Dendritic cells (DCs) are professional antigen presenting cells conventionally thought to mediate cellular adaptive immune responses. Recent studies have led to the recognition of a non-redundant role for DCs in orchestrating innate immune responses, and in particular, for DC subset-specific interactions with innate lymphoid cells (ILCs). Recently recognized as important effectors of early immune responses, ILCs develop into subsets which mirror the transcriptional and cytokine profile of their T cell subset counterparts. DC diversification into functional subsets provides for modules of pathogen sensing and cytokine production that direct pathogen-appropriate ILC and T cell responses. This review focuses on the recent advances in the understanding of DC development, and their function in orchestrating the innate immune modules.