When you think of French cuisine, you probably think of complicated French food recipes and classic French dishes that require a lot of time and effort.
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Most Americans were exposed to the joy of French food because of chef Julia Child’s TV show and a book about the topic. Child lived in France for a while, and that’s where she learned how to cook delicious French recipes. While she made it look easy, cooking French food requires some technique.
While authentic French recipes can certainly be complicated, there are actually some easy French recipes out there that you can try.
Besides popular French food such as crepes and galettes, and famous French food like croissants, there are also some interesting French dinner recipes that are delicious and not that difficult to make.
Traditional French food is big on flavor and puts emphasis on simple ingredients that makes French cooking something that’s easy to try without worrying about buying a bunch of ingredients you don’t use every day.
Are you ready to explore the world of French meals? Let’s dive in and check out these 31 super-indulgent French recipes.
Certainly, French recipes can be culinary masterpieces, but one of the most beloved French dishes is also one of the simplest: a classic French recipe called beef bourguignon.
Beef bourguignon is a savory French stew that features beef that is slow-cooked in beef broth, red wine, and an infusion of onion, garlic, and herbs.
Historically, beef bourguignon was enjoyed by French peasants, but it’s now loved by people of every class around the world.
The herbs in this French dish are thyme, rosemary, a bay leaf, and black pepper.
Veggies in beef bourguignon are garlic, onion (and pearl onions), carrots, and mushrooms. Oh, and don’t forget the bacon.
Boeuf bourguignon is excellent when made in the Instant Pot and is a wonderful Bastille Day recipe.
Chicken paillard is a lemony chicken dish that is perfect for weeknight meals.
This chicken recipe is a classic bistro dish and it’s quick and easy by nature.
The word “paillard” is French for a piece of meat, and it doesn’t apply just to chicken.
You can make a paillard with beef, pork, and even veal.
This delicious chicken paillard recipe calls for extra virgin olive oil, cracked black pepper, a shallot, garlic cloves, fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, chopped chives, and chicken stock.
Bread pudding is comfort food at its finest, but when you make bread pudding with croissants, you get something super special.
If you have leftover croissants, don’t toss them. You can always use them to make this delicious bread pudding.
This croissant bread pudding recipe calls for whole milk, heavy cream, eggs, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, sea salt, and cinnamon.
For the vanilla sauce, you can use vanilla extract, but this French dish is even tastier if you use vanilla bean paste.
A galette is a rustic pie that has the dough folded down over the ingredients so that none of them spill out.
This mushroom galette recipe will remind you a bit of a mushroom pizza, but it’s even better for cooking light.
To make this mushroom galette, you need wild mushrooms if you can find them. You may have to shop around and plan this mushroom galette recipe around the seasons.
Gruyère cheese and crème fraîche are used in this recipe.
Traditionally, French cruller donuts are made with a pastry called choux pastry.
Choux pastry is made in a pot on the stovetop, and it can take a bit of practice to get it right. However, it’s well worth the effort to learn to make choux pastry if you love French cruller donuts.
Called Haricot Verts in French, these green beans are a famous French recipe that is perfect for either a backyard BBQ or an elegant dinner with friends.
The ingredient list for French green beans is simple. All you need are green beans, shallots, olive oil, water, kosher salt or sea salt, and black pepper.
The French crepe is a French classic and probably originated in the town of Brittany, France, and it’s one of the more famous French recipes.
We’ve seen crepes with everything from ham and cheese to Nutella, and they’re always delicious.
The basic ingredients in crepes are milk, eggs, butter (or oil), flour, and salt.
The typical American potato salad is usually made with either mayonnaise or mustard (and the condiment of choice is hotly debated).
With this French potato salad recipe, you have a potato salad that’s made with a dressing that has just a tiny bit of spicy Dijon mustard, and a potato salad is light and elegant.
The dressing also has apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar (you can also use white wine vinegar), extra virgin olive oil, and chopped dill.
If you’ve ever visited New Orleans and happened by Cafe du Monde, you probably enjoyed some of their legendary French beignets.
Beignets are a type of French donut (it doesn’t have a hole) that’s fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
You can buy Cafe du Monde beignet mix, but these little cakes are super easy to make at home from scratch.
If you want to impress your guests with a meal that is a masterpiece, this cheese soufflé will do it every time.
The trick to getting your soufflé to turn out perfectly is to follow the instructions precisely. Soufflés are famously fickle, and it’s not easy to just throw this French dish together.
This soufflé is made with milk, cheddar cheese, dry mustard, flour, salt, butter, and eggs.
Bake this soufflé in a soufflé dish.
11. French Gimlet
A classic gimlet recipe calls for fresh lime juice and high-quality gin.
For a French gimlet, you also add St. Germain, an elderflower liqueur.
A French gimlet is a wonderfully floral-scented and flavored cocktail with lime and citrus notes.
Sometimes you just want a sandwich and when the urge hits you, you can enjoy a super fancy French version of the humble grilled cheese and ham sandwich.
A Croque Monsieur is made with parmesan cheese, gruyere melted cheese, a simple béchamel sauce, and sliced ham.
You can also make a Monsieur with turkey and whatever type of cheese you like.
Serve your Croque Monsieur with a green salad and a cup of soup for a complete meal.
Coq au vin (translated to chicken with red wine) is an easy French recipe with a fancy name.
This famous French dish is a chicken stew that is cooked in a Dutch oven.
The chicken is seared, then the stew is made in the same Dutch oven, so coq au vin is a one-pot meal.
The chicken thighs and legs in coq au vin are braised slowly in red wine with onions, carrots, and mushrooms.
In addition to the red wine, this coq au vin recipe also calls for chicken broth (or chicken stock), bacon or pancetta, brandy, and garlic.
This cocktail has only two simple ingredients: chilled white wine (specifically Bourgogne Aligote) and creme de cassis.
The liqueur, wine, and glass should be well-chilled for the perfect cocktail.
French ratatouille is loaded with veggies, and this classic dish is hearty enough to be a full meal, especially if you serve it with fluffy white rice or a loaf of crusty bread.
Also, French ratatouille is a substantial side dish for beef, pork, or chicken dishes.
Classic French ratatouille is made with eggplant, red onion, red bell pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, plum tomatoes, garlic, and crushed tomatoes.
Spices in this flavorful dish are garlic, a bay leaf, dried oregano, fresh basil, black pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
Dry white wine gives this dish its signature flavor.
To make Lyonnaise potatoes, parboil the potatoes in boiling water for two minutes, then pan-fry them with onions in butter until they’re crispy and golden brown.
Be sure you cut your potatoes into evenly thick slices so that they cook evenly.
Also, be sure you boil them for exactly two minutes. You don’t want to overcook them in the boiling water.
When you need to feed breakfast or brunch to a crowd, you can’t go wrong with a sweet and delicious French toast casserole.
You can pull this French toast casserole together the night before and pop it in the oven when you wake up the next morning.
To make this French toast casserole, you need a half loaf of stale French bread that you’ve cut up into cubes.
You also need eggs, milk, butter, packed brown sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and powdered sugar.
While this soup appears simple, the complex flavors of beef, onion, cheese, and bread make this a dish that is flavorful and rich.
You need beef broth to make French chef Julia Child’s French onion soup, but if you only have vegetable broth or chicken broth, you can use that.
Caramelizing the onions for this French onion soup is a little bit of work, but if you keep an eye on them, they will turn out just fine.
Classic French financiers were first made by an order of nuns called Visitandines.
Later on, financiers were popularized in the 19th century in the financial district around the Paris stock exchange, and that’s where their name comes from.
Because the financiers (wealthy money men) could easily keep little cakes in their pockets, financier cakes became famous with these men.
The early financier cakes were made in rectangular shapes and resembled bars of gold.
These days, these delicious little cakes can be in other shapes.
20. Brioche Bread
What’s so special about brioche bread? The enriched dough and lots of butter make this bread not only look gorgeous but also taste richer.
This brioche bread recipe is the original one from Le Cordon Bleu cooking school, but it’s been adapted for those of us who are baking at home.
Brioche bread is enriched with eggs and butter and it belongs to the viennoiseries family of bread. This is the same bread family as Danish pastries, sweet rolls, and croissants.
French hot chocolate is much more decadent than the powdery stuff we are used to making here.
Instead of a mug of watery hot chocolate, French hot chocolate is similar to chocolate ganache, and it’s served in a cup for drinking.
French hot chocolate is thick and creamy, and you make it using heavy cream, brown sugar, a tiny bit of vanilla extract, milk, and real chocolate.
The secret is to gently stir and simmer all of the ingredients until there isn’t even one tiny speck of unmelted chocolate left.
When you make choux pastry for other dishes, be sure to keep some on the side to make these delicious little French cheese puffs, also called gougères.
To make these French cheese puffs, you slice Gruyere cheese directly into the batter.
The topping for French cheese puffs is made with egg yolk and more Gruyere cheese.
These cheese puffs are delicious served with a dip made with cream cheese, bacon, and cheddar cheese.
Here in the U.S., we love frosting on our cakes. That’s totally OK, but sometimes simplicity with dessert is a good thing.
When you make this French apple cake, you will wow the folks you serve it to, and no sugary frosting is needed for it to be an outstanding dessert.
This cake is wonderfully soft and tender, and it’s positively brimming with delicious apples.
You can make this French apple cake using dark rum or brandy.
If you’ve had potatoes au gratin before, you’re going to be excited about this upgraded version called Dauphinoise.
Potatoes dauphinoise consists of Yukon gold potatoes that are thinly sliced and layered with butter, heavy cream, cream, spices, and garlic. This potato dish does not contain flour.
The spices in this French dish are fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, ground nutmeg, and a bay leaf.
As the potatoes cook, the creamy mixture works with the starch from the potatoes to thicken beautifully.
You add the gruyere cheese and parmesan cheese during the last 10-15 minutes and let it keep cooking until it’s perfectly golden brown.
If you love French onion soup, you will enjoy this onion galette.
A galette is a pie with a rustic crust that folds over from the edges to keep all of the pie filling inside. Typically, galettes are less fussy than other types of pies.
This easy French recipe is loaded with scallions (green onions), yellow onion or white onion, and a whopping eight cloves of garlic.
Parmesan cheese adds some protein and tons of flavor, and the Dijon mustard gives an excellent kick.
Who knew classic French dark chocolate truffles were a dessert that is so easy to make? You may never buy truffles again!
These decadent little chocolate confections have just four ingredients, but they’re very elegant and yummy.
Chocolate truffles originated in Chambery in 1895. Chef Louis Dufour didn’t have the ingredients he needed for his standard chocolate confections, so he came up with the idea for chocolate truffles.
This recipe is the classic version, and it’s a wonderful treat to make for entertaining or gifts.
Making French macarons is not a task for the weak, but you can learn to make these classic little French cookies with a little bit of practice.
What’s the difference between macarons and macaroons? Macaroons are coconut dessert cookies, while macarons are very delicate little sandwich cookies.
Nevertheless, the two names are often used interchangeably.
French macarons can be flavored any way you like, but the classic macaron shell tastes like sweet almond.
When it comes to the filling, go as wild as your heart desires.
There are times when you need a quick but elegant dish for brunch or lunch, and this easy quiche recipe is perfect for those times.
You can use a frozen or refrigerated pie crust to make this quiche, but it doesn’t taste like a shortcut recipe at all.
Frozen chopped spinach adds some excellent nutritional benefits, and ham adds both protein and salty flavor.
Use a melty cheese such as white cheddar or Gruyere for this quiche.
Lots of seasoning comes from the scallions (green onions), ground nutmeg, and hot sauce.
When you’re making dough for croissants, be sure to set aside half of the batch to make decadent pain au chocolat.
This is a classic French recipe that shows you exactly how to make pain au chocolat, with step-by-step instructions and even a video.
You need instant yeast or active dry yeast to make these delicious little chocolate croissants.
To make the best pain au chocolat as a French dessert, be sure to use high-quality dark chocolate because cheap chocolate doesn’t melt as perfectly.
When you make French toast with brioche bread, you have an indulgent breakfast or brunch treat that will impress your family or your guests.
To make brioche French toast, you need whole milk, sugar, vanilla extract, and butter.
Serve your brioche French toast with maple syrup and fresh berries.
Here’s a tip for the best French toast. Make sure your bread is nice and stale. The drier the bread is, the better your French toast will be.
French fries are addictive, and it’s hard to resist them, especially when they’re crispy and salty.
The secret to getting the perfect French fries is to soak your chopped and peeled potatoes in cold water for a few hours before frying them. It’s all about removing the moisture and starch.
Here’s another tip for perfect French fries: fry them twice.
Which potatoes are best for French fries? We recommend russet potatoes. Above all, avoid potatoes that are waxy such as new potatoes and red potatoes.
We have a bonus French recipe for you: hunters chicken, also known as chicken chasseur. Watch this video by the French Cooking Academy to learn how to make this delicious chicken recipe.
Our 30+ BEST Traditional French Recipes (+French Gimlet Cocktail)
- 2 oz. good-quality gin
- 1 oz. St. Germain liqueur
- 1/2 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
- Add ice cubes or crushed ice to a cocktail shaker.
- Pour in all of the ingredients over the ice.
- Shake thoroughly until the mixture is fully chilled.
- Strain and serve with your favorite garnish.
Organize all the required ingredients.
Enjoy the food.