19 Fancy Dinner Recipes to Treat Yourself to Fine Dining at Home

Seared Scallops Baby Spinach Spiced Pomegranate Glaze
Photo: Scott Little

You don't need a culinary degree to make restaurant-caliber meals. Whether it's an extra splash of cream, a homemade glaze, or a sprinkle of fresh herbs, special ingredients make these fancy feasts stand above the rest. Including lobster tails, steak, and salmon, our collection of fancy dinner recipes are perfect options for any special occasion. Plus, we've included some sides and desserts to spark those fancy dinner menu ideas.

01 of 19

Macaroni and Brie with Crab

Macaroni with Brie and Crab
Andy Lyons

Take your macaroni and cheese to the next level with succulent lump crabmeat and a pound of melty Brie. A golden bread crumb topping and mini wedge of cheese finish this fancy dinner recipe.

Serve with: Easy Herbed Salad and Sparkling Grapefruit Sorbet Floats

02 of 19

Scandinavian Steak and Potatoes

Scandinavian Steak and Potatoes
Andy Lyons

Wonderful things happen when you combine tiny new potatoes and flat iron steak (a well-marbled, highly tender cut of meat) with rich Scandinavian spices. Give those lemon halves a quick char in your pan before squeezing over this fancy meat dish.

Serve with: Slow-Cooked Sourdough Bread and Pomegranate Pavlova with Pistachios and Honey

03 of 19

Seared Scallops and Baby Spinach with Spiced Pomegranate Glaze

Seared Scallops Baby Spinach Spiced Pomegranate Glaze
Scott Little

Scallops are a classic gourmet recipe that makes any meal feel like a celebration. Those quick-cooking scallops are served over a bed of spinach with a homemade pomegranate glaze for a seafood dinner so good, you'll want to lick the plate clean.

Serve with: Sweet Ricotta and Strawberry Parfaits

04 of 19

Short Ribs with Black Barley and Mushrooms

Short Ribs with Black Barley and Mushrooms
Andy Lyons

Once you realize how easy it is to make your own braised short-ribs, you'll be finding plenty of excuses to make this fall-off-the-bone dish for more than just fancy dinners. There are pans specifically for braising, but your lidded Dutch oven ($80, Target) will do the trick.

Serve with: Buttermilk-Sage Dinner Rolls and Raspberry Crème Brûlée

05 of 19

Double-Smoked Salmon with Horseradish Cream

Double-Smoked Salmon with Horseradish Cream
Karla Conrad

This salmon's so nice because we smoked it twice. Not only did we stuff fresh fillets with packaged smoked salmon and horseradish cream, but we popped them on the grill with hickory wood chips for a second layer of smoky flavor.

Serve with: Lentil Pilaf and Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes

06 of 19

Lemony Mussels with Cherry Tomatoes and Potatoes

Lemony Mussels with Cherry Tomatoes and Potatoes in pan
Blaine Moats

A citrus and white wine sauce braises the mussels in this savory fancy-looking seafood dinner. The best part about this gourmet meal is that it comes together super fast in your Instant Pot ($100, Target). Serve with a chunk of crusty bread so no drop gets left behind.

07 of 19

Cauliflower Steaks with Hazelnuts & Browned Butter

Cauliflower Steaks with Hazelnuts & Browned Butter
Blaine Moats

For an easy fancy dinner (that just so happens to be vegetarian), give cauliflower steaks a try. Simply seasoned with salt and pepper, all it takes is a quick sear on a screaming-hot cast-iron skillet to bring out the flavor. The browned butter sauce, crunchy hazelnuts, and lemon zest provide a picture-perfect finish.

Serve with: Blistered Green Beans and Chocolate Cannoli

08 of 19

Beef Steaks Wellington

Beef Steaks Wellington

There's a reason this classic English dish was named after a duke. It's fit for royalty. Topped with pate, wrapped in flaky pastry, and drizzled with a rich mushroom sauce, this beef wellington recipe will transport you to a table at the fanciest restaurant in town.

Serve with: Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Custards

09 of 19

Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Roll-Ups

Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Rollups
Andy Lyons

Chicken breasts don't have to be boring. Turn the white meat into a fancy dinner by rolling it with garlic-herb goat cheese, baby arugula, and roasted red peppers. Dried-tomato pesto gives the gourmet recipe an added layer of Mediterranean flavor.

Serve with: Acorn Squash and Beet Salad and Salted Caramel Pots de Creme

10 of 19

Baby Beet and Flank Steak Salad Dijon

Baby Beet and Flank Steak Salad Dijon
Jason Donnelly

Serve up juicy flank steak in a colorful new format by pairing it with sweet baby beets on toasty Parmesan-crusted French bread. A homemade honey-mustard vinaigrette really takes this fancy meat dish to the next level.

Serve with: Roasted Red Pepper Soup

11 of 19

Chicken with Marsala Risotto

Chicken with Marsala Risotto
Kritsada Panichgul

Yes, you can make restaurant-quality risotto right in your own kitchen. This take on a classic Italian dish gets an earthy flavor from cremini mushrooms and richness from Masala wine. Your entire family will rave over this gourmet dinner for days afterward.

Serve with: Roasted Asparagus and Almond-Tangerine Panna Cotta

12 of 19

Lamb Chops with Blackberry Chutney

Lamb Chops with Blackberry-Pear Chutney
Karla Conrad

A warm berry chutney flavored with green onions and cloves provides this fancy dinner recipe some gorgeous color. The sweet-and-savory sauce means you only need a dash of allspice to flavor the tender lamb chops.

Serve with: Balsamic-Glazed Tri-Color Carrots and Almond-Lemon Broccoli

13 of 19

Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Herbed Brown Butter

Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Herbed Brown Butter
Andy Lyons

Fall-favorite butternut squash replaces the potato in this rich and pillowy gnocchi recipe, which makes for an impressive gourmet meal. Browned herb butter and a balsamic vinegar reduction add layers of luxury. For an extra-filling fancy dinner, top with juicy shrimp.

Serve with: Broccolini with Peas and Seared Lemons and Coffee-Raspberry Zabaglione Semifreddo

14 of 19

Japanese Roast Chicken

Japanese Roast Chicken
Andy Lyons

Classic roast chicken gets some international flair thanks to a zesty Japanese seven-spice rub. Complete the show-stopping gourmet dinner with baby carrots and bok choy simmered in sesame oil ($5, Target).

Serve with: Lemon Olive Oil Cake

15 of 19

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Baked Eggplant Parmesan
Jason Donnelly

Make eggplant the feature of your fancy meal with this lightened-up Italian favorite. Whole wheat bread crumbs give the vegetable its crispy coating that pairs perfectly with a glass of your favorite wine.

Serve with: Classic Zabaglione

16 of 19

Pan-Seared Salmon with Tomato Pesto

Pan-Seared Salmon with Tomato Pesto
Andy Lyons

Make your fancy meal feel more special by taking the time to prepare a homemade sauce, dressing, or glaze. The tomato pesto that flavors these fresh salmon fillets is made with both dried and fresh tomatoes, green olives, and fresh basil.

Serve with: Spaghetti Aglio e Olio and Rustic Blood Orange Tart with Salted Pecan Crust

17 of 19

Roast Duck with Blackberry-Orange Sauce

Roast Duck with Blackberry-Orange Sauce
Andy Lyons

Complement the rich flavor of roasted duck with a bright blackberry-citrus sauce. After roasting, use leftover duck fat to flavor your choice of roasted root vegetables for an elegant dinner.

Serve with: Roasted Root Vegetables

18 of 19

Portobello Pot Roast

roasted portobello mushrooms with vegetables
Blaine Moats

Meaty mushrooms take the place of beef in this easy fancy dinner recipe. Perfect for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike, grate some fresh horseradish on top to add a unique kick to your dish.

Serve with: Ginger-Pear Galette

19 of 19

Warm Salad with Lamb Chops and Mediterranean Dressing

Warm Salad with Lamb Chops and Mediterranean Dressing
Jason Donnelly

Homemade red wine vinaigrette flavored with marjoram and thyme keeps these lamb chops brimming with flavor and moisture. Balance the fancy dish's acidity with fresh greens, grape tomatoes, and radishes.

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