These 23 Recipes Will Inspire You to Use Your Broiler to Make Appetizers, Dinner, and Even Dessert

broiled halibut salad
John Kernick

The broiler is often overlooked in today's culinary landscape, but there's no obvious reason why that's the case—it's a quick, convenient, and brilliant way to a delicious meal. In most American homes, mid to late-20th century ovens had flaming broilers in a drawer underneath the oven, just above floor level, but most modern ovens now have a broiler inside. It's quick to heat up, and once it's going, you'll find that it can brown and sizzle like nobody's business. Restaurant and diner kitchens rely on broilers called "salamanders," which give chefs the perfect melted cheese toppings, golden crumb toppings in seconds, and glorious brulées.

Broiled fish might sound like an offering from a family restaurant's revolving list of nightly specials, but it should be brought back into the home kitchen. It's so easy and delicious to prepare, and broiling is an ideal method for cooking fish. But it's not just a good cooking method for fish—broiling also adds flavor through browning and crisping polenta, chicken, and tofu, and it blisters peppers and eggplant in no time.

One of the most useful benefits of broiling is that it keeps the smell and spatter inside your oven, minimizing clean up and lingering odors. This is particularly helpful when you're cooking oily, pungent fish such as salmon and mackerel. With so many home designs using open-plan kitchens, relying on a broiler when preparing dinner makes more sense than ever.

When broiling, be sure to pick vegetables that don't need a long time to become tender, such as peppers, asparagus, and mushrooms. If using other vegetables, consider par-cooking them first, or thinly slicing them so they will cook through in the time it takes to brown. Always use a flat baking pan with plenty of space and spread the ingredients in a single layer.

When working with fish fillets, let the broiler work to your advantage: For crisp sheets of soy-marinated salmon skin, place the fish skin-side up on the pan. And if you don't want that, simply turn the fish so the skin is on the bottom­—when the fish is cooked, the skin will have stuck to the pan, so you can lift the fish off the pan and leave the skin behind. Your broiler is there, waiting to be used—why not start tonight? With this kind of efficient cooking at your fingertips, it's hard to beat.

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Broiled Salmon with Asparagus and Shiitake Mushrooms

Bryan Gardner

Use your boiler to make a super-flavorful glazed salmon dinner in ten minutes. Opt for crisp, savory skin, if you like, by broiling the fish skin-side up.

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Broiled Pork Chops with Yellow-Pepper Puttanesca

Bryan Gardner

In just 20 minutes, you can have the best of summer on a plate: Broiled pork chops atop a lively mix of broiled yellow peppers, fresh tomatoes, olives, capers, and basil. Serve with plenty of crusty bread to sop up those precious pan juices.

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Beans-and-Greens Stuffed Peppers

beans-and-greens-stuffed peppers with cheese
Johnny Miller

Call this a vegetable main dish or call it a side; either way, it will become a regular in your home. Use the broiler to soften and brown these peppers first, then stuff them and flash them under the broiler again to melt the cheese.

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Cara Cara Oranges with Toasted Honey Meringue

Elegant enough to be an impressive dessert, yet light enough to be spa-food, this bruléed meringue is a special treat. Serve it with juicy cara cara oranges, pink grapefruit slices, or dollop it on top of a half grapefruit, and broil.

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Fish Taco Bowl with Lime Crema

A spice-rubbed fillet of fish is broiled to maximum potential. Serve with broiled tortillas, and stir together just a few ingredients for a fresh sauce.

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Broiled Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry with Water Chestnuts

Bryan Gardner

Skip ordering takeout and turn on the broiler. Our easy take on the favorite beef and broccoli combo gets an assist from crunchy water chestnuts. Just add steamed rice.

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Clams and Oysters Casino

Meredith Jenks

Use your broiler to make these retro, delicious appetizers any day. The buttery, crunchy toppings are the perfect contrast to silky, saline clams.

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Broiled Skillet Chicken with Leeks, Potatoes, and Spinach

Courtesy of Bryan Gardner

These chicken thighs get their super-crisp skin from the broiler and their bold flavor from toasted coriander. Add caramelized leeks, potatoes, and spinach, and dinner's ready.

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Broiled Brown Sugar-Vanilla Bananas Atop Ricotta

Broiled Brown Sugar-Vanilla Bananas Atop Ricotta
Johnny Miller

Looking for a quick dessert? Bananas––with a little brown sugar and ricotta––become a decadent, caramelized treat under the heat of a broiler. Mango, pear, or pineapple also work well.

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Broiled Shrimp Tacos

Joseph De Leo

The broiler blisters corn tortillas and quickly cooks the shrimp for these tacos. Serve with plenty of sliced jalapeños and avocado, cilantro sprigs, and lime wedges.

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Polenta Wedges with Asparagus and Mushrooms


All three components of this vegetarian meal can be prepared under the broiler. A blast of heat gives the polenta wedges delicious crispy edges.

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Broiled Striped Bass with Cauliflower and Capers

Joseph De Leo

Firm-fleshed fish like striped bass (or halibut or salmon) holds up under a broiler's high heat. Broilers vary in heat intensity; move the rack to a lower position if the cauliflower or fish is browning too quickly or to a higher rack if too slowly.

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Broiled Bacon-Wrapped Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Watercress

Joseph De Leo

Basic boneless chicken breasts become an impressive entrée when wrapped in smoky bacon and broiled with sweet potato slices.

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Broiled Pineapple with Frozen Yogurt


This tropical treat requires just four ingredients. Cinnamon-dusted pineapple becomes golden under the broiler. It's a perfect partner for cool and creamy frozen yogurt.

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Soy-Maple Broiled Tofu

Romulo Yanes

The heat of the broiler adds crispy edges to slices of firm tofu glazed with a sweet-and-salty reduction for this vegetarian dinner that's ready in just 15 minutes.

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Broiled Coconut-and-Lime-Crusted Shrimp With Rice-Noodle Salad

Bryan Gardner

This coconut-and-lime crusted shrimp is infinitely more flavorful and less messy than its deep-fried counterpart. It's paired with a rice noodle salad that strikes the perfect balance between sweet and spicy thanks to fresh chile and your choice of hot pepper jelly or mango chutney.

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Broiled Spicy Pork and Pineapple

pork pineapple plate
Joseph De Leo

Colorful fruits and vegetables get the same broiler suntan as boneless pork-loin chops for a lively dinner that's on the table in just 30 minutes.

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Marinated Beef Tenderloin

marinated beef tenderloin
Chris Court

The broiler isn't only for fast weeknight meals. Its high heat seals in a flavorful marinade and the natural juices of the beef tenderloin for a dinner-party worthy entree.

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Broiled Halibut with Shaved Spring Vegetable Salad

John Kernick

Proximity to the broiler cooks these fish fillets—even once the heat has been turned off. This different way to use the broiler keeps the halibut moist. Top with shaved radish and carrot for a beautiful springlike dish.

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Broiled Asparagus


Want to get a green vegetable on the table super fast? Broiling quickly cooks vitamin-filled asparagus for an easy accompaniment to almost any meal.

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Broiled Mustard-Crusted Flounder

broiled flounder
Anson Smart

Yogurt, mustard, and capers make flavorful crust on fish fillets. A salad of tender greens is the perfect accompaniment and dinner's ready.

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Broiled Citrus and Cranberries

Johnny Miller

Wintry citrus and tangy cranberries get a dusting of powdered sugar before they're caramelized under the broiler and transformed into a sophisticated dessert.

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