7 Cheater’s Recipes for Classic, Fancy French Dinners

You know those classic French dishes Julia Child made look easy, but are actually really complicated and high-maintenance? You feel like you should know how to make them, but let’s be honest: It’s way easier to just order beef bourguignon from your favorite restaurant. But you don’t need Julia levels of patience and skill to pull off these easier, “cheater’s” versions (and they’re très delicious).

Cheater’s Croissants

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Cheater’s Slow-cooker Beef Bourguignon

You’re too busy to stand over the stove. Instead, throw everything into your Crock-Pot for magically tender, flavorful results.

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30-minute One-pot Cheater’s Bouillabaisse

Easy to whip up at the last minute, this rich, warming broth calls for just a few types of seafood (instead of seven).

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Cheater’s Confit

Ready to try the fanciest French recipe at home? This version is almost completely hands-off and can be made with duck or chicken legs.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Slow-cooker French Onion Soup

Your Crock-Pot helps you get deep, rich, caramelized broth, then pop it in the broiler at the end for maximum cheesiness.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Cheater’s White Wine Coq Au Vin

It’s ready in under an hour and totally foolproof. Plus, it’s made with dry white wine instead of red for an elegant twist.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell


Whip up this showstopper in just 30 minutes. (We won’t tell if you use frozen fries, promise.)

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Erin McDowell


It’s not just the name of a cartoon mouse. Made with tons of veggies, our favorite hearty side dish comes together in less than an hour and will make everyone say, “oh la-la.

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Food Editor

From 2017 to 2019 Heath Goldman held the role of Food Editor covering food, booze and some recipe development, too. Tough job, eh?