These French summer recipes include everything from side dishes to desserts; discover our top picks and French-inspired summer dishes that you can easily find near you.
Summer in France is a time when the markets burst with ripe tomatoes, fragrant herbs, colorful bell peppers, and a variety of other garden treasures. This abundance of fresh ingredients inspires chefs and home cooks alike to create dishes that are not only delicious but also capture the essence of the season.
French summer recipes often prioritize simplicity, allowing the natural flavors of the ingredients to shine through. In this list post, we’ll explore iconic dishes that have become synonymous with the season, from the beloved Provençal classic ratatouille to the refreshing salade niçoise.
Top 5 Recipe Picks
No time to lose? Let’s make it quick. Here are the faves:
- #3 Authentic Olive Tapenade uses sardines instead of anchovies, giving it a richer flavor.
- #4 Ratatouille Nicoise is easy to make with simple ingredients.
- #11 Moules Marinières (French Mussels) offer a briny, creamy, and herbaceous flavor.
- #19 Berry Crème Brûlée is unique and refreshing take on a classic dessert.
- #23 La Sauce Vierge is straightforward, but the flavors are complex and delicious
Easiest French Summer Recipes
Here are some French-inspired summer foods that are readily available for purchase as prepared items in U.S. markets.
- Ratatouille. Some upscale markets offer pre-made ratatouille in the deli section, especially in the summer when the veggies are in season.
- Pissaladière. Find this French pizza with caramelized onions, olives, and anchovies at specialty stores or bakeries.
- Tarte Tatin. Classic French caramelized apple tart is available in the bakery or frozen dessert section.
- Pâté & Cornichons. Discover various pâtés in the deli or specialty foods section, often paired with cornichons.
- Taboulé. Look for French-inspired tabbouleh in U.S. grocery store-prepared salad sections.
- Mousse au Chocolat or Pots de Crème. Find these rich chocolate desserts in upscale markets’ dessert or dairy sections.
- Bûcheron or Brie Cheese with Baguette. Explore international cheese sections in most supermarkets and pair them with a fresh baguette.
- Vichyssoise. Cold potato and leek soup may be available in the deli or pre-packaged soup section during summer.
Easy & Delicious French Summer Recipes
Caviar d’Aubergin is a smoky-tasting eggplant purée with lemon, garlic, and chili powder. It features a creamy texture and rich flavor, ideal for toast, crackers, or veggies.
This hearty dish is a must-try for anyone looking to experience the authentic flavors of the French Riviera. Its flavor is complex and layered, with a balance of sweet, salty, and savory notes.
This Olive Tapenade uses traditional Provençal ingredients. Olives are hand-pitted and ground with garlic, capers, and sardines using a mortar and pestle, resulting in a smooth, umami-rich spread.
This French dish is made by sautéing onions, peppers, tomatoes, garlic, and eggplant in olive oil. It’s seasoned and simmered with herbs and orange zest, then zucchini is added and cooked for an additional hour.
The recipe calls for fresh, seasonal produce, such as ripe tomatoes, tender radishes, and olives. This gives the salad a bright and vibrant flavor that’s simply unbeatable.
Tarte à La Tomate is a simple French tart made with puff pastry, Dijon mustard, breadcrumbs, tomatoes, cheese, and Herbes de Provence. It’s baked until golden brown and is perfect for summer dining.
The classic French summer appetizer is a fresh cantaloupe melon filled with sweet port wine. It requires no cooking and is eaten with a spoon, scooping out the soft, ripe melon.
Cervelle de Canut is a tangy cheese dip with cottage cheese, herbs, garlic, tomatoes, and vinegar. You can adjust its sourness and add red chillies for heat.
This authentic soup contains Mediterranean fish, shrimp, and sometimes mussels in a saffron-tomato broth with hints of fennel and orange. It’s typically served with a garlic mayonnaise called rouille.
Chicken Basquaise is a one-pot chicken stew from the French Basque region. It’s made with chicken thighs, tomatoes, and peppers, flavored with Piment d’Espelette, and cooked in a piperade sauce.
Moules Marinière features fresh mussels cooked in a white wine sauce. This one-pot dish isn’t only delicious but also easy to prepare at home, taking just 15 minutes.
This dish features chicken braised in white wine with olives, tomatoes, shallots, capers, and garlic. It’s easy to make and ideal for any occasion, best enjoyed with crusty bread to soak up the sauce.
This French-inspired dish involves marinating sardines in a garlic-herb sauce and grilling them. Pair with fennel-radish salad and jasmine rice for a full meal.
Tian Provençal is a French dish of baked summer vegetables in tomato sauce with herbs and olive oil. It’s an easy and flavorful choice for summer gatherings.
Green Beans Almondine is a French dish made with green beans, brown butter, toasted almonds, and shallots. It’s a quick and elegant side that’s buttery and crunchy.
This French-Style Couscous Salad is a twist on traditional Tabbouleh. It uses couscous cooked in chicken stock instead of bulgur, and includes diced vegetables and raisins.
Salade de Chêvre Chaud is a French salad with greens, nuts, bacon, and warm goat cheese medallions. Its blend of cool salad and creamy cheese provides a unique take on standard goat cheese dishes.
This luscious dessert combines ripe peaches with lavender and honey. The white wine adds a subtle depth to the flavor, making it a perfect balance of sweet and aromatic notes.
This sweet gratin has a runny custard, ideal for hot days. It’s layered with fresh berries, topped with an elderflower sabayon, and then toasted to perfection.
This dessert showcases the simplicity and elegance of seasonal fruits. Like a clafoutis, the custardy baked flan is tender and creamy in the center, with puffy and chewy rims.
The French Potato Salad mixes French herbs and a red wine vinaigrette. It can be served warm or at room temperature, fitting for different events.
This recipe stuffs tomatoes with a mix of beef, bread, cheese, and herbs, then bakes them on rice. It’s a flexible dish that can use different meats and breads, ideal for repurposing leftovers.
23. La Sauce Vierge
La Sauce Vierge is a flavorful blend of diced tomatoes, lemon zest, olives, pine nuts, basil, capers, and shallots, all unified by olive oil. It’s a vibrant sauce with a mix of tangy, earthy, and sweet notes.
This French dessert features fresh peaches in a bourbon custard, topped with cinnamon. It’s a simple treat that highlights peach season with a creamy texture.
This bistro dish calls for chicken, tarragon, cream, and white sauce. The chicken is browned, simmered in wine, then creamed. Fresh tarragon gives it a unique aniseed-like flavor.
This French summer soup is a tomato-based version of pesto without nuts. It includes dry navy beans, and the pistou is stored under olive oil to keep its color.
Strawberry Fraisier is a French dessert featuring sponge cake filled with creme patisserie and topped with strawberry gelée. It’s both elegant and delicious.
This La Salade Mentonnaise recipe is the perfect accompaniment to grilled fish or chicken, promising a taste of summer in every bite. The refreshing salad is a beautiful balance of sweet, bitter, and sour notes.
29. Lyonnaise Salad
This French salad is a tasty blend of frisée lettuce tossed in a warm vinaigrette, topped with crispy bacon and a poached egg. Optional croutons or Gruyère cheese add extra texture and taste.
This homemade French Ratatouille uses fresh summer vegetables. It can be made as a stew or presented in a stylish fan pattern, making it adaptable for any event.
The bottom line
When it’s warm, and the markets are full of fresh produce, try cooking some of these French summer recipes. Let the recipes we’ve uncovered be your guide, and savor the joy that comes from creating these dishes, for they aren’t just recipes but a taste of the culture, tradition, and pure culinary bliss that’s uniquely French. Bon appétit!
More About French Recipes
- French Breakfast Recipes
- French Cocktails
- French Soups
- French Appetizers
- French Cookie Recipes
- French Desserts
- Caviar d'Aubergin (Eggplant Caviar)
- Pissaladière (Authentic French Provençal Tart)
- Authentic Olive Tapenade
- Ratatouille Nicoise
- Salade Niçoise
- Tarte à La Tomate (Tomato Galette)
- Melon Au Porto
- Cervelle De Canut
- Bouillabaisse (French Fish Soup)
- Chicken Basquaise (Poulet Basquaise)
- Moules Marinières (French Mussels)
- Chicken Provençal (Poulet à la Provençal)
- Sardines On The Grill
- Tian Provencal (French Baked Summer Vegetables)
- Green Beans Almondine (Haricots Verts Amandine)
- Taboulé (French-Style Couscous Salad)
- Salade De Chêvre Chaud (Warm French Goat’s Cheese Salad)
- Summer Baked Peaches & Lavender
- Berry Crème Brûlée
- Strawberry Flaugnarde
- French Potato Salad
- French-Style Stuffed Tomatoes
- La Sauce Vierge
- Bourbon Peach Clafoutis
- Poulet à l’Estragon (Creamy French Chicken Tarragon)
- Soupe Au Pistou (French Summer Vegetable Soup)
- Strawberry Fraisier
- La Salade Mentonnaise
- Lyonnaise Salad
- Find your favorite recipe from our French Summer Recipes list.
- Gather all the ingredients needed.
- If you love it, don't forget to share where you got it!