Throw a St. Patrick's Day dinner party

Apr 19, 2013 at 5:58 p.m. ET

Irish or not, invite your friends over for a festive St. Patty’s day dinner party this year! We’ll give you the “lucky tips” to entertain in style from traditional Irish recipes to decoration ideas.

Saint Patrick's Day party

Head to your local craft store for a few items that will transform your dining room into an Irish party! Place a variety of candlesticks on side tables and down the center of your table. Pick up green candles from the craft store to add touches of the lucky color throughout the room.

A package of inexpensive St. Patrick's Day shamrock confetti looks dynamite when sprinkled down the table (especially on a mirror runner). Place white dinner-sized plates atop green chargers. Don't have green chargers? Incorporate gold and leave the green to the candles and other décor!

Your florist always has a variety of greenery available, so stop by and fill your vases with Bells of Ireland and other green foliage. Place alongside candlesticks down the center of your table; cut out green shamrocks and hang from the greenery!

Set the ambiance with a CD of Irish pub music to get the party started!

Appetizers & cocktails

Welcome your lucky guests with shepherd pie bites and mint Irish crème cocktails or, for the beer drinkers, stout ale.

Shepherd Pie Bites


  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 pound frozen corn
  • 1/4 pound frozen French-style green beans
  • 4 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup gravy
  • Salt, pepper
  • Puff pastry cups


  1. Brown beef with onions and garlic in a skillet over medium-high heat; drain excess fat and place in a large mixing bowl; add corn, green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, and salt and pepper to taste; spoon into puff pastry cups; bake at 350? F for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

St. Patrick's Day Dinner Party - Shepherd's Pie

Mint Irish Crème Cocktails

Serves 6


  • 6-ounces Irish cream liquor
  • 6-ounces crème de menthe
  • 6-ounces crème de cacao
  • 24-ounces milk


  1. Add Irish cream liquor, crème de menthe, and crème de cacao to milk; pour into wine glasses and rim with green sanding sugar. Enjoy!

Dinner Menu

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Serves 6

This traditional Irish recipe will leave your guests feeling warm and hearty! Serve with your favorite horseradish sauce.


  • 4 pounds corned beef brisket with spice packet
  • 11 small red potatoes
  • 6 carrots, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 1 large head cabbage, cut into small wedges


  1. Place corned beef in a large pot and cover with water; cover pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer; simmer approximately 45 minutes per pound.
  2. Add potatoes and carrots, and cook until the vegetables are almost tender; add cabbage and cook for 15 more minutes; remove meat and let rest 15 minutes.
  3. Place vegetables in a bowl and cover; add as much broth (left over from the large pot) as you want; slice meat and serve!

Irish Soda Bread


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 325? F and grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Blend egg and buttermilk together, and add, all at once, to the flour mixture; mix just until moistened; stir in butter; pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 65 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the bread comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Slice and enjoy!


Tip: Place the treats into cellophane bags and tie with green ribbons; attach a printed favor tag with a simple shamrock image and a "Thanks for Coming" message! For free St. Patrick's Day printables, check out this blog.

Serve Irish tea and coffee for dessert and send guests home with small favors of tinted green cookies and cupcakes. After a hearty Irish dinner, they will love having a sweet treat to enjoy as a midnight snack!

More St. Patrick's Day ideas

8 Irish beers that aren't Guinness
Guinness ice cream float
Throw a St. Patrick’s Day leprechaun party