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40 Birthday Dinner Ideas Our Readers Love

Who doesn't love being served up an extra-special and delicious dinner on their birthday? Here are some birthday dinner ideas that Taste of Home readers (like you!) make on special occasions.

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Seafood Lasagna

This rich satisfying dish, adapted from a recipe given to me by a friend, is my husband’s favorite. I usually serve it on his birthday. It’s loaded with scallops, shrimp and crab in a creamy sauce. I consider this the “crown jewel” in my repertoire of recipes. —Elena Hansen, Ruidoso, New Mexico

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2 / 40

Shredded Lamb Sliders

Lamb, a wonderful special-occasion meat, is a big crowd-pleaser in these delicious sliders. I served up about 1,500 in two days when I made them for the Great American Beer Fest, using every little bit to satisfy the very last customer. It’s a great birthday dinner idea, too! —Craig Kuczek, Aurora, Colorado
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Pineapple-Onion Pork Chops

I prepared these tender pork chops for my teenage grandson’s birthday meal. Brown sugar and pineapple juice provide the onion-topped entree with its sweetness. —Marjorie Bruner, Parchment, Michigan
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Blue Cheese-Mushroom Stuffed Tenderloin

Here’s my go-to entree for just about any special occasion. Filled with a savory stuffing, the sliced tenderloin looks and tastes like a specialty from an upscale restaurant. —Joyce Conway, Westerville, Ohio
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Pressure-Cooker Tequila Salsa Chicken

I had this dish at a local Mexican restaurant when celebrating a friend’s birthday. I fell in love with the spicy, smoky flavor from the tequila and decided to try Instant Pot salsa chicken at home. Boy, was it a success! It’s also great stuffed into flour tortillas or for making nachos. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Chicken Fingers

Almost everyone in my family requests these golden chicken fingers as their birthday dinner entree. I begin marinating the chicken strips early in the day to cut down on last-minute fuss. —Charlotte Baillargeon, Hinsdale, Massachusetts
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Spice-Crusted Steaks with Cherry Sauce

If you’re looking for birthday dinner ideas, these impressive cast-iron skillet steaks are guaranteed to please. They’re perfect for a special-occasion dinner without too much fuss. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Puff Pastry Chicken Bundles

Inside these golden puff pastry "packages", chicken breasts rolled with spinach, herbed cream cheese and walnuts are a savory surprise. I like to serve this elegant entree when we have guests or are celebrating a holiday or special occasion. -Brad Moritz, Limerick, Pennsylvania
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Quick Tangy Sloppy Joes

I adjusted three different recipes to come up with this one. Kids like the tangy taste and request the sandwiches for birthday parties.—Anna Adams, Chatsworth, California
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Sake-Steamed Sole with Spicy Slaw

This healthy fish and zippy slaw can be prepared easily on a weeknight or for a special occasion. I like to serve the dish with steamed jasmine rice. —Donna Noel, Gray, Maine
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Deluxe Pizza Casserole

This is the family favorite dish for special occasions, and we always make it for my granddaughter’s birthday. Mushrooms are a wonderful addition if you like them. —Vickie Oldham, Dubuque, Iowa
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Beef Brisket Tacos

Birthday parties back home were big gatherings of cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and anyone else we considered family. As soon as guests arrived, hot pans of shredded brisket, or carne deshebrada, appeared, along with frijoles, tostadas, salsas and huge bowls of salad. Brisket was the dish we always counted on because it could be made in the oven or a slow cooker. —Yvette Marquez, Littleton, Colorado Muy Bueno Recipes + Stories
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Roast Pork Loin with Rosemary Applesauce

I made this for a family get-together on my husband's birthday. The homemade rosemary applesauce adds an extra layer of comfort to the tender pork. —Angela Lemoine, Howell, New Jersey
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Sweet 'n' Sour Ribs

If you're looking for a change from typical barbecue ribs, you'll enjoy this recipe my mom always prepared on birthdays and special occasions. The tender ribs have a slight sweet-and-sour taste that my family loves. I usually serve them with garlic mashed potatoes and a salad or coleslaw. —Dorothy Voelz, Champaign, Illinois
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Special Occasion Beef Bourguignon

I’ve found many rich and satisfying variations for boeuf bourguignon, including an intriguing peasant version that used beef cheeks for the meat and a rustic table wine. It’s great for special occasions, or as a birthday dinner idea. To make this stew gluten free, use white rice flour instead of all-purpose. — Leo Cotnoir, Johnson City, New York
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Italian Turkey Cutlets

Because I’m watching my weight, I’ve used this recipe for years. Served with a flavorful tomato sauce, these cutlets taste so good that my son, who is thin and doesn’t need to worry about his weight, requests them for his birthday dinner! —Janet Bumb, Beallsville, Maryland
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Company Mac and Cheese

This is by far the creamiest, tastiest and most special macaroni and cheese I have ever tried. I’m not usually a fan of the homemade kind, but when a friend served this mac and cheese with cream cheese, I had to have the recipe. Since it’s so little fuss and well received, it’s a terrific potluck dish. —Catherine Odgen, Middlegrove, New York
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Cornish Hens with Wild Rice and Celery

Stuffed with a succulent combination of wild rice, mushrooms and dried cranberries, these golden hens are sure to become a special-occasion entree in your home. They're a wonderful change of pace from traditional turkey. —Nancy Horsburgh, Everett, Ontario
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Prime Rib with Fresh Herb Sauce

Nothing says “special occasion” like a perfectly seasoned prime rib. Savory, succulent, tender, it’s the perfect choice when you want to share something truly divine. —Tonya Burkhard, Palm Coast, Florida
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Grilled Lobster Tails

I had never tried grilling lobster tails at home until I tried this convenient and deliciously different recipe. It turned out amazing, and has left me with little reason to ever order grilled lobster tail at a restaurant again. Here's how to cook lobster tails on the grill. —Katie Rush, Kansas City, Missouri
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Penne alla Vodka

This easy and impressive pasta is always on the menu when my husband and I have new friends over for dinner. Years later, they've asked me to make this Penne alla Vodka recipe again. —Cara Langer, Overland Park, Kansas
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Lemon and Rosemary Chicken

This baked rosemary chicken with a tangy lemon sauce is my husband's favorite, and my sister always wants it for her birthday dinner. —Laurel Dalzell, Manteca, California
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Best Lasagna

Want to know how to make lasagna for a casual holiday meal? You can't go wrong with this deliciously rich meat lasagna recipe. My grown sons and daughter-in-law request it for their birthdays, too. —Pam Thompson, Girard, Illinois
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Mac & Cheese Pork Sliders

I love pork sliders! This sweet and savory recipe was created out of leftover ingredients I had in my fridge. It is perfect for a weeknight meal or a special-occasion potluck. —Rashanda Cobbins, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Savory Roasted Chicken

When you want an impressive birthday dinner idea, you can’t go wrong with this golden chicken. The moist, tender meat is enhanced with a hint of orange, savory and thyme. -Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Buttery Grilled Shrimp

This is easy and delicious! These shrimp are great with steak, but for a special occasion, brush the sauce on lobster tails and grill. —Sheryl Shenberger, Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Company Pot Roast

The aroma of this roast slowly cooking in the oven is absolutely mouthwatering. It gives the home such a cozy feeling, even on the chilliest winter days. —Anita Osborne, Thomasburg, Ontario
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Grilled Beer Brats with Kraut

I made this for my son’s 21st birthday bonfire, which included a dozen buddies. The kraut topping flavors are fabulous. —Keeley Weber, Sterling Heights, Michigan
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Pork Loin with Raspberry Sauce

Raspberries add rub red color and fruity sweetness to the sauce that enhances this savory pork roast. This is an easy way to transform everyday pork into a special-occasion main dish. —Florence Nurczyk, Toronto, Ohio
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Lasagna Casserole

While growing up, this was the meal I always wanted on my birthday. Mother made the sauce from scratch, but I use store-bought spaghetti sauce to save time. Replace the ground beef with Italian sausage if you want more spice. —Deb Morrison, Skiatook, Oklahoma
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Tropical Island Chicken

The marinade makes a savory statement in this all-time-favorite chicken recipe that I served at our son's pirate-themed birthday party. It smelled so good on the grill that guests could hardly wait to try a piece! —Sharon Hanson, Franklin, Tennessee
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Smoky Sausage & Pepper Skillet

My family loves this combination of sausage, green peppers and onions and asks for it for birthdays. It’s that awesome. —Celinda Kulp, Hummelstown, Pennsylvania
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Spicy-Good Chicken Wings

We enjoy eating these chicken wings while watching football on TV, but make them for any special occasion for a crowd favorite! The pepper sauce gives just the right amount of heat.—Della Clutts, New Tazewell, Tennessee
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Pressure-Cooker Italian Turkey Breast

This recipe makes some of the most succulent turkey I’ve ever eaten. High in lean protein, it’s a smart entree for a special occasion. —Jessica Kunz, Springfield, Illinois
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Vegetable-Stuffed Flank Steak

This colorful beef dish was always a favorite request for birthday dinners while I was growing up. Savory, special and stuffed full of vegetables, it's as tender as the memories it still brings back every time I make it. —Julie Etzel, Tualatin, Oregon
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Chicken Thighs with Tomato-Vodka Sauce

I originally invented this scrumptious dish to celebrate a friend's 21st birthday, and it has since become a quick and easy family favorite. —Karen Kuebler, Dallas, Texas
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Dijon Beef Tenderloin

I like having an ace recipe up my sleeve, and this tenderloin with Dijon is my go-to for birthdays, buffets and holidays. —Donna Lindecamp, Morganton, NC
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Spaghetti with Bacon

As children, we always requested this dish for our birthday dinners. Our mother got the recipe from her grandmother. Now I pass on our tasty tradition. —Ruth Keogh, North St. Paul, Minnesota
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Biscuit Turkey Bake

As a college student, I go for stick-to-your-ribs foods that are also easy on the budget. Here's one that fits the bill. I like to bake this casserole for friends' birthdays. —Stephanie Denning, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa
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Merlot Filet Mignon

Although this is a simple recipe, the filet is rich and elegant enough for a special occasion. Add a salad and rolls, and dinner is done! —Jauneen Hosking, Waterford, Wisconsin

Caroline Stanko
As an Associate Digital Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.
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