Father’s Day will be a little different this year, for sure. Many of us won’t be planning weekend getaways or making big dinner plans out at a crowded restaurant. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t spoil the #1 guy in your life with a great meal!
Here are 10 dad-approved Father’s Day dinner ideas—from fun to fancy, and everything in between—to make sure his meal at home is a special one this year.
Chicken and Pork Father’s Day Dinner Ideas
Kicking off our line-up of Father’s Day dinner ideas are chicken and pork dishes. Choose to master a new cooking technique or keep it simple. Ranging from hearty to the lighter side, these meals are a great way to close out a fun day spent with dad.
Any recipe that begins with sautéing pancetta and garlic sets a high expectation. Thankfully, this dish delivers. Carbonara is a rich and creamy egg, cheese, pork and pasta creation that originated in Italy in the 1940s. History buffs can get the full story here. This Food Network variation also adds chicken, for an extra protein punch.
Don’t let the raw eggs in the sauce intimidate you–they’re what make it taste so amazing! (Spoiler alert: The eggs cook when tossed with the cooked pasta over low heat.) Just be sure not to overcook or you’ll end up with scrambled eggs in your pasta, and nobody wants that.
Okay, pressure cooker fans, this one’s for you. While ribs used to take hours to slow roast or smoke, this handy cooking appliance has trimmed that time down to about an hour, without sacrificing any of the flavor. Just prep your St. Louis-style ribs, add dad’s favorite barbecue sauce, water, whiskey and some seasonings to your cooker, set it, and voila–a mouthwatering, fall-off-the-bone masterpiece emerges. For fresh-off-the grill appeal, toss them under the broiler for a few minutes to give the top a crispy finish. Be sure to reserve some of that whiskey to toast your special someone as well!
This nutritious chicken and vegetable meal will have fitness-minded dads asking for seconds. It works for anyone on low carb and keto diets, is simple to make and is packed with flavor. Using an air fryer means you’ll go from meal prep to sitting down at the table in less than 20 minutes. The best part is that it’s also great base dish that you can customize to your family’s liking. You can even create a vegetarian version. By changing up the veggies and the seasonings, you’ll reinvent this classic time and time again.
Read more: HONORING DAD: THE HISTORY OF FATHER’S DAY
Father’s Day Dinner Ideas For Seafood Lovers
Make a splash at the dinner table this year with these ocean-inspired Father’s Day dinner ideas. We’ve covered all the bases–scallops, grouper, shrimp and crab–to bring the spirit of dad’s favorite seafood restaurant home.
Looking for a restaurant-quality, splurge-worthy dish for dad? This scallop recipe will hit the spot. Scallops are a tender and mild shellfish, and the addition of wine, butter, garlic and breadcrumbs (we like Panko, specifically) will really compliment them. For as flavorful and tasty as this dish is, it’s surprising easy to make. It can even be prepared earlier in the day and cooked at dinnertime. Each time we’ve made this dish inspired by Ina–and it has been quite a lot–we’ve gotten rave reviews. Give it a try and see for yourself.
Give dad a taste of the tropics with this grouper recipe from Bobby Flay. He uses mango, pineapple, papaya, lime, cilantro and more for a meal that’s bursting with flavor. If dad enjoys heat, by all means add the cajun spice and jalapeño, but we found this recipe to be just as good (and more kid-friendly) by replacing those with some simple pink Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve over coconut rice with a Mai Tai and escape to a virtual island paradise.
Summertime just screams low country boil, especially in the South. This traditional dish brings together shrimp, sausage, seasonings, potatoes and corn in a one-pot meal that packs quite a punch. Plus, it’s super simple to make—literally, dump everything into a pot and set a timer. That’s it! Don’t forget lots of melted butter and the paper-covered table, to give dad a truly authentic experience.
Grab some fresh, good quality lump crab meat for the next recipe on our list of amazing Father’s Day dinner ideas. These Maryland crab cakes are easy to prepare and delicious to eat. The best part? Making these at home versus dining out lets you control the ingredients. (Translation: You won’t find filler here!) Prepare the tartar sauce recipe mentioned in the recipe link, or top with fresh lemon, cocktail sauce, or our favorite, sweet chili sauce.
Beefed Up Father’s Day Dinner Ideas
We’re betting that dad savors every late bite of these restaurant-inspired beef dishes on his special day. Of all of the Father’s Day dinner ideas listed here, consider these the grande finale. They won’t take a ton of effort to prepare, but will make dad feel like a king.
This prime rib roast is a great way to show dad you love him. It turns out perfectly almost every time, is simple, and will wow the rest of the family, too. The Kosher salt, fresh ground rosemary, Herbs de Provence, garlic power and black pepper add so much flavor. And then there’s the secret ingredient, wasabi powder. It doesn’t make the roast “hot,” but adds just the perfect amount of warmth and spice. Serve with homemade au jus and sour cream-horseradish sauce for dipping, if desired, and don’t forget dad’s favorite bottle of red.
Looking for the most delicious, perfect way to cook a steak? Look no further. This could very well be the best steak recipe ever. (OK, possibly an exaggeration… but really, it’s THAT good!) You won’t even miss your dinner plans out at dad’s favorite steakhouse, once you master this fantastic restaurant-quality dish. No matter your cooking level, you’ll impress the family with this drenched-in-butter, melt-in-your-mouth, perfectly seasoned tender filet. The two little secrets that drive this dish over the top? Butter and the freshest ingredients possible. Trust us and try it out this Father’s Day. Dad will thank you. (You’re welcome.)
Did somebody say TACOS!? While this one may not be the fanciest menu option, it certainly is fun and kid-friendly. Tacos are a fan favorite, and if dad likes tacos, well then tacos he will receive. You can use steak, chicken or beans, but this version uses ground beef and is a nod to your favorite taco stand or food truck. We learned two pro tips for making these taste just like your favorite take-out–breaking up the meat (a lot) and cooking in beef stock, which absorbs into meat and adds so much more flavor. Set out all of dad’s favorites topping like cheese, lettuce, tomato, sour cream and hot sauce, and let him go to town!
Read More: FUN DESSERTS YOUR KIDS CAN MAKE WITH YOU
Time to go shopping and get cooking! With these Father’s Day dinner ideas, you’ll forget all about the “long holiday line at a crowded restaurant” dining scene. And who knows? Maybe this will be dad’s favorite, family-focused special day yet.
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