50 Mother's Day Dinner Ideas To Surprise Mom With This Year

Once she tastes these dishes, mom will insist you cook for her every year.

Pasta with Shrimp and Tomato Cream Sauce
Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen; Food Styling: Anna Hampton

Knowing the right way to celebrate your fantastic mom can be a challenge. Flowers and candy are certainly appreciated, but you want to do more for the lady who has done so much for you.

Avoid the crowds at the restaurants this year and prepare your mom a home-cooked meal. We have selected some top-rated recipes for quick and easy dinner options. These Mother's Day dinner recipes range from beef tenderloin to budget-friendly chicken dishes that feel fancy. If your mother has difficulty staying out of the kitchen, let her relax with a refreshing spring cocktail. And once she has a serving of your homemade dessert, she will insist you cook for her every year.

Keep reading for 50 Mother's Day dinner ideas—from Herb-Crusted Beef Tenderloin to Orange Rosemary Roast Chicken and Honey-Mustard Baked Salmon. There will be no doubt that your mom will feel loved and inspired, whatever your kitchen skills and appetite may be. Trust us: A home-cooked Mother's Day dinner is a gift guaranteed to make her feel like a queen!

01 of 50

Grilled Lemon Chicken with Herb Couscous

Grilled Lemon Chicken with Herb Couscous
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Marinate this chicken in a garlic-lemon mixture before grilling to give it plenty of flavor and moisture. The recipe makes enough to cover a whole chicken in a delicious lemony, herby, and honey-Dijon sauce. Add a side of couscous with cucumbers, fresh mint, and parsley, and you have the perfect meal.

02 of 50

Herb-Crusted Beef Tenderloin

Herb-Crusted Beef Tenderloin
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Enjoy an elegant Mother's Day dinner by serving classic beef tenderloin as the main dish. Despite its fancy appearance, this dish requires little preparation and only 10 minutes of active cooking. A coating of mustard and mayonnaise helps seal in the meat's juice.

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Orange-Rosemary Roast Chicken

Orange-Rosemary Roast Chicken
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

A cast-iron skillet helps crisp the skin before you place the chicken on the sheet pan. This dish is the perfect blend of savory and sweet flavoring. Enjoy the convenience of cooking the chicken, baby potatoes, orange slices, and rosemary all on one tray.

04 of 50

Chicken-and-Broccoli Skillet Pasta

Chicken-and-Broccoli Skillet Pasta
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

This 30-minute meal is a one-dish dinner that will please the whole family. Piquanté peppers give this dish a sweet-and-spicy brine. Substitute your favorite noodles for the egg noodles called for in this recipe.

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Sheet Pan Hanger Steak and Vegetables

Sheet Pan Hanger Steak and Vegetables
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling; Heather Chadduck Hillegas; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Have dinner on your Mother's Day table in under an hour. A flavored butter compound made from softened butter, seasonings, and herbs, elevates this sheet pan supper. Sheet pan steak is ideal when it's too chilly to grill outdoors and makes clean-up a breeze.

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Chicken Scallopini

Chicken Scallopini
Photography: Caitlin Bensel, Prop Styling: Audrey Davis, Food Styling: Rishon Hanners

This pretty dish comes together in just 30 minutes. The tender, crispy, and juicy chicken pairs perfectly with the rich mushroom sauce. Serve over noodles for a complete meal in no time.

07 of 50

Homemade Shake-and-Bake Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce

Homemade Shake-and-Bake Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce
Alison Miksch

Remember when you helped your mom shake it and bake it? Show her how well you learned to cook with this fresh twist on that childhood favorite. Make the meal complete with homemade mustard sauce and green beans.

08 of 50

Lemony Slow-Cooked Salmon with Potatoes and Fennel

Lemony Slow-Cooked Salmon with Potatoes and Fennel
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Thanks to this slow-cooker recipe, no one will have to spend all day in the kitchen. Slow-cooker salmon comes together seamlessly with the licorice-forward fennel, subtly-sweet leeks, and bright lemon. Cook salmon until it's flaky and slightly pink in the middle.

09 of 50

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

Chicken Parmesan Casserole
Photographer: Will Dickey Prop Stylist: Missie Crawford Food Stylist: Erin Merhar

Get the flavor of chicken Parmesan without any frying required with this Italian-inspired casserole. Have this classic dish on the table in under an hour, packed with cheesy seasoned chicken. If you miss the noodle, pair this dinner with a side of pasta.

10 of 50

Pork Chops with Spring Onions, Farro, and Asparagus

Pork Chops with Spring Onions, Farro, and Asparagus
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl Jones; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Serve protein, whole grains, and veggies all in one dish for a well-rounded plate. Quickly brown the pork chops before adding them to the baking dish for a flavorful exterior. After placing the chops in the baking pan, cover them with the savory sauce and bake.

11 of 50

Skillet Shrimp Destin with Orzo

Skillet Shrimp Destin with Orzo
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

This shrimp recipe proves an easy meal with a short list of ingredients can still be a showstopper. This recipe, using primarily pantry staples, is light and refreshing. Save fresh herbs, such as dill and parsley, to sprinkle on top of this skillet dish before serving.

12 of 50

Crispy Breaded Pork Cutlets

Crispy Breaded Pork Cutlets
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl Jones; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Boneless cutlets have a short cook time, so you can brown the meat without overcooking it. This recipe uses peanut oil because of its high smoke point and the extra flavor it adds. Serve with homemade slaw.

13 of 50

Smoked-Pork-Stuffed Pasta Shells

Smoked-Pork-Stuffed Pasta Shells
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Smoked pork from your favorite BBQ joint makes a tasty (and easy) filling for jumbo pasta shells. This recipe works just as well with chicken. Make one for Mother's Day and save a second for a freezer-friendly dinner in the future.

14 of 50

Creamy Pesto-and-Shrimp Penne with Peas

Creamy Pesto-and-Shrimp Penne with Peas
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Convenience items like pre-peeled shrimp, frozen peas, and store-bought pesto will lend a helping hand so you can serve a delicious homemade meal in 25 minutes. Save some pasta water to add towards the end of cooking, creating a silkier sauce. Garnish with freshly grate Parmesan for a restaurant-worthy dish.

15 of 50

Cast-Iron Pork Cacciatore

Cast-Iron Pork Cacciatore
Stephen DeVries, Prop Styling: Missie Neville Crawford; Food Styling: Torie Cox

We bet you'd never guess that this hearty dish comes together in 30 minutes. This one-pan dish combines chicken, vegetables, and tomato sauce into this impressive dinner. Substitute any green olive or caper, depending on what's available.

16 of 50

Chicken Divan

Chicken Divan
Southern Living

This twist on classic Chicken Divan falls between a dressy and "dump-it-and-forget-it" style recipe. While perfectly easy to make, this dish is still company-worthy. Parmesan cheese and whipped cream create an ultra-rich, cheesy sauce.

17 of 50

Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce

Slow-Cooker Bolognese Sauce
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Make a traditional Italian dinner with the help of your slow cooker. Ground beef, spicy Italian sausage, and diced pancetta combine to create this well-seasoned pasta sauce. This recipe makes enough to serve 12 people, so it's good to save it in an airtight container for up to three months.

18 of 50

Instant Pot Mississippi Pot Roast

Instant Pot Mississippi Pot Roast
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner; Food Styling: Maggie Ruggiero

Roast is always a staple for family dinners. We guarantee this recipe will become an instant favorite as it takes only 20 minutes to assemble. Serve over egg noodles, rice, or mashed potatoes.

19 of 50

Honey-Mustard Baked Salmon with Vegetables

Honey-Mustard Salmon with Vegetables
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Tina Bell Stamos

A sheet pan fish simplifies preparations for a large crowd. This recipe uses panko breadcrumbs to give salmon a nice, crunchy finish and tangy honey mustard for a flavorful kick. Choose filets that are similar in size so the cooking time will be the same.

20 of 50

Pork Tenderloin with Shaved Vegetable Salad

Pork Tenderloin with Shaved Vegetable SaladPork Tenderloin with Shaved Vegetable Salad
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl Jones; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Pork tenderloin won't break the bank, but with a picture-perfect spring vegetable salad and your prettiest serving dish, it's Mother's Day ready. Use a meat thermometer to help gauge cooking time so the pork does not overcook. Shaved fresh vegetables add more flavoring to this dish when dressed in a lemony vinaigrette.

21 of 50

Roasted Spatchcock Chicken

Garlicky Roasted Spatchcock Chicken
Alison Miksch

When in doubt, take a page from Ina Garten's book: A roasted chicken is always a good idea. Spatchcocking means butterflying the bird while roasting the chicken, which helps prevent dryness. Ask your butcher to help flatten the chicken so the breast and legs can cook at the same level.

22 of 50

Pasta with Shrimp and Tomato Cream Sauce

Pasta with Shrimp and Tomato Cream Sauce
Caitlin Bensel; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen; Food Styling: Anna Hampton

This pasta dish is easy to make but feels fancier than any usual weeknight dinner. Look for various tomatoes, such as cherry or grape, to add a bright, colorful selection to this dish. Fresh shrimp works best in this recipe, so you don't overcook them.

23 of 50

Roasted Beef Tenderloin

Cheese Sauce over Cauliflower
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling; Tina Bell Stamos

Beef tenderloin is the ultimate holiday main dish, so go all out on Mother's Day with this dinner. It only takes olive oil, pepper, and salt to prepare the beef, which takes under an hour to cook. This meat pairs perfectly with a Vidalia Onion-and-Vinegar Sauce

24 of 50

Chicken à la King

Chicken a la King
Southern Living

This regal dish offers all the comfort of chicken pot pie in neat little packages. It's essentially a crustless chicken pot pie or chicken gravy. Pile this mixture on top of a buttermilk biscuit, and you have a dish the entire family can enjoy.

25 of 50

Chicken Alouette

Chicken Alouette Recipe
Hector Manuel Sanchez

This old-school dinner makes for a pretty presentation that's affordable too. Alouette Cheese is a creamy garlic and herb spreadable cheese found in the grocery store's dairy section. Use this spreadable cheese in this recipe and save the leftovers to pair with apple wedges or crostinis.

26 of 50

Shrimp and Peas with Farfalle

Shrimp and Peas with Farfalle
Alison Miksch

Showcase your cooking skills this Mother's Day with this tasty shrimp dinner. This dish has a delightful crunch because of the lemony breadcrumbs sprinkled over the pasta. Add a loaf of crusty bread for good measure.

27 of 50

Chicken-Mushroom-Sage Casserole

Chicken-Mushroom-Sage Casserole
Iain Bagwell

This one-dish dinner makes budget-friendly, comforting chicken-and-rice casserole into a formal dinner worthy of Mother's Day. It has all the good flavors and textures your family loves, including chicken, garlic, sage, rice, parsley, and Parmesan. Let this dish stand for a few minutes after baking so the rice absorbs all the liquids.

28 of 50

Chicken-and-Artichoke Penne

Chicken-and-Artichoke Penne
Alison Miksch

Create a refreshing dinner with only nine ingredients. You don't need to be a master chef to fix Mom a delicious dinner. This easy chicken and pasta dish comes together in just 30 minutes.

29 of 50

Asparagus with Cheese Sauce and Herb Breadcrumbs

Asparagus with Cheese Sauce and Herb Breadcrumbs
Greg Dupree; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Spring's favorite veggie is made more delicious with a stress-free cheese sauce that won't overpower it. Asparagus is best when served fresh, so try to use it within a few days of purchase. Snap off the hard ends and trim the feathery tips before cooking.

30 of 50

Seared Scallops with Fresh Tomato-Basil Sauce and Orzo

Seared Scallops with Fresh Tomato-Basil Sauce and Orzo
Linda Pugliese; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Anna Hampton

This restaurant-worthy dinner is ready in 30 minutes. Jumbo scallops, also called large or sea scallops, have a sweet, delicate flavoring. With a chewy texture, these scallops are ideal for stirring into a pasta dish or on top of a salad.

31 of 50

Lasagna Roll Ups

Tomato-Basil Lasagna Rolls
Hector Sanchez

Transform everyone's favorite pasta dish into these beautifully presented roll-ups. Three kinds of cheese in this recipe ensure every bite will be a cheesy delight—and you can always add more on top. Customize this dish to your preferences by adding or substituting mushrooms or spinach.

32 of 50

Best-Ever Crab Cakes with Green Tomato Slaw

Best-Ever Crab Cakes with Green Tomato Slaw
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Crab cakes feel so decadent. No one will know how easy they were to make. With fresh herbs, lemon, and a hint of hot sauce flavor, these breadcrumb-covered crab cakes are perfect when served alongside tangy and crispy slaw.

33 of 50

Braised Lamb Shanks with Parmesan-Chive Grits

Braised Lamb Shanks with Parmesan-Chive Grits
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Torie Cox; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke

Not only does this dinner look gorgeous, but a slow cooker helps this recipe quickly come together. To help the lamb shanks cook evenly, trim the fat, so each piece is roughly the same size. Chive grits pair perfectly with this company-worthy dinner.

34 of 50

Creamy Rice with Scallops

Creamy Rice with Scallops
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Missie Neville Crawford; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Bacon makes everything better, and it definitely contributes to this dreamy dinner. Sweet corn and scallops balance the taste of this risotto-like dish's smoky, salty bacon. Sea scallops—large or jumbo—are better than bay scallops because the smaller seafood will overcook.

35 of 50

Strawberry-Spinach Salad

Strawberry-Spinach Salad with Sweet Vidalia Onion Dressing
Greg Dupree; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

This springy salad makes use of abundant strawberries from the farmers' market. Serve this salad with protein, such as grilled chicken, pork tenderloin, or shrimp.

36 of 50

Grilled Steak Salad with Walnut Dressing

Grilled Steak Salad with Walnut Dressing
Becky Luigart-Stayner

In just 30 minutes, you can serve your mom a well-seasoned grilled steak and green salad. Customize this salad to your preferences. Try pairing it with a side of fresh blueberries, strawberries, or mango.

37 of 50

Cacio e Pepe with Sauteed Shrimp

Cacio e Pepe with Sauteed Shrimp
Photo: Greg DuPree; prop styling: Claire Spollen; food styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Prepare this seafood and pasta dish in under 30 minutes. When cooking shrimp, add garlic and stir until the shrimp's pink, about three minutes. Toss the shrimp in the pasta mixture and top with cracked black pepper before serving.

38 of 50

Beefy Baked Ravioli with Spinach and Cheese

Beefy Baked Ravioli with Spinach and Cheese
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Store-bought refrigerated ravioli help reduce preparations and cooking time for this recipe. This comforting skillet supper seamlessly pairs pasta, beef, cheese, and vegetables into a one-dish meal. Customize this dish based on your preferences, switching ground turkey or chicken for the beef or Swiss chard leaves for the spinach.

39 of 50

Pasta with Pancetta, Artichokes, and Roasted Red Peppers

Pasta with Pancetta, Artichokes, and Roasted Red Peppers
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Upgrade your traditional pasta with red sauce with this five-ingredient recipe that is simple enough to make on a busy weeknight but also works for dinner parties. Bowtie pasta has the perfect grooves to catch the pasta sauce, but any crinkly pasta will do. Let the pasta cool for a few minutes before adding the pancetta and arugula.

40 of 50

Grilled Corn-and-Salmon Salad with Tomatoes

Grilled Corn-and-Salmon Salad with Tomatoes
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners

Fresh corn and tomatoes are a perfect pairing. Customize this dish by substituting any greens for the spinach if you prefer, but using spinach will hold up better than others. Look for skinless salmon at the grocery store because they are less likely to stick to the grill.

41 of 50

Fresh Salmon Cakes with Buttermilk Dressing

Fresh Salmon Cakes with Buttermilk Dressing
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Missie Neville Crawford; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Upgrade traditional crab cakes this Mother's Day. These Salmon Cakes have a crispy exterior and tender, flavorful interior. Topped these salmon cakes with a homemade buttermilk dressing and serve with a fresh green salad.

42 of 50

Easy Shrimp Scampi with Basil

Easy Shrimp Scampi with Basil
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Lydia Pursell; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Succulent shrimp and fresh basil make this quick meal a crowd-pleaser. Save some pasta water to add to the wine, butter, and lemon juice, creating a silky sauce. You can substitute chicken stock for the wine if you prefer.

43 of 50

Chicken-and-Biscuit Cobbler

Chicken-and-Biscuit Cobbler
Alison Miksch

You can't go wrong with making comfort food for your family on Mother's Day. While your Chicken and Biscuits might not be as good as your mother's, this hearty cobbler will fill you with warm feelings and flavors. To save time, use rotisserie chicken in this recipe.

44 of 50

Creamy Salmon Fettuccini and Spring Vegetables

Creamy Salmon Fettuccini and Spring Vegetables
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Freshly flaked salmon and asparagus combine into a fresh, vibrant pasta dish. Adding lemon zest, green peas, and dill elevate the bright flavors of salmon and fettuccine. This creamy dish uses Boursin cheese and water for a simple, flavorful sauce.

45 of 50

Mini Meatloaves with Potatoes, Leeks, and Brussels Sprouts

Mini Meatloaves with Potatoes, Leeks, and Brussels Sprouts
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Mini-meatloaves are an adorable way to present comfort food, making it feel occasion-worthy. The tangy soy sauce and ketchup glaze cover this meatloaf, filled with savory ground beef and vegetables. Prepare the mixture a day in advance, and store and protect it in the refrigerator until you form the meatloaves the following day.

46 of 50

One-Pot Pasta

Ground Beef Recipes: One-Pot Pasta

Southern Living

You won't believe this home-cooked meal is ready in under 30 minutes and only uses one pot. This delicious, quick, and flavorful pasta takes advantage of a few grocery store shortcuts, such as jarred pasta sauce and pre-sliced vegetables. Add a package of store-bought ravioli, and you have a classic dinner the entire family will enjoy.

47 of 50

Beefy Butternut Squash Pasta

Beefy Butternut Squash Pasta
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner; Food Styling: Maggie Ruggiero

A one-pan recipe that combines hearty squash, greens, and beef is sure to be a winner. After browning the meat, add the chunks of butternut squash and beef to a skillet, which takes less than 10 minutes to cook. If reheating leftovers, add more chicken broth to a skillet because microwaving will make the pasta too chewy.

48 of 50

Greek Stuffed Peppers

Greek Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers in a glass dish
Denise Phillips Sarigianopoulo

Prepare a stuffed pepper for each guest at your Mother's Day dinner. This recipe is incredibly versatile because you can choose from ground turkey or beef for the filling and customize the vegetable mix-ins. Substitute cauliflower rice for traditional white rice, or use your favorite variety.

49 of 50

Easy Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

Easy Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner; Food Styling: Maggie Ruggiero

There's no need to order delivery when you know how to prepare this beef and broccoli stir fry. This recipe, ready in 20 minutes, is ideal for busy weeknight dinners but can also serve a large crowd at a Mother's Day dinner. Sprinkle crushed red pepper after cooking to add more heat.

50 of 50

Shepherd's Pie with Potato Crust

Shepherd's Pie with Mashed Potato Crust Image
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Margaret Monroe Dickey; Prop Styling: Cindy Barr

While generally considered comfort food, this Shepherd's Pie has a beautiful presentation worthy of your next family gathering. A mix of sweet and gold potatoes forms a delicious and unique crust. Prepare the beef mixture up to two days in advance and save time preparing.

Keep reading for Mother's Day dessert ideas that will have Mama going back for seconds.

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