36 Mother's Day Dinner Ideas to Surprise Mom With This Year

Grilled Steak with Blistered Beans and Peppers
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Tina Bell Stamos; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

It's always a struggle to know just the right way to celebrate your special mom. Flowers and candy are certainly appreciated, but you always want to do more for the lady who has done so much for you.

Avoid the crowds at the restaurants this year and prepare Mom a home-cooked meal. We have selected some of our 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. Mom might have a hard time staying out the kitchen, so 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 35+ Mother's Day dinner ideas—from Herb-Crusted Beef Tenderloin to Orange Rosemary Roast Chicken and Honey-Mustard Baked Salmon—that will no-doubt leave mom feeling 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!

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Grilled Lemon Chicken with Herb Couscous

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

Recipe: Grilled Lemon Chicken with Herb Couscous

Marinating chicken in a garlic-lemon mixture before grilling will give it plenty of flavor and moisture.

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Herb-Crusted Beef Tenderloin

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

Recipe: Herb-Crusted Beef Tenderloin

Treat Mama to an elegant Mother's Day dinner by serving classic beef tenderloin as the main dish.

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Orange-Rosemary Roast Chicken

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

Recipe: Orange-Rosemary Roast Chicken

A cast-iron skillet helps crisp the skin before you place the chicken on the sheet pan.

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Chicken-and-Broccoli Skillet Pasta

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

Recipe: Chicken-and-Broccoli Skillet Pasta

This 30-minute meal is a one-dish dinner that will please the whole family, which means Mama will be happy.

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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

Recipe: Sheet Pan Hanger Steak and Vegetables

A flavored butter compound elevates this sheet pan supper.

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Chicken Scallopini

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

Recipe: Chicken Scallopini

This pretty dish comes together in just 30 minutes. Serve over noodles for a complete meal in no time.

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Homemade Shake-and-Bake Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce

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

Recipe: Homemade Shake-and-Bake Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce

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.

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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

Recipe: Lemony Slow-Cooked Salmon with Potatoes and Fennel

No one will have to spend all day in the kitchen thanks to this slow-cooker recipe.

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Chicken Parmesan Casserole

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

Recipe: Chicken Parmesan Casserole

Get the flavor of chicken Parmesan without any frying required with this Italian-inspired casserole.

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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

Recipe: Pork Chops with Spring Onions, Farro, and Asparagus

Serve up protein, whole grains, and veggies all in one dish for a well-rounded plate.

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Skillet Shrimp Destin with Orzo

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

Recipe: Skillet Shrimp Destin with Orzo

This shrimp recipe proves that an easy meal with a short ingredient list can still be a showstopper.

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Crispy Breaded Pork Cutlets

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

Recipe: Crispy Breaded Pork Cutlets

Boneless cutlets have a short cook time that allows them to be browned without being overcooked.

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Smoked-Pork-Stuffed Pasta Shells

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

Recipe: Smoked-Pork-Stuffed Pasta Shells

Smoked pork from your favorite BBQ joint makes a tasty (and easy) filling for jumbo pasta shells.

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Creamy Pesto-and-Shrimp Penne with Peas

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

Recipe: Creamy Pesto-and-Shrimp Penne with Peas

Convenience items like pre-peeled shrimp, frozen peas, and store-bought pesto will lend a helping hand so you can serve Mama a delicious homemade meal in 25 minutes.

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Cast-Iron Pork Cacciatore

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

Recipe: Cast-Iron Pork Cacciatore

We bet you'd never guess that this hearty dish comes together in just 30 minutes.

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Chicken Divan

Chicken Divan
Southern Living

Recipe: Chicken Divan

Celebrate Mama with our take on the 1950s dinner party favorite.

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Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce

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

Recipe: Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce

Make a traditional Italian dinner with the help of your slow cooker (Mama doesn't have to know).

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Instant Pot Mississippi Pot Roast

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

Recipe: Instant Pot Mississippi Pot Roast

Roast is always a staple for family dinner and we guarantee this recipe will become an instant favorite.

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Honey-Mustard Baked Salmon with Vegetables

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

Recipe: Honey-Mustard Baked Salmon with Vegetables

Panko breadcrumbs give salmon a nice, crunchy finish. Choose filets that are similar in size so the cook time will be the same.

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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

Recipe: Pork Tenderloin with Shaved Vegetable Salad

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.

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Roasted Spatchcock Chicken

Garlicky Roasted Spatchcock Chicken
Alison Miksch

Recipe: Roasted Spatchcock Chicken

When in doubt, take a page from Ina Garten's book: A roasted chicken is always a good idea.

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Pasta with Shrimp and Tomato Cream Sauce

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

Recipe: Pasta with Shrimp and Tomato Cream Sauce

This pasta dish is so easy to make but feels fancier than any usual weeknight dinner.

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Roasted Beef Tenderloin

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

Recipe: Roasted Beef Tenderloin

Beef tenderloin is the ultimate holiday main dish and Mama will be so honored you went all out for her day.

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Chicken à la King

Chicken a la King
Southern Living

Recipe: Chicken à la King

Get all the comfort of a chicken pot pie in neat little packages that were made for holiday serving.

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Chicken Alouette

Chicken Alouette Recipe
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Chicken Alouette

This old-school dinner makes for pretty presentation that's affordable too.

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Shrimp and Peas with Farfalle

Shrimp and Peas with Farfalle
Alison Miksch

Recipe: Shrimp and Peas with Farfalle

Mom is sure to be impressed with the tasty shrimp dinner. Add a loaf of crusty bread for good measure.

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Chicken-Mushroom-Sage Casserole

Chicken-Mushroom-Sage Casserole
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Chicken-Mushroom-Sage Casserole

This one-dish dinner makes budget-friendly, comforting chicken-and-rice casserole into an elevated dinner worthy of Mama's day.

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Chicken-and-Artichoke Penne

Chicken-and-Artichoke Penne
Alison Miksch

Recipe: Chicken-and-Artichoke Penne

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.

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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

Recipe: Asparagus with Cheese Sauce and Herb Breadcrumbs

Spring's favorite veggie is only made more delicious with a stress-free cheese sauce that won't overpower it.

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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

Recipe: Seared Scallops with Fresh Tomato-Basil Sauce and Orzo

This restaurant-worthy dinner is ready in just 30 minutes, but it sure doesn't look like it.

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Lasagna Roll Ups

Tomato-Basil Lasagna Rolls
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Lasagna Roll Ups

Make Mama's favorite lasagna with a prettier presentation that's ready for a holiday with this recipe.

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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

Recipe: Best-Ever Crab Cakes with Green Tomato Slaw

Crab cakes feel so decadent, but don't tell Mama how easy they were to make.

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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

Recipe: Braised Lamb Shanks with Parmesan-Chive Grits

Would you believe this gorgeous dinner was made with help from the slow cooker? Mama might not.

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Creamy Rice with Scallops

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

Recipe: Creamy Rice with Scallops

Bacon makes everything better, and it definitely contributes to this dreamy dinner.

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Strawberry-Spinach Salad

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

Recipe: Strawberry-Spinach Salad

This springy salad makes use of abundant strawberries from the farmers' market.

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Grilled Steak Salad with Walnut Dressing

Grilled Steak Salad with Walnut Dressing
Becky Luigart-Stayner

Recipe: Grilled Steak Salad with Walnut Dressing

In just 30 minutes you can serve your mom a well-seasoned grilled steak and green salad.

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