When the special occasion calls you need a fancy dinner that can match the mood of the night.
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Maybe you’re preparing a meal for a date with your special someone. Or perhaps you’re inviting guests over to dinner and you want to create a meal that will impress them. In other scenarios, you may be planning your first big holiday dinner with your extended family. We’ve got you covered.
The fancy dinner recipes below will be packed with flavor and they’ll also look like a million bucks so they’re perfect for your memorable night.
Remember that fancy dinners don’t have to take you all day to make either, you’ll find plenty on this list that will only take you half an hour or less.
So find yourself the best fancy meals in the options below so the next time you need to make something special you already have it ready.
It doesn’t get easier than this pan seared salmon recipe.
The salmon is cooked in a cast iron skillet until it’s nice and crispy on the outside but still juicy and flakey on the inside.
If there is one thing better than a tender cut of pork tenderloin for your 5 star meal, it’s having one that is wrapped in tender bacon.
This meal is perfect for a fancy dinner because it looks incredible when you serve it on the table and it tastes even better.
Really impress your dinner guests with this roast chicken with red wine demi-glace and polenta.
The chicken is cooked until it’s nice and juicy and then served over a bed of creamy and cheesy polenta. It’s definitely not a dish you’ll see everyday.
Anyone from the East coast already knows how incredible crab cakes can be, and if you’re looking for an amazing seafood recipe then this is it.
They’re perfect for an appetizer or even a main course at your fancy dinner and you can serve them with a couple of lemon wedges so people can use as much as they need.
Baked caprese chicken is an incredibly easy dish to make and it’s always a big hit with guests.
The chicken is brushed with a delicious balsamic glaze and then topped with mozzarella cheese and fresh basil. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Fancy recipes don’t get much more savory than this one, and it looks like it took you all day to make when you put it out on the table.
The truth is, if you have a sous vide you can cook up any piece of steak perfectly as long as you know the right process.
This is another light dinner you can make that is the perfect balance of sweet and savory.
The onion and fig jam is the perfect topping for a crispy baguette slice and it’s all brought together with some cheese layered over it all.
Nothing says fancy recipes quite like duck, and this honey roast duck is cooked to perfection.
It might take a little longer than some of the other recipes on this list, but it’s well worth it in the end.
Not all fancy dinners need to be heavy and satiating, some of them can actually be quite light and refreshing.
These honey roasted rainbow carrots with burrata and pomegranate are the perfect example of that and they look fantastic on the table.
A fancy meal deserves an amazing piece of meat as its centerpiece, and this beef wellington is exactly that.
It’s a bit of work to make but it will be the talk of your weeknight dinner party when you serve it, that’s for sure.
Take your fancy dinner skills up a notch with this recipe for miso-glazed Chilean sea bass.
The fish is covered in a savory and sweet glaze that’s made with white miso paste, honey, and soy sauce. It’s then baked until it’s nice and flakey.
If you’re looking for easy fancy dinners you have found the jackpot because these braised short ribs take no time at all with an instant pot.
You’ll love the flavor of these and they’re bound to impress your guests when they show up on the table. Serve them with a side of mashed potatoes to get that comforting feeling.
13. Homemade Pasta
Here’s a fun fancy dinner that you can get your date involved with as you’re making it. Homemade pasta is a real treat and it’s not as difficult as you might think.
You just need some flour, eggs, and salt and you can make any kind of pasta that your heart desires. Top it with a delicious sauce and you’ll have an impressive meal that will wow your guests.
A gourmet dinner is only as good as the main star and this salmon will impress everyone at the table. The creamy spinach filling is amazing and it’s all wrapped up in delicious, perfectly cooked salmon.
The key is to allow enough stuffing to get a good flavor combination but not too much so that it’s practically overflowing out of the sides.
15. Cheese Fondue
Can you think of anything more romantic than sharing a pot of cheese fondue with your significant other?
All you need is some good quality cheese, a little bit of wine, and some crusty bread for dipping.
Impressive dinner recipes everyone will be talking about get much easier when you find out this roast rack of lamb recipe.
You can cook it in the oven or on the grill, depending on what you’re in the mood for, or you could go for lamb chops and it would be just as good.
Fancy dinners can be so much more than a single cut of meat or piece of fish. You can actually create an entire palate-pleasing foundation to put your protein on.
Lasagna is more of a family meal during the week, but when you mix it up with this modern barilla recipe it becomes a bit more fancy.
The ingredients are all there for a classic lasagna but the presentation is much nicer and it tastes incredible. This is one of those easy fancy dinners you’ll make over and over again.
For anyone who has never liked oysters because of the texture, roasted oysters on the grill are the perfect alternative and it’s a healthy dinner.
The oysters take on a different texture when they’re cooked and they absorb all the delicious flavors of the garlic, butter, and Parmesan that they’re roasted with.
The beef tenderloins is going to take some time to low cook it so it’s tender but when you do, the results are amazing.
If you leave this recipe uncovered in the fridge the night before it will make for a great crust around the tenderloin.
If you’ve never had beef chateaubriand then you’re in for a real treat with this recipe.
Chicken tikka masala is one of those easy fancy dinners you can whip up in no time, and it tastes incredible.
The best part is that you can make extra chicken breast and have it for lunch the next day because it reheats so well. Serve it over some basmati rice for a complete meal.
Julia Child knows a thing or two about being fancy and this coq au vin recipe is no exception.
This dish is perfect for a winter dinner idea because it’s warm and cozy, but still looks elegant. The key is to let the chicken cook low and slow so it’s nice and tender.
You’ll feel like you’re right in a French kitchen with this beef bourguignon recipe and the best part is that it’s made in the slow cooker so you don’t have to do any work.
This is a great meal to make ahead of time and then just let it cook all day while you’re at work or running errands. You’ll have a high-quality dinner just waiting at home for date night dinner or Valentines day.
25. Chicken Piccata
Light, refreshing, and still filling, this lemon piccata recipe is perfect for a summer dinner when you have a fancy occasion to celebrate.
When this chicken recipe is served with a delicious lemon sauce with capers, it will make your taste buds happy.
You don’t have to be a well-renowned chef to make this chicken cordon bleu recipe, but your guests will think you took a class or two.
The key is to pound the chicken thin so that it cooks evenly and then stuff it with ham and parmesan cheese before breading it and frying it up.
Eggplant parmesan might not be the first thing you think of when you’re looking for an easy fancy dinner, but it’s definitely one of the best.
The steak is filled with a delicious stuffing of mushrooms, onions, and garlic and it’s all topped off with some cheese.
29. Seared Scallops
To really get the best seared scallop you’ll want to make sure you have a cast iron skillet.
They call it the steak of the sea and for good reason. Lobster tails are delicious and when they’re broiled they preserve the tenderness while getting a firm outer layer.
This is a perfect meal to make for a romantic dinner or special occasion because it feels so luxurious, just make sure to butterfly cut it so it’s easy to eat.
The Best Fancy Dinner Ideas
Impress any dinner date with these fabulous fancy dishes that will rise to any special occasion. Take your pick from our selection of different gourmet dinner recipes and you’ll have something that taste divine and doesn’t take all night.
Our 35+ BEST Fancy Dinner Recipes (+Texas Roadhouse Prime Rib)
- 1 large prime rib roast
- 1/4 cup sea salt
- 1/4 cup minced garlic
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons black pepper
- 3 Tablespoons white sugar
- Marinade the roast for 2 days.
- Remove from the fridge two hours before you cook.
- Heat until done, following directions from the recipe.
Use in or with your favorite recipe.