Recipe Collections

Chef’s choice: Top restaurant-quality dinner ideas

10 impressive recipes to spruce up your midweek meals.

You don’t need a reason to indulge in elevated midweek dinners (though hosting a dinner party will do the trick). Treat yourself and whip up a restaurant-quality meal to enjoy in the comfort of your home.

For inspiration, we’ve curated a list of some of our favourite recipes from Australia’s best chefs, restaurants and food brands — from Shannon Martinez’s robust, vibrant stew to Peppina’s golden pizza fritta.

Whether you’re cooking for loved ones or craving a top-notch meal midweek, try these impressive dinner recipes this season.

This hearty vegan stew is a bright and colourful addition to your table. “This is my grandmother’s dish and it is very close to my heart,” says Melbourne chef and restaurateur Shannon Martinez.

Martinez suggests breaking the raw potatoes apart by twisting a knife into them, instead of cutting them. This creates rough edges that break down as the stew cooks, thickening the sauce.

There’s nothing more satisfying than a slow-cooked dinner after a long day. Tender, pull-apart lamb shanks meet warm pearl couscous and a rich tomato sauce in this comforting casserole dish.  

Use Mutti Polpa to elevate the sauce, as it combines the juice and finely diced flesh of fresh tomatoes to retain flavour and fragrance.  

From GT’s Restaurant of the Year last year, Peppina, these golden fried rounds of pizza dough are a surefire way to kick off a dinner party.

“The fritta is a fun and nostalgic street food dish,” says chef Massimo Mele. “The ricotta adds creaminess while the prosciutto adds a nice saltiness.”

Made in under an hour, this red curry abounds with sweet vegetables, herbs and an umami hit of soy or miso (take your pick).  
 
Salt then roast the eggplant until it’s juicy on the inside and golden on the outside, then toss it in the creamy tomato sauce. Add passata and double concentrated tomato paste for a rich tomato flavour.

Polenta, a north Italian porridge made of coarsely ground corn, serves as a light and creamy base for this moreish ragù. For greater depth of flavour, pair wild mushrooms with porcini mushrooms in a rich, tomato-based sauce that will have everyone coming back for seconds.

Bring Adelaide restaurant Fugazzi’s Italian fare to your kitchen with this simple yet stunning seafood pasta sprinkled with chilli flakes and salmon roe. “The simplicity of the ingredients makes this dish easy to recreate while highlighting the star of the show: the handpicked blue swimmer crab,” says chef Max Sharrad.

Mussels look impressive in the centre of a dining table, and they’re surprisingly easy to prepare. This recipe serves white wine-infused mussels with tomato risoni and zesty lemon wedges. 

“This pork belly makes for an easy dinner party main course,” says Ante’s Jemma Whiteman. The tart Granny Smith apples used in the apple and yuzu kosho sauce contrast beautifully with the charred fat of the braised pork belly. 
 
“All the hard work is done long before guests arrive,” Whiteman adds, making this star dish perfect for an evening soiree with family and friends. 

You can never go wrong with seafood risotto. In this sunset-hued Mediterranean dish, prawns and pipis are a match made in culinary heaven.  
 
The pan-fried seafood are served on a creamy bed of tomato-infused saffron rice. Mutti Whole Peeled Tomatoes take this dish to the next level, as the peeled tomatoes are immersed in a delicious, velvety passata.  

To get a classic French stew just right, it often takes hours of prep and simmering. But this duck and sausage cassoulet is a delightful exception.  

Ready to serve in just over an hour — with 20 minutes prep and 50 minutes cooking time — it’s an impressive, restaurant-quality dish without all the hassle.  Try finding a more perfect main to elevate your midweek meals.  

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