Top-Rated Main Dishes
These crowd-pleasing recipes received five-star ratings from our readers.
Main dishes are the centerpiece of any meal, and having a delicious dish to savor makes any meal wonderful. Here are some of our best dinner recipes for making your evening meal fantastic. If you’re short on time, recipes like the Mexican Lasagna or the Pan-Seared Trout with Italian-Style Salsa will still ensure that your dinner is filling and nutritious. For a Southern-style supper, you’ll love our Chicken-Fried Steak, or for a new twist on classic Southern flavors, try the Pork Loin Chops with Pear-and-Vidalia Gravy, which we think is one of our best dinner recipes yet. However you settle in for dinner, all of these recipes will have you dining with delight knowing that these main dishes are our best dinner recipes. So grab a seat at the table, enjoy your dinner and— after you clean your plate—even have seconds.
Honey-Pecan Chicken Thighs
Recipe: Honey-Pecan Chicken Thighs
A crunchy, flaky coating gives these chicken thighs great texture and locks in moisture and flavors. Readers raved that the curry powder in the honey mustard dipping sauce adds a special kick.
Southwest Flank Steak with Salsa
Recipe: Southwest Flank Steak with Salsa
This fajita-style meal is a fiesta of flavors in every bite. Marinate lean flank steaks in fajita seasoning and then throw them on the grill. It’s that simple. Serve in corn or flour tortillas with homemade salsa and guacamole.
Recipe: Mexican Lasagna
Readers love this easy casserole-style recipe because it has short prep time and tastes like traditional enchiladas. Layering the beef and pork mixture between corn tortillas creates great texture. Top with fresh avocado slices, chopped tomatoes, and cilantro for a filling meal.
Pan-Seared Trout With Italian-Style Salsa
Although the process for preparing the fish is simple, the Italian-style salsa brings sophistication to this recipe. Made from a mixture of chopped capers, tomatoes, red onions, garlic, and spices, the bruschetta-style topping is wonderful on fish, chicken, or bread.
Recipe: Chicken-Fried Steak
Chicken-Fried Steak is a Southern favorite, so we stuck to the basics when creating this recipe. Cubed round steak is breaded and fried in a skillet then smothered with a thick, creamy gravy made from meat drippings and chicken broth.
Layered Cornbread-and-Turkey Salad
Put a spin on traditional Cobb with this five-star layered salad that includes everything but the kitchen sink. Chopped turkey, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, and celery are layered with Swiss cheese and salty bacon crumbles to create a beautiful tower of colors and flavors. This recipe travels well and is perfect for a luncheon or shower.
Grilled Chicken With White Barbecue Sauce
This grilled favorite has received one of the largest numbers of five-star ratings from our readers. Chicken is seasoned with a spicy rub made of dried thyme, oregano, cumin, and paprika and then charred on the grill for a hot and smoky flavor. Smother in a tangy white barbecue sauce, and your guests will be begging for more. This recipe is great for a crowd and provides plenty of leftovers.
Pork Loin Chops With Pear-and-Vidalia Pan Gravy
This recipe features a surprising yet delicious new flavor combination; the sugars in the pears bring out the sweetness in the Vidalia onions to create a sweet yet earthy sauce that adds depth to an ordinary seared pork chop. Our readers say this dish is elegant enough to serve at a dinner party but also makes for a great family-style meal. Serve with a side salad and roasted potatoes for a full five-star experience.
Grilled Steaks Balsamico
Recipe: Grilled Steaks Balsamico
These simple yet delicious steaks won top honors at the National Beef Cook-Off. Serve with a side salad and a baked potato for a classic American supper.
Red Beans and Sausage
Recipe: Red Beans and Sausage
For a flavorful meal in one bowl, you can’t go wrong with this dish. The spicy sausage and protein-packed beans make for a hearty meal that will fill you up on a cold day. You can prepare this in a slow cooker or let it simmer all day on the stove.
Grilled Chicken Supper With Citrus Vinaigrette
Not only is this dish top-rated and delicious, but it is also good for you. Citrus-flavored chicken breasts are grilled then served on a bed of mixed greens with crisp bell peppers and green onions. Plump golden raisins and crunchy peanuts add great texture and flavor to this healthy, fiber-and-protein-rich salad.
Hominy Grill's Shrimp and Grits
Recipe: Hominy Grill's Shrimp and Grits
This Lowcountry favorite won its way into our readers’ hearts with its rich flavor and easy preparation. Shrimp and mushrooms are sautéed with garlic and bacon drippings then mixed with green onions and crispy bacon, and all are served on top of buttery cheese grits.
Fried Fish Sandwiches
Recipe: Fried Fish Sandwiches
Our readers love that you can use pretty much whatever white fish is available at the supermarket to make this sandwich. Whether you use mahi-mahi, cod, or grouper, the secret to success is dredging the fish in a seasoned cornmeal mixture and egg and then frying until golden brown. Top with your favorite store-bought tartar sauce and trimmings.
Recipe: Skillet-Grilled Burritos
This lightened classic burrito provides all the great Mexican flavors that you love. Whole-wheat tortillas are stuffed with chicken, black beans, corn, and peppers then cooked on a griddle until the outside is crispy. A hot and zesty cilantro-jalapeno dipping sauce adds a great kick.
Recipe: Mediterranean Orzo
Orzo salad tossed with grilled vegetables, kalamata olives, and feta makes for a great summer salad. Coat with a zesty lemon-and-olive oil mixture and fresh chopped parsley for a burst of fresh flavors in every bite.
Pan-Fried Chicken-and-Ham Parmesan
This quick family meal comes together in less than 30 minutes, making it perfect for a busy weeknight. Covering the chicken with ham and cheese helps it to stay moist and juicy during the cooking process. Serve on a bed of Garlic-Herb Pasta and top with Sautéed Grape Tomatoes.
Mixed Grill with Cilantro Pesto
Recipe: Mixed Grill with Cilantro Pesto
Readers claim that this easy-to-prepare recipe is not your typical home-cooked meal. Your family or guests can choose from juicy grilled pork chops or beef tenderloin filets that are grilled to perfection and then drizzled with a flavorful Cilantro Pesto sauce. The sauce also works well with grilled chicken, seafood, and vegetables.
Fettuccine With Portobello-Alfredo Sauce
Even though this recipe is quick and easy, your guests will think they are dining at a five-star Italian restaurant. Meaty portobello mushrooms act as a protein, but you can add grilled chicken or shrimp for even more sustenance.
Grecian Skillet Rib Eyes
Recipe: Grecian Skillet Rib Eyes
The olive oil and lemon marinade is the key to creating great flavor and tenderizing the meat for this recipe. The olive-feta herb topping adds a Mediterranean flair and a pop of flavor to the steak. Many readers say they have substituted chicken or lamb for the beef and it turned out just as delicious.
King Ranch Chicken Casserole
Recipe: King Ranch Chicken Casserole
A reader favorite for years, this casserole is rich and creamy but packs in a nice heat from the green chiles and chili powder. You can also season the chicken with cayenne pepper or spicy seasonings to give it even more of a kick. This dish is great for a mid-week family meal or potluck.
Step-by-Step Video: King Ranch Chicken Casserole