If you’ve ever been to France, you know that French recipes are indulgent, rich, and hard to resist.
I think I spent my entire trip to Paris eating my way around the city.
Between the bread, pastries, and sensational baked goods, there must be a patisserie on every corner, and each is better than the last!
Are the croissants really better in France? You bet they are!
There’s a reason certain well known American bakeries import their butter from France: the higher fat content makes it even more buttery.
And they use it liberally. So make sure you stock up on it before you start cooking!
Get ready to feel like a professional chef with this incredible list of 30 classic French recipes!
I’m pretty sure crepes originated in Brittany, France, and they’re one of the most famous French recipes.
These thin pancakes can be made sweet or savory and can be filled with everything from Nutella to ham and cheese.
When working in the flour, be gentle, and then let the batter rest for at least 10 minutes before using.
The key is to make your crepes super thin, cooking them for just 30 seconds on either side.
I know it sounds super fancy, and therefore, complicated, but the truth is, coq au vin is quite simple to make.
This chicken stew needs a decent Dutch oven so that you can sear the chicken and then make the stew in the same pot, keeping every ounce of flavor.
The dish gets its elevated status from the wine and brandy, making the sauce silky smooth and packed with flavor.
If the French do one thing right (there are many things, of course), it’s their pastries and cakes.
Financiers are small, light, buttery almond cakes that are perfect for a morning snack or afternoon tea.
Only whip the egg whites to soft peaks, and then gently fold the dry ingredients through until it just about comes together.
These come out the best when baked in small molds, rather than as an entire cake.
More often than not, I’ll turn to a galette rather than a pie.
The rustic look works for all fillings, and it saves so much time.
If French onion soup is your favorite, then this dish is a must-try.
The buttery pastry is loaded with onion, garlic, and a little mustard.
French fries are a thing of beauty.
Go anywhere in the world, and you can easily find a hot plate of salted fries to make you smile.
But without a deep fryer in the house, they can often be a little lack-luster at home.
For the best homemade fries, try soaking your peeled and chopped potatoes for a few hours. You won’t believe the difference.
It never ceases to amaze me how much something as simple as chopped shallots can elevate a dish.
Start with the onions, cooking them until they’re soft and releasing all those flavors into the pan.
Cook the beans right in there, coating them with sweet shallots, salt, and pepper.
It’s no surprise that the French can even make grilled cheese classy. How is it so much better?
They add in creamy bechamel sauce that melts with the cheese for an almost mac and cheese-like finish.
I know it sounds a little excessive, but it’s worth the extra few minutes.
And if you can find it, your mind will be blown by the Gruyère cheese.
This soup is so simple on the surface, but the flavors of onion, beef, bread, and cheese create such a rich and flavorful dish.
Beef broth is essential for that wonderfully deep flavor, but you can use chicken or vegetable if you’re looking to keep it meat-free.
Most of the work here is in caramelizing the onions, and you’ll just need to keep an eye on them, occasionally stirring so nothing sticks.
These are best served in individual pots, so there’s no fighting over the toasty, cheesy bread.
You may have had something like this before, but it’s about to get so much better.
Potatoes dauphinoise is the heavenly layering of thinly sliced potatoes with cream, butter, garlic, and spices. There is no flour in this dish.
As the dish cooks, the creamy mixture will thicken along with the starch from the potatoes, cooking until tender and bubbly.
Add the cheese for the last 10-15 minutes until golden brown and melted.
Making French toast with brioche is an indulgence you won’t soon forget. In fact, you might not make it any other way!
Brioche is full of buttery goodness and is the perfect vessel for all that incredible sweet custard.
If you want the best French toast, always start with stale bread. The drier it is, the better!
Made with choux pastry, these donuts are crispy and sweet.
Rather than the traditional yeast-based dough, there is no proofing necessary for these.
Choux pastry is a little different, needing to be made in a pot on the stove, and can sometimes take some practice.
Once you get your technique down, it’s smooth sailing to a batch of crisp, glazed donuts that are light and airy.
The classic gimlet is a clean drink made using gin and lime juice.
This French take includes St, Germain, which is an elderflower liqueur.
This addition brings a warm, floral note to the drink that will cut through the gin a little for a more pleasant finish.
French toast can be a bit of a long process, and making it first thing isn’t always an option.
That’s why I love a French toast casserole.
Prepare everything the night before and leave it all to soak overnight.
Bake in the morning for a rich, filling, sweet, hands-off breakfast.
In the States, we tend to overload our cakes with frosting.
Now, I love frosting as much as the next gal, and as a baker, I know how much it can enhance a cake.
But there’s something about a simple, elegant cake with nothing more than a cup of tea or coffee on the side.
By incorporating chunks of apple, the whole thing is loaded with flavor and kept moist without the need for a glaze or frosting.
If you’re going to take the time to make croissant dough, I highly recommend making pain au chocolat with at least half of the batch.
Croissants are a wonderful pastry, and the buttery goodness is perfect alone or filled with something sweet or savory.
But a pain au chocolat is just so decadent!
Make sure you use the best quality dark chocolate you can find. The cheaper stuff won’t melt the same.
And after all that effort, you don’t want them ruined with sub-par chocolate.
I love that the French unapologetically eat bread and pastries every day.
We should be able to enjoy our food without feeling guilty, right?
And it’s simple recipes like this that allow you to incorporate the beautiful flavors of a buttery pastry with a decent serving of veggies.
Mushrooms have such an earthy flavor and are only enhanced by the cheese!
Looking for a dish to impress with?
This lovely, light soufflé makes for the perfect starter to any meal.
Of course, the soufflé is notoriously fickle, so be sure to thoroughly read the instructions and have everything ready before you start.
Another day, another delicious potato dish!
Naturally, these are made ultra-indulgent by the copious amounts of butter needed.
These are best made in an oven-proof skillet so that the flavors stay put, and you can move from the stovetop to the oven easily.
If you’ve ever made choux pastry, chances are it was for cream puffs or eclairs.
But you haven’t lived until you’ve tried a savory version.
This has cheese right in with the batter and will puff up to make the lightest little cheesy bites ever.
Serve with some bacon, cheddar, and chive cream cheese dip for something extra special.
Quiche is such a fantastic dish.
It can be served alone as a simple and tasty, light meal.
You can make it more substantial with a salad or side of potatoes, and it’s delicious both hot and cold.
For that French feeling, be sure to use smoked ham and Gruyère cheese.
It’s not normal to have leftover croissants in my house. They go fast, and I’m lucky to get just one!
But occasionally, we have some leftovers. I’ve even bought some on sale that are past their best.
Stale croissants aren’t quite the same, but they make a fantastic base for bread pudding.
All that extra butter leaves you with such a rich custard, and the top will crisp up perfectly during the bake.
These will be much lighter than any beignets you made have had.
Sure, Cafe du Monde does a fantastic job, and I’ve made my way through many plates of their liberally dusted beauties.
But these are something a little different, and not just because they’re round.
Eat them with some sugar on top, or fill with silky smooth pastry cream.
Brimming with veggies, this traditional dish is substantial enough to be served with some bread or a scoop of rice.
It also makes a colorful side to fish, chicken, beef, or pork.
I like the classic version, with eggplant, zucchini, and tomatoes, but you can change the veggies to your preference.
As you might expect, French hot chocolate is so much more indulgent than regular hot chocolate.
Rather than a weak mug of warm powdered chocolate and sugar, this is a heavenly concoction that is more like chocolate ganache in a cup.
Actually, that’s exactly what it is.
Creamy, thick, and totally sinful, this recipe is made using milk and cream with a whole lot of real chocolate.
It’s not for the faint at heart!
I much prefer the method for French macarons. There’s no boiling sugar syrup to worry about!
That being said, I’m sure you’ve heard they can be challenging to master.
But with a little practice, you will become a pro in no time! And it’s so worth it.
You’ll notice a lot of French dishes start the same way, with shallots, garlic, and wine. If it works, why change it?
The simple marinade will work its way into the thin chicken in just 15 minutes, and when cooked on the BBQ, it will be juicy and super flavorful.
Pairing it with arugula salad makes the whole thing pop.
We all love a good potato salad, but I often find myself holding back because I know how much mayonnaise usually goes into it.
This recipe is mayo-free but is still just as flavorful.
The combination of Dijon dressing with the selection of herbs is all you need for a lighter version of a BBQ classic.
This cocktail is the perfect choice for those who don’t have a blender or tray full of drink-making equipment.
It needs no shaking or fancy ingredients and can be made with the wine you have on hand.
Crème de cassis is so under-used but gives you such a lovely berry flavor that dresses up a simple glass of wine just right.
What makes brioche so unique? All that butter!
This enriched dough not only tastes richer but looks better, too.
The golden color is distinctly French and can be used for burger buns and sweet doughs alike.
I have to admit that when I learned how easy chocolate truffles are to make; I went a little truffle-mad.
It’s just chocolate and cream!
Making your ganache with a higher quantity of chocolate allows it to set into a silky smooth truffle that can be rolled with ease.
Keep the dish in the fridge while you’re working, and store your finished truffles in there, too!
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