How Do I Choose the Best Dinner Entree?

Tara Barnett

Choosing the best dinner entree is a situational issue, and choosing what sounds best in the moment may not be the best choice in the end. Considering the nutritional value of the meal, for example, is important for people with a variety of health issues. An entree that fits well with beverages and side dishes can make a meal seem more polished and may even make the food taste better. On the individual level, a dinner entree that balances out food that has been eaten recently may improve health and may taste better due to variation in a person’s diet. One problem that might arise when choosing food for other people is that it is not always possible to predict the tastes of others, so it may be best to choose a safe and commonly liked entree.

Hearty vegetarian pizza is a casual option for large crowds.
Hearty vegetarian pizza is a casual option for large crowds.

A dinner entree is often seen as a meat or vegetarian center to a meal. The first thing to consider when choosing an entree, then, is what the major ingredient in this center will be. Commonly, entrees include meat, fish, or a filling vegetable like eggplant. The entree can also take the form of pasta or another central dish.

Some dinner entrees come with a salad.
Some dinner entrees come with a salad.

Many people do not have trouble choosing a dinner entree because they simply choose what they feel like eating in the moment. This, unfortunately, is not an option for all people. Dietary restrictions for health or social reasons can make choosing an entree more difficult.

When making entree choices based on nutrition, calories are often important for people trying to lose weight. Other qualities, like sodium or fat content, can be deciding factors as well. Looking out for allergens is essential when certain ingredients may be dangerous to any potential diners. Even the preparation of the food and the ingredients can be important for people who keep kosher or eat only organic foods.

Beyond these considerations, it is usually considered advisable to choose entrees that fit well with any beverages or side dishes that will be served. Most of the time, a beverage is selected because it goes with the entree, not the other way around. Sometimes, however, a person might choose an entree because it highlights the flavors of a particular wine or beer.

Choosing a dinner entree for a large group of people can be difficult because the entree must be palatable to diverse tastes. This is particularly true at events like weddings, where entree choices are quite limited. When choosing which entrees to serve in these situations, cost is often a factor, as the total cost of the meal can be quite large. Consulting with caterers can help choose the most crowd-pleasing dishes to satisfy all the guests attending an important event.

Vegetarian entrees typically contain vegetables and whole grains.
Vegetarian entrees typically contain vegetables and whole grains.

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