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12 Restaurant-Quality Dinners That You Can Make At Home

10/14/2017 06:57 EDT | Updated 10/14/2017 13:00 EDT

Craving a restaurant-level meal but not the drive, the wait, the check, or the babysitter? Why not channel your inner chef and make a five-star meal in the comfort of your own kitchen? From cioppino to beef tenderloin to fajitas, all of these restaurant-style recipes are easy enough for even the novice cook to make at home — and they’re so delicious, dinner will still feel like the best night out.

1. Cioppino (Fisherman’s Stew)

Brimming with fresh seafood in a tomato and wine broth that tastes like the sea, Cioppino is an Italian-American fish stew. Serve it with garlic bread or a baguette for sopping up the broth. GET THE RECIPE

2. Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken tikka masala is a dish of marinated and broiled chunks of chicken in a creamy, spice-infused tomato sauce. Alongside the requisite basmati rice, buttered peas and naan, it makes a fabulous family feast. This version is terrific for entertaining since it can be made entirely ahead of time — and it’s also a great intro to Indian food for kids, as it’s not too spicy. GET THE RECIPE

3. Roast Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Sauce

This show-stopping beef tenderloin with a deeply flavored red wine sauce is delicious and deceptively simple — and the sauce can be prepared mostly ahead of time so there’s very little fussing at the last minute. GET THE RECIPE

4. Grilled Chicken Fajitas

You don’t have to go to your favorite Tex-Mex restaurant for good fajitas. They’re easy to make at home and perfect for getting the whole family sharing everything at the dinner table. In this recipe, I marinate and grill the chicken for a smoky, charred flavor, and then sauté the onions and peppers on the stovetop until they caramelize and sweeten. GET THE RECIPE

5. Cauliflower Steaks with Cauliflower Purée

In this gorgeous vegetarian entrée, the center of the cauliflower is transformed into steaks, while the remaining florets become a creamy purée. GET THE RECIPE

6. Shrimp Pad Thai

Forget takeout: everything you need for this Shrimp Pad Thai, you can find at your local grocery store. And it can go head-to-head with any restaurant version. GET THE RECIPE

7. Juicy Steakhouse Burgers

Fancy steakhouse burgers can be tricky to replicate at home because most restaurants use closely-guarded recipes and custom ground beef mixes, both of which are hard to find. But it can be done! My secret is to use available 85% lean ground beef, a panade — or mixture of bread and milk that keeps meat tender and juicy even when cooked to medium-well — and lots of seasoning. GET THE RECIPE 

8. Sweet & Spicy Roast Chicken with Carrots, Dates and Pistachios

In this elegant dish, chicken is immersed in a honey, citrus, and chili-infused marinade, and then roasted on a sheet pan with carrots and dates. Before serving, herbs, scallions and pistachios are added for freshness, color, and crunch. Everything can be prepared and assembled a day in advance, so all that’s left to do at dinnertime is pop it in the oven. GET THE RECIPE

9. Maryland-Style Crab Cakes with Quick Tartar Sauce

These classic Maryland crab cakes are made with fresh lump crabmeat, Old Bay seasoning, and just enough filler to hold them together. GET THE RECIPE

10. Southwestern Maple Glazed Salmon with Pineapple Salsa

Easy enough for a weeknight but elegant enough for company, these salmon fillets are dusted with a Southwestern spice rub, glazed with maple syrup, and topped with a refreshing pineapple salsa. GET THE RECIPE

11. Grilled Spice-Rubbed Beef Tenderloin Filets with Chimichurri

A specialty of Argentina, chimichurri is a tangy, zesty condiment traditionally served with grilled meats. This version — made from a fragrant blend of parsley, mint and cilantro — pairs beautifully with spice-rubbed beef tenderloin filets. GET THE RECIPE

12. Middle Eastern Lamb Kofta

Made from lamb, spices, minced veggies and toasted nuts, this Israeli-inspired kofta will take your taste buds on an exotic Middle Eastern adventure. GET THE RECIPE