Father's Day, like Christmas, comes just once a year, yet sometimes you still don't pull it together and remember to plan anything big. And, of course, there's that little rain cloud (a global pandemic) hanging over this year, which means that any celebration will probably look different than usual.
You know what? That's fine—forget the expensive steakhouse dinner, and keep the Father's Day festivities smaller and closer to home this year. Luckily for you—and for Dad—there are plenty of easy, simple, celebratory dishes you can master at home to make your pops remember that it's his special day.
We've pulled together some of our favorite main dishes and the only accompaniments you really need, so you can quickly whip together a no-nonsense meal that still feels like a celebration. Here's how to show Dad your appreciation with the best gift of all: good food.
Matty Matheson's Ultimate Cheeseburger Recipe
We love a simple burger, but a special occasion like this one calls for stepping it up a notch. And the secret to this holiday-worthy cheeseburger? An easy, homemade bacon-onion jam.
Rib-Eye Steak with Orange and Olive Salsa Recipe
How do you turn a hunk of meat into a damn good steak? For a steak that rivals any pricey restaurant option, salt and air-dry your meat a while before cooking—it'll get rid of extra moisture so your crust is as crisp and brown as possible.
Classic Crawfish Boil Recipe
Some dads like to be lavished upon; for others, hand 'em a steak and a beer, and it's a happy holiday. And some dads can't get over that dad-like urge to always be tinkering or working or fixing things. For them, a classic crawfish boil is the way to go: you and Dad can keep yourselves busy picking away at seafood for hours. Watch chef Isaac Toups walk you through it over on VICE Video.
Steak Sandwich with Horseradish Cream Sauce Recipe
For the dad that takes no BS, try this easy and delicious steak sandwich, full of nothing but the essentials. Even the pickiest dad will be into the homemade horseradish spread, which is kind of like a creamy, cheesy, spicy mayo.
Roasted Spring Chicken Recipe
Your dad might not be a spring chicken anymore, but that doesn't mean you can't make this easy main dish. With herbs, tahini, turmeric, and lemon juice, this roast chicken feels a little fancier than your usual rotisserie.
Perfect Porchetta Recipe
Nothing says "Happy Father's Day" like a simple but perfectly cooked hunk of juicy meat and crispy skin. This rolled Italian pork roast is perfect with whatever your favorite sides may be, but if you're smart, you'll save some extra for porchetta sandwiches, too.
The Best Beef Lasagna Recipe
This ain't your average weeknight pasta dinner—this cheesy, beefy lasagna contains three whole pounds of mozzarella, because who doesn't love a good cheese pull? If that doesn't get Dad stoked, we're sorry.
Grilled Lobster with Miso Butter Recipe
Father's Day only happens once a year, so you might as well make lobster. If your dad is the King of the Grill, you could let him take over the cooking part, but we bet he'd be pretty proud too if you showed him how much you've learned by grilling these lobsters with miso butter yourself.
Easy Glazed Chicken Wings Recipe
If your Dad loves going out for chicken wings, he might love them even more if they're homemade. With a fish sauce and lime glaze, these crispy, sticky chicken wings will have you all going in for "just one more," so you might as well make a really big batch.
Baked Bacon and Eggs Recipe
Who said Mother's Day had to be the brunch holiday? Start Father's Day off right with this savory, creamy baked egg dish that'll make everyone at the breakfast table happy.
Chicken Cordon Green Recipe
Chicken cordon bleu is perfect as-is, but this variation that we call chicken cordon green adds zippiness from Gruyère cheese and two kinds of mustard—perfect for the dad who says "whatever" to tradition.
Chicken Shawarma Burger Recipe
When you want meat on the menu but want something that feels a little lighter, consider this simple shawarma-inspired chicken burger, which is about as close as we can get to having a rotating shawarma spit at home.
Creamy Chicken Marsala Recipe
This is for the dad who loves his Sunday night red sauce dinners full of Italian American classics. With a splash of cream, our take on chicken marsala is a little richer than he might be used to, but why not give Dad a little more decadence on this Sunday dinner, at least?
Italian Combo Sandwich Recipe
The Italian hero sandwich: the easiest—yet most delicious—way to tell Dad that he's, well, your hero. Ya know, in case you forgot to get a Father's Day card, again…
Eggplant Parmesan Recipe
This eggplant parm is so cheesy and comforting that it's basically a meal in itself, perfect for the vegetarian dad and the low-effort cook.
Parker House Rolls Recipe
These simple Parker House rolls go well with almost everything, so pick any of the meats above, make a batch of these dinner rolls, and your Father's Day meal is served. (Plus, any extras are great for mini sandwiches.)
Red Cabbage Wedge Salad Recipe
We once ran a takedown of the wedge salad, only to receive a rebuttal from the author's dad. This modified, cabbage-forward wedge salad: definitely dad-approved.
Get recipes like this and more in the Munchies Recipes newsletter. Sign up here.