Of course you would fly in sashimi from Blue Ribbon Sushi or spring for that 12-course tasting menu at that Michelin-starred speakeasy hidden in the back of a Tire Kingdom for Mom. She’s worth it. But alas, what the heart wants and what your bank account allows may be two different things. That doesn’t mean you can't celebrate her awesomeness with an epic meal. Whether you’re planning to cook a multi-course feast or searching for a quick-yet-elegant main dish, these 57 Mother’s Day dinner ideas are sure to impress. (And yes, we have a variety of options, whether your mom’s vegan, a pasta fanatic or a classic steakhouse dinner kind of gal.)

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1. Pasta with Burst Cherry Tomatoes, Fresh Corn and Burrata

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, special occasion–worthy, beginner-friendly
Trade the usual jarred red sauce for juicy cherry tomatoes and creamy, dreamy burrata. It’s the best way to say “I love you,” no?

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2. Green Goddess Pasta

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, low sugar
Alternatively, ditch the tomatoes altogether and opt for a gorgeous green sauce. This dish calls for 11 ingredients (including salt and pepper) and is ready in less than an hour.

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3. Salmon Al Pastor

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy
Mom orders the salmon at just about every restaurant, but…yawn. On a day like this, it's time to pull out all the stops (without letting a recipe take over your life). Warm, smoky spices and sweet-tart pineapple make for an unforgettable riff on her fave.

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4. Baked Feta with Garlicky Kale and Chickpeas

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, under 500 calories
Your mom called us and said she wants cheese for dinner. No other Mother’s Day presents needed.

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5. Seared Scallops with Green Peas, Mint and Shallots

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <500 calories, <10 ingredients, high protein
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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6. Cacio e Pepe

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, <10 ingredients, <30 minutes
This classic Italian pasta calls for just six ingredients, but it tastes like something from a restaurant.

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7. Crispy Cauliflower Tacos with Chipotle Crema

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegan, crowd-pleaser
Pro tip: Be sure to really pat dry the cauliflower florets so the breading sticks better. And make a double batch of the crema—you'll want to drizzle it on everything.

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

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <500 calories, low carb, keto
Forget about dry, overcooked pork tenderloin. This one is so buttery, it’ll practically melt in your mouth.

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Half-Baked Harvest

9. Simple Thai Yellow Chicken Curry

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pan, special occasion-worthy
"You made this?" Uh, don't sound too shocked, Mom. (Trust us, this recipe is worth stocking up on fish sauce, Thai red curry paste, lemongrass paste and yellow curry powder, if you don't already have them on hand.)

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10. Pan-Seared Scallops with Citrusy Corn Succotash

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, <500 calories, special occasion-worthy
This recipe seems fancy but it’s actually foolproof.

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11. Chicken Thighs with Pancetta and Green Olives

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, one pan, low carb, keto
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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12. Pomegranate-Maple Glazed Lamb Chops

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: low carb, high protein, special occasion-worthy
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

13. White Risotto with Corn, Carrots and Kale

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, crowd-pleaser
Grab the prettiest produce you can find at the farmers market (carrots, corn and kale are our go-tos), then customize this dish as you please.

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14. Orecchiette with Burrata, Tomatoes and Almond Pesto

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, <500 calories
It’s not quite a vacation to Italy, but it’s the next best thing. Finally inscribe the heartfelt note you've been meaning to write in her Mother's Day card during that 90-minute roasting time.

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

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, special occasion-worthy
It’s a little bit sweet, a little bit salty and completely delicious.

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16. Ina Garten’s Updated Chicken Marbella

  • Time Commitment: 8 hours, 55 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, high protein
Your mom will think you took private cooking lessons from the Barefoot Contessa herself. (Don't be afraid of that nearly 9-hour time commitment; it includes letting the chicken marinate for 8 hours or so overnight.)

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17. Salmon and Fennel Dinner Salad

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <500 calories, high protein
If brunch was a little too filling, keep dinner light but satisfying with this protein-packed salad.

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18. Whole Roasted Chipotle Chicken

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours, 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, high protein
Would you believe this beauty is made with just four ingredients?

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19. Gwyneth Paltrow’s Easy Frittata

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <500 calories, <10 ingredients
It’s healthy yet filling and uses up leftover vegetables—just what Mom likes.

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20. Pomegranate-Sumac Chicken with Roasted Carrots

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: high protein, crowd-pleaser, sheet pan recipe
Pull this sheet pan meal out of the oven and prepare for the oohs and ahhs.

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21. Bacon-Wrapped Black Cod with Spinach and Capers

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: high protein, low carb, keto
Our mantra: Everything is better with a little bacon. Even fish.

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22. Cheater’s White Pizza with Béchamel Sauce

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, special occasion-worthy
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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23. Cheater’s Vegetarian Pizza with Zucchini and Bell Peppers

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, <500 calories
If she’s more of a veggie-pie person, make this 30-minute number with all the fixings.

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24. Greek Chicken and Rice Skillet

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pan, high protein
This one-skillet dish is the ultimate trifecta: It’s easy to make, pretty to serve and so damn delicious.

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25. Bruschetta Chicken

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <500 calories, low carb, high protein
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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26. Pasta Florentine with Grilled Chicken

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: high protein, special occasion-worthy, kid-friendly
Creamy pasta, smoky chicken. What’s not to love?

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27. Mini Lobster Rolls

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <500 calories, special occasion-worthy
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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28. Chicken Tinga Tacos

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: high protein, crowd-pleaser
It starts with a store-bought rotisserie chicken but shh, don’t tell anyone.

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29. Summer Skillet Gnocchi with Grilled Corn and Burrata

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <500 calories, vegetarian
Serve this one with a bottle of white wine and you’ll instantly become the favorite at the table.

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30. Spicy Bucatini Amatriciana

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, <500 calories
This spicy pasta is pretty simple to make, but it tastes like a million bucks.

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31. 30-Minute, One-Pot Cheater’s Bouillabaisse

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: high protein, one pot
Splurge on high-quality seafood for this one—you won’t regret it.

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32. Foolproof Cheater’s Confit

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, high protein
Excuse us, is your name Julia Child? (Psst: If you're not into duck, you can use chicken legs instead.)

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33. Skillet Steak with Asparagus and Potatoes

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: high protein, low sugar, crowd-pleaser
Homecooked steak that’s better than at a restaurant? Yep, it’s a thing.

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34. Cheater’s Skillet Paella

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: high protein, one pot
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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35. Potato and Burrata Pizza

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: sheet pan recipe, kid-friendly
If your mom doesn’t love both potatoes and burrata, then you two might need to have a chat.

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36. Pan-Roasted Chicken with Shallots and Dates

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: sheet pan recipe, high protein
It’s sweet-salty and bright, thanks to an ingenious combination of olives, dates, shallots and lemon.

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37. Skillet Gnocchi with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: high protein, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly
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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38. Grilled Peach and Halloumi Salad with Lemon-Pesto Dressing

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, crowd-pleaser
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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39. Rigatoni with Vodka Sauce

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, vegetarian, crowd-pleaser
Nothing says, “I love you, Mom,” quite like a rich, velvety tomato cream sauce.

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40. Sweet-and-Sour Pork Skewers with Pineapple

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: high protein, <500 calories, crowd-pleaser
Fire up the barbecue and show everyone your grilling skills.

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41. Spicy Pineapple Prosciutto Tarts

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser
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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42. Skillet Pasta with Summer Squash, Ricotta and Basil

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, crowd-pleaser, one pan
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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43. Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <500 calories, <30 minutes
They’re sweet, spicy and best eaten alfresco. Might as well prep a batch of margaritas while you're at it.

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44. Pork Scallopini with Lemon, Capers and Radicchio

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pan, <30 minutes
The name makes this dish sound ambitious, but it’s actually super approachable. Set your timer for 20 minutes.

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45. Orecchiette with Spring Greens

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <500 calories, vegetarian
With a bunch of seasonal produce, you don’t need to try hard to make an amazing meal.

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46. Grilled Flank Steak with Lemon-Herb Sauce

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours
  • Why We Love It: high protein, <500 calories, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly
For maximum flavor, this steak gets marinated for a few hours before it hits the grill. Plan accordingly.

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47. Piri Piri Chicken

  • Time Commitment: 4 hours, 55 minutes
  • Why We Love It: high protein, low sugar, low carb, keto
The potatoes soak up all those glorious juices from the bird. Mom’s going to be *so* impressed.

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48. Corn Fritter Caprese with Peaches and Tomatoes

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, special occasion-worthy
Fancy enough that if you put it down in front of Mom, it will elicit oohs and ahhs.

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49. Creamy Chicken, Corn and Tomato Skillet

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: high protein, 10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser
A handful of ingredients and just three simple steps are all it takes.

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50. Spaghetti with Avocado Pasta Sauce

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegan, <10 ingredients
This recipe is rich but totally virtuous, and the whole meal takes just 30 minutes to prepare. (Cue singing angels.)

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51. Pasta Alla Norma

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: high protein, vegetarian, special occasion-worthy
Best of all, you can make four servings for less than $10. Salute!

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52. Skillet Lasagna with Corn and Cherry Tomatoes

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, skillet recipe, crowd-pleaser
Corn and cherry tomatoes have the same cheesy goodness you crave (and then some), minus the hours of assembly time.

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53. Grain-Free Mushroom, Spinach and Leek Pasta

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: gluten free, vegan, 10 ingredients, <20 minutes
One of our favorite ways to get our greens is to sauté them until meltingly tender, then toss them into a hearty bowl of pasta. Even better, this one happens to be grain-free.

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54. Fusilli with Pesto and Green Beans

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, low sugar, special occasion-worthy
We’re no stranger to the old pesto switcheroo—you know, adding additional green vegetables to the traditional basil-based sauce for a flavorful and nutritious upgrade.

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55. Cherry Tomato Galette with Garlic and Herbs

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, <10 ingredients, <500 calories
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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56. One-Pot, 15-Minute Pasta Limone

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, one pot, vegetarian
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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57. Instant Pot Coconut Salmon with Fresh Herbs and Lime

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Instant pot recipe, <30 minutes, high protein, low sugar
Look, another 20-minute seafood stunner—can you tell we have a type?

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