| | |

Simple Dinner Party Menu Ideas (Casual Recipes Guide)

Simple Dinner Party Menu Ideas are great to have when you need them! This post is filled with simple recipes for a large group or small dinner party.

simple dinner party menu ideas

If you’re looking for an easy dinner party recipe, this is the post for you!

If you’re passionate about hosting gatherings in the comfort of your own home, but find yourself seeking a repertoire of dinner party ideas that will leave a lasting impression on your guests, you have come to the right place. 

In this extensive collection, you will discover an abundance of invaluable resources to elevate your entertaining skills and ensure that your guests will eagerly anticipate their next invitation.  

Afternoon tea party idea

So, let your creativity soar and let this expanded toolbox become your go-to resource for hosting the most enchanting and unforgettable dinner parties imaginable.

This post is filled with a plethora of casual dinner party menu ideas that are sure to impress your guests. 

So whether you’re hosting a small gathering or a large celebration, you’ll find inspiration and guidance to ensure your dinner party is a resounding success.

Simple Dinner Party Menu Ideas

First, let’s chat about what goes into creating a simple dinner party.

You’ll choose a main course and a couple of side dishes. I love pairing a simple salad with the main dishes and keeping it very easy for your dinner guests. 

This post will give you several options for each category, you decide which recipes are the best way to celebrate your special occasion.

caprese caesar salad and steakhouse marinated chicken platter

When you choose an easy recipe for your dinner table, it helps everyone feel a little more relaxed. 

It’s such a great feeling to prepare a delicious meal without the added stress of complicated cooking techniques or long ingredient lists. Not only does it save you time and energy, but it also allows you to enjoy the company of your loved ones and create meaningful memories together. 

Whether it’s a quick and simple pasta dish or a flavorful one-pot recipe, opting for easy recipes is a surefire way to make your evenings more enjoyable and stress-free. 

So go ahead and embrace the simplicity in your culinary endeavors, because a relaxed dinner table is the key to a happy and harmonious home.

My favorite supper club dinners have included a menu that has a good bottle of wine and cheese to start, a simple chicken dish, and a salad. 

A good dinner party doesn’t need over-the-top anything! Although if you’re a party planner and enjoy creating elaborate parties, go for it!

Main Dishes for the Perfect Dinner Party

My favorite dinner party-worthy dish is either Steakhouse Marinated Chicken or a BIG, beefy Tomahawk Steak

For larger groups, the grilled chicken recipe is perfect. You marinate the chicken overnight to enhance its flavors. It can be grilled either before your guests arrive or while they’re enjoying some cheese and crackers and white wine. 

Grilling the chicken imparts a delicious smoky flavor that complements the marinated chicken, making it an excellent choice for gatherings of all sizes.

This chicken marinade is a great blend of flavors, reminiscent of a steak. I love that you can prep it the day before, then grill it up. 

Honorable Mention is the steak herb butter that gets sliced over the chicken while it’s warm. The heat from the chicken melts the butter and partially cooks the garlic and shallots for an incredible flavorful addition!

caprese caesar salad

When you serve this with the Caprese Caesar Salad, you’ve got a party on a platter. It’s a great way to utilize some simple ingredients and elevate the ordinary.

tomahawk steak recipe

The Tomahawk Steak feeds 4-6 people easily on its own, and it’s a showstopper to place down in the middle of the table! 

wedge salad for a crowd

Serving this with Wedge Salad for a Crowd takes the guesswork out of everything. I piece of steak with a delicious salad. It’s a great opportunity to serve a great meal that will get all the ooos and ahhs you’re craving!

Other good main dish ideas are a golden brown Roast Chicken. This is the main event of my French Dinner Party inside the Hey, Ashley! Membership Collective. 

If you’re hosting a Fall dinner party, this Herb-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin would be incredible with a sheet pan of roasted butternut squash!

Other Delicious Dinner Party Recipes

A good pasta recipe served family style is always a delicious addition. A big pot of pasta tossed with olive oil, tomato sauce, and parmesan cheese, you just can’t go wrong.

classic mashed potatoes for thanksgiving

A steaming pot of Thanksgiving Mashed Potatoes with lots of sour cream, butter, and cream cheese is a great idea when you’re serving a crowd. If you are serving a crowd, make them a week in advance and keep in the freezer. Follow the instructions for reheating in the recipe card linked above. 

My family loves creating a Pulled Pork Chalupa Party! It’s a great recipe to serve a giant crowd! This recipe easily serves 15-20 people. And the best part about this party idea is you have your friends bring the toppings!

pulled pork and bean chalupa party idea

Chalupa is a pulled pork and bean mixture that is simmered with spices, onions, and chilis. When it’s all ready, you serve it over corn chips and top it like a taco. 

So, anything you can think of for a taco toppings bar, have you people bring! Cheese, sour cream, lettuce, green onions, tomatoes, salsa, guacamole, etc.

This is a phenomenal dinner party main that you make, and the other guests supply the rest. It’s also super economical. If you need to serve a crowd and are on a budget, this is the recipe for you! It’s been one of our family favorites for decades.

​Appetizers for Your Party

In order to make your meal even more enjoyable and satisfying, you may want to consider adding a variety of appetizers or starters before the main course. 

These can range from savory meatballs or crispy bruschetta to Pimento Cheese or a vibrant vegetable platter with Unexpected Cheddar Dip. By offering a diverse selection of appetizers, you can cater to different preferences and ensure that your guests have something to nibble on while waiting for the main course. 

​Other Easy Appetizer Ideas Include:

all the cheese cheeseball appetizer recipe

All the Cheese Cheeseball — this is several different kinds of cheese mixed together to create an explosion of flavor in your mouth. 

homemade shrimp cocktail sauce

Shrimp Cocktail + Homemade Shrimp Cocktail Sauce — homemade is always better, y’all! And when it comes to shrimp cocktail sauce it’s just a few pantry staples that blend together to make your shrimp absolutely incredible.

italian bread dip recipe

Italian Bread Dip — this is lots of ingredients that take the ordinary restaurant oil and herb dip to the next level. 

Snack Platter with Green Onion Dip

Green Onion Chip Dip — Such an easy, go-to recipe! It’s five ingredients that make up a tasty dip for fresh veggies, chips, or even chicken wings! 

Additionally, don’t forget to provide a range of sauces and condiments to complement the dishes. Whether it’s a tangy barbecue sauce or a creamy aioli, these little touches can enhance the flavors and make your meal even more memorable. 

So take the time to plan your menu carefully, experiment with different flavors, and have fun creating a well-rounded dining experience for your guests.

Party Essentials to Keep on Hand

Here are several items I like to keep on hand that make my party just a little more exciting, without going over the top!

lowcountry boil party table setting

I love having a few variations of these paper placemats from Hester and Cook. The woven circles were used for a Lowcountry Seafood Boil, and were the perfect backdrop. 

Wine Charms — these always seem a little silly and frivolous, but I can assure you when you’re a couple of glasses deep into the red wine, labeling your glass is a great idea!

A glass Drink Dispenser is nice when you’ve made a big batch cocktail. Guests can help themselves, and leave you to tend to your dinner recipes.

These bamboo cutlery are super fun to use if you’re hosting a Sips and Dips Party. They’re small enough that they don’t take up too much room, and they’re disposable! Yay. 

Lastly, the thing I use the most is Post-It Notes. I like to label all of my platters before the party so I know what recipe is being served out of what dish. It’s also super helpful to add the serving utensil to the platter/dish, or put it on the post-it note!

I hope these simple recipes inspire you to host people around your dining room table! For your next dinner party, choose a couple of recipes from this list, and you’re party will be a success!

Save this to your favorite Easy Entertaining Ideas Board on Pinterest!

Simple Dinner Party Menu Ideas

Similar Posts