Many fall in love with France while sharing a bottle of wine with friends, watching the golden reflections of street lamps dance along the Seine. For others, it’s the history behind la Victoire de Samothrace before she graced the steps of the Louvre, and what she may have looked like in the past, leaving us only to wonder. For some, it’s relaxing on the beautiful beaches in the south of France, while basking in the glorious Mediterranean sunshine and feeling that life is truly a dream. When Edith Piaf sings La Vie En Rose, you know exactly what it means to see life through rose-colored glasses.
France has many incredible things to offer, but its food found its way first to my heart. For many, French delicacies like the fresh seafood dish bouillabaisse, perfectly cooked steak frites, or colorful macarons are reserved for restaurant meals and special occasions, with the idea of preparing these meals at home far too daunting.
French chefs are notorious for holding exceptionally high standards and working long restaurant hours to produce delicious food. However, truthfully, at the heart of French cuisine is using simple, yet fresh ingredients.
Cooking French food at home shouldn’t be overwhelming, and the results will be rewarding!
Here are 10 recipes of classic French dishes that you can easily prepare at home while dreaming of your next trip to France!
Gratin Dauphinois is a classic French dish originating from the Dauphiné region of southeastern France. It is a simple dish of thinly sliced potatoes, baked with cream and cheese. The potatoes are layered in a baking dish, sprinkled with garlic, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, then covered with cream and cheese. The dish is then baked until the potatoes are tender and golden.
Gratin Dauphinois is a popular dish in French cuisine and is typically served as a side dish. It can also be served as a main course, topped with a poached egg or a piece of meat. It is often served with roasted meats, such as chicken or beef, or even as a vegetarian main course.
Gratin Dauphinois is a hearty and comforting dish that is perfect for the winter months. It is a popular dish for special occasions such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve but is also enjoyed as a regular part of the French dinner table. It is a dish that can be made ahead of time and served either hot or cold. Gratin Dauphinois can be served with a salad or a green vegetable side dish. It is a delicious and simple dish that has been enjoyed by French families for generations.
Cheese Soufflé is a traditional French dish that is made from a combination of egg whites, cheese, and butter. It is typically served as a side dish or appetizer but can also be served as a main course. The traditional French cheese soufflé is made by whipping egg whites and then folding in the cheese and butter. The mixture is then poured into a buttered dish, and baked until it rises and forms a golden crust.
French people typically eat cheese soufflé for lunch or dinner and it is served warm with a garnish such as parsley or a light salad. Cheese Soufflé originated in France during the 1600s and has become a popular dish in French cuisine ever since!
Escargot is a traditional French dish consisting of snails cooked in garlic, butter, and herbs. The snails are usually harvested from the wild during the summer months, then purged, boiled, and seasoned with butter, garlic, and herbs before being served.
French people typically eat escargot as a starter or appetizer, and the snails are usually served in their shells with a small two-pronged fork to extract them. Escargot is sometimes served as a main course, in which case it may be presented with a special sauce such as Burgundy sauce.
Gougères are a type of French finger food served as hors d’oeuvres or appetizers at dinner parties and get-togethers. This favorite French recipe is composed of choux pastry and cheese. The cheese is mixed with the still-warm choux pastry before cooking.
The gougère is a Burgundy specialty, specifically hailing from the region of Auxerre in central France. However, there is a similar mention of “goiere,” meaning “cheese pie,” as early as the 14th century.
While the choux pastry didn’t appear until the 16th century thanks to Catherine de Medici, it is still far-fetched to determine the exact origins of the traditional gougère that the French eat as finger food and alongside an apéritif today. Whatever its story, the gougère is an Auxerre tradition that can be found in all bakeries in Burgundy, and across the country.
French Onion Soup
French onion soup is a quintessential French recipe that has been passed down through the generations. It is a French classic that is sure to satisfy your family and friends.
French Onion Soup dates back to the 18th century in Paris, France. It was believed to have originated in a Parisian cookbook in 1782 and became widely popular during the 19th century. The dish was traditionally served as a peasant food in France but has now become popular as a luxury dish in many parts of the world. French Onion Soup was a favorite dish of Napoleon Bonaparte, who famously served it to his guests at the Tuileries Palace.
The famous soup dish is typically made with beef stock, caramelized onions, and baguette bread topped with melted cheese. Fresh bread or baguette slices are served alongside it. The soup is traditionally served in a small rounded bowl, made of either ceramic or stoneware.
Quiche Lorraine is a French classic that is perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This recipe is made with eggs, bacon, Swiss cheese, and cream. It is baked in a pie crust and sometimes served with a side of salad.
The Quiche Lorraine is an egg tart dish that originated in the medieval kingdom of Lothringen, which is now part of modern-day Lorraine, France. The origin of this French food is said to be derived from a medieval German dish called “kuchen” meaning cake. The dish is believed to have been created in the 16th century and was originally made with a custard of cream, egg, and cheese baked in an open pastry crust.
It is believed to have been created as a way to make use of leftovers, as the custard base was made with whatever ingredients were available. The modern version of the Quiche Lorraine is said to have been created by French chef Auguste Escoffier in the late 19th century. His version of the dish was made with bacon, cream, egg, and cheese in a pastry crust.
The Salade Niçoise was created in the late 19th century in the southern coastal city of Nice, France, located on the French Riviera. It was created by the local fishermen as a way to use up the abundant supply of fish they caught, along with local vegetables and herbs.
Salade Niçoise is typically served as a main course or as a side dish. The salad has become a classic thanks to its unique combination of flavors. It features fresh and vibrant ingredients like tuna, tomatoes, lettuce, eggs, olives, and anchovies, which are all complemented by a simple vinaigrette. The end result is a salad that is both nutritious and delicious, making it a popular choice for both casual and formal meals.
A Croque Monsieur is a hot French sandwich that is made with ham, cheese, and bread. It is then toasted and served with a side of French fries or a mixed green salad. This is a typical French bistro food in Paris and around France.
The Croque Monsieur is a French grilled sandwich that dates back to 1910 in Paris. The name is derived from the French phrase “croquer monsieur” which means “to bite into Mr.” It is believed to have originated in a café in Paris called Le Foyer, where it was offered as a snack for theatre-goers. The sandwich quickly became popular in cafes throughout France.
The Croque Monsieur is traditionally made with white bread, Emmenthal cheese, and ham, and then grated cheese is sprinkled on top and the sandwich is grilled. It can also be served with a side of salad or a bowl of soup. The Croque Monsieur is also popularly served with a sunny-side-up egg, which creates a variation known as the Croque Madame.
The Croque Monsieur is considered an iconic French dish and is popular in many countries around the world. It is often served in bistros, cafés, brasseries, and restaurants. It is also a popular snack in France, especially during lunchtime.
Coq au Vin
Coq au vin is a French dish that is made with chicken, wine, mushrooms, and bacon. It is cooked in a red wine sauce and served with mashed potatoes or rice. This dish is typically served on special occasions.
Coq au vin is a classic French dish that dates back to the Roman Empire. The Romans used to take their poultry or game birds, marinate them in wine and herbs, and then cook them in the same wine. This style of cooking was very popular in the Middle Ages in France and was also known as “braising”.
Coq au vin became popular over the years when it was featured in several books on French cuisine. The dish is known for its rich flavor, made from a combination of wine, bacon, mushrooms, onions, and herbs. It is truly a classic French dish because it is delicious and comforting to all.
Blanquette de Veau
The Blanquette de Veau is a classic French veal stew that is often served at family gatherings and special occasions. It is made by combining veal stew meat with white wine, onions, carrots, mushrooms, and plenty of butter. The ingredients are cooked in a pot until the veal is tender and the sauce velouté is thick and creamy.
The traditional French veal stew known as Blanquette de Veau has its origins in the 18th century. It was mentioned in the Les Dons de Comus de Marin cookbook by François Marin, published in 1739. The recipe called for veal, white wine, vegetables, and a thick sauce made with egg yolks, cream, and butter. Some believe that the dish was concocted as an economical way to stretch out the meat of a veal roast.
Blanquette de Veau is served in a large bowl with a side of boiled potatoes or rice. It is usually accompanied by a crisp green salad and a bottle of white wine. The Blanquette de Veau is a simple yet flavorful French recipe.
Steak Frites is a classic French dish that is served in many restaurants throughout the country. It is made by lightly searing a steak of your choice in a hot pan, then adding herbs and seasonings to taste. The steak should be cooked to your desired doneness and accompanied by a delicious sauce such as béarnaise, red-wine jus, or even a simple butter sauce. The steak is then served with a generous helping of golden-brown French fries. The dish is traditionally served with a side of crisp green salad, adding a touch of freshness and crunch to the meal.
Tartiflette is a traditional French dish from the Savoy region of the French Alps. This hot dish is essentially a hearty potato gratin made with potatoes, lardons, onions, and cheese. The potatoes are thinly sliced and layered with the other ingredients, then baked in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly. It is served hot with a salad or green vegetables.
The original dish was called pela, which was a combination of potatoes and Reblochon cheese, baked in a casserole dish. It began as a simple peasant dish. Over time, other ingredients such as cream and white wine were added to the dish, and it was eventually renamed “tartiflette” after the French word for potatoes, “pomme de terre.”
Today, tartiflette is a much-loved dish in France and around the world, served in various forms, such as a tartiflette pizza or tartiflette gratinée. Tartiflette is especially popular during the winter months for an après-ski meal. It is a favorite among locals and tourists alike and is a great comfort food to share with friends and family.
Confit de Canard
Confit de Canard is a classic French dish made of duck, usually legs, that have been salted and cooked in duck fat. It has been a classic since the 16th century when French farmers would preserve the duck legs in their own fat to save for later. This way, they could enjoy duck meat year-round. The process of salting and cooking the duck legs in fat creates a succulent and flavorful dish.
Confit de Canard is still a staple in French cuisine today. The duck is cooked in its own fat and then served with a side of potatoes or French bread. This dish is usually served as a main course and is often eaten with mashed potato purée. It could also be accompanied by a variety of other French side dishes, such as green beans, salad, or onions.
The French Cordon Bleu dish is made with a combination of chicken breasts, ham, and Swiss cheese. The chicken breasts are first pounded thin, then layered with the ham and cheese, and rolled up tightly. The rolls are then covered in breadcrumbs and fried until golden brown. When served, the French Cordon Bleu dish is typically accompanied by a white wine sauce and a side of boiled potatoes. The potatoes are usually seasoned with salt, pepper, and herbs.
The traditional Cordon Bleu meat dish has its origins in the small Swiss town of Brig, in the Valais region. It is believed that the dish was created in the late 1800s by a local chef, who wanted to impress the aristocrats in town and so he combined two of their favorite ingredients – chicken and ham.
People love to eat French-style Cordon Bleu because it is a hearty and flavorful dish. The combination of chicken breasts, ham, and cheese creates a delicious flavor that is further enhanced by the white wine sauce. The dish is also relatively easy to make, making it a popular choice for dinner parties.
Chicken Paillard is a classic French dish that has been iconic in French cuisine for many years. The chicken breast is pounded thin and then quickly pan-fried and served fresh. The dish is served with a simple sauce of lemon juice and butter. It is usually served with a side dish of leafy green salad or French fries. Chicken Paillard comes from the French word “paillard” which means thin or flat.
The famous Chicken Paillard first came from the French region of Provence, as far back as the 19th century.
Chicken Paillard has become a popular dish due to its simplicity, versatility, and delicious flavor. Chicken Paillard is a classic dish that continues to be representative of French cuisine and a favorite among diners in France and around the world.
The traditional French seafood dish Sole Meunière is a simple yet elegant dish that is made with fresh sole fillets that are dredged in flour and pan-fried in butter and lemon until golden brown. The sole fillets are served on a bed of parsley with a lemon wedge to bring out the flavor of the fish. The butter that is used to fry the fish is usually seasoned with parsley, garlic, and lemon juice and is then poured over the fish.
The dish is served with boiled potatoes or steamed vegetables and a side of steamed rice. The sole is a light and flaky fish that is cooked to perfection and is sure to be a hit with seafood lovers all around.
The traditional Sole Meunière dish originates in coastal France and is known as one of the best French recipes. It likely dates back to the 19th century and was first served in a small village near the Seine River in Normandy.
The name of the dish meunière translates to “Miller’s Wife” and refers to the traditional method of preparing the fish the way the wife of a grain mill worker would! The dish has become a staple of French cuisine and is a favorite of many French people!
Bouillabaisse is a traditional fish stew from the French Mediterranean coast, particularly popular in the port city of Marseille. The classic French seafood dish is a rich and flavorful stew made with a variety of fresh fish and shellfish.
White each version is unique, it typically includes a combination of monkfish, sea bass, and red mullet. Bouillabaisse is cooked in a flavorful broth made with saffron, garlic, tomatoes, and fennel. The seafood is usually served with a traditional accompaniment such as aioli or rouille, a spicy garlic-flavored sauce. Bouillabaisse is usually accompanied by toasted slices of French bread which can be used to soak up the excess broth.
Bouillabaisse is believed to have been created by the local fishermen of Marseille in the late 18th century. The original recipe called for the use of less desirable species of fish, such as conger, monkfish, mullet, and other varieties that were not being sold at the time. The fishermen would cook them in a stew of fresh vegetables, herbs, garlic, and olive oil. The broth was served with a rouille, a spicy red pepper sauce, and a crouton topped with freshly grated cheese.
Over time, the recipe has evolved to include more expensive varieties of fish, such as lobster, mussels, and shrimp. The modern version of Bouillabaisse is still incredibly popular today and is a favorite dish among seafood lovers.
Moules Frites is a traditional mussels dish that is beloved in France. To make this delicious seafood dish, begin with mussels that are steamed in a mixture of white wine, garlic, shallots, butter, and herbs. Cook the mussels until they open and then strain the broth and set it aside. Serve the mussels in their broth, garnish with parsley, and add a side of French fries.
Moules Frites is a popular traditional French dish originating in the 19th century. It is made with mussels, usually steamed, and served with french fries. Its exact origin is unknown, but it is believed to have been created by French fishermen who made the dish with their catch. It was popularized by the Belgian town of Verviers, where it was served in local taverns.
Ratatouille is a classic vegetarian Provençal dish that has its roots in the rural cuisine of the region. The dish is thought to have originated in the 18th or 19th century and is made from a combination of vegetables, such as eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, and tomatoes, that are simmered together in a flavorful tomato sauce. It was often eaten by poor French people who could not afford more sustaining meat-based meals. Over the years, Ratatouille has become an everyday staple of Provençal cuisine and a beloved dish in households across France.
In recent years, Ratatouille has gained widespread popularity due to the 2007 Pixar film of the same name. The movie Ratatouille follows the story of Remy, a rat who dreams of becoming a chef, and his quest to make a perfect dish of Ratatouille. The movie has become a cultural touchstone and helped introduce Ratatouille to a wider audience. Today, Ratatouille continues to be a beloved dish in Provence and around the world, and it remains a staple of French cuisine!
Ratatouille is one of the most delicious vegetarian French side or main dishes made with only vegetables. It is typically made with eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, and peppers.
Crème Brûlée is a classic French dessert that has been enjoyed for centuries. The origin of crème brûlée is somewhat uncertain, but it is thought to have first appeared in French cuisine in the 17th century. Since then, it has become one of the most popular desserts in the country, known for its creamy custard base and crisp caramelized sugar topping.
Crème Brûlée is a French dessert that is made with heavy cream, sugar, and eggs. It is custard-like in texture and has a hard caramelized top. Crème Brûlée is typically served with a side of fresh fruit.
One of the reasons for its enduring popularity is that it strikes a perfect balance between rich, indulgent flavors and a light and delicate texture. Whether served as a standalone dessert or as part of a larger dessert platter, crème brûlée is a mainstay of French patisseries and a beloved treat in households across the country.
Chocolate mousse is a classic dessert that has been a staple of French cuisine for many decades. The origins of chocolate mousse are somewhat uncertain, but it is believed to have been first created in France in the late 19th century.
Since then, it has become known for its light and creamy texture, rich chocolate flavor, and versatility. One of the reasons for its popularity is that it can be made with simple ingredients, yet it always manages to impress with its elegance and sophistication. Whether served on its own or as a part of a larger dessert platter, chocolate mousse is a staple of French patisseries and a beloved dessert in households across the country.
Chocolate mousse is a French dessert that is perfect for any occasion. This recipe is made with chocolate, cream, and eggs. It is light and fluffy and can be topped with whipped cream or strawberries.