Give dad what he really wants this year: a great meal tailor-made to his favorite flavors.
Father's Day falls on the third Sunday in June, which this year is June 19 (also the U.S. holiday Juneteenth). There are so many ways to celebrate the dads, caregivers, grandpas, uncles and father figures in our lives, and one — the best one, in our totally unbiased opinion — is through food. On the cusp of the summer solstice, this year's dad-focused festivities will hopefully be on a warm and beautiful day — perfect for outdoor excursions, hanging outside on the porch or patio, hiking, escaping to the beach, catching a game or whatever else dad has low-key requested.
While going out to eat can be fun, spoiling someone special with a homemade meal is a gift in and of itself. Whether you want to put those grilling lessons to good use or need a quick and easy sheet-pan recipe to keep prep time down and play time up, we've got you covered.
Before choosing a meal, it's always great to ask, "What would dad want?" Is he all about a hefty plate of fresh seafood or is he more of a burgers-and-dogs kind of guy? Would he prefer a rich and comforting meal or a refreshing summer salad topped with steak? Whether dad is a carnivore all the way, a vegan, health nut or likes a bit of everything, this list of Father's Day dinner recipes has something delicious for every kind of dad. (And don't forget Father's Day breakfast and brunch — the guy deserves it all!)
Meaty entrees for the man of the hour
"I have to admit that when I first saw this dish on a menu, my body went through a wide range of emotions. At first, there was confusion. Well, is it chicken or is it steak?" says Scot Scott. "Then there was anger. Wait, someone took perfectly good ribeye and fried it like some chicken? Then there was joy. Oh, somebody took one of those cube steaks my momma used to make and battered it, fried it up golden-brown and bathed it in a gravy. Now that's something I can get down with."
This recipe is great because you can get the meatballs prepped the day before, have the sandwich fixings ready to go, and when guests arrive, you're able to really enjoy myself, just grilling up the meatballs rather than running around for ingredients and prep.
This burger delivers all the flavor with no filler. Ditch the bread crumbs and opt for seasoned beef seared to perfection — this is so beyond good and dad will be wowed.
This is such a simple and delicious dish that'll take dad right to Florence. It's an impressive centerpiece dish for any dinner, large or small.
No more dry pork chops! This cooking method is a surefire way to end up with a juicy pork chop. Cooking it low and slow to start ensures even cooking to the perfect temp. And the smoke and sage add a deep depth of flavor to the chops.
The secret to this burger's over-the-top flavor is in the center. Hiding inside is a molten pocket of gooey nacho cheese dip. You'll never go back to a basic burger again!
If you want the robust flavor of a great steak but don't want all the heavy sides that usually accompany it, this Southwestern-inspired salad invites the garden to the party for a light, yet meaty, dish.
If pitmaster Rodney Scott says to use MSG in your rib rub, you do it. It is a flavor maker! All the savory and hot spices and seasonings in his famous rub and sauce make these tender ribs unbelievably delicious.
This dish is so versatile, and it's also great to make-ahead of time so you have extra time to enjoy time with your old man. Whether you're making tacos or stuffed bell peppers, use this flavorful slow-cooker chicken as the base.
This grilled chicken recipe is simple to prepare, cook and serve. The herbaceous and full-flavored dressing really brightens up the dish, however, and gives it a casual elegance.
JJ Johnson loves cooking with Peruvian-style adobo sauce. This recipe features the unexpected sweetness of rice vinegar along with West African palm sugar, known for its rich, caramel flavor.
This is a real showstopper for your dinner party. Yes, that is a whole-fried chicken, and it deserves a crowd —or a really hungry father.
This recipe has that big, bold flavor synonymous with Southern food using ingredients you can find in any store.
No one said Father's Day dinner had to be difficult to be special. You can really stretch how many people you can feed with these beef-filled enchiladas by serving this dish with lots of toppings. It's kind of like a taco bar … but for enchiladas. Everyone will love it!
When entertaining, Siri is a big fan of setting up topping bars so that guests can help themselves. In the summer, nothing is more fun or festive than a hot dog bar … except maybe grilling those toppings in foil, making cleanup a breeze!
There is chili, and then there is chili from the grill. Cooking the ingredients in a searing-hot cast-iron pan on a covered grill allows the ingredients to get both a flavorful browning without losing any natural juices to the flames and plenty of smoky flavor. The result is a complex, delicious chili. It is formidable on its own in a bowl with your preferred garnishes, or as the key component on a hot dog or brat.
This steak recipe with chimichurri sauce is a great way to change up your grilling game. The sauce is fresh, zippy and packed with fresh herbs like parsley and oregano, plus garlic and shallots, so it's really the ideal accompaniment to a range of meats.
Pulled pork with barbecue sauce isn't just a dish — it's a technique. Browning and braising are core techniques that should be applied to tougher cuts of meat to make them fancy and tender.
Don't let the long list of ingredients fool you: This heavenly burger is easy to put together. The multiple layers of flavors in the meaty burger start by with a homemade barbecue seasoning, which gets blended into the signature tangy sauce made from a burger lover's favorites (ketchup, mustard, hot sauce honey and more) and topped with cheese and zesty pickles.
Bobby Flay loves to make pork chops on the grill. They only need a little seasoning and a flavorful sauce on the side to make them so satisfying and delicious.
These wings are here to make you feel as if you're on a much-needed tropical vacation. Just be prepared to eat a lot of them — they're addicting.
This recipe is the perfect sweet heat, sticky baby back rib for anytime of year — but it tastes especially sweet at the start of summer.
Tangy blue cheese and sweet, juicy pear highlight the beautiful smoky flavors of this steak that all gets marinated together in a refreshing summer salad.
"This is my favorite recipe my dad used to make when I was a kid," says Gaby Dalkin. "It was so special whenever he'd make a barbecue chicken and we'd fight each other over who got the legs. I've changed things up these days with the spice mixture and I always serve it with the salsa verde."
This is more than just a delicious, epic-tasting steak: It’s a head-turner! It’s a show!
This dish tastes like summer, with smoky and crispy grilled chicken, sweet tomatoes and creamy cheese. It’s an appetizer, salad and main course all in one.
Souva — which is Aussie slang for souvlaki — is one of Curtis Stone's favorite things to make on the grill. Every element can be prepped ahead, so when it comes to mealtime, all you need is a quick cook, a little assembly and you can get down to eating.
We love any salad, but this one is special because it is a spectacular entrée that makes a big statement. It makes a fancy cut of meat go really far, making it budget-friendly.
"Because beef burgers are always on the cookout menu, I challenged myself to create a juicy chicken burger that's just as satisfying," says Nicole A. Taylor.
It's time to break out the red and white checkered tablecloth and blast Tony Bennett on the radio. These pizza "bombs" are a handheld pizza popper packed with authentic pizzeria flavor. Make them in advance and throw 'em on the grill right before you get the party started.
Seafood galore for the captain of your heart
The presentation of the whole fish is really beautiful, and it's a fresh, light dish that is perfect for summer barbecuing. Plus, there's bacon that cooks in between the flaky, white fish.
This recipe because it's not only flavorful and fast to make, but it's also unique and healthy at the same time. Plus, it's an easy recipe to get the whole family involved in (except for dad, of course).
The blend of sharp cheddar, nutty Parmesan, the gradual build of mild heat from the pepper jack and the sweet and briny lobster meat transcend this mac and cheese to another level.
Peel-and-eat shrimp are a great interactive appetizer but also a conversation starter. Put out a big bowl of the flavorful morsels and let the party begin!
"I have wonderful memories of sitting with my parents as they prepared and cooked this dish. Funnily enough, my father actually claimed victory on this recipe but then my mother did, too," says Dzung Lewis. "If they were still with us I could ask them, but for now, I'm thankful for the opportunity to share a part of them with this beloved recipe with the world."
These burgers are incredibly easily to make and packed with so much flavor. "Every single person who has ever tried them loves them!" says Ronnie Woo.
This dish is super versatile: You can serve it hot off the grill, cook in advance and serve it at room temperature or chilled as a main course. It's also great for lunch; put it on bread for a summery sandwich!
Al Roker uses olive oil with a high smoke point in his marinade so that the shrimp doesn't burn, keeping the shell on to ensure the smokiest flavor possible.
With only 10 minutes prep time and 10 minutes on the grill, this salty-topped salmon dish is totally worth making and is great for a lighter spread on Father's Day.
Buttery, toasty buns filled with creamy lobster salad make the perfect dinner in the warm season, especially after a day spent lounging by the ocean.
Shrimp rolls have all the fresh, summery, seafood flavors as a lobster roll but are more economical. Plus, shrimp is more readily available than lobster and just as delicious.
Who doesn’t love a good serving of shrimp and grits? This is a traditional NOLA dish made with a lot of seasoning, herbs and damn good grits. Head-on shrimp are coated in a rich and buttery sauce loaded with Creole spice, that, when you plate up is best ladled over the dish so that there's plenty to get mopped up with a loaf of soft, crusty French bread.
Scallops are surprisingly simple to cook and once you get that crisp, seared top and delicate, tender inside done right, you're in for a real treat. The lemon butter can be made ahead so go-time is fast and simple.
These lively fish tacos get a wonderful upgrade with buttery, smashed avocado. They come together in just 20 minutes and are fresh, light and flavorful.
Sea bass on its own is amazingly buttery, but the marinade takes it to another level. The crispy, gingery broccoli brings the perfect contrast in both flavor and texture.
Old Bay seasoning, fresh lemon, butter and garlic infuse the steak and shrimp with maximum flavor. It's a fun way to present a meal and nothing beats that burst of flavor and aroma you get as you carefully open that packet. It's also a really fun dish for casual entertaining.
There's nothing better than a great fish taco. The rice flour-battered fish is just so crispy and stays moist inside. The salsa is so bright and refreshing and pairs perfectly with the crispy fish in the tacos.
Adding the ingredients in the right order is the secret to this recipe's success; the ones that take longest to cook go in first. The optional layer of seaweed (available from most fishmongers) imparts a salty ocean essence and keeps the potatoes off the bottom of the pot.
Vegetarian and vegan dinners for your plant-based pop
This spin on pasta salad has bright citrus flavors, smoky and spicy notes from the chiles and loads of freshness from an assortment of vegetables. The best part about this recipe, other than the fact that its flavor improves as it sits in the fridge, is that you can customize it, adding whatever vegetables or pasta you have on hand.
A colorful salad that's a mix of different vegetables hits the spot on a steamy summer evening. Everything can be prepped ahead of time and, while the recipe serves six, is easy to double for a larger gathering.
This pizza incorporates so many fresh summer flavors and puts a bright spin on a traditional pie. The seasonal veggies and rich walnut pesto are an irresistible combination. Cooking the pizza on the grill makes it even more summery and adds a deliciously smoky char to the dough.
This recipe is Hearty with a capital H! It’s kind of like a cross between tacos and mac and cheese. Make it for your hungriest family members (read: dad) and dare them to say vegan food isn’t filling!
Here’s a plant-based paella bursting with bright, Spanish flavors. The chickpeas provide the protein. Tradition calls for cooking the veggies right in the paella pan, not directly on the grill, but live fire intensifies their color and flavor.
These veggie taco su-primes will remind you of going to Taco Bell late night and indulging in fully loaded crispy, crunchy tacos. The awesome part is that this version still packs in a ton protein thanks to the magic of chickpea flour.
This recipe is so flavorful and hearty. It is a home run for people who are worried about walking away from the table unsatisfied. It's great for large groups and serves up well, year-round.
Grilled Mexican street corn is an exciting way to kick up the all-time favorite summer side! It adds so much flavor, you may never be satisfied with just butter ever again. One of the best parts about this easy grilling recipe is that, as opposed to other variations of street corn recipes that require utensils and serving platters, this one is made right on the cob. This way, all guests have to do is dig into the juicy corn kernels smothered in the creamy sauce made from sour cream, mayonnaise and cotija cheese, dusted with hot, sweet and smoky spices all topped off with a nice squeeze of tart lime. Some call it corn on the cob, some call it heaven.
Pasta salad is one of our favorite summer side dishes — especially when the veggies in it are grilled, imparting their smoky flavor. Plus, if you make it ahead of time, it gets even better as it sits in the fridge.
The mayo, the mustard, the pickled relish: Damon Stalworth's potato salad has all of the classic potato salad ingredients. A delightful addition to a rack of barbecued ribs slathered in sauce, this simple recipe is mixed with hard-boiled eggs for a little extra protein — and creaminess.
No need to boil water to prep this no-cook couscous salad! Couscous, which is a type of very tiny semolina pasta, really just needs to be rehydrated before serving. For this salad, you'll combine the couscous with a few staple pantry ingredients, then let it soak in the dressing for a couple hours (or even overnight if you'd like to prep it in advance). Serve it chilled or room temperature — no heat required!
Simpler than quiche, this veggie-filled summer galette makes an elegant first course for Father's Day dinner.
This is a summer grilling greatest hit. There is no way everyone won't devour this simple side! We like to make it and eat it when it's freshly assembled and still warm, but it also tastes great chilled.
This recipe is super versatile: Feel free to mix in different pasta shapes, combinations of cheeses and flavorful meats. It's delicious bubbling hot out of the oven, but it's especially good cold right out of the fridge on hot summer days!