toasted croque madame

Entertaining can be such a blast. There’s no better way to catch up with friends and show them just how special they are to you than by having them over for dinner. Anyone who cooks knows how much work is involved in preparing a tasty, aesthetically pleasing meal, and there’s so much more involved when you have guests coming over to your home. But it is always an evening that is well appreciated all around, from the cocktails down to the dessert.

The next time you’re entertaining, consider taking things up a notch by going a bit outside of your comfortable recipes and trying something new. There are so many professional-looking dishes that seem as though you’ve taken an entire day to prepare them. So make everyone you’re having over think that’s the case. We here at Mashed have put together a number of fancy recipes that will make you look and feel like a total pro chef. You’re going to spend time in the kitchen if you’re cooking anyway, so why not have a little extra fun with your plan and pizzazz with your presentation?

Pasta carbonara will transport your guests to Italy for dinner

pasta carbonara with Parmesan cheese

This pasta carbonara is complete and utter deliciousness. Many carbonara dishes are made with a cream sauce, but this recipe is not. The sauce is prepared with garlic, bacon, egg, and Parmesan, and the best part is you can whip it up in just 25 minutes. That gives you more down time to kick back and relax with your company and cocktails.

In addition to the garlic, bacon, eggs, and Parmesan cheese, you will need pasta (linguine, spaghetti, or your preference of long noodles), salt, and pepper. That’s it! Not only is this recipe easy, but your night spent entertaining friends won’t cost you a fortune. It’s a win all around.

Consider serving a tossed salad as an appetizer since pasta is a pretty filling entrée. This dish will look so impressive on your dinner table and taste so good, your guests will feel as though they are dining in Italy. Make sure to top each plate off with a fresh sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese and get ready to keep the wine flowing.

Ina Garten’s roast chicken with a twist will fill your home with aromas of citrus and rosemary

roasted chicken with rosemary

Ina Garten’s roast chicken with a twist is sure to make your whole house smell like one of your favorite restaurants. And the presentation is so impressive, everyone will enjoy looking at it almost as much as eating it.

If you decide to prepare this dish, you will need a roasting chicken, a large orange, a head of garlic, rosemary sprigs, a yellow onion, mayonnaise, olive oil, kosher salt, and ground black pepper. The best part about this recipe is that it’s stuffed with orange and rosemary, and it’s absolutely lathered in mayonnaise, giving it such an incredible flavor. Be sure to save some rosemary sprigs and sliced orange to add that professional touch to the platter when serving.

Go an extra step and prepare a cranberry sausage stuffing on the side along with a spinach salad. The only problem we can think of with serving this recipe to your guests is they will always want to have dinner at your house.

Trader Joe’s five-ingredient gnocchi will look like you spent a long time in the kitchen

gnocchi with tomatoes and cheese

This Trader Joe’s five-ingredient gnocchi entrée can be served in literally 12 minutes. Yes, you did read that correctly. The final presentation, however, will look like you spent so much more time in the kitchen.

If you love all things Trader Joe’s, you will be absolutely obsessed with this recipe and so will anyone you’re entertaining. The only items you will need are Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi, olive oil, cherry tomatoes, Pecorino Romano cheese, and fresh basil. Once your local farmers market is open, you will love looking for recipes like this so you can use all of the fresh ingredients you’re able to pick up, like basil and cherry tomatoes.

In the event that you have any picky eaters coming to dinner or are not sure whether or not they eat seafood or meat, this recipe is an absolute winner. Don’t forget to save some fresh basil to garnish each plate.

Chicken fried steak is always a good idea for a dinner party

crunchy chicken fried steak

This chicken fried steak dish is definitely a lot of steps to prepare and includes a long list of ingredients. But it is so darn delicious, and if you really want to impress your guests and look like a pro chef, preparing this for dinner will most definitely do the trick.

Okay, now let’s get started. To make this tasty dish, you will need steak, cornmeal, all-purpose flour, cayenne pepper, sugar, an egg, poultry seasoning, baking soda, baking powder, buttermilk, a medium onion, garlic cloves, dried thyme, whole milk, chicken broth, kosher salt, and black pepper. We did warn you that it was quite an extensive shopping list! This will be a dinner project to be proud of.

Grilled churrasco is a great dish if you decide to have people over last minute

grilled churrasco steak

Grilled churrasco is a delicious meal that is traditionally served in several countries, including Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil. Not only would it be a really yummy choice to serve your friends or family, but you can have it on the table in 21 minutes.

The ingredients required for this recipe include skirt steaks, parsley, garlic cloves, dried oregano, lemon zest, red wine vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, and salt. Aside from the skirt steaks, you most likely have most of the ingredients in your kitchen, so this is a great dish to prepare if you decide to have people over for dinner last minute.

If you want to stay with the barbecue theme, grill some asparagus or zucchini for a side dish, and pick up some of your favorite dinner rolls to serve with butter. Your colorful asparagus and zucchini will look spectacular arranged around your serving platter.

Croque madame will totally impress your guests and everyone’s taste buds

croque madame

Not every meal has to be an elaborate one, and not every invitation you put out has to be for dinner. You might want to prepare something that looks fancy for lunch, or maybe you’re just in the mood for something fun for a lighter dinner. This recipe for croque madame fits into those categories perfectly. It will look really great on your table and you can put it together in 25 minutes.

The items you will need include eggs, Gruyere cheese, ham, Dijon mustard, whole milk, unsalted butter, all-purpose flour, nutmeg, butter, artisan bread, salt, and pepper. Mix together some fried potatoes to put on the side of this and even some asparagus if you’d like. The possibilities are endless, and whoever you serve will be in for a real treat.

Bouillabaisse will show anyone who’s dining at your house that you have some pretty cool skills in the kitchen

bowl of seafood bouillabaisse

If you’re cooking to impress, bouillabaisse is always a great idea. Quite honestly, just telling your guests that it’s on the menu is enough for them to know you must have some pretty cool kitchen skills. And once you’re done preparing it in just 25 minutes, they will know that to be true. It’s definitely a fancy recipe that will make you look like a pro chef!

To make this bouillabaisse recipe, you will need white fish, mussels, prawns, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, fish stock, carrots, celery, onion, potatoes, butter, Thai fish sauce, bay leaves, saffron, chili flakes, and salt. The ingredient list is pretty hefty, but you’ll be so impressed with the outcome, you won’t mind spending a little extra time shopping at the grocery store.