30+ Traditional French Recipes

French cuisine is often associated with elaborate preparations and complex recipes, but the reality is that many traditional French dishes are surprisingly accessible.

In fact, Julia Child’s iconic cookbook and TV show helped popularize French cooking in America by breaking down complex techniques into manageable steps. While some French recipes may require time and effort, there are plenty of simple and delicious options to try.

Beef Bourguignon (Boeuf Bourguignon)


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The iconic French dish of beef bourguignon may be celebrated for its rich flavors, but what’s truly remarkable about this classic recipe is how effortlessly it brings people together across cultures and social classes. This slow-cooked stew, typically made with tender chunks of beef, simmered in a hearty broth of red wine and stock, alongside aromatics like onion, garlic, and herbs, has been a staple of French cuisine for centuries. The carefully balanced blend of thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, and black pepper adds depth to the dish, while a medley of sautéed vegetables – including carrots, mushrooms, pearl onions, and of course, crispy bacon – further enhance its appeal. Whether you’re hosting a Bastille Day bash or simply craving a comforting meal, beef bourguignon is an instant pot-friendly recipe that’s sure to become a family favorite.

Chicken Paillard


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A weeknight staple, this classic bistro-style chicken paillard is as flavorful as it is effortless to prepare. The term ‘paillard’ originates from France, where it refers to a portion of meat – not limited to just poultry. In fact, beef, pork, and even veal can be transformed into a delectable paillard. For this mouthwatering chicken paillard recipe, you’ll need extra virgin olive oil, cracked black pepper, a shallot, garlic cloves, fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, chopped chives, and chicken stock.

Croissant Bread Pudding


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When it comes to comfort food, bread pudding is a classic that never goes out of style. But what happens when you take it up a notch by using croissants instead? The result is nothing short of extraordinary. And the best part? You can repurpose leftover croissants to make this decadent dessert. The key ingredients in this indulgent treat are whole milk, heavy cream, eggs, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, sea salt, and cinnamon. For an added layer of depth, consider using vanilla bean paste instead of traditional extract to create a truly French-inspired flavor profile.

Mushroom Galette Recipe


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A rustic pie, a galette is characterized by its folded dough that contains its ingredients without allowing them to escape. This mushroom galette recipe shares similarities with a mushroom pizza, but it offers the added benefit of being lighter in cooking terms. The recipe calls for wild mushrooms, which can be challenging to find and may require planning around seasonal availability. On the other hand, Gruyère cheese and crème fraîche add rich and creamy elements to this dish, making it a delightful culinary experience.

French Cruller Donuts


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While traditional French cruller donuts rely on a specific type of pastry called choux, this distinctive treat requires some skill and patience to prepare. Choux pastry is typically made on the stovetop in a pot, where it can take a few attempts to master the technique. Nonetheless, the end result is well worth the effort for anyone who has fallen under the charm of French cruller donuts.

French Green Beans with Shallots


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For a taste of France in your backyard or dining room, look no further than Haricot Verts, also known as French green beans. This classic recipe is a crowd-pleaser, whether you’re hosting an informal BBQ or an elegant dinner with friends. The beauty of this dish lies in its simplicity, requiring only a few key ingredients: fresh green beans, sweet shallots, olive oil, water, and a pinch of salt and pepper. With these humble components, you can create a flavorful and refined side dish that’s sure to impress.

French Crepes Recipe


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In the realm of French cuisine, the humble crepe is a beloved staple that’s been delighting palates for generations. Its origins can be traced back to Brittany, France, where this delicate treat is often served with an array of sweet and savory fillings. From classic combinations like ham and cheese to indulgent treats featuring Nutella, each bite is a masterclass in simplicity and flavor.

At its core, the crepe recipe relies on a harmonious blend of milk, eggs, butter (or oil), flour, and salt. This straightforward combination yields a tender, delicate crepe that’s perfect for wrapping around your favorite ingredients.

French Potato Salad


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While American potato salads often rely on mayonnaise or mustard for their signature flavor, this French-inspired recipe offers a lighter, more refined alternative. The dressing features a judicious blend of Dijon mustard’s subtle spiciness, apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar (or white wine vinegar), and extra virgin olive oil, all rounded out with the freshness of chopped dill. This elegant potato salad is sure to delight even the most discerning palates.

Boules de Berlin (French Beignets)


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For many, a trip to New Orleans isn’t complete without a visit to the iconic Cafe du Monde. It’s hard to resist the allure of their famous French beignets, sweet treats that are essentially deep-fried dough balls smothered in powdered sugar. While it’s easy to pick up a pre-mixed version of this culinary delight at a store, making them from scratch is surprisingly straightforward and yields impressive results.

Light and Airy Cheese Soufflé


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Elevate your dinner party game by serving a show-stopping cheese soufflé that’s sure to impress. However, don’t be fooled – achieving perfection requires precision and attention to detail. Soufflés are notorious for their finicky nature, making it crucial to follow the recipe carefully.This delectable French dish is crafted with a medley of ingredients, including milk, cheddar cheese, dry mustard, flour, salt, butter, and eggs. To ensure its grandeur, bake the soufflé in a dedicated soufflé dish. With these guidelines and a dash of patience, you’ll be rewarded with a culinary masterpiece that will leave your guests in awe.

French Gimlet


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While traditional gimlet recipes rely on the harmonious marriage of fresh lime juice and premium gin, a French twist introduces St. Germain, an elderflower liqueur that imbues the drink with a subtle floral essence. The resulting cocktail is a masterclass in balance, where citrusy notes from the lime beautifully complement the botanicals, creating a delightfully complex flavor profile.

Croque-Monsieur


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When the craving strikes, there’s no denying the allure of a luxurious take on the classic grilled cheese and ham sandwich. Enter the Croque Monsieur, a French-inspired delight that elevates the humble ham and cheese combination with rich parmesan and gruyere melted cheeses, a creamy béchamel sauce, and savory sliced ham. Feel free to get creative and substitute turkey for the ham, pairing it with your preferred type of cheese. Complete the meal with a fresh green salad and a warm cup of soup for a satisfying and filling experience.

Classic Coq Au Vin


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Coq au vin, a dish that sounds as sophisticated as its French origin, is actually a straightforward recipe to make. This iconic French dish is essentially a hearty chicken stew cooked in a Dutch oven. The magic happens when the seared chicken thighs and legs are slowly braised with onions, carrots, mushrooms, red wine, and other savory ingredients like chicken broth, bacon or pancetta, brandy, and garlic.

Kir and Kir Royale


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With just two straightforward components, this refreshing cocktail is a breeze to prepare: chilled white wine – specifically Bourgogne Aligote – and crème de cassis. To craft the ideal drink, it’s essential that the liqueur, wine, and glass are all thoroughly chilled before use.

French Ratatouille Recipe


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French ratatouille is a robust and flavorful dish that’s packed with an array of colorful vegetables, making it a satisfying meal option when served with fluffy white rice or crusty bread. Its hearty nature also makes it a great accompaniment to various protein-rich dishes, such as beef, pork, or chicken. The quintessential French recipe typically consists of eggplant, red onion, red bell pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, plum tomatoes, garlic, and crushed tomatoes, with a medley of spices including garlic, bay leaf, dried oregano, fresh basil, black pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes adding depth to the dish. A splash of dry white wine also lends its signature flavor to the ratatouille. This culinary delight is often enjoyed as a standalone meal or as a substantial side dish.

Easy Lyonnaise Potatoes Recipe


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For a delicious Lyonnaise potatoes dish, start by parboiling potato slices in boiling water for precisely two minutes. This initial step helps kick-start the cooking process and ensures even doneness when pan-frying later on. Once cooked to this point, it’s time to add some flavorful flair – simply pan-fry the potatoes with sautéed onions in butter until they’re golden brown and crispy. To achieve perfectly cooked Lyonnaise potatoes, make sure your potato slices are cut to an even thickness, allowing them to cook consistently throughout. Remember, patience is key here; a two-minute boil is all it takes to avoid overcooking the potatoes and ruining the dish. The result will be a mouthwatering, French-inspired side that pairs well with a variety of main courses.

French Toast Casserole


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Hosting a breakfast or brunch for a crowd? Look no further than a scrumptious French toast casserole that’s as effortless to prepare as it is to devour. The best part? You can assemble this sweet treat the night before and let the oven do the work while you sleep in.

Julia Child’s French Onion Soup


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While it may seem like a straightforward recipe, the combination of beef, onion, cheese, and bread in French onion soup yields a dish that is surprisingly complex and rich in flavor. Julia Child’s classic recipe relies on beef broth, but feel free to substitute vegetable or chicken broth if that’s what you have on hand. The key to bringing out the deep sweetness in this soup is caramelizing the onions, which requires some attention but is well worth the effort.

Financiers


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In the early days, a group of nuns known as Visitandines were responsible for creating classic French financiers. The name ‘financier’ actually has its roots in the 19th century, when these small cakes gained popularity in the financial district surrounding the Paris stock exchange. It was the wealthy money men, or financiers, who helped popularize the treats by carrying them easily in their pockets. Initially, financier cakes were made in rectangular shapes resembling bars of gold. While they can still be found in this traditional form today, modern recipes have introduced a range of shapes and variations to these decadent little treats.

Brioche Bread


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Brioche bread is renowned for its unique characteristics, which set it apart from other types of bread. The addition of enriched dough and copious amounts of butter not only lends a visually appealing appearance but also imbues the bread with an unparalleled richness in terms of flavor. Interestingly, this bread recipe has its origins at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school, though it has been adapted for home bakers to create a version that can be easily replicated at home. As a member of the viennoiseries family, brioche bread shares a common heritage with other sweet treats like Danish pastries, croissants, and sweet rolls.

French Hot Chocolate


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French hot chocolate is a rich and indulgent treat that deviates significantly from the typical watery hot chocolate we’re accustomed to in the West. Instead, it’s akin to sipping a luxurious chocolate ganache, served in a cup for enjoying. The key to this decadent beverage lies in its creamy texture, achieved by combining heavy cream, brown sugar, vanilla extract, milk, and real chocolate. To create the perfect blend, one must stir and simmer the ingredients with gentle care, ensuring that every last speck of unmelted chocolate is melted into the mixture, resulting in a velvety-smooth drink that’s sure to delight.

French Cheese Puffs (Gougères)


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While making choux pastry for other dishes, it’s a good idea to reserve some for creating these scrumptious French cheese puffs, also known as gougères. To incorporate the signature Gruyere cheese into the batter, simply slice it directly in. The crowning glory of these cheesy bites is the topping, which consists of egg yolks and an additional sprinkling of Gruyere. These indulgent morsels pair perfectly with a rich dip comprising cream cheese, crispy bacon, and melted cheddar – a match made in heaven.

French Apple Cake


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In the United States, frosting on cakes is a beloved tradition. However, simplicity in desserts can be just as delightful. The French apple cake is a prime example of this – its outstanding flavor and texture don’t require any sugary toppings to impress. This moist and tender cake is packed with juicy apples that will leave your guests in awe. For an added layer of complexity, you can incorporate dark rum or brandy into the recipe.

Dauphinoise (Potatoes au Gratin)


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Get ready to elevate your potato game with Dauphinoise, a rich and creamy French dish that’s sure to impress. This indulgent recipe features thinly sliced Yukon gold potatoes layered with butter, heavy cream, and spices – no flour in sight! The aromatic flavors come from fresh rosemary, thyme, nutmeg, and a bay leaf, which meld together beautifully as the potatoes cook. The key to this dish’s velvety texture is the creamy mixture working in harmony with the potato starch. To finish it off, you’ll add Gruyère and Parmesan cheese during the final 10-15 minutes of cooking, allowing them to melt into a golden brown masterpiece.

Triple-Threat Onion Galette


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Fans of French onion soup will appreciate this hearty onion galette, which shares a similar rustic charm without the fuss of traditional pie-making. A galette’s crust folds inward to contain its savory filling, making it an effortless and appealing option for a weeknight dinner or special occasion. This French-inspired recipe showcases scallions, yellow onion, and white onion, along with a pungent eight cloves of garlic, all bound together by the rich flavors of Parmesan cheese and Dijon mustard. The combination is a true delight, as evidenced by its origins at pardonyourfrench.com.

Traditional Dark Chocolate French Truffles


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The simplicity of creating classic French dark chocolate truffles is a delightful surprise. Who would have thought that with just four ingredients, you could craft such refined and delectable treats? The origins of these indulgent confections date back to 1895 in Chambery, where Chef Louis Dufour improvised by combining the available ingredients to create the iconic chocolate truffle recipe. This traditional version is a perfect treat for special occasions or as a thoughtful gift, and with its ease of preparation, you may never purchase store-bought truffles again.

French Macarons Recipe


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While making French macarons may not be a cakewalk for beginners, with some practice, you can master this delicate cookie-making technique. In fact, it’s essential to understand the distinction between macarons and macaroons – the former being the classic French sandwich cookies we’re interested in, while the latter refers to coconut-based dessert treats. Despite the common confusion surrounding these names, the art of crafting macarons is a unique one that requires precision and patience. When it comes to flavoring your macaron shells, you can opt for the traditional sweet almond taste or experiment with new flavors. The filling, on the other hand, is where creativity knows no bounds – feel free to let your imagination run wild!

Easy Quiche Recipe


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When you’re in a pinch and need a sophisticated yet effortless dish for brunch or lunch, this easy quiche recipe is the perfect solution. The beauty of this recipe lies in its simplicity, as you can use either a frozen or refrigerated pie crust to save time without sacrificing flavor. The addition of frozen chopped spinach provides a nutrient boost, while diced ham contributes both protein and a savory depth. To give your quiche an extra layer of creaminess, opt for a melty cheese like white cheddar or Gruyere. Meanwhile, the punch of flavors comes from the pungency of scallions (green onions), the warmth of ground nutmeg, and the subtle kick from hot sauce.

Homemade Chocolate Croissants (Pain au Chocolat)


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While crafting croissant dough, it’s essential to reserve half of the batch for an indulgent treat – pain au chocolat. This classic French recipe provides a detailed, step-by-step guide on how to create these rich, chocolatey pastries, complete with a accompanying video tutorial. To achieve optimal results, you’ll need either instant yeast or active dry yeast. When it comes to the chocolate component, utilizing high-quality dark chocolate is crucial, as inferior chocolate won’t melt as smoothly. By following these guidelines and leveraging reliable sources, such as fromvalerieskitchen.com, you can recreate this decadent French dessert with ease.

Brioche French Toast


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Indulge in a luxurious breakfast or brunch by preparing brioche French toast that’s sure to impress family and friends. To create this delectable treat, you’ll need whole milk, sugar, vanilla extract, and butter. A perfect accompaniment is maple syrup and fresh berries. Interestingly, the key to achieving exceptional French toast lies in using stale bread – the drier the bread, the better your finished dish will be.

Homemade French Fries


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French fries are notoriously hard to resist, especially when they’re cooked to perfection with a crispy exterior and a salty flavor. The key to achieving this ideal texture lies in the preparation process. Soaking chopped and peeled potatoes in cold water for several hours prior to frying is crucial in removing excess moisture and starch. This step allows the fries to absorb the oil better during the cooking process, resulting in a crunchier finish.Another technique that’s commonly employed to produce perfect French fries is double-frying. By frying the potatoes twice, once at a lower temperature to cook them through, and then again at a higher temperature to crisp them up, you can achieve an unparalleled level of crunchiness.When it comes to selecting the ideal potato variety for French fries, russet potatoes are generally considered the best option. It’s essential to avoid using waxy potatoes like new or red potatoes, as they won’t yield the same satisfying texture as their starchy counterparts.

Final Words

These exceptional recipes are designed to delight your loved ones. Invite your family and friends to indulge in these mouth-watering creations. We’d love to hear your feedback!

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