22 Great Father's Day Recipes | Midwest Living
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22 Great Father's Day Recipes

Is Dad usually the one manning the grill? Tell him to sit back and relax. Then cook one (or more) of these Midwest Living favorites to make his day truly special.
  • Father's Day Fajitas

    Dinner for Dad

    Cory Wendel has some serious cooking chops. He's the executive chef at Aposto, a fine-dining restaurant in Des Moines known for southern Italian food and experimental pop-up dinners. But when it comes to wowing his dad with a special Father's Day meal, he keeps it simple. "My dad grew up in the Midwest, so he's a steak-and-potatoes kind of guy," Wendel says. "Father's Day with him is all about the steak."

    Whether you're a professional chef like Cory or a home-cooking novice, dinner for Dad is less about the food and more about just being there, taking the time to show him you care. Wendel suggests recreating a favorite family dinner, including the everyone-gathered-around-the-table scene. "It's basically his favorite thing in the world, having his kids around to make him a meal," Wendel says. "He has kids and grandkids who are all growing up and doing things he's pretty proud of. To have us all in one space is important to him."

    Of course, a great recipe can't hurt. We've collected more than 20 Midwest Living favorites, including main dishes, sides, desserts and drinks. The extravagent whole roasted chicken will impress Dad; so will the the 20-minute pork chop. This is probably the easiest meal you'll ever make, as long as you make it with love.

  • Barbecue Cheddar-Bacon Stuffed Burgers

    Barbecue Cheddar-Bacon Stuffed Burgers

    We firmly believe the best way to say “I love you” is with bacon. This beautiful, delicious mess of a burger—stuffed with cheddar and bacon, topped with fried onions and barbecue sauce—comes from chef Emily Hopper of Lucy's #7 Burger Bar in Beloit, Wisconsin.

    Barbecue Cheddar-Bacon Stuffed Burgers

  • Pork Chops with Curried Plum Glaze and Grilled Plums

    Pork Chops with Curried Plum Glaze and Grilled Plums

    This fruity spin on barbecued pork chops is special enough for Father’s Day but ready in less than 45 minutes. For a complete meal, pair the recipe with a rice salad or simple steamed green beans or broccoli.

    Pork Chops with Curried Plum Glaze and Grilled Plums

  • Herb-Crusted Lamb Chops

    Herb-Crusted Lamb Chops

    Brushed with mustard and coated with garlicky breadcrumbs, these petite chops are a quick alternative to a classic leg of lamb. The recipe comes from Andy Schudlich of Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm in Michigan.

    Herb-Crusted Lamb Chops 

  • Grill-Roasted Chicken with Arugula and Crostini

    Grill-Roasted Chicken with Arugula and Crostini

    Impress Dad with a whole roasted chicken. The recipe comes from Kinnikinnick Farm in Illinois, where Susan Cleverdon serves roast chicken on a bed of crostini and baby arugula, deliciously glazed in the chicken's lemony drippings. It's a fresh, Italianesque twist on a classic roast chicken.

    Grill-Roasted Chicken with Arugula and Crostini

  • Pork Chops with Red Cabbage and Rhubarb

    Pork Chops with Red Cabbage and Rhubarb

    Usually you would pair apple with red cabbage and pork chops, but in this summer twist, we swapped in rhubarb. The resulting flavor is a complex mix of savory and tart; Dad will never know the whole meal only took 20 minutes.

    Pork Chops with Red Cabbage and Rhubarb

  • Chipotle-Maple Chicken Thighs

    Chipotle-Maple Chicken Thighs

    We won't mince words: This is juicy, spicy, sticky, glorious barbecued chicken. One of the secrets? Chicken thighs. They cook fast, like breasts, but they have richer flavor and don't dry out. And nutritionally speaking, the two are more similar than you'd think.

    Chipotle-Maple Chicken Thighs 

  • Grilled Steak Fajitas

    Grilled Steak Fajitas

    Fathers are easy to please. All you need is a steak, a three-ingredient marinade, a few veggies and tortillas heated right on the grill. Boom.

    Grilled Steak Fajitas

  • Mango-Barbecue Fish Tacos

    Mango-Barbecue Fish Tacos

    Fresh fruit and bottled barbecue sauce lend sassy sweetness to low-cal, vitamin-rich grilled fish tacos (Dad won’t even realize he’s eating healthy).

    Mango-Barbecue Fish Tacos

  • Grilled Sirloin Kabobs with Zesty Top City Sauce

    Joann Gough-Stallbaumer of Topeka uses Kansas top sirloin steak and a horseradish-mayo dipping sauce in her recipe, one of the finalists at Midwest Living's first Best of the Midwest cook-off.

    Grilled Sirloin Kabobs with Zesty Top City Sauce

  • Caribbean Shrimp Kabobs

    Caribbean Shrimp Kabobs

    Dad probably deserves a nice island getaway. The next best thing? These easy skewers, which marry gently spiced shrimp with juicy pineapple. Serve with rice and a fresh lettuce salad.

    Caribbean Shrimp Kabobs

  • Swiss Chard Crostata with Fennel Seed Crust

    Swiss Chard Crostata with Fennel Seed Crust

    This recipe’s a great option for vegetarian fathers. Dried herbs, garlic and fennel give this rustic tart a familiar Italian sausage-like flavor. The olive oil-based pastry comes together in a snap in the food processor. The recipe comes from The Vegetable Butcher cookbook by Cara Mangini.

    Swiss Chard Crostata with Fennel Seed Crust

  • Spaghetti Carbonara

    Spaghetti Carbonara

    This recipe for a classic pasta carbonara comes from the cookbook Michael Symon’s 5 in 5 ($19.99), a fantastic source for weeknight dinner ideas (or in this case, easy Father’s Day feasts). Plan to prep the ingredients (grate cheese, chop parsley) before you begin.

    Spaghetti Carbonara

  • Marinated Garlicky Tomatoes

    Marinated Garlicky Tomatoes

    Cara Mangini spoons these luscious tomatoes over crostini that she's smeared with goat cheese or ricotta, then tops each with extra basil. Depending upon Dad’s tastes, you can also fold them into pasta or cooked grains like farro, or serve them as a side dish with bread to mop up the juices. The recipe comes from The Vegetable Butcher cookbook.

    Marinated Garlicky Tomatoes

  • Asparagus with Poached Egg and Gremolata Breadcrumbs

    Asparagus with Poached Egg and Gremolata Breadcrumbs

    Gremolata is an Italian condiment made of parsley, lemon zest and garlic. Blend with crispy breadcrumbs to top eggs and asparagus.

    Asparagus with Poached Egg and Gremolata Breadcrumbs

  • Roasted Cauliflower with Peppadews

    Roasted Cauliflower with Peppadews

    Sweet-and-spicy jarred red peppers add festive color and wake-you-up flavor to a veggie standby. When he makes this dish, Andy Schudlich of Michigan's Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm uses a mix of purple and white cauliflower, but all white is just fine!

    Roasted Cauliflower with Peppadews 

  • Roast Potatoes with Mint Pesto

    Roast Potatoes with Mint Pesto

    It’s a two-for-one: show Dad you care while also using up overflowing mint that’s taking over your garden. At Illinois' Kinnikinnick Farm, Susan Cleverdon uses the herby pesto to dress roast potatoes, but it's a perfect match for chicken, shrimp or pasta, too.

    Roast Potatoes with Mint Pesto

  • Peaches and Cream Tart

    Peaches and Cream Tart

    Indulge Dad’s sweet tooth and artistic sensibilities. Rather than hide gorgeous, peak-season peaches under a piecrust, line them up in sunny formation on an easy base of purchased puff pastry and sweetened cream cheese. We arranged our peaches in stripes, but you can spread them out rustically if you prefer.

    Peaches and Cream Tart

  • Fudgy Stout Brownies

    Fudgy Stout Brownies

    Fans of cakey brownies, step away now. These squares are dense and rich, thanks to brown sugar, extra egg yolks— and more than half a can of stout. Your dad may not be able to identify the beer, but its toasted malt flavor brings depth to every bite.

    Fudgy Stout Brownies

  • Zucchini Olive Oil Cake with Lemon Drizzle

    Zucchini Olive Oil Cake with Lemon Drizzle

    With its subtle mix of warm spices, vanilla, maple and citrus (and tangy white icing), this is no ordinary zucchini cake. The recipe comes from The Vegetable Butcher cookbook, by Cara Mangini.

    Zucchini Olive Oil Cake with Lemon Drizzle 

  • Hard Cider Float

    Hard Cider Float

    For a fun twist on a root beer float, top vanilla ice cream with ginger ale, hard cider and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

    Hard Cider Float

  • Cucumber White Sangria

    Cucumber White Sangria

    Garden flavor infuses this refreshing make-ahead white wine cocktail.

    Cucumber White Sangria

  • Michelada

    Michelada

    Imagine a refreshing cross between a bloody mary and a beer. That's a michelada. Our version is inspired by the TJ Red Michelada served at Taco Joint in Chicago.

    Michelada 

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