The hit Bravo show Top Chef has held the hearts (and stomachs) of American viewers for the past 15 years for its intense competition, delectable recipes, and die-hard contestants. Even in its array of spin-off programs, the show continues to inspire amateur and seasoned chefs alike to be the best cooks they can be.
With its handful of contestants over the years, the one thing that they all have in common is their ability to make the most complex recipes in flavor and taste, but also the most simple to make. Even the newest of foodies will find that some of their best recipes can be made in the comfort of your own home.
10 Jennifer Carroll’s Jerk Sauce
Created by Top Chef alum Jennifer Carroll, this sauce belongs in almost any meal you can think of. Whether it is chicken, carrots, rice, or baked in bread, Carroll lives by her jerk sauce recipe in her everyday life.
With a handful of a few ingredients and a blender, this recipe can be made in minutes, with barely any prep.
9 Betty Fraser and Cliff Crooks’s Fontina, Proscuitto, & Caramelized Onion Pizza
Betty Fraser and Cliff Crooks from season 2 adapted a bread recipe they idolized and put a modern twist on it. Using Jamie Oliver’s bread recipe, the duo created the crust for a more chewy pizza and covered it in slices of Fontina cheese, prosciutto, and sauteed onions.
This 45-minute recipe makes for a flavorful dinner and the perfect pizza to create with family and friends.
8 Lisa Fernandes’ Ginger Chicken & Broccoli
For Chinese food lovers, this recipe from season 4 contestant Lisa Fernandes is the perfect dinner. Her version of this classic dish incorporates ginger and garlic, which gives it a lot more flavor when mixing everything together.
The one-pan recipe requires minimal effort for even the most novice cook. After trying this recipe, it makes sense why Fernandes made it as the runner-up in her season.
7 Tre Wilcox’s Spice-Rubbed Chicken Thighs
Like the title of the recipe says, these spice-rubbed chicken thighs are seasoned with crushed red pepper and star anise, in addition to being braised in a sauce of tomatoes and red wine.
Made famous by Tre Wilcox, the four step recipe involves prepping the chicken in a large skillet and a roasting pan while making the magic happen in a broiler.
6 Nini Nguyen’s Masa Ball Soup
Nini Nguyen used this recipe on Top Chef All-Stars L.A. to win over the judges. This recipe requires a bit more time than others on this list for the broth and masa ball preparation, but the end result is restaurant quality.
One of the most important parts of the dish is to strain and pick off the meat on the chicken bone to make sure you’re getting the most tender pieces in the soup. Some of the other ingredients include lime wedges, coconut oil, eggs, green onion, green chili, and lemongrass.
5 Tony Mantuano’s Aleppo Pepper Pork & Fennel Sandwiches
Top Chef Masters alumni Tony Mantuano creates the delicious pork sandwich using a rub of garlic and spicy Aleppo pepper on a boneless pork shoulder or pork leg.
This recipe needs a bit longer in order to properly prepare the pork and bake it to its most tender stage. As far as the rest of the recipe goes, though, you just need a bit of mixing of the seasonings and juices and placing it all onto the rolls of your choice to make the perfect sandwich.
4 Brian Malarkey’s 5-Minute Crispy Skinned, Pounded Chicken Breast With Lemon Salsa Verde
Brian Malarkey from season 3 created this five-minute chicken that (ironically) focuses on just five ingredients. After pounding and seasoning the chicken, his recipe involves using two saute pans to weigh the chicken down and crisp it up.
As for the salsa verde, lemons, capers, olive oil, and parsley do the trick and perfectly pair with the chicken breast. This makes for a great comfort meal without the wait of a usual roast chicken.
3 Elia Aboumrad & Sam Talbot’s Spaghetti Carbonara With Green Peas
Although carbonara sauce is made in many different ways, contestants Elia Aboumrad and Sam Talbot from season 2 made their sauce with a lot of heavy cream and a handful of green peas for extra freshness and color.
The recipe also includes the typical eggs, bacon (pancetta), parmesan, or pecorino cheese. This famous recipe takes no longer than 30 minutes, making it a contender for one of the most convenient recipes on the list.
2 Mexican Pizza
A take on deconstructed nachos, Spike Mendelsohn from seasons 4 and 8 turned this fun meal into a pizza for all to share at the dinner table.
Mendelsohn uses chili-spiced black bean puree, tomatoes, olives, shredded lettuce, and low-fat Jack cheese on a whole wheat crust to create his perfect Mexican pizza. For that “nacho” flavor, add sour cream on top to finish it off before serving.
1 Angelo Sosa’s Xie Xie’s Tofu Salad With Pickled Vegetables
Angelo Sosa from seasons 7 and 8 created this vegan-friendly dish that requires minimal prep, for a healthier lunch. The key to Sosa’s salad is tangy pickled cabbage and spicy carrot, which he explains is very simple to make.
When low on time, store-made kimchi is a great alternative, with this advice coming from the season 7 runner-up himself.
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