablescape, and pull together an unforgettable menu. But serving a group of people is always a challenge, especially when the guests are a unique blend of friends.

To help you host the perfect dinner party, we compiled a flawless menu that will impress guests and keep you sane while hosting. Check out our great dish ideas here:

Appetizer: Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Play around with ingredients — forgo cream cheese for a béchamel from scratch, add a kick of cayenne, a bit of lemon for brightness, and lots of spinach and artichokes.

Appetizer: Avocado Crostini

We've all been there — you need an appetizer that will make a great impression but doesn't require you to slave away in your kitchen. This crostini is sure to deliver on both accounts. The creaminess of the avocado, saltiness of the prosciutto, and nuttiness of the Parmesan combine to create the perfect bite.

Salad: Classic Caesar Salad

Romaine lettuce is the foundation for our Caesar salad, which almost everyone seems to like. Caesar salad dressing was one of the first salad dressings chef Mark Miranda learned how to make in cooking class (back in middle school) and it is one he continues to make at home today.

Main: Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Herbs

This is a great version of brick chicken. If you don't want to split the chickens yourself, ask your butcher to do it for you (or try our Vegetarian Baked Ziti Casserole Recipe for your vegetarian friends at the table!).

Side One: Marinated Asparagus

The true sign of spring in the food world is the abundance of many fresh vegetables. Asparagus is one of the quintessential spring vegetables. This cherished culinary pleasure is so flavorful that you’ll find it in all kinds of dishes.

Side Two: Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips

Mashed potatoes make a hearty honest dish. It has sometimes been referred to as comfort food because it evokes memories of both big special-occasion dinners and the simple, family dinner intended for no other reason than to share a good meal. This version of mashed potatoes tastes so good because it's dense with the mildly sweet flavor of parsnips and just enough butter to please, but without the extra calories you usually find in mashed potatoes.

Dessert: Mini No-Bake Cheesecakes

Sure, there are a lot of healthy things you could do with strawberries. But when strawberry cheesecakes are an option, why on earth would you make a healthy dish? Especially when all you have to do is pop them in the freezer for a few hours! These tasty bites are decadent and perfectly portioned for a lightly indulgent treat.  

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