50 Mother's Day Dinner Ideas (Because Your Mom Totally Deserves It)

editor@purewow.com (PureWow)
·8 min read

Last year, we all had to think outside of the box with our Mother’s Day festivities due to the pandemic. And, well, this year, we might have to get creative once again.

But just because we have to be mindful of social distancing, that doesn’t mean celebrating our favorite mamas has to be any less special. Whether you’re gathering safely for a multi-course feast or just dropping off a main dish, here are 50 Mother’s Day dinner ideas to spoil your mom. From a gorgeous tomato galette to foolproof paella, Mom will be beyond impressed.

RELATED: The 10 Best Cooking Tips We Learned from Our Moms

1. Cherry Tomato Galette with Garlic and Herbs

It’s like a fancy, ultra-impressive version of a pizza. Serve it with a big salad to complete the spread.

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2. Baked Feta with Garlicky Kale and Chickpeas

Your mom called us and said she wants cheese for dinner. No other Mother’s Day presents needed.

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3. Seared Scallops with Green Peas, Mint and Shallots

If you’re a little intimidated by cooking seafood at home, take solace in the fact that this dish takes 20 minutes to make.

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4. Instant Pot Coconut Salmon with Fresh Herbs and Lime

Look, another 20-minute seafood stunner—can you tell we have a type?

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5. Cacio e Pepe

This classic Italian pasta calls for just six ingredients, but it tastes like something from a restaurant.

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6. Pistachio-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Apple and Escarole Salad

Forget about dry, overcooked pork tenderloin. This one is so buttery, it’ll practically melt in your mouth.

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7. One-Pot, 15-Minute Pasta Limone

This one doesn’t even require an extra trip to the grocery store—you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry right now.

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8. Pan-Seared Scallops with Citrusy Corn Succotash

This recipe seems fancy but it’s actually foolproof.

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9. Chicken Thighs with Pancetta and Green Olives

The secret to impossibly crispy skin (which is, in our opinion, the best part) is to start with a cold pan. It works every time.

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10. Pomegranate-Maple Glazed Lamb Chops

These chops are as easy to cook as chicken, we promise.

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RELATED: 24 Hilarious Mother’s Day Quotes to Brighten Any Mama’s Day

11. White Risotto with Corn, Carrots and Kale

Grab the prettiest produce you can find at the farmers market, then customize this dish as you please.

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12. Orecchiette with Burrata, Tomatoes and Almond Pesto

It’s not quite a vacation to Italy, but it’s the next-best thing.

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13. Whole-Wheat Feta Tart with Caramelized Onions and Herbs

It’s a little bit sweet, a little bit salty and completely delicious.

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14. Ina Garten’s Updated Chicken Marbella

Your mom will think you took private cooking lessons from the Barefoot Contessa herself.

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15. Salmon and Fennel Dinner Salad

If brunch was a little too filling, keep dinner light but satisfying with this protein-packed salad.

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16. Whole Roasted Chipotle Chicken

Would you believe this beauty is made with just four ingredients?

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17. Gwyneth Paltrow’s Easy Frittata

It’s healthy yet filling and uses up leftover vegetables—just what Mom likes.

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18. Pomegranate-Sumac Chicken with Roasted Carrots

Pull this sheet-pan meal out of the oven and prepare for the oohs and ahhs.

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19. Bacon-Wrapped Black Cod with Spinach and Capers

Our mantra: Everything is better with a little bacon.

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20. Cheater’s White Pizza with Béchamel Sauce

Careful: This pie is so impressive, your mom might ask you to make it every Sunday after Mother’s Day too.

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21. Cheater’s Vegetarian Pizza with Zucchini and Bell Peppers

If she’s more of a veggie-pie person, make this 30-minute number with all the fixings.

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22. Greek Chicken and Rice Skillet

This one-skillet dish is the ultimate trifecta: It’s easy to make, pretty to serve and so damn delicious.

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23. Bruschetta Chicken

This chicken dinner tastes indulgent, thanks to a generous dusting of Parm. In reality, it’s pretty healthy (not to mention ready in 40 minutes).

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24. Pasta Florentine with Grilled Chicken

Creamy pasta, smoky chicken. What’s not to love?

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25. Mini Lobster Rolls

There’s really no such thing as a *bad* lobster roll, but somehow, these cuties taste even better since they’re bite-size.

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26. Chicken Tinga Tacos

It starts with a store-bought rotisserie chicken but shh, don’t tell anyone.

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27. Summer Skillet Gnocchi with Grilled Corn and Burrata

Serve this one with a bottle of white wine and you’ll instantly become the favorite at the table.

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28. Spicy Bucatini Amatriciana

This spicy pasta is pretty simple to make, but it tastes like a million bucks.

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29. 30-Minute One-Pot Cheater’s Bouillabaisse

Splurge on high-quality seafood for this one—you won’t regret it.

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30. Foolproof Cheater’s Confit

Excuse us, is your name Julia Child?

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31. Skillet Steak with Asparagus and Potatoes

Homecooked steak that’s better than at a restaurant? Yep, it’s a thing.

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32. Cheater’s Skillet Paella

The traditional version of this hearty Spanish rice dish is delicious but time-consuming. Our version isn’t exactly authentic, but it tastes just as good.

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33. Potato and Burrata Pizza

If your mom doesn’t love both potatoes and burrata, then you two might need to have a chat.

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34. Pan-Roasted Chicken with Shallots and Dates

It’s sweet-salty and bright, thanks to a genius combination of olives, dates, shallots and lemon.

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35. Skillet Gnocchi with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

It takes only 30 minutes from start to finish, but go ahead and pretend you spent the whole day in the kitchen.

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36. Grilled Peach and Halloumi Salad with Lemon-Pesto Dressing

We’re sometimes wary of salad for dinner, since it can verge on snoozy. But this plate has both fresh fruit and melty cheese, so it’s impossible not to love.

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37. Rigatoni with Vodka Sauce

Nothing says, “I love you, Mom,” quite like a rich, velvety tomato cream sauce.

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38. Sweet-and-Sour Pork Skewers with Pineapple

Fire up the barbecue and show everyone your grilling skills.

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39. Spicy Pineapple Prosciutto Tarts

If appetizers for dinner is her Mother’s Day dream, serve a platter of these with a fresh salad on the side. They’re like Hawaiian pizza, but better.

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40. Skillet Pasta with Summer Squash, Ricotta and Basil

It’s spring, so save the spaghetti and meatballs for another day. This pasta skillet (which gets dolloped with fresh ricotta!) is what the warm weather calls for.

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RELATED: The 50 Best Mother’s Day Desserts to Treat Mom to on Her Big Day

41. Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa

They’re sweet, spicy and best eaten alfresco.

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42. Pork Scallopini with Lemon, Capers and Radicchio

The name makes this dish sound ambitious, but it’s actually super approachable. Set your timer for 20 minutes.

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43. Orecchiette with Spring Greens

With a bunch of seasonal produce, you don’t need to try hard to make an amazing meal.

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44. Grilled Flank Steak with Lemon-Herb Sauce

For maximum flavor, this steak gets marinated for a few hours before it hits the grill. Plan accordingly.

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45. Piri Piri Chicken

The potatoes soak up all those glorious juices from the bird. Mom’s going to be *so* impressed.

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46. Corn Fritter Caprese with Peaches and Tomatoes

Fancy enough that if you put it down in front of Mom, it will elicit oohs and ahhs.

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47. Creamy Chicken, Corn and Tomato Skillet

A handful of ingredients and just three simple steps are all it takes.

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48. Spaghetti with Avocado Pasta Sauce

This recipe is rich but totally virtuous, and the whole meal takes just 30 minutes to prepare. (Cue singing angels.)

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49. Pasta Alla Norma

Best of all, you can make four servings for less than $10. Salute!

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50. Skillet Lasagna with Corn and Cherry Tomatoes

Corn and cherry tomatoes have the same cheesy goodness you crave (and then some), minus the hours of assembly time.

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RELATED: The 56 Best Mother's Day Gifts for Every Type of Mom