21 Easy Classic French Recipes to Wow Your Guests

These simple French recipes will transform you into the perfect Parisian host — just in time for Bastille Day
Sole Meuniere

Thinkstock

21 Easy Classic French Recipes to Wow Your Guests

Pisalladiere

Shutterstock

French cooking has a reputation for being fancy, over-the-top, and almost impossible to master unless you’re a highly-qualified professional chef. However, that stereotype isn't necessarily justified. There are of course certain dishes which require incredibly complex technical skills, and hours and hours of practice, but there are many French, and French-inspired recipes, that any keen home cook can master.

Bouillabaisse

Bouillabaisse

Thinkstock

Bouillabaisse is a traditional fish stew, which originated in the port city Marseille. Use your favorite white fish and shellfish, and alter the vegetables according to what’s in season.

For the Bouillabaisse recipe, click here.

Buckwheat Crêpes

Buckwheat Crêpes

Shutterstock

Buckwheat crêpes have a much deeper, nuttier flavor than the typical, white flour version. These crêpes, originally from Brittany, are perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

For the Buckwheat Crêpes recipe, click here.

Celery Rémoulade

Celery Rémoulade

Shutterstock

This simple French salad is a wonderful accompaniment to all of those rich meat and fish dishes for which France is so famous.

For the Celery Rémoulade recipe, click here.

Cherry-Almond Clafoutis

Cherry-Almond Clafoutis

Shutterstock

Make the most of summer’s ripe red cherries by serving them covered in a light batter to make an airy, summertime clafoutis.

For the Cherry-Almond Clafoutis recipe, click here.

Classic French Ratatouille

Classic French Ratatouille

Thinkstock

Making a perfect Provençal ratatouille isn’t as challenging as you may think. A beautiful spiral of summer vegetables makes for a healthy and tasty dish.

For the Classic French Ratatouille recipe, click here.

Coq au Vin

Coq au Vin

Shutterstock

Marinate your chicken overnight, sauté all the meat and vegetables, and finally add the liquid and let it simmer for just over an hour for a hearty, flavor-packed dinner.

For the Coq au Vin recipe, click here.

Dark Chocolate Mousse

A rich, smooth dark chocolate mousse is one the most well-loved French desserts. Use the darkest, highest quality chocolate you can for the most intensely flavored mousse.

For the Dark Chocolate Mousse recipe, click here.

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

Shutterstock

We’re not sure there’s anything more wonderful than a bowl filled with caramelized onion soup, topped with a slice of baguette and a generous portion of melted Gruyère.

For the French Onion Soup recipe, click here.

Gargantuan Gougères

Gargantuan Gougères

Shutterstock

These cheesy gougères are an impressive party appetizer, and are not nearly as challenging to bake as you might believe.

For the Gargantuan Gougères recipe, click here.

Mini Croques Monsieur

Mini Croques Monsieur

Shutterstock

These appetizer-sized croques monsieur are easy, delicious, and the perfect way to kick off a French dinner party.

For the Mini Croque Monsieurs recipe, click here.

Oeufs en Cocotte

Oeufs en Cocotte

Shutterstock

Serve these creamy baked eggs either as a dinner party appetizer or as an indulgent weekend brunch dish.

For the Oeufs en Cocotte recipe, click here.

Pissaladière

Pissaladiere

Shutterstock

Use store-bought puff pastry instead of homemade bread dough to make this crispy, south-of-France style pizza, topped with caramelized onions, anchovies, olives, and plenty of garlic.

For the Easy Pissaladière recipe, click here.

Pistachio and Almond Financier

Pistachio and Almond Financier

Shutterstock

These fluffy and pretty mini almond and pistachio cakes are the perfect accompaniment to a strong cup of coffee.

For the Pistachio and Almond Financier recipe, click here.

Quiche Lorraine

Quiche Lorraine

Thinkstock

This classic French quiche is always popular. Use a pre-made pie crust to turn this dish into an incredibly easy homemade meal.

For the Quiche Lorraine recipe, click here.

Salade Lyonnaise

Salade Lyonnaise

Thinkstock

Bitter, crunchy salad leaves are balanced out with mustard vinaigrette, crunchy bites of bacon, and poached eggs: The ultimate simple, but satisfying lunch or dinner.

For the Salade Lyonnaise recipe, click here.

 

Salade Niçoise

Salade Niçoise

Shutterstock

Salade Niçoise makes such a pretty entrée, and is filled with so many wonderful ingredients, that it makes a wonderful meal on its own, without the need for any extra sides.

For the Salade Niçoise recipe, click here.

Skillet Cassoulet

Skillet Cassoulet

Shutterstock

Cassoulet normally takes hours to cook, but this cheat’s recipe means you can have this hearty French meal on the dinner table in less than 30 minutes.

For the Skillet Cassoulet recipe, click here.

Sole Meunière

Sole Meunière

Thinkstock

Sole meunière is fairly simple to prepare, and is one of the ultimate elegant dinner party dishes. The sole is drizzled with brown butter sauce, and served with parsley and lemon: French entrées don’t get any more chic than this.

For the Sole Meunière recipe, click here.

Soupe au Pistou

Soupe au Pistou

Shutterstock

A simple, minestrone-style vegetable soup topped with a salty, flavor-packed pistou, is a warming, healthy, and traditional French meal.

For the Soupe au Pistou recipe, click here.

Tarte Flambée

Tarte Flambée

Shutterstock

Tarte Flambée is Alsace’s answer to pizza: Bread dough is rolled out until thinly, then topped with crème fraîche, sliced onions, and whatever other tasty additions you fancy.

For the Tarte Flambée recipe, click here.

Tartiflette Savoyarde

Tartiflette Savoyarde

Shutterstock

This classic Alpine cheese-bacon-and-potato dish is wonderfully rich and comforting. Serve it with a simple green salad for a hearty, indulgent dinner.

For the Tartiflette Savoyarde recipe, click here.