40 Best Birthday Dinner Ideas 2022

birthday dinner ideas

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Birthdays are simply my favorite holiday. It truly doesn’t matter if it’s my own special day or that of someone I love (hell, even somebody I only occasionally hang with). You get to celebrate a single person and all that’s great about them! Sorry to be sappy, but what is more endearing than that?

With that in mind, it’s time to assess the current state of birthday celebrations. Now, I love a GNO or a group restaurant outing just as much as the next gal, but sometimes these get-togethers lack a bit of intimacy. Also, while I truly love to indulge with my whole gang, my wallet simply does not want any part of a 3-course meal. (This is the part where the delicious homemade dinner enters the chat.) It doesn’t matter whether you’re planning a romantic bday celebration for two, or a classy dinner soirée with your besties, cooking at home is a cozy alternative to the noisy dinner outings. Plus, grocery story runs are sort of soothing, no?

If you’re down to ring in a solar return with some delicious apps, snacks, and full-fledged dinners, we have an array of options waiting for you right here. Check out 40 birthday dinner ideas below, and try not to feel too ravenous (it’s hard, I’ve gotta admit). Happy eating — now go put your party hat on.

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1

Cheesy Tomato Basil Baked Orzo

This orzo baked with tomato and fresh basil is parmesan heaven. It’s sort of like a pasta dish with imposter syndrome. Or im-pasta syndrome! I’m sorry.

Get the recipe from How Sweet Eats.

2

Creamy Vodka Sauce Pasta

I meannn, the vodka is already gonna be out on the counter for this recipe so you’ve already got yourself a party. (The toasted rosemary breadcrumbs are really the icing on the proverbial cake / pasta here.)

Get the recipe from How Sweet Eats.

3

Chimichurri Quinoa with Flank Steak

Don’t you love when a fresh, light meal and a hearty main dish join forces to create the perfect plate? Well, that’s * exactly * what we have here.

Get the recipe from How Sweet Eats.

Cozy, creamy, classic — what more do you need in an at-home recipe? Bonus: This pasta only requires six ingredients, most of which are already taking up space in your fridge.

Get the recipe from How Sweet Eats.

Prosecco marshmallows are apparently very much a thing, and TBH, it’s the sort of celebratory dessert the world has been patiently waiting for. Marshmallows with a touch of bubbly? Count me in.


Get the recipe from Rosalynn Daniels.

6

Asparagus Puff Pastry Pocket Squares

One bite of this pocket square and you’ve got a taste of asparagus / prosciutto / smoked gouda deliciousness. If you need to undo the top button on your jeans, now is the time.

Get the recipe from Rosalynn Daniels.

7

Salty Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

There must be a scientific reason as to why a sprinkle of salt on top of chocolate chip cookies elevates your mood and the dessert. Can we conduct a study on that?

Get the recipe from Cravings by Chrissy Teigen.

8

Spiked Strawberry Lemonade Arnold Palmers

This summery drink is the perfect pre-dinner treat. Mint leaves go the extra mile and make these casual cocktails feel extra ~ fancy. ~

Get the recipe from Cravings by Chrissy Teigen.

9

Prosciutto Parmesan Twists

Did someone call for the most impressive appetizer ever? (Fooled ya, it’s actually just puff pastry from the good ol ‘freezer section.)

Get the recipe from Cravings band Chrissy Teigen.

10

Chicken Enchilada Bake

This enchilada dish leaves a lot of room for versatility and ingredient swaps (as long as you keep the avocado, bc let’s be honest, that’s a staple). Any way you serve it, she’s a hit.

Get the recipe from Joy the Baker.

11

One Pot Marry Me Chicken

One taste of this and you’ll understand the meaning behind the name. Something about this creamy chicken TikTok recipe inspires lifelong commitment in diners everywhere.

Get the recipe from Joy the Baker.

12

Cucumber Cilatro Margarita

This is the ultimate refreshing cocktail to top off just about any alfresco meal. The fresh cucumber-lime-cilantro combo goes down just as easy as seltzer.

Get the recipe from Joy the Baker.

13

Tomato Herb Pepperoni Pizza

This pie checks all of your pizza boxes, with high marks for crispy, cheesy, gooey edges. Throw it in the oven ASAP.

Get the recipe from Half Baked Harvest.

14

Red Curry Basil Garlic Noodles

The curry basil flavors here are next-level, and the whole dish comes together in just 20 minutes. That’s the way all dinner recipes should be.

Get the recipe from Half Baked Harvest.

15

Chewy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Chocolate and PB is such a tried-and-true combo. Bake up a batch and serve ’em instead of a classic birthday cake (your dinner guests won’t mind).

Get the recipe from Half Baked Harvest.

These easy-to-make cake pops only look complicated. The recipe calls for boxed cake mix, and they come together without any hassle.

Get the recipe from Preppy Kitchen.

Gnocchi with this sweet potato spin adds a layer of flavor that’ll blow your mind and your taste buds.

Get the recipe from Preppy Kitchen.

Searching for something sophisticated to serve on your special day? This classic French dish will do the trick.

Get the recipe from Mon Petit Four.

19

Brown Sugar Cornish Hens & Corn Bread Dressing

I’m a strong believer that cornbread dressing should be an all-year thing, not just a treat reserved for Turkey Day. If you agree, then this recipe is the savory dinner you’ve been waiting all year for.

Get the recipe from Chef Will Coleman.

This fresh Italian meal is beyond delish. Who knew peas and pasta were such a dream pairing?

Get the recipe from Food52.

21

Garlic Butter Baked Salmon

Crispy salmon is sure to be a crowd fave. Plus, paired with fingerling potatoes? Good luck getting your dinner guests out of your apartment at the end of the night.

Get the recipe from Cafe Delites.

No meat, no problem. This traditional Indian spicy rice and veggie recipe could function as a side dish, but honestly, it’s hearty enough to take center stage.

Get the recipe from Food52.

23

Sweet & Savory Burger With Fig Jam, Goat Cheese & Arugula

Now, this is how you properly elevate your classic burger. Whipping these up with your crew is the ultimate outdoor dinner activity.

Get the recipe from Food 52.

24

Green Vegetables Lasagna with Zucchini, Peas, and Green Bean

This remixed lasagna recipe is one you’re gonna wanna save long after your special dinner, that’s for sure.

Get the recipe from Food52.

25

Linguine With Clams, Parsley & Lemon

Is your mouth already watering? Well, just me? This recipe is ridiculously easy to prep, with an obviously delicious payoff (not to mention it looks super fahncy).

Get the recipe from Food52.

26

Risotto Alla Carbonara

Swap out traditional spaghetti for Arborio rice and you’ve got a new-age carb mashup that’s an absolute winner-winner risotto dinner. And yup, those are absolutely crispy pancetta bits sprinkled on top.

Get the recipe from Food52.

27

Blackened Mahi Taco Bowls

Your Taco Tuesdays have never looked this good. Spice ’em up by first blackening the fish, then topping everything off with a coconut-chipotle-lime dressing.

Get the recipe from Le Creuset.

28

Pan-Fried Schnitzel with Fried Lemons and Capers

You’ve never had a Schnitzel quite like this one. And if you’ve never had a Schnitzel, this savory recipe is the place to start. (Now say that back five times fast.)

Get the recipe from Le Creuset.

29

Lemony Risotto with Fresh Herbs & Garlic

An Italian villa-themed bday! (That’s the vibe this dish is giving.)

Get the recipe from Minimalist Baker.

30

Vegan Pasta Primavera with Roasted Veggies

Rejoice in the fact that this is a meal that everyone can dig into and wanna cook again and again, regardless of dietary restrictions.

Get the recipe from Minimalist Baker.

31

1-Pot Vegan White Bean Soup

A v cozy side dish for a fall or chilly spring night. It’s also so colorful — nutritionists everywhere would be proud.

Get the recipe from Minimalist Baker.

32

Creamy Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff

Trust when I say that this dairy-free dish is e-ver-y-thing. Cheese or no cheese, this mushroom stroganoff doesn’t skimp on creaminess or deliciousness.

Get the recipe from Minimalist Baker.

33

Vodka Sauce and Green Bean Cauliflower Gnocchi

Who could get enough of this actual masterpiece of a meal? No one, not a single person. It truly is the perfect birthday treat.

Get the recipe from The Modern Proper.

Yes, pumpkin curry is on the menu, and it’s a no-brainer recipe for autumnal dinners. October birthday queens (I see you, Libras), this one’s for you.

Get the recipe from The Modern Proper.

35

Sesame Garlic Ramen Noodles

No, this one doesn’t come from a cup. It’s the ~ elevated ~ version of ramen noodles, aka the meal of my dreams.

Get the recipe from The Modern Proper.

36

Filipino Chicken Adobo

Run, don’t walk to your kitchen for this crowd-pleaser. If you’ve never cooked Filipino food, you’ve been missing out on this chicken staple.


Get the recipe from The Modern Proper.

Stuffed shells are my love language, and this cheesy, ricotta-filled recipe calls for fresh lemon zest and spinach (which basically makes it a health food, right?)

Get the recipe from Love and Lemons.

38

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe

Orecchiette are pretty much the cutest pasta ever, and when paired with sautéed broccoli rabe and sundried tomatoes, it’s the ultimate crowd-pleasing dinner choice.

Get the recipe from Love and Lemons.

39

Creamy Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Yes indeed, this is a soup rendition of a classic comfort food. Double the batch, because you’re definitely going back for seconds.

Get the recipe from The Chunky Chef.

40

Skillet Cod with Lemon and Capers

Michelin-level meals are possible to achieve at home, and this dish is proof, I promise.

Get the recipe from The Kitchn.

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