(Closed) Hosting first dinner with the in-laws – any suggestions?

posted 8 years ago in Home
Post # 3
4385 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I love making this awesome pasta dish when company comes. It’s called Maple curry chicken, you can find it on allrecipes.com. It is simply amazing. Just make sure you double the sauce portion!

Post # 4
2030 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I recommend picking up a copy of the Bride and Groom Cookbook. It has traditional recipes, and at the back of the book they compile them into different dinner party and holiday menus. I am an avid cook but sometimes it’s nice to have it all arranged for you ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 5
4466 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Summer tomato risotto (you can google it) and a nice fresh salad.  The risotto takes some work (and love) and I think people really appreciate all that goes into it.  And you don’t get to have it a lot because it’s so much work.

Also, something like tacos or fajitas is communal and fun.

Post # 6
1498 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Pasta is the best thing for a big group.

Tortellini with Chicken and Tomato Cream Sauce

-Start a pot of water boiling

-Sauté garlic, onion, and red bell pepper in a deep skillet in a few tbls EVOO

-Cube Chicken Breast, add to skillet to start cooking and season with salt and pepper

-when chicken is getting close to done, add tomato sauce and chopped tomatoes (enough for the amount of sauce you need)

-add half and half or heavy cream until sauce is pink (usually 1/2 cup per 15 oz tomoato sauce)

-season with salt, pepper, basil, oregano, parsley, crushed red pepper

-sometimes I add a little parmesan to the sauce to make it a little cheesier

-simmer until ready to serve (but not too long or the chicken will be over done)

-chop asparagus into approx 2 inch pieces

-boil tortellini and add asparagus when you have a couple mins left in the boil time

-drain pasta and asparagus and add to sauce

Serve with garlic french bread or Sourdough loaf

This is a crowd pleaser everytime.. I do a salad with it too.  SOmetimes I cheat and buy premade vodka sauce and skip the cream, I still add red bell peppers though.

Post # 7
1638 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

If it’s nice a good BBQ is always a crowd pleaser. Some kabobs with veggies & meat, fruit & meat then if you have vegetarians just veggies/fruit! Some pasta salad, salt potatoes…YUM! My FIL’s love to BBQ at our house.

Post # 8
1638 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

@snmcdowell- I’ll have to check out that cookbook, I love that it breaks it down to dinner parties!

Post # 9
1927 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

If his parents are parents are a little formal I would go with a chicken parmasean with pasta, and a salad. Maybe an angel food cake with fresh berries for an after dinner treat.

But if his parents are more laid back I love the BBQ idea. You can make grilled chicken, baked potato’s on the grill, and a salad. For an after dinner treat you can make a peach cobbler.

Post # 10
1150 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

i remember when my Future Mother-In-Law and Future Father-In-Law came for dinner the first time. I was pretty nervous. I made ribs with homemade BBQ sauce, grilled veggies, and homemade bread. I asked her to bring dessert because i wanted her to think she was still the best baker around! 

good luck ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Post # 11
614 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2010

The first time I made dinner for my in-laws, i went overboard. That particular day I’d planned to try a new recipe– tandoori chicken, with basmati rice, a red onion/cucumber salad and naan bread. When my husband asked earlier that week if his brother/sister in law and parents could come over that night I was thinking this is going to be great! But the recipe involved marinating overnight and a few new things I’d never tried. Plus I couldn’t find the bread. And i had to work late that night. Needless to say, I was nervous and a bit stressed–my mother in law’s college degree was in home economics, for goodness sakes! She knows how to cook! Mother-In-Law helped with the salad and my sister in law brought the bread from a random store by their house, so that helped and they all felt involved. ๐Ÿ™‚

The good news is, it all worked out. Everyone loved it. My Father-In-Law loved the chicken  and cucumber salad so much he requests it at home! I wouldn’t recommend it as a first dinner meal, but I can share the recipes later if you’d like.

My recommendation would be to cook your favorite dish that you know how to make and you know tastes good! That way you won’t be stressed and you can enjoy yourself. Mine is a good spaghetti and meat sauce. Its my favorite thing to make and its really easy–feeds a lot of people based on how much pasta you make. Brown a pound of ground beef in a sauce pan(you can add onions and garlic, or onion and garlic powder ;-)), drain the fat and add your favorite jar of spaghetti to the saucepan. Let it simmer while you boil water with a few drops of olive oil and salt, then cook about a pound of spaghetti for 8 min in the boiling water. Drain the spaghetti, top with sauce and parmesan cheese.

I also make garlic bread with this dish. Get a french bread loaf(already baked) and slice it like a subway loaf. Spread butter inside and sprinkle with garlic powder. Slice it up and bake on a baking sheet on 350 for like 10 minutes. Add a salad and you are good! If you want dessert, you can get ice cream or some other easy thing. ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 12
264 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I agree that it’s always less stressful to make a dish that you’ve made before when you have guests. I consider myself a fairly experienced cook but I still have flops and I like to experience those in private. Smile

I would definitely focus on highlighting summer produce– tomatoes and peaches are both great right now. I made these fresh peach wine coolers for company recently and they were AWESOME:


Post # 13
169 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

My go to recipe is called Champagne Shrimp pasta and i have never met a person who didn’t drool over it.  I got it off allrecipes years ago.  Here is the link and how I do it differently.  The best part of this is that it really only takes about 15 minutes to make, has very few ingredients and tastes much more complicated than it is.



I use angel hair not the linguine in the pic.  I don’t like onions so I leave out the shallots, and instead of dicing the tomatoes I slice them in super thin rounds just for the look. 


You have gotten alot of pasta recommendations and not sure how comfortable with cooking you are but some great options are roast chicken or pot roast.  Both you just put in the oven and it makes the house smell very June Clever.  If you want to add something a little more snazzy that is pretty fail safe try a more interesting salad such as fresh spinach with fresh strawberries and walnuts or maybe cranberries.  Then a fresh fruit based dersert that is light and summer feeling. 

In the end cook something that you feel confident with.  You are going to be a little on edge anyhow so if you can give the meal a test run or do something that isn’t going to take a ton of your time.  Even if it feels basic somethings that is best and take a risk somewhere else in the meal. 

Post # 14
2204 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Prosciuto wrapped asparagus- yum!

I always like to have a salad on hand as well.

Post # 15
950 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

What was the update on this thread?  What did you finally serve? I’m curious how everything went!

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