All About Melissa

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Meet Melissa

Mom of four and winner of Food Network Star Season 5, Melissa d'Arabian is known for transforming everyday meals into budget-friendly dishes the whole family will enjoy on her show, Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d'Arabian.

Photo By: David Lang ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Little Bites, Big Flavors

Instead of serving one big-batch main dish, Melissa makes several smaller appetizers to add variety to her meal. Here she rolls two-bite turkey meatballs that will be baked and dotted with a spicy raspberry topping.

Go Greek

Melissa mixes up a light but satisfying Greek-inspired salad, studded with crumbly feta cheese and finished with healthful salmon and a simple vinaigrette.

Empanadas Anytime

No longer a restaurant-only treat, empanadas are easy enough to make at home, especially when filled with sweet applesauce.

Sauce on the Side

Transform everyday dinners into flavor-packed meals by preparing a simple sauce or glaze to pair with them. Melissa blends a lime juice-laced tomatillo sauce to be served with her succulent roast chicken.

Double-Duty Ingredients

Melissa gets the most out of fine ingredients by putting them to work in multiple dishes. The sesame oil that she uses in her roast chicken is featured in the dressing for her Asian-style cabbage slaw.

Kitchen Helpers

Two of Melissa's daughters, Valentine and Charlotte, help their mom prepare a deliciously sweet breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes.

Photo By: David Lang ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Thumbs Up

After tasting a green smoothie made with almond milk, both girls give signs of approval of the creamy treat.

Photo By: David Lang ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Individual Servings

Baking eggs in pre-portioned ramekins allows each daughter to enjoy her own extra-special dish.

Photo By: David Lang ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

The d'Arabian Ladies

Melissa's youngest daughters, twins Margaux and Océane, join their mom and sisters in the kitchen for a girls-only afternoon.

Photo By: David Lang ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

At Home on Set

Complete with a rustic dining table, colorful dinnerware and homey accents like an adjacent living room, the Ten Dollar Dinners set is relaxed and comfortable.

A Spacious Setup

Multiple workstations and oversized kitchen islands give Melissa the freedom to move around during the various segments of her show.

Melissa's First Cookbook

Visit the Food Network Store to order your copy of Melissa's premiere cookbook.

Season 4, Episode 4

Takeout Fakeout

Melissa d'Arabian whips up her favorite Chinese takeout dishes, at a fraction of the cost. Sesame Chicken is slightly sweet with an orange marinade, and gets baked until golden and tender. Lemony Egg Soup turns everyday ingredients into a warm and comforting starter. Orange-Ginger Fried Wontons are so crisp and delicious, you may never need your takeout menus again!

Oct 1
8pm | 7c
Season 5, Episode 8

Dreamin' of Tagine

Melissa d'Arabian transports your taste buds to Morocco, starting with a Chilled Carrot and Cauliflower Soup, aromatic with cumin and lemon zest, and finished with a swirl of yogurt. For the main course, her Chicken Tagine is fall-off-the-bone tender, perfect alongside Melissa's Couscous With Peas and Mint. The meal's low price point is as dreamy as the flavors.

Jan 16
7pm | 6c
Season 6, Episode 13

Scarpetta Swap Out

Go behind the scenes with Melissa d'Arabian as Scott Conant shares secrets to his restaurant hits, then see Melissa make her budget-friendly versions at home. Her Chicken Liver Ravioli With Marsala Reduction is restaurant-ready yet wallet-friendly, as is her Roasted Sole With Tomatoes, Basil and Oregano. Your family and friends will enjoy every bite, while you enjoy the savings.

Mar 24
8pm | 7c
Season 5, Episode 6

Footloose and Fancy-Free Falafel

Melissa d'Arabian shares her fun and simple recipes for homemade Falafel, which she serves on a simple salad of lettuce, tomato and cucumber. Her Creamy White Bean Yogurt Sauce is tangy and garlicky, perfect to drizzle over the golden falafel. Couscous Tabouli, packed with fresh herbs, tomatoes and Israeli Couscous, makes a light and zesty side.

Apr 30
1:30pm | 12:30c
Season 6, Episode 9

Big Buffalo, Ten Bills

Melissa d'Arabian bakes a batch of chicken drumsticks, then coats them in her signature buffalo sauce. On the side, Smoky Baked Beans are slightly sweet, slightly spicy, and popular at every cookout. For dessert, two time-honored treats marry to delightful effect in Melissa's S'more Sundaes.

Jun 18
1:30pm | 12:30c
Season 7, Episode 8

Catch of the Day Cookout

Melissa d'Arabian takes grilling beyond steaks and burgers with a light fish menu. Her Citrus Tilapia "En Papillote" features delicate tilapia filets grilled in foil packets, served on a bed of baby spinach and topped with her Grilled Summer Relish. For dessert, Grilled Pound Cake gets served with warm grilled peaches and an orange-scented Cream Cheese Glaze.

Sep 16
10am | 9c
Season 3, Episode 6

Payless Picnic

Melissa d'Arabian shares her plan for a picnic with recipes for a Layered Picnic-in-a-Jar and for dessert, a Rosemary Chocolate Chip Shortbread.

Oct 17
1:30pm | 12:30c
Season 6, Episode 5

Winter in Provence

Melissa d'Arabian warms up with warming French favorites. She simmers a pot of Daube a la Provencale, a classic French beef stew, and serves it with a traditional side, pasta-based Macaronade. For dessert, her Orange-Olive Oil Cake is tender, moist, and not too sweet. Bon appetit!

Dec 4
1:30pm | 12:30c
Season 5, Episode 4

Taking on Tex Mex

Melissa d'Arabian shares easy, affordable recipes for serving Tex-Mex favorites at home. Her Pork Carnitas are the star of the Burrito Bowl bar: the caramelized morsels of shredded pork are served over seasoned rice with black beans, Melissa's Simple Pico de Gallo, and all the fixin's like cheddar cheese, green onions, and sour cream. Chocolate-Cinnamon nachos satisfy your sweet tooth, completing this south of the border menu that the whole family will love.

Jan 9
1:30pm | 12:30c
Season 6, Episode 3

Keep the Change Chile

Melissa makes Chiles Rellenos, filled with melted jack cheese and sweet corn kernels, served smothered in her homemade tomato salsa. On the side, Rice With Green Pepper and Jalapeno is perfect to soak up that delicious salsa, and Mashed Black Beans add an extra dose of flavor and satisfying protein. All that flavor, and still under budget ... ole!

Nov 11
1:30pm | 12:30c
Season 6, Episode 9

Big Buffalo, Ten Bills

Melissa d'Arabian bakes a batch of chicken drumsticks, then coats them in her signature buffalo sauce. On the side, Smoky Baked Beans are slightly sweet, slightly spicy, and popular at every cookout. For dessert, two time-honored treats marry to delightful effect in Melissa's S'more Sundaes.

Jun 23
1:30pm | 12:30c
Season 1, Episode 2

Bird on a Budget

Melissa debunks the myth that affordable chicken means dark meat. Enjoy tender breast meat guilt-free in her citrusy Crispy Skinned Chicken a L'Orange. Perfect Crispy Potatoes and colorful Fennel and Cabbage slaw make the perfect sides in this elegant meal.

Aug 13
1:30pm | 12:30c
Season 7, Episode 12

Ten Dollar Game Day

Melissa has a tailgate menu to satisfy the hungry masses without breaking a sweat -- or breaking the budget. Her Grilled Spicy Sausages get served with two homemade condiments: a sweet-spicy Onion Marmalade, and a Tomato Chutney scented with herbs de provence. For dessert, Yellow Cakes in a Jar With Chocolate Ganache are a fun and convenient way to bring sweets to the game. Ginger Lemonade is a cool, refreshing drink to wash down this satisfying meal.

Aug 25
1:30pm | 12:30c

About the Show

On her daytime cooking series, Melissa d'Arabian, Season 5 winner of Food Network Star and mom of four, shows viewers how to incorporate creative and tasty meals into their budgets by sharing her tried-and-true recipes. With countless tips to save time and money in the kitchen, she keeps her $10 promise in every episode: four people, 10 bucks, infinite possibilities. From approachable Parisian and Moroccan menus to sophisticated upgrades for everyday chicken and pork, Ten Dollar Dinners demonstrates home cooking at its finest.

About the Host

Melissa d'Arabian

Melissa proved that dreams can come true when she won Season 5 of Food Network Star. Her grand prize: the hit show Ten Dollar Dinners.

Most Popular Recipes

All Ten Dollar Dinners Recipes

Pork Carnitas

Crispy Kale "Chips"

Fish en Papillote

Arroz con Pollo

Roasted Garlic Clove Chicken

Easy Chicken Curry with Vegetables

Perfect Black Beans


Lemony Shrimp Scampi Pasta

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich

Lentil Quinoa Salad

Mom's Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips

Succulent Braised Pork

Vanilla Dutch Baby (Puffed Pancake)

Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Turkey Taquitos

Sausage and Apple Stuffed Pork Roast


Roast Beef with Marsala Gravy

Fish Piccata

Orzo with Thyme and Lemon Zest

Garlic Oil Sauteed Pasta with Broccoli

Classic Dijon Vinaigrette

Pasta Pescatore

Burrito Bowl

Herb-Crusted Pork Loin

Sweet Potato Empanadas