How to Plan A Dinner Party Menu

How to Plan a Dinner Party Menu

Do you throw parties because you love to entertain and surround yourself with friends, old and new? Does cooking bring you joy? Are always looking for opportunities to share your creations with your guests? If you’ve ticked off all these boxes, then it sounds like you’ve got all the makings of a fantastic DinDin Party host.

While most people attend dinner parties and look forward to the entertainment and conversations with others, your guests will also expect a tasty dinner. Therefore, part of becoming a party host pro means planning the perfect menu. Here are four tips on how to plan any kind of dinner party menu:

How to Plan a Dinner Party Menu Tip 1: 

Determine Your Theme

Are you serving food buffet-style or are you planning a full-course meal? Are you dining indoors or outdoors? Is your party formal or casual? Are you decided on a specific cuisine such as Mexican, French, Mediterranean, or Japanese?

Before anything, you need to decide the style and theme of your dinner party. Both ultimately affect your menu. We can only enjoy certain dishes sitting down at a table; e.g., steak. Only serve dishes that require a knife and fork if your dinner is elegant or sit-down. The last thing you want is to make your guests struggle with plates on their laps.


How to Plan a Dinner Party Menu Tip 2: 

Take the Current Season into Consideration

Table Setting for Spring or Summer

The best dishes are the ones cooked and served with the freshest ingredients. Know what fruits and vegetables are in season. Summer produces the best tomatoes. They harvest lobsters year-round in only a few places; otherwise, they’re only available half the year. Therefore, avoid dishes you know you will have a challenging time looking for ingredients or are out of season. 

The seasons also play a part as they help you choose dishes you know your guests will look forward to. If it’s wintertime, your guests will love sitting down to a bowl of warm, comforting soup. And if it’s summertime, you’ll want to serve fresh, crisp salads or refreshing drinks that are colorful and bright.


How to Plan a Dinner Party Menu Tip 3: 

Pick Your Star of the Night

The star of the meal is typically the main course. Deciding the evening’s star means you won’t be slaving away cooking all day. Instead, you can focus on making your main dish spectacular and choosing more straightforward but delicious side dishes to complement it.

Don’t choose the day of your dinner party to serve a dish you’ve never made before. It’s not the time to be daring and experimental, especially with elaborate recipes. Because you’re serving guests, you surely want to impress, you want to serve a dish you’re confident about.


How to Plan a Dinner Party Menu Tip 4: 

Plan Your Other Dishes Around Your Main Dish

If your main dish is chicken, you’ll want to avoid serving a chicken-based soup, or a salad topped with chicken. Mix things up but don’t mismatch. Whatever your ‘star of the night’ is, the dishes served with it should accompany its flavors well. It makes little sense to confuse too many cuisines together. A spicy pork vindaloo makes little sense served with macaroni and cheese!

Keeping these four tips in mind will allow you to plan a dinner party menu for just about any kind of dinner party.



DinDin Party brings hosts who love to entertain, chefs who love to cook, and guests who love to eat and socialize together for special dinner parties in a host’s home or other pop-up locations. 

Do you love to entertain? Meet new people? Want to show off your hosting or culinary skills?  Then apply to become a DinDin Party Host or Chef, at

Are you a foodie? Do you love to meet new people? Experience other cultures? Or want a more memorable date night? Then register as a Dindin Party Guest, at