Whether you're cooking for love, to celebrate friendship, or to produce oohs and aahs around the table, these showstopping main dish recipes are perfect for any special occasion dinner. There's something here for every mood and party size, from tender, little Cornish hens to a full sized roast goose, and everything in between. Whether you prefer to set the culinary mood with seafood, beef, poultry, or vegetarian entrees, you have your choice of creative selections below.
This roasted Cornish hen with grapes recipe makes a lovely addition to holiday menus and Sunday dinners. Roasted grapes and shallots are served up alongside juicy, savory Cornish hens seasoned with Cognac and thyme. This recipe takes only a few minutes to put together and creates a beautiful, effortless showpiece for guests to enjoy.
French cuisine made its debut in America thanks in part to this famous duck a l'orange recipe for seared duck breast glazed with sweet orange sauce. This sophisticated dish is a wonderful addition to party menus and romantic dinners. The easy sauce can be prepared ahead of time and the duck seared right before serving.
Chateaubriand is a juicy-on-the-inside, seared and roasted beef tenderloin with wine sauce frequently ordered for a table of two at French restaurants. This chateaubriand recipe is the traditional version of the restaurant favorite, seasoned very simply, roasted to perfection, and then sliced on the diagonal.
Flickr user snowpea&bokchoi
This scallops in sage cream recipe is astoundingly quick and easy to prepare. Sweet, pan-seared sea scallops are nestled on a bed of sautéed mirepoix and sage cream. With its fresh, simple flavors, this dish will appeal to seafood lovers and it makes an excellent last-minute dinner.
Flickr user joyosity
This butternut squash and sage pasta recipe makes an easy weeknight meal. It's a tempting combination of cinnamon-dusted, roasted squash and frizzled sage tossed with lightly browned pasta. It provides a wonderful family meal, full of autumn flavor and perfect for special occasions.
This brandied roast goose recipe is extraordinarily easy to prepare and makes a spectacular main course for guests. It's an old-time Christmas favorite in many regions of Europe, with deliciously good reason. This impressive roast goose recipe comes with its own Cognac fruit sauce, so there's no need to plan for an additional berry sauce.
Cheese Souffle Recipe
Flickr user clairity
This traditional cheese soufflé is light, airy, and savory - everything a cheese soufflé should be! This easy recipe can be whipped up in 15 minutes for flawless results. Gruyere and Comte cheese can be used interchangeably in this bistro classic.
©Flickr user DearBarbie
This Coquilles Saint-Jacques recipe is traditionally served on little scallop shells, but ovenproof ramekins are a great substitution. It features scallops and mushrooms, sautéed in butter with seasonings, and then made even richer with a Gruyere and breadcumb topping. Coquilles Saint-Jacques is most often eaten as a first course, or appetizer, but can be used as a delicious seafood entrée.
Flickr user biskuit
This confit byaldi recipe makes such a beautiful and elegant presentation, the lightly caramelized, savory flavors are almost a second thought. Thomas Keller of the French Laundry made this interpretation of classic ratatouille popular, and now there are countless variations in the culinary world, each more delicious than the last.