If you're celebrating Pride like we are, you know an integral part of the party is the food that's shared. After all, we're honoring love — and what better way to share it than to cook up a spread of comforting, celebratory dishes?
To honor the incredible LGBTQ chefs and cooks making waves in the culinary world, we've rounded up a few of our favorite recipes from them. Whether you're looking to fuel up before a Pride party, entertain a group of friends or family, make a snack for movie-watching, or just need an exceptional dinner idea to add to this week's meal plan, the best and brightest are ready to make your kitchen shine. (FYI: Stocking up on products from LGBTQ-owned food and drink brands will also make your kitchen shine.)
From easy, vibrant pasta dishes to deeply comforting cheesy grits, refreshing grilled salads tailor-made for summer and elegant chicken wings — yes, wings can be elegant! — these recipes are sure to create a new happy space at the table, whatever type of meal you're craving.
"The House of Xtravaganza was founded in 1982 and was famous in the New York City ballroom scene for its jaw-droppingly elegant looks. So, I was inspired to create something unconventional but still classic," says Will Coleman. "I played around with all of the usual components — the bun, cheese, bacon and condiments — taking them to the next level. Life is a bit more fun when you break the rules, and this Double Cheeseburger recipe does just that. With double the cheese, a thick and juicy patty piled high with sweet and spicy candied bacon and a tomato-y jam, this is a burger that is just as Xtra as the House of Xtravangza itself."
If you're going to pay homage to the popular fried chicken sandwich from the comfort of your own kitchen, opt for this one. It has spicy heat and an extra crispy texture you will forever crave.
"I love this recipe because it will sit really well, so you can make it ahead," says Antoni Porowski. His pesto sauce is incredibly delicious and can be easily made in advance, frozen into an ice cube tray and then popped into any sauce or pasta when the time is right. "This is a great canvas recipe that's delicious as-is and easy to make your own!"
"There are as many versions of mac and cheese as there are "Housewives" franchises — all of which have their place in our homes. My skillet version is crispy along the edges and has a wonderful, crunchy breadcrumb topping, which is my favorite part. Broccoli and cheese make a great pair, especially in a baked pasta," says Porowski.
This dish is decadent, with a creamy, bacon-y sauce, packed with chicken and the sweetness of carrots. It comes together so easily but tastes and looks like you spent half the day in the kitchen. The ultimate hack? Rotisserie chicken! It saves a load of time to get dinner on the table quicker.
Who doesn't love a great sheet-pan recipe? Porowski pairs juicy, bursting sweet grapes with charred red onion, loads of rosemary and crispy, ancho chile-rubbed chicken. The pan juices are just so darn good — make sure to have a bit of bread to sop up all the goodness.
This mashup of a quesadilla and pizza gets a spicy kick from jalapeño-laced pepper Jack cheese and garlicky Portuguese linguiça.
"Rodney Balmain founded the House of Balmain in 2015, and he continues to provide space for the new generation of ballroom to grow, learn and serve on the dancefloor," says Coleman. "Much like the House of Balmain, these burgers come to serve, proving that cooking with turkey is anything but dry or bland. The blend of bacon and turkey creates a burger that's smoky, juicy and packed with a surprise for everyone at the table. And then we're topping it off with melted brie and honey mustard to turn this into the most luxurious eating experience."
A stew so good they named it twice. It's made of black-eyed peas (cowpeas) cooked in a gently spiced tomato sauce is a great vegan dish eaten all day long in Ghana — an alternative to baked beans for breakfast or as a bean casserole for lunch or dinner. Usually eaten with fried plantain, this is tasty, nourishing comfort food that's super easy to make.
Don't be scared off by the amount of butter in this recipe. A lot of it gets left in the baking dish along with the chicken fat that renders during baking. And actually, that's what makes this recipe so genius: The rendered fat and butter come together to "fry" the chicken right in the oven.
This spread is a game-changer for entertaining at home. If looking to host a soul food-inspired dinner, make this incredible fried chicken and hot honey mustard dipping sauce recipe. Though, if hosting an elaborate brunch, lean on the white cheddar-coconut grits and roasted tomatoes to wow guests.
This is an elegant sauce that gives wings a sophisticated touch. The tang of the vinegar with the heat of black pepper and earthiness of the rosemary is the perfect flavor balance. It elevates wings from your average game-day grub to a fancy finger food.
"My mom added classic Haitian seasonings — thyme, parsley, and fruity, fiery chile — to her meatloaf, which made it extra special. When I replicate her triumph today, I make sure there's some leftover for sandwiches the next afternoon," says Gregory Gourdet.
When you need an easy, fast dish that tastes like it took all day to make, turn to this one. The marinade is used to double flavor in the protein and keep kitchen clutter to a minimum. Grilling adds the perfect spring-summer touch.
These fish tacos are battered and fried, then topped with an incredible, summery slaw of crunchy, juicy jicama and sweet mango. Topped with Melissa King's go-to guac, it's a winner.
This recipe puts a fun twist on this historic dish and is great for serving large groups, or for a potluck supper. It can be made days in advance and frozen for convenience. If this recipe is too large, you can freeze half of it for another meal. Now that's comfort!
"A far cry from a classic shakshuka, yes, but we've found that sweet potatoes provide just the right amount of moisture and heft to serve as a base for these eggs," says Yotam Ottolenghi. "Serve this vibrant dish as a weekend brunch; it sure looks the part."
For this healthy riff on penne alla vodka, chickpeas replace the pasta, and oat milk, which lends a delightfully silky texture, is used instead of heavy cream. Store-bought or prepared marinara sauce makes this recipe fast and easy.
When Willi Ninja took over the ballroom scene in 1982, he displayed a profound appreciation for Japanese culture, so I created a teriyaki-glazed pork burger with spicy cabbage slaw in his honor" says Coleman. "It'll surprise and delight your guests with its unexpected flavors, leaving a lasting impression — just like the legendary House of Ninja."
Apps and sides
Potatoes are a vehicle for creativity, technique, leftovers and simple deliciousness. Braised, fried or salt roasted. Crispy or mashed. Silky soups to Tater Tots. A simple baked potato loaded with toppings or just a touch of salt. The possibilities are only as limited as your imagination. This is Kristen Kish's preferred way of making — and eating — mashed potatoes.
Justin Chapple's homemade version of restaurant-style queso dip is quite a bit healthier, even with those awesome pepperoni "crumbs." It's a perfect dish for entertaining or just a cozy night at home.
Five ingredients. 15 minutes. That's all it takes to make this simple side dish. Enjoy bowl of this on its own or serve it as a side for steak, fish and chicken dishes. It makes a super-delicious taco filling, too. The key is not to overcook the corn so it maintains a nice plumpness and bite.
This fresh, sharp salad and toum-yogurt makes a lovely side to heartier dishes, grilled meat (particularly when rich and fatty) and just about anything battered and fried. Toum, which literally translates to "garlic" in Arabic, is a Levantine condiment made by whipping together raw garlic and oil with a good amount of lemon juice.
"With this garlicky, cheesy and bacon-packed recipe, I wanted make deviled eggs exciting again," says Coleman. If you're ever left tasked with bringing an appetizer, these come in handy because you can make them ahead of time, they take under 30 minutes to put together and you can customize them to your own tastes.
Tiffani Faison's biscuits are must-have best-sellers at her restaurant Sweet Cheeks Q in Boston. Make them at home with this simple, five-ingredient recipe.
This non-traditional dish borrows ideas from three different countries. The Caesar salad was invented in Mexico, the migas (toasted seasoned bread) hails from Spain and the dressing has a dollop of Japanese miso in it. The symphony of flavor and texture takes a humble veggie to a whole new level.
This is kelewele (pronounced "kaylay-waylay"), a simple and quick side dish of spiced and fried plantain, and a common snack available from roadside chop bars and street-food vendors across Ghana.
Breakfasts and desserts
Breakfast morning, noon or night, this French toast casserole is a lavish dish steeped in deliciousness. It's also incredibly easy and fun to prepare. Do it the night before and you'll have the best breakfast on the planet the next day.
For this irresistible rendition of the brunch-time staple, Coleman puts a new spin on his mother's French toast with a praline sauce packed with hints of caramel, warm spices and crunch from the nuts.
These hand pies are packed with a sweet cherry and goat cheese filling and topped off with a savory salt-pepper-sugar coating. The filling is made using both frozen and dried cherries, which adds a complexity of texture and tartness.
This cake is just so impressive and fun when you slice into it. The combination of tart lemon and sweet, dark berries coupled with the rich buttercream frosting make this a refreshing yet decadent dessert.
Skillet fruit crisps are Lazarus Lynch's number one go-to for desserts because they're so easy to make. You just toss in the fruit, top it with a crumble, bake it — and that's it!
This recipe true to its core: a great crust and sweet peaches soaked in cinnamon and sugar. "Obviously fresh peaches are better, but this is the way my daddy made it and I ain't changing it," Lynch says about this family recipe.
This vanilla-based cake is packed with Greek yogurt to create a moist texture, granola to add texture, and a hint of cinnamon for warm flavor. The cake is most delicious enjoyed warm out of the oven, topped with your favorite fruits and additional yogurt and granola to create a balanced, light cake perfect for breakfast or dessert … or, really, any time of day.
Art Smith's hummingbird cake is actually a favorite dessert of Oprah and Lady Gaga.
Puff puff to West Africa is what beignets are to New Orleans. It's the all-encompassing fluffy, addicting, can-never-have-just-one, comfort food that we all love. This ball-shaped, deep-fried doughnut is a common breakfast and street food, and goes by many names across the West African diaspora.