Ten Simple-yet-Fancy Meals for Your Dinner Party

Arranging a dinner party is all fun and games until you have to cook a three-course meal, and a dessert, for a group of guests. Deciding on a menu and then making sure all looks top-notch is a draining task. But we are here for your rescue.

In this article, we are going to list ten simple-yet-fancy meal options for that weekend dinner party you are so worried about, so let’s get going.

1. Chicken Piccata:

Chicken Piccata

Your guests would immediately fall in love with this combo of pan-fried chicken breasts and lemon caper sauce.

The recipe:

  • Take 4 skinless chicken breasts and with a mallet pound them slightly flat. Sprinkle the breasts with salt and pepper. Now coat both the sides of the breasts with flour, brushing off any excess.
  • Take a skillet and put in 2 tablespoons of butter and 5 tablespoons of olive oil. Now place the chicken breasts on the skillet and fry till golden brown. It would approximately take 5 minutes for each side. Transfer the chicken to another plate.
  • In the same skillet, add 2 tablespoons of butter. Add in 2 garlic cloves, minced, and 2 tablespoons of capers. Stir a little and add in 4 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, ½ cup dry white wine, and 1 cup of chicken broth. Bring the sauce to a boil. Season it with salt and pepper.
  • Place the chicken breasts in the skillet and cook for another 5 minutes. When the sauce slightly thickens, transfer the chicken to a platter. Pour the rest of the sauce over the chicken breasts. Serve hot with pasta.

2. Grilled Salmon with Sesame Seeds:

a closeup of a salmon dish seasoned with pepper and salt

Salmon is not just a powerhouse of flavor; it is also packed with many healthy nutrients.

The recipe:

  • Take ¼ cup of light soy sauce and mix in 1 ½ tablespoons of honey. Add in 1 tablespoon of grated ginger and 1 clove of minced garlic. Whisk it together in a bowl until the marinade is evenly combined. Keep aside ¼ of this mixture.
  • Take a shallow dish and place in 1 lb. of salmon fillets. Now pour the marinade over the fillets, cover the dish with a cling wrap and keep it in the fridge for 5 minutes.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil over medium heat. Place the marinated salmon in the skillet, skin side up. Cook for 4 minutes and flip. Now pour the remaining ¼ of the marinade over the salmon fillets. Sprinkle it with sesame seeds. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Flip the fillets and remove the skin. Cook for a minute and you are done!

3. Lamb Chops with Maple-Pomegranate Glaze:

a closeup of lamb chops in sauce served with vegetables

Who doesn’t love eating juicy lamb chops? The maple-pomegranate glaze gives this dish an added sweet and sour irresistible taste.

The recipe:

  • Take a small bowl, add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Add in 1 clove of grated garlic and ¾ teaspoon of dry mustard. Whisk the mixture to combine evenly.
  • Take 12 pieces of lamb chops seasoned with pepper and salt. Generously coat the lamb chops in the maple glaze. Grill the chops until well charred which will approximately take 4 minutes per side.
  • To make the salad, take a large bowl and mix in 3 tablespoons of olive oil with the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon. Season it with pepper and salt. Now toss in ½ thinly sliced red onion, ½ cup of pomegranate seeds, 1/3 cup roughly torn mint leaves, and 1 cup sliced almonds (toasted). Mix it all evenly. Serve the lamb chops with the salad.

4. Pecan Chicken:

fried chicken coated with pecans served with vegetables

This crispy and crunchy chicken coated with pecans is sure to be a delightful experience for your guests.

The recipe:

  • Mix 2 tablespoons of butter with ½ cup finely chopped pecans and ½ cup of dry bread crumbs. Coat the breasts with this mixture and fry in a skillet with 2 tablespoons of butter. It will take around 10 minutes per side for the chicken breasts to turn golden brown. Take them out on serving platters when done.
  • Take a small saucepan, add in ¼ cup of Dijon mustard with ¼ cup of brown sugar, 2 ½ tablespoons of bourbon whiskey, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce. Whisk it all until smooth. Bring the sauce to a simmer and then remove from the stove. Whisk in ¾ cup of chilled butter, cut into cubes. Add one cube at a time. Your sauce is done.
  • Now pour the sauce over the chicken breasts and sprinkle with spring onions to serve.

5. Grilled Cod and Tomatoes:

a platter served with cod fillets, tomatoes, and mashed potatoes

As simple as this meal may seem, the flavors of spinach and tomatoes combined with the grilled cod give this dish a very unique taste.

The recipe:

  • Take a piece of aluminum foil and place 4 ounces of cod fillets on it. Season the fillets with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Toss over the cod, ¼ cup of roughly chopped spinach, ¼ tomato (deseeded and diced), and 1 tablespoon of chopped onions. Season again with salt and pepper. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and 1 slice of mozzarella cheese (cut into cubes) over the cod and vegetables.
  • Fold the aluminum foil over the cod and seal the sides. Cook over a preheated grill until the cod completely cooks. This will take around 5 to 7 minutes.

6. Buffalo Chicken Sliders:

a person holding a platter with sliders on it

These buffalo sliders are super easy to make yet look like an elaborate gourmet meal.

The recipe:

  • Take a small skillet and melt 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Add in 2/3 cup of buffalo sauce. Stir the sauce and remove from the stove.
  • Take a large bowl, toss in 1 shredded rotisserie chicken with 2 thinly sliced salary stalks. Add in the sauce and toss to evenly spread the sauce.
  • Take slider rolls and fill them with the chicken mixture. Add in blue cheese and lettuce. Voila. Your easy-peasy fancy sliders are done.

7. Shrimp and Pineapple Stir-Fry

a closeup of a shrimp and vegetable stir-fry

Adding shrimps to any meal naturally gives it a fancy outlook. Serve your guests with this simple shrimp stir-fry and be sure to impress many.

The recipe:

  • Take a large skillet, put in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and heat it over medium flame. Add in 1 thinly sliced red onion, 2 teaspoons of minced ginger, 1 garlic clove minced, and sauté till the mixture leaves some aroma. Add in ½ of red and yellow bell peppers each, thinly sliced, with 1 cup of cubed pineapples. Cook until the peppers soften, approximately around 5 minutes.
  • Now add in 8 shrimps to the skillet and fry till they are evenly cooked. This will take around 3 minutes.
  • Add in 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar, ¾ teaspoon of sriracha, and let it simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Take a platter, place some rice in the center of the plate. Top it with the Shrimp and Pineapple stir-fry. Garnish it with mint and cilantro. Your stir-fry is ready to be served.

8. Avocado Cucumber Soup:

a bowl of soup with baguettes on the side

Soups are way too underrated. A nicely cooked, well-balanced soup makes an amazing meal for dinners.

The recipe:

  • Take a blender, put in 2 English cucumbers (peeled and chopped), 2 avocadoes (peeled and pitted), ¼ bunch of fresh parsley, ¼ bunch of fresh mint, juice of 1 lime, and 1 cup of Greek yogurt. Blend it into a smooth creamy consistency. Garnish with salt and pepper.
  • Take a baking sheet and line it with parchment. Place 1 baguette, halved horizontally, on the baking sheet. Put 3 tablespoons of butter and a ½ cup of shredded Asiago cheese over the baguette. Bake in a preheated oven (425F) for 10 to 12 minutes or till the cheese fully melts. Serve the soup, topped with Greek yogurt, lime and the warm baguette on the side.

9. Shrimp Tacos with Mango:

tacos on a platter garnished with mango salad

Tacos? Fancy? Yes. Follow this recipe to make sure your tacos turn out to be super fancy.

The recipe:

  • For the mango salsa, in a bowl, add in 1 finely diced mango with ½ of minced red onion, 1 minced garlic clove, ½ minced jalapeño, juice of 1 lime, and ¼ cup of chopped cilantro. Toss it all and season with salt and pepper.
  • For the Tacos, take a bowl and toss in 1 ¼ pounds of peeled and deveined shrimps. Add in 1 tablespoon of chili powder, 1 ½ teaspoons of garlic powder, and ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
  • Take a skillet and heat olive oil over medium heat. Put the shrimps in the pan and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes or until fully cooked. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and hot sauce.
  • Take another skillet, heat it over medium heat and toast tortillas over it. Toast the tortillas until they turn lightly brown on each side, approximately 1 minute per side.
  • Place the tortillas on platters, put in shredded cabbage, and add in the shrimps. Garnish with the mango salsa and serve immediately. Your tasty shrimp tacos are ready!

10. Chicken and Mushroom Risotto:

Risotto tastes yum; but also takes a lot of effort to make. This lazy-version of a risotto, however, will give you a tasty meal minus the effort needed to make it.

The recipe:

  • In an oven-safe pan, put in 1 ½ cups of arborio rice with 1 minced sweet onion, 1 pint of quartered mushrooms, 1 minced garlic clove and 4 cups of chicken broth. Stir the mixture and place it in a preheated oven (350F) for 35 to 40 minutes or till the mixture almost dries.
  • When the rice is cooked, take the pan out from the oven. Put in 1 cup of hot water with ¾ cup of grated Parmesan cheese and 4 tablespoons of butter. Stir the mixture again.
  • Now season the rice with salt and pepper. Garnish with 2 ½ cups of rotisserie chicken cut into chunks and chopped parsley. Your dish is ready to be served.

Creating a fancy meal is not as difficult as we imagine it to be. With a few simple ingredients and a handful of smart ideas, you can easily make many simple yet fancy meals for your dinner parties.