When it comes to Maine lobster, you’ve got to think like a Mainer. It’s not just for special celebrations. Lobster is an everyday staple and we like to get creative with it. Before you come to the Maine Lobster Festival, we’re going to show you how to take the guesswork out of preparing lobster at home with five easy recipes from appetizers to the main dish. The most important point is that it has to be fresh, not frozen—so buy locally or order online.

The Warm Up

Bacon Wrapped Maine Lobster Bites

Let’s put it this way, if this appetizer were served at a wedding, people would be shoving past the bride just to get at it — it’s that good. Taken from The Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative, this recipe only calls for one pound of lobster meat and 8-10 slices of bacon, served with lemon and maple syrup. Get the recipe.

Lobster Mac and Cheese

You already know how to make mac and cheese. With a liberal addition of Maine lobster, you’re on your way to putting an elegant ramekin of Maine’s most iconic comfort food in front of your guests, leaving plenty of room for the main course. All you need is one large lobster tail (which won’t break the bank) added with a nice Havarti or Monterey jack cheese and Conchiglie or “seashell” pasta. Get the recipe from Foodiecrush.com.

Light Fare

Chilled Lobster Salad with Corn and Tomatoes

Luckily, we live in a country where all of these ingredients can be bought year ‘round, and this showstopper of a salad is both healthy and light. All you need is 12 ounces of cooked, chilled lobster meat (approximately two 1½ pound lobsters), fresh corn on the cob, cherry tomatoes and Boston lettuce. Can be served as a main dish or a nice preamble to the main course. Get the recipe.

The Main(e) course

Lobster Colorado

This lobster recipe satisfies on so many levels — for the surf and turf lover, for the romantic and for the person who wants to feel like a King or Queen…on a Tuesday night. Start with a four-ounce filet mignon. You’ll need eight ounces of lobster tail cleaned and chopped and four slices of bacon. Hint: add a 1/2 cup of white wine to the lobster and to ensure it doesn’t get tough, under cook it; the broiler will finish it. Drooling yet? Get the recipe.

Lobster Fricassee

This lobster dish has a fancy name, but if you’ve ever steamed Maine lobster in a pot, it’s exactly the same, except this time steamed with white wine. Served with a cream sauce (that would be excellent with a side dish of jasmine rice), this is one of the easiest recipes to make with a big payoff in flavor. While this recipe calls for steaming lobsters in eight minutes, experts say give it a good 20 minutes instead. Get the recipe.