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Best ever dinner party mains

Thinking of hosting a party or just a gathering between old friends? We've got over 21 impressive and fantastically tasty recipes for dinner party mains to suit any occasion

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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.


Wild rice & mushroom risotto with roast garlic

This recipe for wild rice and mushroom risotto with roast garlic is vegetarian, low salt and sugar and under 500 calories but is packed full of flavour so it’s bound to impress your guests.


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.


Butternut squash and gruyère pithivier

This take on a puff pastry pie is a smart vegetarian main course for a dinner party, or as a special family lunch. Layers of butternut squash mean that once cut open this French-style dish looks as good on the inside as it does on the outside with its decorative top. Serve with a green salad or seasonal veg.


Grilled mackerel fillets with lime mojo

Mackerel is always best super-fresh and the season runs from July until February so you’ve got plenty of time to enjoy it. We love this recipe for grilled mackerel fillets with lime mojo – the acidity of the lime and orange works really well with this oily fish.


Steak and parmesan involtini

This gorgeously rich gluten free recipe for steak involtini is a great way to use up some left over red wine (if there’s ever such a thing!). Ready in just 40 minutes, it’ll free up some time so you can be getting on with other things… like dessert. If the booze is flowing, why not end the night on a high by making our whiskey sour sorbet too?


Squash, carrot and almond purée, roast hake and quick radish pickle

Olia Hercules’ recipe for sweet nutty purée, flaky roast fish and zingy pickled radishes embraces traditional Georgian flavours to make a quick and easy but gluten-free dinner for four.

Why not whip up her buckwheat tarts with rice pudding and blackberries for dessert?


Pork belly and potatoes baked in milk, bay and smoked paprika

This recipe is inspired by an Italian dish which would usually use rolled loin. Pork cooked in milk is tender and succulent – this recipe is more about the meat than the crackling. For optimum crackling, cook for longer at the higher temperature before reducing.


Bibo’s tagliarini nero with squid, chilli, tomato and garlic

A modern Italian pasta dish from London’s Bibo restaurant. Giving a new idea for squid, this recipe is sure to impress your friends.


Pork fillet stuffed with caramelised shallot

This pork fillet stuffed with caramelised shallot recipe makes an easy alternative Sunday roast to feed your hungry guests. Pair with our baked, spiced sweet potato to really take advantage of the pork’s sweet notes.


Sumac and olive oil-roasted salmon with spiced carrot salad

Salmon makes a really good dinner party centre piece. If you’re hosting at Christmas then look out for money-saving deals as it’s often on offer. In any case, cooking a whole side is much cheaper than buying 8 separate pieces.


Pheasant ragu for pasta

A great introduction to pheasant and it makes a special sauce for pasta. Pair with tagliatelle for an impressive dinner party dish to share with friends.


Sweet and sour sticky pomegranate ham

A brilliant alternative to turkey, goose and lamb on Christmas Day. Or something for Boxing Day, if you’ve run out of meat by then! The aromas while cooking this ham are sensational; leave the kitchen door open so that everyone can enjoy it.


Stilton, chard and walnut wellington

This veggie wellington is packed with big, bold flavours and looks impressive but is still easy to make. This makes a great dinner party main for those who don’t eat meat.


Roast fennel-stuffed bream with fennel seed and orange oil

This is a very simple but stunning dish. Cooked and served whole, the fish look really impressive. Buy the freshest fish you can and ask the fishmonger for smallish bream – you want one-per-person size.


Rib of beef with bone marrow butter

Cooking a huge rib roast can be quite daunting so we love this simplified method – and, what’s more, the bone marrow butter takes it to a whole new level. For ease and simplicity, ask your butcher to split the bones for you.

Go the whole hog and make our cumin roast roots to go with.


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.

Pici cacio e pepe (pici with parmesan, black pepper and golden garlic)

Three of the most comforting words you’ll read: pasta, butter, cheese. This classic Tuscan recipe for pici cacio e pepe comes from Borough Market‘s Padella.


Clams, mussels and chorizo with fino and aïoli

A quick classic shellfish soup made easy. Mussels and clams cooked in sherry and finished off with the garlic mayo, Aïoli. All you need to serve with it is slices of baguette for dunking.


Braised chicken with hazelnut and chilli paste with a turnip and wild mushroom bake

This recipe for braised chicken with hazelnut and chilli paste with a turnip and wild mushroom bake is by Olia Hercules and makes a great dinner party main for the cooler winter months.

Slow-roast mechoui lamb leg with mint labneh

Mechoui lamb is traditionally roasted in a pit for hours to give meltingly tender meat. Obviously not everyone has a pit to hand but luckily long, slow cooking in a low oven replicates this.

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